View Full Version : The Backyard Flier (1/16th)

07-31-09, 10:29 AM
This is where I am now with this build.
I thought that I had better start a thread dealing just with the airplane itself.1gramps1

07-31-09, 10:43 AM
This is where I started with this build,the laser cut ribs.In fact this will be the only part not built from scratch.They are so impossibly delicate that laser cutting is the only way to go.Mine were from a Model Airways 1/16th Wright Flier which I never built. I modified each rib to conform to the Curtiss Pusher drawing that I am using.In this day and age I know of many scratch builders who farm this job out to laser people like Arizona Models .I considered doing that but decided to modify what I already had.

07-31-09, 11:02 AM

07-31-09, 11:16 AM
This backyard flier is accurate to the point that I am using the aeronautical knowledge of the day(1913)that would be available to an amateur builder.I want to put myself back to that era and see what I would come up with as my design for an airplane.

I checked the camber,shape and thickness of the wing and found it within limits.Then I decreased the width and length and squared the tip to better conform to the Curtiss airplane.
I cut the trailing edge where you see the black line.

07-31-09, 11:22 AM
Newly designed wing built and out of the jig.

07-31-09, 06:49 PM
I'm looking forward to following this one John. You do amazing work!

08-01-09, 09:57 AM
Upper wing resting in modified jig.

08-01-09, 10:02 AM
Lower wing built up and installed in the jig.I used whatever I had handy to true up the wings in relation to one another and then made up and temporarily installed the interplane struts.

08-01-09, 10:16 AM
Please note:
For a more detailed description of this build see my diorama thread, Loss of Innocence.......There is no sense in repeating all of that here but when I resume the flier part of the diorama I will post a more through description on this thread.

08-01-09, 10:22 AM
Nothing fancy here just miniature clothes pegs,twist ties and hot melt glue to hold the whole contraption together.

08-01-09, 10:26 AM
I used coffee stir sticks to temporarily represent the interplane struts.

08-03-09, 09:27 AM

08-03-09, 10:29 AM
Wing strut fittings are installed on the ends of the already made up streamlined interplane struts.

08-03-09, 10:35 AM
Four brass tubing vertical struts were added to support the engine bearer beams.

08-03-09, 10:41 AM
The engine bearer beams temporarily installed.

08-04-09, 10:23 AM
Engine bearer cross braces made from brass tubing.

08-05-09, 08:34 AM
Weathering of the braces and fittings using blacken-it.

hot ford coupe
08-05-09, 02:05 PM
Nice use of the blacken it. I've got to get some of that for myself.

08-05-09, 02:32 PM
Yeah, I wanted it to look like it has spent a few years in the backyard.1gramps1

08-07-09, 01:53 PM

08-07-09, 01:54 PM

08-08-09, 09:17 AM

08-09-09, 10:14 AM

08-10-09, 05:33 PM

08-17-09, 05:52 PM

08-17-09, 05:54 PM

08-17-09, 06:02 PM

08-17-09, 06:07 PM

08-17-09, 06:10 PM

08-17-09, 06:12 PM

08-17-09, 06:20 PM
The text for these pics has already been posted on the diorama thread.When I resume the flier part of the diorama build I will post it here.

08-18-09, 05:29 PM

08-18-09, 05:38 PM
On the left is a 1/48 scale mockup of where the flier is eventually going.In the right hand backyard you can see a paper model of the flier also in 1/48.The modern car shown will be replaced with a Model T ,probably a truck.This is still very much a project in evolution.As you can see the final size in 1/16th will be wider than the table.1gramps1

08-20-09, 11:16 AM

08-20-09, 11:48 AM
This is the pic that first inspired me to do a backyard flier.Somebody identified it as a Wright brothers copy, which is wrong for a number of reasons.Besides that, what is really interesting is that the builder looks like he was experimenting with some type of design for longitudinal control, other than wing warping ,a patent at the time that was jealously guarded by the Wrights.If you look carefully at the pic you will see a hinged flap sort of design outboard near the wings leading edge.He has cut the ribs at the spars and hinged it to the trailing edge of the front spar on both upper and lower wings.There also seems to be the beginning of some sort of rigging for their control.If this is what I think it is Mr Mair was surely involved with some very early innovative and creative aeronautical engineering.
I love this pic as it tells so much about the human creative spirit.Don't forget this is 1910 when many looked upon aviation as a oddity and a foolish thing to pursue.I can only speculate what his family and neighbors might have thought.

08-20-09, 11:56 AM
Hi John, These old photos you have been posting are real treasures. There is a lot of little detail in them, besides the airplane, things like fences and utility poles. I really like the differences among the three back yards, and those garbage can holders are eye grabbers even though mundane. There is even an unintended effect, the ragged top edge makes it look to me like ruins across the street. I bet there are still things in these photos that I've missed. I can see that old photos have shaped a lot of your work, please keep posting them.

08-24-09, 10:43 AM
More what to leave in and what to leave out decisions that I soon will have to make is regarding the flier itself.As you guys who have been following this thread already know,my storyline is a lot different than what is depicted in the original pic.
As it is already it would make a very nice story about an early EAA'er building a flier.The very busy Mr. Mair working intently on his flier pretty much unaware of all the things going on around him. The kids more fascinated by the lady with the dog (I think but hard to see) ,the boys sitting on the fence either too shy to approach because of the girls(this is 1910 remember) or maybe Mr Mair doesn't want them around his airplane.The washing on the line etc..etc leads me to believe that the photographer really knew what he was doing when he created this composition.Mr. Mair himself was probably staged but the rest is probably spontaneous.A wonderful "slice of life" story in itself.
I have however decided to cut down on the complexity of the story .I want to make it simpler but with more emotion.My story revolves around a single individual and his relationship with his love for aviation.It is a story of the loss of innocence both of the individual and aviation itself.What seemed like such a wonderful,innocent thing to do in the beginning now turned out to be just another instrument of war.Looking at his flier he is probably wondering "can I bring myself to complete it" knowing now what I know to be true?
The feeling among the general population after all the killing in WW1 was not very positive about machines of war,airplanes included.Most fathers would not encourage their sons to become pilots.Most pilots couldn't even find jobs other than exhibition pilots or barnstormers.So it was the mood of the times that I want to capture in my diorama.I am not sure that everyone will get it but I bet a pretty high percentage of servicemen will.Those who don't will still have something interesting to look at.

