1/16 Scale Nieuport 28 and Hangar Diorama
by John Reid

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The making of the hangar,hangar furniture,figures etc.. is much the same procedure as I explained, in detail, in my first article on the building of the Albatross .So I wont repeat it here.

The aircraft is basically a Model Expo 1/16th scale Neiuport 28 kit with some modifications .The figures are re-worked Tamiya figures and the Model T truck is a highly modified automobile kit.

Although the dioramas theme is pretty much a re-hash of the Albatross diorama,I did develop a few techniques that were new to me.I experimented with pastels for weathering,mostly brown and black and a little mossy green.Great fun! I did a more complicated composition,more figures,more activity,an old truck etc.. I changed the lighting to house current ,using 5 watt bulbs in electrical cords that were designed for miniature Christmas houses.This cut down on the amount of wiring involved.In retrospect however,I think I prefer the Albatross diorama lighting,especially for the interior.One thing I had fun with was the outside lighting of the hangars siding to make it look like sunrise.


I spent a lot of time trying to get the composition just right.Placing and re-placing objects until I was satisfied.Making things look busy but not cluttered.Although I had a good plan when I started ,things did evolve as I went along.Because I had to work within the restrictions of the inside dimensions of the old TV cabinet that I plan to use,I had to make maximum use of the space I had.I also wanted to create a certain amount of tension in the piece through the use of the order versus chaos idea.The airplane is very tight and orderly while the surroundings are loose and choatic.I didn't want a modern (eat off the floor type) hangar.I wanted a hangar of the old style which I remember as organized confusion.Things may look as though they were placed at random but actually many hours were spent to achieve the proper effect.

I find that one of the hardest things to do is to avoid the human tendency to line things up in an orderly fashion.

I used a limited number of mostly muted colours .Browns and grays and khaki and because it is an American hangar in France,red,white and blue.

I try to be creative and to think unconventionally when I am planning my dioramas.I try to avoid the stereo type of an airplane on a base and I try to tell a story.

The art of the diorama I believe is very much the thoughtful,creative placement of things.I am not the best modeler, figure maker or the best painter and I do use a lot of artistic license ;but what I really strive for is overall visual impact with just the right balance of detail.


It is strange how things can happen during the creative process,sometimes purely by accident.

One day while I was working on placing things on the work table in front of the engine,in the diorama,a box full of miniatures nuts and bolts fell on the floor and because it was not readably accessible at the time, I left it there.My son came by later in the day and said”Hey dad ,I really like the idea of the spilled nuts and bolts on the floor”.I looked and said “Wow! You are right”,it adds just the right touch and emphasizes the chaos-order theme.”Gilding the Lily” so to speak and purely by accident.


In my last article on the Albatross diorama,I mentioned something about “Going over the edge”.Well I guess I finally did.If you look closely at some of the pictures you will see that I did put a birds nest in the rafters and a mouse near the floor.

I am presently installing the dioramas, in and on an old 1960s style T.V.cabinet.I plan to put the Albatross diorama on a wooden base on top of the cabinet that will revolve at 1RPM.The Neiuport will then be installed inside the cabinet protected by plexiglass. Now it's on to the JENNY.Cheers! John.


This diorama is dedicated to all those men and women, who designed,build and maintain our air and space craft and”keep em flying””.

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