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JohnReid

How to Build Aircraft Dioramas

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Well here goes guys,this should be fun.Thanks to the ARC staff for making this happen.I know that you wont regret it.Thanks again guys!Cheers! John. ;) :cheers:

Edited by JohnReid

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in order to bring you guys up to date on where I am in my present diorama build of the Jenny,until I get a chance to post the pics here, go to http://www.wwi-models.org click on Galleries,then my name . A lot of pics of my last 3 builds are there with some text on how they were made.There is no forum, they only host my pics.I will have to get a little dual on how to post them here.Thanks.Cheers! John. :cheers:

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Just awsome John :lol:

You've given someone new to diorama a good starting block. I just have to change the era to today but your craftsmanship just blew me away,I have a very long way to go to try and get to where your at.

:cheers:

Charles

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Thank goodness they are going to the CAM in Ottawa.My house really isnt that big.Cheers! John. :cheers:

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Good-o on ya Steve, I hope word gets out, because this is one model venture that has just had the tip of the iceberg showing.

Great work John, but you know I'd seen it at the WW I site. I just sent Allen some pix of my Pfalz D.XII.

Caz

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I was looking for a diarama and all I got was this lousy Diareah!

:cheers:

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Here is something that I would like to share with you guys.I found it shortly before starting my last diorama.

Until one is committed,there is hesitancy,the chance to draw back,always ineffectivness,concerning all acts of initiative.(and creation) There is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself,then providence moves too.All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.A whole stream of events issues from the decision,raising in ones favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.Whatever you can do or dream you can,begin it.Boldness has genius,power,and magic in it.Begin it now.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Cheers! John :thumbsup:

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Weathering wood: I am presently working on the roof of the hangar of the "Memories of Flight School" Jenny diorama.I am trying to depict an old hangar of the type that existed at the Toronto flying club in the 20-30s.The roof has a checkerboard pattern for recognition by VFR pilots as well as old aviation gasoline sign.

The battens holding down the roof are made of wood.

My wood weathering technique is as follows.After I have prepared the raw wood (usually birchwood coffee stir stiks or tongue depressors)I brush on two thin washes of nimbus grey acrylic paint.Over that ,two thin washes of raw umber,leaving some of the color and pattern of the wood showing through.

When dry,I shade in and around the wood using pastels.Black,medium grey,and burnt sienna for the rust.The secret to pastels is in their very subtle use for shading.Usually I shade where dust and crud would build up such as corners and between the boards.

these battens are held down with pins which I paint using a dot of burnt umber gesso on each nail head,followed by a coat of burnt sienna and then shaded with burnt sienna pastels.Hope this makes sense ,Cheers! John. ;) :wave:

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How to Make any Surface Rusty and Corroded:

This seems to work on any surface plastic ,wood,metal whatever.

The secret is in surface preparation.It works even on a highly polished enamel surface.(such as diecasts)

Prepare the surface by sanding off the shiny new surface with 600 or higher sandpaper.You want to dull the surface not create scratches.Rub untill all the shine is gone.Next paint the surface with a 50/50 gesso-water mix and dry with a hair dryer if you like.Dont set the hair dryer too close to the surface but just blow warm air across it.(you can always just air dry it if you want)

Always use distilled water in your mixes.

Now, if you want to put some color on,put it on in thin layers(at least a 50/50 mix,even more water if you are using tube colors)Dont completely cover the gesso surface with a solid new color if you want a real antique look,some of the undercoat should show through.

Now the fun part.Take some watered down burnt sienna and using an old brush and a washboard surface vigorosly scrub the paint until it foams up..Then take this foamy paint,bubbles and all and dab it onto the surface.Dry with a hair dryer and repeat as many times as necessary to get that nice rusty and corroded look.Works great on old barrells,oil cans,engines,cars or airplanes,whatever needs antiqueing.Take your time and have fun,I sure am.Cheers! John.