08-24-09, 11:44 AM
A fellow modeler has just informed me that these buildings on Fullerton St in Chicago still exist,in fact he lived not too far away on the same street in the 1970's.
Art is truly a living thing and does provide us with a little comfort knowing that it does really have a life of it's own, beyond the lifespan of the individual artist.
I wish I knew the photographers name ,in his day he would be at the top of his game which really comes through to me in the pics.In fact ,that is what first caught my "artist's eye" ,the creative angle from which the pic was taken.Rather than just the usual airplane pic he captured a story which lives on to this day.100 years ago an artist/photographer takes a pic and all these years later an artist/modeler builds on the foundation of his work.Maybe a 100 years from now, using a medium that we can't even imagine today ,another artist will be influenced and expand on our work.And so it goes.........

10-13-09, 06:42 PM
Finishing up the backyard flier.
Started back building the backyard flier today.The first order of business will be to make the outboard streamlined interplane struts and their fittings.The engine will be next and I probably will use a old Ford T design and then partially cover it with an old tarp, so I can suggest that there is an engine there without having to be too detailed.Remember this airplane project has been abandoned for some time while our aviator has been off to war.I thought about putting tarps on the wings as well but I don't what to cover up too much of the structure.Because there will be a "welcome home" sign on the wall they were obviously anticipating his arrival and therefore may have removed some of the tarps.

hot ford coupe
10-14-09, 02:08 AM
Now we're getting down to the heart of the matter. I can't wait to see what kind of aircraft design you've come up with. Great stuff, John. 1clap11thumbup1

10-14-09, 01:07 PM

10-14-09, 01:19 PM
This is the general arrangement that I will be using for my backyard flier.I don't know what this engine is (probably modern) but I will be using the same 4 cylinder in-line type.
Our budding aviator probably would have used something easily available and relatively cheap like a new or used Ford Model T engine modified it to direct drive, without the gearbox of course.What I plan to do is partially cover the engine with a tarp but leave the prop ,rad and gas tank etc...uncovered.Should be fun!1gramps1

10-15-09, 09:22 AM

10-15-09, 09:41 AM
I took an old 1/16th Lindberg 1910 Model T engine and removed the gearbox to make it look more like an aircraft engine.The propeller shaft in there now is temporary and was only used to line things up.This mod was simple to do with a razor saw and a sanding stick.Working slowly you can eventually get what is left of the gearbox to line up with the rest of the engine.There is not a lot of nice crisp detail on this engine but for my purposes here it is OK as I have the option of showing what I want of it because of the covering tarp.The outline alone would really be enough.

10-16-09, 10:09 AM

10-16-09, 07:53 PM

10-16-09, 08:11 PM
Wow! working in here is like working in a bird cage.This is the general arrangement of the engine,fuel tank and rad.I have used brass rod to connect everything up.A little judicious use of the tarp should cover most of it.I am just looking for a general overall shape here.
The fuel system is gravity feed therefore it is set higher than the engine.The rad is from the Ford T.I will not be using a lot of piping or fittings other than maybe the large rad hoses to hang the tarp on.Speaking about the tarp, it should be fun making that in there

10-17-09, 10:22 AM

10-17-09, 04:30 PM

10-18-09, 07:52 PM

10-18-09, 08:12 PM

10-19-09, 11:53 AM
Now I have to figure out how much of this to cover with the tarp.The rear of the engine and the back of the rad are definite candidates as most of the plumbing etc.. is missing.
To have seen action at the front our returning aviator would have to have been gone for sometime,2-3 years minimum I would suppose.In our climate this would make for considerable weathering to exposed areas.The airplane structure tarps could have been removed for his arrival home but I doubt that the engine would be uncovered too.I will just have to play around with some ideas that I have and see what happens!

10-20-09, 11:48 AM
Sometimes the easiest and best solution is staring you right in the face.
I put the flier in the diorama and realized that most of the I am trying to hide is not visible anyway.No sense in wasting a lot of time on something that will never be seen. Instead I will concentrate on what is visible and add a bit more to it, like fittings, piping etc...The tarps, if I show them at all, will have been completely removed or blown off over time.Once the whole thing is weathered it should be even more interesting this way,or at least more fun for me as I love the weathering process.
Speaking about finishing only what is visible,this practice has been well established with shadowbox dioramas, where a lot of what you don't see has never been completed in the round, especially detailed figures etc..

10-20-09, 08:35 PM

Don Garrett
10-20-09, 09:02 PM
That engine looks great John......1thumbup1

10-21-09, 09:35 AM

10-21-09, 10:27 AM
I made up the engine support brackets and installed the basic engine.I have started a little weathering using pastels.Later I will be toothbrush spraying a little watery acrylics over the aircraft's wooden structure to age it as well.The fuel tank is next ,then the rad.
Doing a under construction build really has its advantages ,as you can quit with the detail anytime you want.Want to put a bracket without a bolt to secure it?Fine,he just hasn't got around to installing it yet.You don't even have to drill a hole cause you can't see it anyway.If I was doing this as a finished airplane my plan for the build would be completely different and much more complicated.All of my aircraft to date have been of the "under construction" type so I get to decide when to stop.This freedom helps to keep me sane!gringrin

hot ford coupe
10-21-09, 01:47 PM
The weathering on the engine is perfect. It looks like it's been sitting idle for the right amount of time. Looking really great John. I follow this every day you post. 1clap11clap11clap1

10-21-09, 05:39 PM

10-22-09, 02:54 PM
The copper fuel tank is not in its final position but has been lowered to rest on the engine support beam.I left the tank fitting in a unusual place on the tube to indicate this.The fuel tank can easily be positioned higher, to its final gravity feed position ,when all the fittings etc ... are installed.(after he returns from the war)
The prop will not be installed because something as valuable as that (if he even had one)would not be left outside.

10-22-09, 07:05 PM
Making windows
Well I think that I will go back to woodworking for awhile.Ken Hamilton has a great tutorial on making windows which I will borrowing from extensively.It is a really great step by step method using a jig and real glass or plexiglass.
The facade will play a secondary role in the diorama but in reality it represents a good portion of the overall work involved.I have to be careful here that I don't get too fancy with the facade.I thought about shutters but it would just be too much.Luckily this is a backyard which would not normally have any anyway.
I will build a few until I get tired of it and then return to the flier somewhere down the road.

