Part 2
Part 2
by Terry Ashley

Layout of Diorama components
Once you have decided on the scene you wish to model the next step is planning the layout, firstly on a piece of chipboard or similar layout the major components to determine the size of the base. The size of the base is important in the final appeal of the diorama, too small a base will have everything crowded and cluttered together while too large will have the pieces disappearing in the wide open spaces.
Other simple rules when planning the layout are to always position the buildings and vehicles (or aircraft, ships etc.) at an angle to the base sides, otherwise the scene will look to rigid and sterile. Position the larger items to the rear leaving the foreground relatively clear making it easier to view the whole scene, also this will ensure the scene is viewed from the angle to best advantage. If you want to highlight a particular part of the diorama this can be done by having all the figures looking in one direction thereby directing the viewers attention to that same point.
Unpainted accessory items
The final point to remember is "balance", if the larger items are all to one side with only a few figures on the other the scene will look out of balance, referring to the completed diorama, the ruined building and armoured car have been positioned at opposite corners with the smaller items, figures and accessories placed diagonally to balance and "fill" the scene, if there is an empty space remaining this can be filled with an extra figure or small accessory or by added some extra groundcover (the grass in the right front corner). Also don't be afraid to change things around after the initial planning by adding figures rearranging the scene or changing the items used, Verlinden's V-100 Armoured Car arrived after I had started the diorama and was substituted for the M-109 as I felt this better fitted the scene.
Materials used in construction
The next step is to gather together all the small extras you will use, when it comes time to place all these onto the diorama you may not need all of these or you may require a few more to fill small spaces, again be flexible. And finally all the materials that will be needed are placed close to hand, Polyfilla for the groundwork with powder colour which is mixed in with the polyfilla to give colour depth to the groundwork. The Aquadhere (or any other woodworking glue) is used for the diluted white glue mix for sticking the smaller items to the base. The various packs of ground cover scatter will be described in more detail later.

Once the planning of your diorama is complete it is now time to start work. The thing to remember is that a diorama is basically a large kit in that it is made up of various sub assemblies which are bought together in the final construction.
Painted & weathered gear
The small items of equipment and personal gear must be finished with the same care and attention to detail as the buildings, vehicles etc., or the diorama will look like a model surrounded by lots of afterthoughts. The many accessories have been individually painted and weathered using the same methods of washes and drybrushing as the main components, the stencilling on the boxes and crates are from various 'Verlinden' dry transfer sheets. As you can imagine this is fairly time consuming but the end result is worth the effort and will enhance your finished diorama.

The Building
The ‘Verlinden' kit No.111 "Vietnam/Middle East Ruin" is made up of 20 pieces cast in plaster and after initial cleaning up the pieces are assembled using Thick Cyanoacrylate glue (care must be taken when using this glue or you will end up with your fingers as unwanted building extensions ).

Unpainted building Initial painting of building
Unpainted building items Initial painting of building
Small details are added such as the wire reinforcements to the upper floor with thin wire inserted into pre-drilled holes and the railings from plastic rod. The basic colours are then brushed on, the whole building must be painted to seal the plaster for the weathering which follows. After the paint has dried for at least 48 hours the first washes of light brown are added followed by darker browns to highlight the texture, a wash is a mixture of about 90% thinner and 10% paint (I find oil paints the best for washes, the pigment being much finer the normal paints) which can be applied overall using a large brush to tint the paintwork or with a fine brush to highlight the details of the brickwork etc.
Painted building Rubble
Painted & weathered building Painting & weathered rubble
After the wash has dried a further 24 hours the building is then drybrushed with lighter colours to further highlight to detail using an old stiff brush with short bristles. Finally the larger pieces of rubble must also be painted and weathered in the same manner so they will. blend with the ruin and don't look like afterthoughts.
This method can be used for any plaster or resin buildings using appropriate colours and adding as much extra detail as you wish.
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