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How to antique a chrome or nickel surface:

-immerse the part in household ammonia till all of chrome disappears off the part.

--take an old toothbrush and scrape off any remnants

-deburr any mold lines

-paint part with 50/50 black gesso-water mix

-paint on one thin coat of acryilic silver(let some of the black undercoat show through)

-when dry,dab on some foamy burnt sienna(Dabbing is the secret to an authentic looking surface)

-dab on as many coats as you like but let some of the silver show through

Remember,work with very thin,flat acrylic paint.You want to build up transparent layers not cover up all your hard work.

Cheers! John. :worship:

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I wonder if you guys have any idea of how many nails that there are in a hangar large enough to hold a Jenny.Well I can tell you,too damn many.I thought putting up the siding was boring but this worse.I am nailing all the boards (some are simulated with pin holes and graphite pencil) both inside and out except for the interior walls which I figure would have been covered in paint.The floor however is another story.

Better add a few more months to this build. :worship: Cheers! John :worship:

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Here is something I came across a few years ago on recovering our own sense of creativity:

ABOUT SCHOOL

He always wanted to say things.But no one understood.

He always wanted to explain things.But no one cared.

So he drew.

Sometimes he would just draw and it wasnt anything.He wanted to carve it in stone or write it in the sky.

He would lie on the grass and look up in the sky.It would be only him and the sky and the things inside that needed saying.

And it was after that that he drew the picture.It was a beautiful picture.He kept it under the pillow and would let no one see it.

And he would look at it every night and think about it.

And when it was dark,and his eyes were closed ,he could still see it.

And it was all of him.And he loved it.

When he started school he brought it with him.Not to show anyone,but just to have with him like a friend.

It was funny about school.

He sat in a square ,brown desk like all the other square brown desks and he thought it should be red.

And his room was a square brown room.Like all the other rooms.

And it was tight,and close,and stiff.

He hated to hold the pencil and the chalk with his arm stiff and his feet flat on the floor,stiff,with the teacher watching and watching.

And then he had to write numbers.And they werent anything.

They were worse than the letters that could be something if you put them together.

And the numbers were tight and square and he hated the whole thing.

The teacher came and spoke to him.She told him to wear a tie like all the other boys.He said he didnt like them and she said it didnt matter.

After that they drew.And he drew all yellow and it was the way he felt that morning.And it was beautiful.

The teacher came and smiled at him."Whats this?" said she.

"Why dont you draw something like Kens drawing ? Isnt that beautiful?"

I was all questions.

After that his mother bought him a tie and he always drew airplanes and rocket ships like everyone else.

And he threw the old picture away.

And when he lay out alone looking at the sky,it was big and blue and all of everything,but he wasnt anymore.

He was square inside and brown,and his hands were stiff,he was like anyone else.And the thing inside him that needed saying didnt need saying anymore.

It had stopped pushing.It was crushed still.Like everything else.

Anonymous

Cheers! John.

Edited by JohnReid

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Here are couple of things that I discovered when antiqueing an old , plastic, model T Ford truck that I modified.

-to make brass look like weathered copper spray washes of very thin burnt umber gesso,followed by spray washes of black gesso

-to make brass look weathered spray just the black gesso

use flow medium and distilled water in your mix.

Cheers! John. :wacko:

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Sure Gesso is what artists have used for a long time to provide a ground for painting.Something like an undercoat.But the great thing about it is that it will stick to just about anything and just about anything will stick to it.I sometimes use it instead of white ,black,or burnt umber(it also comes in other colors)You can add it to any paint mix if you want to matt your paint down as acrylics tend to be shiney.

It is available in any store that sells art supplies.Cheers! John. :wacko:

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Here is my way of making tarps,rags ,cloths etc....

-use kleenex

-soak in a mix of white clue and water(very thin so it wont stick to the surface yet

-drap , place,and shape the item as required

-Air dry or speed up the process with a hair dryer

-repeat the above 3 steps as necessary

-paint or preferably spray the item with laquer

-paint as required(I use acrylics)

-place item and glue

Cheers! John. :thumbsup:

Edited by JohnReid

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Thank you Mr. Reid.

