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
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
CREATIVITY BY ACCIDENT:
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
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
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””.