10-31-09, 10:49 AM
Now I have just another 11 windows and two doors to build.The way it is going more time will be spend on making up the supporting cast than the main event! But I expected this,I guess it is a lot like the movies where lots of time and money is spent on scenery in order to make the storyline more believable.
I think in future I will do only small 1/16th vignettes a la my fellow modeler Chuck Doan.I will spend more time on detail and less on big scale(size) productions.Four large dioramas is three more than I originally set out to do anyway.
The following is an example of Chucks work which I call extreme weathering .A great theme for example ,would be a modern day barn-find of an old aircraft or even aircraft parts, in 1/16th scale.It would give me lots of opportunity to give extreme weathering a try.I really enjoy the weathering process and then taking pics of the detail.
In the following example the old barn window tells a whole story in itself.

11-02-09, 05:42 PM

11-03-09, 11:43 AM

11-03-09, 12:13 PM
Thats impressive John. Keep up the great work Im learning allot. 1thumbup1

11-05-09, 09:25 AM

11-05-09, 09:31 AM

11-12-09, 07:43 PM

11-15-09, 09:11 AM
How to rig a ship model.
I don't know if any of you guys are ship modelers but I have something on my photobucket that may be of interest.I spent a long time rigging an 1/72 scale HMS Victory before I took up 1/16th aircraft dioramas.I have started an album on how to rig this ship.Look for the album titled Friggin' in the Riggin' in my photobucket.
Believe me after that aircraft were easy! Cheers.John.
"Once upon a time......." Storyboard dioramas by JohnReid.
My photobucket:
Pictures by JohnReid - Photobucket (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/)

11-17-09, 12:42 PM

11-23-09, 07:17 PM

11-25-09, 01:53 PM
Guys,you may have noticed that I have slacked off a bit on this build.There is a good explanation for this and it is not what you may think but it is an attempt to do two projects at once.No not another diorama but something that I always promised myself to do and that is to write a little online booklet on how I rigged my 1/72 scale HMS Victory ship model.Right now there is precious little out there for the inexperienced rigger on the proper sequence to use when rigging a ship-of-the line.Lots of info on this or that but just about none on sequence and as you biplane modelers know this can be crucial to success in rigging anything.Cheers! John.

11-27-09, 08:25 PM

12-07-09, 09:01 PM

12-08-09, 10:57 AM
The windows are finished so now it is on to the two back doors.They will be of simple design being in the backyard.I plan a single window near the top.You will notice that doors were much narrower in those days. The figure looks about right standing in the door however you will see that the back is not finely carved as it doesn't show when placed properly in the diorama.It is also now quite shiny due to too much handling and will have to be re-painted.After the doors will come the porch and stairs which should be lots of fun!

12-09-09, 07:11 PM

12-11-09, 08:09 PM

12-13-09, 01:49 PM

12-14-09, 08:47 PM

12-14-09, 09:06 PM
I think I need a little change of pace for awhile so I thought that I would modify my returning war hero figure that will be going into the diorama.
I have changed the head for a more Canadian looking character rather than try to modify that hat.
I also will be removing all those wonderfully detailed medals from his chest and demoting him in rank.The rest of the uniform is of the military style of the era and needs no major modifications.
Please note : the replacement head is from my own collection and not part of the kit.

12-15-09, 11:11 AM

12-15-09, 11:58 AM

12-15-09, 12:21 PM
I sanded off all those hard won medals and used super thin super glue to fill in any imperfections and sanded that again till smooth again.
When placed in the diorama none of this will be visible so there is no need to re-sculpt anything.The head is only on temporarily as gluing it down is one of the last things I do after painting.Because head positioning is so important to the mood I want to create, it is best left to last.He has sort of a neutral expression on his face which is what I want as though he is questioning himself "do I really want to finish this airplane."

12-15-09, 12:35 PM
Where did you get this guy and do you know of anyone that has 1/14 scale? Ya I know wield size.

12-23-09, 02:35 PM

12-23-09, 02:37 PM
Where did you get this guy and do you know of anyone that has 1/14 scale? Ya I know wield size.
I guess i/16th would be the closest,is it for a diorama?

12-24-09, 11:14 AM

01-09-10, 06:08 PM

01-09-10, 06:28 PM
Whats wrong with this pic?
Notice on the jig where it says "Front", now take a look at where the engine is placed in the fuselage.Now look where the leading edge is,then the trailing edge.@#$#$$$$$^&*!@# You guessed it the engine is on backwards.Wow what a stupid mistake!!!!!!!It is so easy to lose the big picture when you get too involved in the details.Somehow between Oct 19 and 21 I had a major brain fart of some kind and only discovered it today when I went back to work on the airplane.
Of course everything has been glued in place but luckily I think that the engine mount will be OK where it is, because if it was also involved I would pretty much have to start over again.

hot ford coupe
01-09-10, 06:50 PM
I had an idea, John. Why don't you leave it that way and call it a mistake the original builder made when he started the thing in his yard. You could put two little figures in at the front of the aircraft, one pointing to the engine and the other smacking himself on the head realizing his mistake. After all, it is a home built and not done by experienced engineers. It would really add to the story.

01-11-10, 09:19 AM
Thank goodness for "Uncure" and the fact that I didn't use epoxy!
The fix was easier than I thought that it would be and I am just happy I discovered it now and not after the wheels and other stuff were on.
This picture gives you an idea of where the major components should be when the flier is completed.(I better keep this pic near the workbench)

01-11-10, 06:57 PM
I put the flier on its wheels and it looked like it was sitting too high on its rear wheels.I lowered the rear U/C legs by about 5cm and now the engine bearer ,rad and angle of attack of the wings, relative to the ground ,looks about normal.I checked out my references and the legs seem to vary in length depending on the type.In fact the whole undercarriage arrangement seems differ from type to type.
To permanently set the flier on its wheels will probably be my next best step. This will involve redesigning the jig to hold things square while I build the rest .It is finally starting to look like an airplane.

