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water diorama
Jerry Day
Comandante di Squadriglia
Comandante di Squadriglia

Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 13
Location: Longmont, Colorado
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I would like to do a diorama with Italian and German float and sea planes. I am curious how others mould the water around the aircraft. Any article or book on the subject?
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Aeroal
Comandante di Stormo
Comandante di Stormo

Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 108
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Hi, Jerry,

I use ready-mixed Pollyfilla, a quick drying, easy to sand, plaster in the U.K. It comes in a tube for squirting on to wherever it is needed. No doubt this or an equivalent will be readily available from your local hardware store. I usually make a base from 10mm. M.D.F., coat the surface to receive the plaster with P.V.A adhesive, and then apply the plaster on top of the wet P.V.A., thereby bonding it to the surface. If you want the plaster to set rock hard, you can mix some P.V.A. in with it.

I very carefully apply the plaster on to the base with the model already in place, waterlined and glued in position. Waves can be sculpted in the plaster with a knife or spatula, working quickly while it is still easily formed. Bow waves and wakes can be added with more plaster, or by using a stiff brush to get a stippled effect. Any overdone areas can easily be modified once dry, with a quick, but gentle 'going over' with your sandpaper of choice. Any drying-out cracks or gaps around the aircraft or ship's hull are filled in with an additional application of plaster.

I then paint the plaster base, usually with Humbrol enamels, sea-blue gloss for the Med. or sea blue gloss with a dash of ominous dark green to replicate the seas around the U.K. Make sure you vary the colours applied with dashes of blue green and white. The sea is never a constant colour. You can suggest depth by for example, darkening the water in front of a submarine, or by adding white and cream to simulate wave tops, propeller or airscrew wash. I usually finish with a coat of satin varnish. Gloss varnish gives too toy-like an appearance and matt varnish makes the water look as if it is becalmed in the doldrums.

This technique can inexpensively produce a quite convincing sea, and with a minimum amount of hassle. I like it because it can be done to give a 'level' base. Some people prefer building up the sides of the base to contain poured resin, as an alternative water surface. I personally do not care for the picture-framed look this method normally gives. Sometimes, the exothermic (heat producing) reaction created by curing resin can melt the model, if you are really unlucky!

I hope this is of use to you. Try a base using plaster. It quite an enjoyable and satisfying experience.

Regards,

Aeroal.
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Jerry Day
Comandante di Squadriglia
Comandante di Squadriglia

Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 13
Location: Longmont, Colorado
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Aeroal wrote:
Hi, Jerry,

I hope this is of use to you. Try a base using plaster. It quite an enjoyable and satisfying experience.

Regards,

Aeroal.


Thanks much for the information and suggestions. I am wanting to model a seaplane base, so the water could be very calm. I want to be able to remove the model aircraft from the diorama, so didn't want to do anything that would damage the floats or bottoms of the aircraft.

Jerry Day
Longmont, Colorado
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Water Base
Aeroal
Comandante di Stormo
Comandante di Stormo

Joined: 12 Nov 2006
Posts: 108
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
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Jerry,

I suppose you could simply pull the hull or floats out of the plaster once it had hardened off a little, although I would suggest you do not add P.V.A. glue to the plaster mix. If you wish to have the model removeable, you will not get the snug and convincing fit of the sea, where it abuts the hull. If the subject is to be depicted in motion, I sometimes build the plaster up and over the bow of the hull or float, just as it would be if the hull was moving through the water. This would not be possible if you choose to remove the model. Why would you wish to remove the models if it is an integral part of the diorama? Models fixed to a base are generally more secure and safe than models loosely placed, thereon.

Regards,

Aeroal.
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Re: water diorama
Peter I.
Comandante di Gruppo
Comandante di Gruppo

Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Netherlands
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Jerry Day wrote:
I would like to do a diorama with Italian and German float and sea planes. I am curious how others mould the water around the aircraft. Any article or book on the subject?


I also like to be able to remove my models from any 'water diorama'. I tend to use two layers of foam board, a flexible foam material sandwiched between two sheets of paper. On top I use clear 'water' sheet from the model trains section from my LHS, painted on the underside (wet in wet) in different greens, greys and blues, with some sand colour mixed in for the area closer to the shore. For the shape of the hull or floats I make a simple cut out in the clear sheet and foam board.

I'll post some pictures of my S.87 diorama shortly, to show what it looks like.

Peter
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Editor
Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jul 2003
Posts: 1864
Location: Calgary, AB, CANADA
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Look forward to seeing your diorama Peter!

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Vince Tassone
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Peter I.
Comandante di Gruppo
Comandante di Gruppo

Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Netherlands
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Sorry it took a bit longer to take the photos and post them. Here they are:


and with the model on top:


This can ofcourse be combined with a dockside, a beach, etcetera. The big advantage is that model and base can be transported seperatedly when travelling to shows.

Peter
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Editor
Site Admin
Site Admin

Joined: 24 Jul 2003
Posts: 1864
Location: Calgary, AB, CANADA
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Thanks Peter, great work! If you find a moment, can you write a short article of this build for the Gallery.

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Vince Tassone
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Peter I.
Comandante di Gruppo
Comandante di Gruppo

Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 66
Location: Netherlands
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Sure. I'll send you PM about that.
Peter
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water diorama
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