The Diorama

As I mentioned at the beginning of my first video about the B-17 build, it has always been a “dream” to construct something, that I would be proud of. Something that would take a lot of work but at the same time will give me an overdose of satisfaction, doing it. So, I decided to finally cut up my 1/32nd HK Models B-17G! Now I’ve built, made, constructed and scratch-built hundreds, if not thousands, of pieces and patterns in my 40 plus years career but they’ve all been within limits.
I’ve been jealous so many times when I attended model shows and saw guys who had put so much effort in building their labor of love, that I wanted to go home, assume a fetal position and give up! Just wasn’t motivated enough or work got in the way, so over time I guess, there was always an excuse to start it tomorrow… After all these years, I finally came to the realization that, if I don’t do it soon, it might never happen. What if I contract arthritis or become senile! Just kidding! However, the latter could very well be possible…
Anyway, now is as good as ever and here we are. I'm going for it! However, before I start, I have to plan a path of direction.I want to make sure that there is some logic behind the scenes by incorporating things that would make sense. I can’t just start building!
1st- I would like to create a crash scene. As I explained in my video, a crash scene, although dramatic and violent, carries an element of a “telltale story” without words. Plus, it is a topic that allows lots of extra detail to be implemented.





2nd- I want a winter-scene setting. Creating a snowscape would grant me to inject an atmosphere of solitude and despair, when crews were stranded in hostile territory with almost no hope of escaping from the enemy or the weather elements. It also provides the opportunity to experiment with adding several types of aftermarket snow products.
3rd-The setting should also include part of a railway track. Maybe a small tool shed and railroad switch in the vicinity. These things will add to the spectacle of the bombing raid gone bad on a German railway yard.
Furthermore, I “foresee” a pasture with fence posts and barbed wire, a dirt road, maybe a small creek. Not sure yet how far I want to take this. I don’t want to “overcrowd” the diorama with too many unnecessary knick-knacks.
 It is important for the modeler, to actually visualize or project his perception of what he wants to achieve, onto his diorama or model. I strongly believe, that if to a point, you are truly convinced what you want to accomplish and can already envision the finished outcome in your mind, you are already 50% ahead of the game. You just need to connect the dots. Now more than ever, are there products and finishes to help you do so.
Still, easier said than done but trial and error will eventually get you where you want to be. I learn every day from mistakes I’ve made while challenging myself with every project I work on. So keep trying, you WILL improve with time!
Last but not least, the figures! There are some available from AC Models in New Zealand. These figures are absolutely stunning and lifelike!
For a long time, I was contemplating in picking these up. Unfortunately, the poses are not what I’m looking for since these guys are either walking from or to the aircraft, right before or after a flight.
So, adding to the pressure and increasing my cholesterol build-up, I need to come up with my own crew. Thus, sculpt a new one! I started sculpting some figures from scratch, a few others, I converted from existing figures by adding layers of putty but I still have a long way to go. I will do these alongside the B-17 build at times when I’m tired of detailing the plane itself.
I still wonder if I chewed off more than I can handle. This is a serious project and my euphoria, optimism and energy levels are at an extreme high at this moment! However, I’ve been there before, only and in many cases, having to admit defeat! So, let’s take it one step at a time. I’m pretty confident that, once I start cutting plastic and the diorama starts to take shape, there is no going back.
So, let’s do this and do it right! To be continued….
Jef V.

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