01-13-10, 11:45 AM

01-13-10, 11:51 AM
I lowered the rear wheels and permanently fixed them to the fuselage.I fashioned a prop of about the correct dimensions(working from pics) and discovered that because the engine mount does not sit exactly in the center of the support tubes that the prop will not clear the upper trailing edge properly.Therefore I cut back the trailing edge by one rib on the top wing only.This mod will also give me lots of room for the bamboo tail fittings where they join the wing.
One of the great things about this build is that I can stop whenever I want and it will still look like an aircraft under construction.A lot of this is a judgment call.
Should or should I not put on a prop? at first I thought that he would not have left such a valuable item out in the open exposed to the elements.Probably not,but with the flier it is almost necessary to show it so the viewer can figure out the configuration(a pusher with the seat up front and the prop in the back)
The flight controls on the other hand are optional , they probably would be safely stowed away even if they where built at this stage ,which I doubt.The original pic of the backyard flier in Chicago confirms what I suspected.The builder would want his flier to look like an airplane as soon as possible.Get the wings on, get it on its wheels,put on the tail assembly and have something to look at and of course keep the neighbors from laughing too hard.

01-14-10, 11:49 AM

01-14-10, 02:57 PM
Except for painting and weathering the U/C is finished.The prop is only temporary and needs further shaping and painting or dark staining.The wood grain is way out of scale and the design is questionable but everything was experimental in those days,I guess.
I have been thinking about how to put the flier in the diorama's backyard.There will be a lot of weathering and landscaping to do under the wings an around the undercarriage.The flier has been sitting in the yard for a few years and in that amount of time things can change a lot.
My plan is to secure the flier on a thin piece of plywood,just enough to cover the perimeter of the airplane.Finish the plywood and airplane as one piece,landscaping,weathering and all and then add it to the backyard.When the backyard itself is landscaped then I can blend the two pieces of plywood together to form an invisible joint.

01-14-10, 07:09 PM

01-17-10, 11:45 AM

01-19-10, 11:52 AM

01-19-10, 12:10 PM
Fuselage/tail assembly.
I modified the jig by cutting off the bottom portion but still leaving the upper for protection for the wings.I then hot glue melted the wheels to a building board.(the glue is easily removed later by re-heating it).
The building board is exactly the width of the tail booms.I could have made a separate jig for the tail assembly but I thought that it would be more fun to build it like the original must have been done.
I know Curtiss used bamboo but others also used ash wood for these booms and spruce for the struts.I will use ash(basswood) for these due to the difficult of representing the growth rings on the bamboo which would hardly be seen at scale distance anyway.
The measurements I used for the tail assembly are from the Aeronautics publication May-June 1912,page 161.

01-20-10, 10:31 AM

01-20-10, 08:35 PM

01-20-10, 09:18 PM
I cut down the tail jig to the center of the rod so that the tail can easily be removed at any time.The rubber bands hold everything down and keeps it all square until I can make up fittings for the tail boom.The horizontal rod at the tail has been embedded into the tail spar .It will then be sandwiched between the another spar of the same size to create the hinge line between the horizontal stab and the elevator.I don't want to create it as one piece so that I can place the elevator at an angle to the stab which will look more natural.
All four tail booms are attached to this spar, the top two have finished fittings at the upper wing and now must be cut to length and rear fittings applied.I then will repeat the whole procedure for the bottom tail booms.
I am designing this stuff as I go along from pictures that you will find on my photobucket site.Slow but fun!I hope that there are not too many surprises down the road.

For your info : the EAA has a new website that also has a new forum.
Check it out at:


01-24-10, 11:19 AM

01-24-10, 11:52 AM
I made the fittings from brass tube,cut it to length and blackin-it and then slid the pieces of tubing over the tail booms.Everything has been temporarily nailed it place and not glued.The horizontal black rod is where the elevator will be attached to the stabilizer(yet to be built).
When everything is squared away, I will take it apart and finish the fittings as required to accept the internal bracing wires.
I haven't quite decided whether or not to finish the tail,stab,elevators,rudder etc..I would like to build them but would our owner have really left them on his flier while he was off to war?On the other hand I guess they could have been covered with tarps etc...Because I plan to put a "welcome home "sign somewhere in the diorama it is possible that someone could have removed them prior to his arrival as a homecoming gesture.I could show the tarps lying somewhere off to the side I guess.

01-24-10, 11:58 AM

hot ford coupe
01-24-10, 07:00 PM
An almost finished build would be more realistic in my opinion. It would look like the builder got caalled to duty before he finished it. The tarp over the tail is a good touch too.

01-26-10, 09:43 AM

01-26-10, 10:05 AM
The black fittings you see here are made from brass and then blackened.A better choice would have been aluminum painted black, as it is a whole lot easier to work with when designing the fittings ,especially when shaping and drilling when they are already attached to the tail booms.
Here I am checking that the vertical struts will be at right angles when level.

01-29-10, 11:03 AM

01-29-10, 11:25 AM
I replaced all the brass fittings with aluminum which is much easier to work with.The vertical struts themselves I left brass.The black nails join the strut tubing and fitting together and the small copper photo etch parts are leftovers from another build. (the turnbuckles will be attached later).The nail heads can later be cut flush and a drop of superthin superglue applied and the whole thing sanded smooth and painted.

01-30-10, 01:03 PM

hot ford coupe
01-30-10, 04:00 PM
As always, your work is first rate. Much of the info I've found here I've already been able to apply to a number of other techniques. Thanks John for sharing. 1clap11clap11clap1

01-30-10, 08:21 PM
Just havin fun!1gramps1Thanks.

01-31-10, 10:18 AM

01-31-10, 10:30 AM

02-01-10, 10:52 AM

02-01-10, 12:10 PM
That is a miniature clothes peg.
This is the basic elevator assembly.The leading edge was grooved to accept the tube at the trailing edge of the horiz stab.The peg will be replaced with hinges and ribs made like what is on the stabilizer.
I have added cross members to the wings using the lightening holes that are already there.Curtiss used small blocks at all 90 deg intersections but his wing ribs were solid.I think that this is a better solution for my backyard flier and gives the wing a much stronger look.Little blocks would never be seen anyway at scale distance.

02-02-10, 10:23 AM

02-03-10, 01:21 PM

02-04-10, 10:45 AM

02-04-10, 11:15 AM

02-04-10, 11:23 AM
I wasn't sure about adding this tube to the tail assembly.The drawing seems to show it but most pictures I have seen do not.
This is a judgment call and seeing that this is my version of a backyard flyer I added it.It will greatly add to the stability of the whole tail assembly which now will be removable by loosening just four pins.
Now it is on to the rudder assembly.