All great stuff. Maybe its time to build my first Diorama and give it a go.

Jeff

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Hey Jeff,never mind the mister stuff.I am just a 64 year old ,old fart,you know the kind you hate to follow on the highway :thumbsup:

Better get to it though,times a wasting.Beleive me life is short,especially when your having fun.Good luck with your project and welcome aboard the DIO Club.Cheers! John. :cheers:

Edited by JohnReid

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Well,I finished nailing the exterior walls and its weathering.I am presently posting a few old signs advertising gas,coke,spark plugs et... As well as the usual no smoking and no tresspassing signs.Most of these I got off the internet (tinsigns.com)Mine of course are from the 1920-30s era.It is important that you do a little research here to confirm the era of your signage.It can be earlier than the era that you are trying to dipict,but,of course never later.The older the sign,the longer its been hanging there,the more weathering required.

I usually weather my signs with pastels and acrylics.With a wood surface there is no danger of the pastels rubbing off ,so I use them to shade around the sign where crud and dirt may gather(it also makes the sign stand out more from its surroundings)Then I take an old toothbrush and dip it in very watery raw umber acrylic and with my thumb I flick on a spray of crud. Nails can be weathered using dots of burnt umber gesso followed by a burnt sienna overcoat. and then a little burnt sienna pastel to soften the appearence.Drips and stains can be simulated with very watery burnt sienna.

I prepare the signs by spraying them with laquer(do not brush as it smears ) Then I glue them with white glue to cardboard or thin plywood and trim as required.When placing signs remember to use your imagination.They dont always have to be in the center of the wall or exactly level ,depending on the situation you are trying to represent.A real old sign could even be hanging off one nail or hardly be readable or have graffity on it,torn on the edges,bullet holes in it etc..etc...When walking or driving around make a mental note of what you see in real life.In fact ,that is a good habit to get into anyway,one of the things that seperates a good artist from an average one, in my opinion , is "attention to detail". Cheers! John.

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A Day of Transition

:)

Well today is an exciting day for me and one that I have been looking forward to for a long time.It is the day that I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Up until now I have been building individual componments for the finished diorama.But today I will be completely breaking everything down and totally finishing each part and installing it permanently.This is where the fun really begins,watching your ideas finally coming together.Its like you have reached the top and are coasting down the other side.It is also a time where I seriously start researching "whats next".It is a time when I feel pulled in two directions.One the excitement of finishing up and the other the excitement of beginning something new.For the next project the most creative time is right now.The time that we artists live for.Creating that mental image in your mind.Knowing that it is something that has never existed before and would never have existed without your creative input.It is very personal in nature and I believe a spiritual experience.

So far on the top of my list of "whats next" projects sits a Wright Flyer in a museum setting..It will be suspended from the ceiling of the museum with a model of one of the Wrights at the controls.A little boy and his grandfather will be standing on the museum floor ,hand in hand,looking up in wonderment.

the model itself will be of the Wright Flyer 2 which is seldom modeled.Essentially it is the same airplane with a few dimentional changes to make it more stable.What the Wrights called their first really controllable configuration.Also on the museum floor there will be museum artifacts.Maybe a wind tunnel,maybe a bicycle(with their 1st rudamentary wind tunnel idea),glass cabinets containing artifacts.I really dont know yet.

Well thats the plan so far.As always there will be numerous changes as I go along but thats also part of the fun because even I dont know how it will really look when finished.Cheers! John. :lol:

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I have decided to title this new diorama "Against The Wind" courtesy of Bob Seger.

Why?

because it is one of the basic principals of flight,because it tells of their overcoming every adversity they encountered to realize their dream,and because I just like the tune,

"Oh so many roads

What to leave in ,what to leave out.

I'm older now but still runnin against the wind."

Cheers! John.

:lol:

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