02-05-10, 01:09 PM

02-05-10, 05:54 PM

02-05-10, 06:30 PM
I heard from the CAM yesterday and their renovations are to be finished in about a year from now. I probably have another year or so just to finish the Backyard Flyer so I will drop it for now and complete the Albatros,Neiuport and Jenny dioramas first.
The Neiuport is about 99% finished ,the Jenny about 90% and Albatros about the same except I have recently (today) added more to it.
A modeling bud of mine kindly gave me another Albatros that he was working on himself but has too many things on the go right now.I got it as a surprise Chistmas present and as you will see I am putting it to good use.

03-12-10, 09:45 AM
Dioramas as a one frame movie!
"What we wanted to do at the beginning of all this,was to show what happens when you take human beings and put them through hell,then wonder how in the world they will approach life when they come home".

Steven Spielberg on his new piece The Pacific.

I was reading this in my newspaper this morning and it struck me how similar his idea for making a 10- part mini series on the war in the Pacific, and my idea for my latest diorama "Loss Of Innocence,Will it Ever Be The Same" are alike.(We must be reading each others mail.)
This is exactly what I have been writing about recently on the power of the storyboard diorama as a one frame movie.
A movie tells a story in all its thrilling detail and action,on a big screen with music,dialogue etc... a diorama does the same but with one frame.That is the magic and the challenge of the storyboard diorama reducing it all to one frame and still tell a powerful story.Sometimes the story is even more powerful in diorama form because it is left up to the viewer to connect the dots in his mind.A movie lays it all out for you ,a diorama requires a little more imagination on your viewers part.
This is why I believe storyboard dioramas are as much an "Art "as any of the other visual media.

hot ford coupe
03-12-10, 09:50 PM
Absolutely. I agree with you 100% about the power of the dio. Some of the best ones tell the whole story and make me feel exhausted just browsing through it.

07-24-10, 07:18 AM

hot ford coupe
07-24-10, 10:40 PM
oh yeah, that's looking great. I'm going to have to reread all of your posts. I'll be attempting a 1/48 scale dio with a few B17s and other aircraft. 'we cleaned out the basement and I found some new display space. My cabinets are just too small for the big aircraft. Besides, my wife loves the idea and can't wait to see it done.

07-25-10, 07:47 AM
Sounds like a great idea! If your planning a large diorama with multiple airplanes I would suggest doing it in modules,that way it can easily be broken up if you move,sell or donate it etc..The B17 would make great subject matter,so many stories to tell.My dad was a fighter pilot and he always said that those guys doing daylight bombing, with no fighter escort, were the bravest guys he has ever known.I really look forward to watching this develop and please take lots of pics, right from the beginning, of your progress.1thumbup1

hot ford coupe
07-26-10, 12:33 AM
Sounds good, John. I'll really need to pick your brain when I get to the ground. We just cleared a huge area in the basement where the dios will go on home made tables. When it's all together, it will depict the 100th Bomb Group on a typical day with the B17's on hard stands. I'll definitely get a bunch of pictures and post them in a separate thread. Your commments will be more than welcome.

07-26-10, 09:24 AM
This sounds like a very large and time consuming project,making it modular would really help to ensure its long term survival.There will come a time when you will want this to be seen by the public in a museum or some kind of other venue.I have seen too many large RR modeling projects end up in the garbage because they were not modular.
The B17 boys really do deserve to be honored in this way,a lot of them were just kids who's lives were cut short fighting the good fight.The general public needs to be reminded every once in a while of their sacrifice and of the sacrifice of service people in general.
Do you have Shep Paines book " How to Build Dioramas" ? his B17's are classics.
Model on,cheers! John.

07-26-10, 09:30 AM
Photo courtesy of Shep Paine.

07-26-10, 09:34 AM
Photo courtesy of Shep Paine.
Not a B17 but an interesting idea.

12-31-10, 05:46 PM
Ya know sometimes I wonder if I am going to way too much trouble with this diorama to tell a basically very simple story,an airman's return from the war and his continued relationship with his backyard Flyer.At times I wonder if there is enough of a storyline to justify such a huge space.
Rockwell's painting is tight with lots going on ,mine is spacious with little going on.His painting is of a joyous occasion ,my diorama is somewhat the opposite,just a GI and his thoughts for the future.
It is an old story told in many ways before.The split in the road and the road not taken tells of fateful decisions made that change everything forever.
I remember as a child being around men such as these,how important family and just being alive was to them.A lot were great fathers while others were just lost in their memories. I remember how important things like growing a community garden was to them,how they tended those gardens and how everybody respected those tiny spaces .I have included a garden in this diorama for that very reason.
Roads,gardens,airplane it just grew over time I guess.

12-31-10, 05:47 PM

12-31-10, 05:51 PM
I guess that this is as good a time as any to start up this thread again.

01-01-11, 07:54 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/01/1.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/?action=view&current=Roof003.jpg)

01-01-11, 08:04 AM
This is where I am right now with this diorama,getting ready to shingle the roof.As you can see it is a fairly large area to cover .It is very important to get this right as to texture and color and to add a few things of interest for the eye.
I have ruled out having a separate roof over the doors as the eves extend quite far beyond the facade and provide some shelter over the backdoor.In Canada on old steep pitched roofs like this we often put a snow gate along the edge of the roof for safety sake.

hot ford coupe
01-01-11, 01:36 PM
Hey John. I don't see that as wasted space at all. The subject is very original and rarely if ever seen. Sometimes when there is a lot to look at, some things get lost in the mix. you don'tt need a lot to convey this message. It's been a delight to follow. 1thumbup11thumbup11thumbup1

01-01-11, 04:20 PM

01-02-11, 07:24 AM

01-07-11, 10:44 AM
The roof looks perfect, looking forward to see it done! :)

01-07-11, 11:54 AM
Me too ! but it's a long process.1gramps1

01-07-11, 10:24 PM
It will be more appreciate when its done! :)

01-30-11, 08:52 AM
Slowly getting the roof shingled,this is a long process of making each one,painting it and gluing it on.Should be finished in a few days and I am really looking forward to getting on to something different.
Art does have its boring moments ,so I try to compensate by having different stuff to work on at the same time, like the storyboarding and scratchbuilding threads.

01-30-11, 10:36 AM

01-31-11, 06:27 PM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/01/940.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer007-1.jpg)

02-01-11, 08:52 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/02/2.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer011-1.jpg)

02-01-11, 10:50 PM
This should be on HGTV!
Looks fantastic!
Do not forget the vintage cars, parked out front.

02-03-11, 07:19 AM
This should be on HGTV!
Looks fantastic!
Do not forget the vintage cars, parked out front.
Thank you ! having loads of fun!1gramps1

02-04-11, 09:57 AM

02-04-11, 12:08 PM

02-04-11, 12:21 PM
Wood always looks best for scale modeling! No artist can begin to duplicate mother nature.We can come close but..........When carefully selected it works for any scale.Take these roof shingles for instance.Each one has been treated as an individual piece,no two are exactly alike, just like in nature itself.The important thing is to maintain this individually and just artistically enhance it here and there.Subtlety is the key. Sure it takes a long time to do but it is really worth the effort in the end.
To make these shakes or shingles he is what I do.

-research the real thing, especially pictures for size ,color,pattern etc...

-Find a source of tongue depressors,coffee stir stiks work well for the smaller scales.

-Decide on a glue,I use Shoe Goo or Goop.It is cheap and you will use lots of it.

-Decide on a paint you want to use.I like JoSonja gouche acrylic in Nimbus Grey.

Application of paint.

-thin the paint with water.Start with 75% water 25% paint.I add a few drops of flow medium to the mix.
-do not seal the raw wood in any way.
-The first steps are the most important and will determine your success or failure using this method.********Apply only as much paint as it takes to color the wood ********* do not obliterate the color and texture of the natural wood underneath.One or two thin coats should do it.
-to not worry about irregularities in the wood knots ,warping,curling,coloring,frayed ends or irregular cuts it all helps add character.
-treat each piece like a little canvas all of its own, be creative.
-Shade and color using pastels.On this rough surface there is no danger of it rubbing off.

02-05-11, 02:41 PM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/02/114.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer014-1.jpg)

02-07-11, 02:13 PM

02-09-11, 09:20 AM
The backyard flyer could actually be finished pretty much like it is right now.With a little weathering it could be made to look like it has stood right there for a couple of years while awaiting the return of its builder.Whatever I decide to add at this point will be for looks and not storyline.This is what I love about the "under construction "theme as it leaves you lots of leeway for stopping whenever it suits you and still get the idea across to the viewer.
I would now like to add the ailerons(or whatever Curtis called them)to the wings.Why ? because I think that it is important to show this step away from wing warping.Logically anything this delicate would be in storage probably along with the tail feathers etc...I will leave it to the viewers imagination ,why not?
I have positioned the old burned out "T" at the end of the back lane way,facing a fence that will have an" Enlist Now" poster.This will help add to the story of "the road not taken ". The car really doesn't draw attention from the main airplane/aviator storyline where it is positioned but it adds a lot to the sub-storyline without being intrusive.
I had a navy veteran in here the other day and he could really relate to the whole idea which was wonderful to see.

03-03-11, 11:49 AM

03-03-11, 12:03 PM

03-03-11, 12:15 PM
Why I chose to stop here. I think that with the installation of the pilots seat and control wheel that this would be as good a time as any to call it quits on the airplane.Leaving it unfinished is quite appropriate in this case as most (if not all) backyard flyers ended up this way.In fact few probably even reached this stage.
I can easily see a young man getting involved with all the enthusiasm surrounding aviation at the time.Most probably never even thought beyond the carpentry part of the build.Any somewhat skilled carpenter could build the wings and the basic frame from plans that were available at the time.Engines were also available but costly, that is why I chose the used Ford.Props and wheels could be made or purchased as well.
I can just see our young aviator sitting in the pilots seat with the control wheel in hand taking many an imaginary flight around his backyard.For some it was enough ,others got lost along the way long even before this stage and still others went on to achieve their dreams.Aviation owes a lot to those dreamers.

03-04-11, 01:02 AM
Thank you John, for your amazing tutorials.
We love your work! 1thumbup1

03-04-11, 06:18 AM
Thanks Tage ! your kind words mean a lot to me.:)'

03-08-11, 08:40 AM
For a complete tutorial on cracking paint please see:

HOW TO BUILD AIRCRAFT DIORAMAS - Page 266 (http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/models/16792-how-build-aircraft-dioramas-266.html)

Cheers! John.

03-14-11, 12:16 PM

03-15-11, 12:36 PM

03-16-11, 08:06 AM

03-18-11, 07:43 AM

03-19-11, 08:29 AM

03-20-11, 07:16 AM

03-20-11, 02:30 PM
Great build here, John!
I'm learning something about building architecture and want to show you a planned build of a 1/4 scale Ormond Garage, where the Stanley Flying Tea Kettle was prepped before the 127 MPH record-breaker. I'm not sure if the garage exterior walls are brick or wooden shingles?

03-21-11, 09:11 AM
Wow ! that is kind of a tough call.The first looks like wood,the second old brick,and of course the rest siding.1gramps1

03-22-11, 03:05 AM
Looks like shingles to me.

03-24-11, 09:18 AM

03-25-11, 08:41 AM

03-28-11, 08:40 AM

03-28-11, 11:07 PM
I need to contact the Stanley Steam car museum to find a better photo of the Ormond garage.
Your architecture is really looking very detailed!

03-29-11, 08:37 AM

03-29-11, 09:43 AM
Up until this point nothing has been permanently installed,even the frame is held together with only removable screws.Well as they say in flying I have reached the point of no return and now I must start the final process,from here on in there is no going back.I keep procrastinating trying to think if there is something that I have overlooked completely. Believe me after looking at something for so long the obvious sometimes completely escapes me.If you guys see something that doesn't look right please advise me now.

04-02-11, 08:26 AM

04-02-11, 08:43 AM
After pondering the overall color for the row house trim I decided on that good old standby neutral gray .I figured the landlord would be OK with their tenants painting their individual units trim different colors.This is a Victorian house in the middle of the city and gray to me would be low maintenance as well.From the art point of view, all of this is really just window dressing for the main subject ,the airplane and the returning airman's relationship to it ,so subtlety really is the name of the game when framing the subject.

04-04-11, 05:37 PM

04-04-11, 06:12 PM
HOW TO BUILD AIRCRAFT DIORAMAS - Page 265 (http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/models/16792-how-build-aircraft-dioramas-265.html)
How to crack paint !

04-06-11, 08:17 AM

04-11-11, 07:55 PM

04-14-11, 08:42 AM
This is actually an unintended but really cool effect.Using foamboard and watercolor paper has allowed for some pretty dramatic lighting effects.Notice the warm glow that the bricks take on is actually an effect of the interior lighting.You have to be careful to properly diffuse the light but when done properly I kinda like it

04-19-11, 01:45 PM

04-27-11, 06:34 AM
The Wash Tub. Now for a little change of pace.I find that standing for long periods finishing the roof is quite tiring on these old legs of mine so I will be doing two things at the same time,one standing up and the other sitting down.The roof and a wash tub.Actually it is an important part of this diorama as the washing hanging on the line adds a really interesting touch to the piece.
When building dioramas it is important to put your best effort into everything whether it is a shiny instrument panel or that nail in the wall behind the toilet in the WC.This is what really separates the men from the boys.Anyone can get really excited about something they really like to do but repetitive and sometimes boring work is also part of the game.

04-27-11, 07:00 AM
Shep Paine
Originally Posted by Doug Rentsch View Post over on www.theaerodrome.com (http://www.theaerodrome.com/)

Wow Shep Paine!, I haven't herd his name in a while.
What a master!
If he's your mentor you're in good hands.
What's he doing now?

Actually Shep until recently never knew that he was my mentor.He mentored me through his books as he has done for a lot of us.Thirty years ago when I saw his stuff I promised myself to do this one day.At the time I was building ship models so I turned my HMS Victory into a diorama,got busy with other art stuff and then returned to dioramas ten or so years ago.I had heard that Shep was tired of doing dioramas and that he wanted someone else to pick up the ball and run with it for awhile.I vowed to be part of his team to help do this so I started building aircraft dioramas and later to promote the building of them any way I could.I figured that the best way to do this was by using the modern means of the internet and thereby share with others with a series of "How to....." about learning how to do it.I did it in real time, step by step, so that others could share my learning experience and not be intimidated by just showing a finished product.Over the years I have posted this stuff to over fifty websites,more to some than others, with the Drome being my home base.
This past year was "Mission Accomplished" for me .Shep said he liked my stuff and he even gave me appraisals for donating them to the Canada Aviation Museum.Why do I know he really means what he says ? because he valued my stuff right up there with his when he was doing his best work and selling it on the market.
I wonder how many lives have been influenced by Shep Paine ? Thanks Shep.

05-14-11, 07:45 AM

05-23-11, 08:42 AM

05-23-11, 11:06 AM
HOW TO BUILD AIRCRAFT DIORAMAS - Page 274 (http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/models/16792-how-build-aircraft-dioramas-274.html)

05-23-11, 12:30 PM
For a complete " How to....."on building a stone wall,my style,please see the above website.

Please note:
Because I contribute to 32 modeling websites of all kinds I have had to pick one to post detailed "how to's...." to.This site happens to be the first site that I happened to contribute to back in 03 .It also has all of my content in one place which will be of great value to me someday when I hope to do an online (free) book about my methods which I will then post to all the websites that have so kindly supported me and my work up in the past.
Because of the type of work I do a lot of my stuff crosses over between different genres. I would ask that if on occasion that I make a mistake and post something on airplanes in a car or RR or ship site( or visa versa ) please be patient and I will try to correct it ASAP. But most of the time I am dealing with" modeling in general "that crosses all boundaries."

I am by no means an expert in anything I do, in fact a lot of the time this is a real time learning experience for me too.A good example of this is what I am posting right now,this is my very first stone wall in paperboard,so you get it direct mistakes and all. I think that the guys that follow my stuff appreciate it more like this .It would be impossible for me to do it like this and post very detail to 32 websites everyday.

Thank you for your patience and understanding ! Cheers! John.

05-31-11, 10:47 AM

05-31-11, 04:42 PM
I will build up in wood the small upper attic window which was probably used for ventilation more than anything else.Small sloping roof rooms on the upper floors were also common in those days.I will shutter the window or board it up,there will be no glass to attract the viewers eye.
These walls look much more natural if you don't attempt to make them too perfect.A queen's castle is something different but for your ordinary turn of the century building you may have to even force yourself to screw it up just a little here and there to give it an increased sense of authenticity.
Example. The bricked up window has very subtle errors built into it like the slightly different horizontal level between the stone and brick wall.
The key here is be be very subtle about it so that it does not immediately attract the viewers eye(like in the deliberately distorted pic above) however, could be picked up after a thorough look at the main subject,which in this case happens to be an airplane but it could be a car,train or whatever the main subject of the piece happens to be.

05-31-11, 06:23 PM
The uneven blotchy color is only the first thin coat of paint that I put on to get rid of the stark white of the paper.If not covered now it will stick out like a sore thumb and will be almost impossible to cover later if accidentally touched with glue.This light gray color can at least be easily worked into the overall stone color of the wall which will eventually become the lightest color stone on the finished wall.The variety in shades on the individual stones happens automatically when using very watery acrylic paint ,as the pigment tends to settle to the bottom as you are using it over a period of time.

06-01-11, 07:29 AM
I build two types of dioramas ones that physically exist in museums and ones that exist in pictures only.The second type is a lot like a film or stage play where you build and bring all the components together and record the images as they once existed in the composition.You still get to make all the parts ,scratch or otherwise ,which is really the most fun in model making,but it is really the composition of these parts that tell the story.In fact when finished I often like the pictures of the piece more than the actual model.It is a lot of fun playing with the lighting,camera angles etc...doing all the things that movie directors get to do but on a small scale.An added bonus is that you still get to keep your models and display them the way you want.One nice idea would be to display your model with pictures of it in its original diorama setting.

06-03-11, 06:45 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/20.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer432.jpg)

06-04-11, 07:41 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/32.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer437.jpg)

06-06-11, 07:12 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/72.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer445.jpg)

06-07-11, 04:45 PM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/97.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer447-1.jpg)

06-09-11, 07:54 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/143.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer451.jpg)

06-11-11, 11:59 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/191.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer459.jpg)

06-12-11, 06:34 PM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/197.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer467-1.jpg)

06-14-11, 08:56 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/233.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer471-1.jpg)

06-14-11, 06:00 PM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/243.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer477.jpg)

06-18-11, 07:53 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/276.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer497.jpg)

06-18-11, 08:26 AM
I have made up a series of pics on how to repair a crack when landscaping a vignette or diorama.They are pretty much self explanatory and can be found by clicking on the thumbnail.
If at any time you feel that there is something that you don't understand or the pics are not clear enough please feel free to stop me and ask any questions on the" how to..s" of diorama building.If I don't have the answer I will try to find it for you.

06-20-11, 08:34 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/340.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer509.jpg)

06-20-11, 02:50 PM
Hello John,

Unfortunate that your pictures become here ever smaller.
Unfortunately I cannot find larger pictures of this project on the indicated link.
In which column are these hidden?
I would find it the pictures to see equivalent here more beautifully and pedantically elsewhere not only click.

06-20-11, 03:27 PM

06-20-11, 03:29 PM
For this diorama just go to Backyard Flyer dio 4 in my photbucket.All my pics are available there.Cheers! John.1gramps1

06-20-11, 06:44 PM

06-21-11, 05:17 PM
The Bleriot and the Peregrine. WIP..... (http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/non-wwi-aviation/53033-bleriot-peregrine-wip.html)

A Temporary Detour !
The mayor portion of this build is now behind me(the creative ,fun stuff) and whats left of the summer weather is going fast so I plan to make a short detour into something different and work on my Peregrine/Bleriot sculpture for awhile.Finishing the Backyard Flyer will be reserved for the rainy days but I need some sun for awhile.
If anyone is interested this thread can be found temporarily at the above address.Basically it is a mix of woodcarving and modeling techniques.

06-25-11, 08:12 AM

06-25-11, 08:59 AM
Just for fun I put all 5 modules together to take a few forced perspective pics of various subjects. I enjoy playing around with the camera using the facade as a backdrop.None of the models depicted are finished they are here for composition purposes only.

06-25-11, 09:22 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/436.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=backyardflyer527.jpg)

06-26-11, 12:02 PM
The following is a great free online book for novice diorama builders.The author Ken Hamilton has kindly OK'd it to be published here.This book is now out of print.Thanks Ken.Cheers! John.

06-26-11, 12:28 PM
DIO Book pictures by mercman51 - Photobucket (http://s8.photobucket.com/albums/a2/mercman51/DIO%20Book/)

06-30-11, 08:27 AM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/543.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer543-1.jpg)

06-30-11, 09:05 AM
Meanwhile the leaf arrangement continues as it is still raining a lot here in my area of the GWN.

I originally thought that this would be a Spring scene but with all the leaves it looks more like Fall.Leaves that have spent the Winter under snow are more compacted come Springtime.I have noticed that just before the first snowfall gardeners tend to dig up the old flowers and vegy gardens so that would explain the bare ground.Some small bushes and the grass can stay quite green right up until the first snowfall.The only thing that I really need to change are the sprouting tulip bulbs.http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/2.gif
This change of seasons will also give me much more room for decorating and weathering the whole scene with leaves on the roof and gutters etc.....

As far as the storyline is concerned,Spring was a nice statement about the renewal of life but Fall would work just as well as a story of the end of something.Those last few days before the first snowfall in Canada can be quite dramatic as it seems that nature just stands still for a moment in time waiting for the onslaught.http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/06/3.gif
A walk in the forest at this time of year is an unforgettable experience here in the GWN.

07-01-11, 09:09 AM
I recently read in the local newspaper that a large RR diorama (layout) here in Montreal is being forced to find a new home.The problem is there never was any plans made for this eventuality and there is no way to take it apart.
So another huge piece of modeling history will now end up in the garbage due to poor planning.
I see this often too on an individual level.Guys take a lifetime to build layouts that can't be moved and are just too big for most homes.Some of these are really little works of art that deserve a better fate. Someday they will probably be highly sought after by collectors ,hobbyists and museums ( after most have already been tossed in the garbage) as examples of our brief historical era of modeling will then be quite rare.
If you care about the fate of your stuff and I think most of us do,give a little thought about the future and do your stuff in modular sections or even a series of mini-dioramas that can easily be taken apart.I don't know how many times I have overheard the RR guys at the local hobby store talking about this very subject in very sad tones of too bad about this guys layout and what a shame about that guys layout when a little pre-planning may have made all the difference.Modules are really the modern way to go now if you care about the future of your stuff.

07-01-11, 07:56 PM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/07/30.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer555.jpg)

07-02-11, 09:15 AM
Sticking leaves to a flat surface where you don't want to use spray alcohol because of its effect on the acrylic paint has to be approached a little differently.
I use straight white glue put on with a small brush,sprinkle the leaves on and blow off any excess.Subsequent areas that require more leaves can be built up using an eyedropper for the alcohol and then the usual water/glue mix .
Take a look at the normal patterns in nature created by the wind and rain and vary your leaf patterns accordingly.

07-02-11, 07:10 PM
http://www.scalemotorcars.com/forum/images/imported/2011/07/38.jpg (http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y250/JohnReid/Backyard%20Flyer%20dio4/Backyard%20Flyer%20page%202/?action=view&current=Backyardflyer560.jpg)

07-08-11, 09:22 AM
More on modules. A few posts ago I mentioned something about building layouts and large dioramas using modules.
I was back in the same hobby store yesterday and made some more inquiries .Evidently,they had two scales on display there "N" (very small scale) and "H" (larger).Someone had the foresight to do the "N" scale in modules and they moved it out in a single morning.Unfortunately the "H" scale will have to be busted up.They are going to try to preserve portions of it if they can.
With all the modern electrical fixtures ,quick dis-connects etc... there should be no excuse for this in the future.With a little planning in the beginning this hassle could have been avoided .
On a more personal level I am sure that a lot of families would love to be spared the agony of putting Uncle Joe's or Grandpa Jim's layout in the garbage because it is just too big and difficult to move.A lot of these decisions have to be made quickly at a very bad time in people's lives and some very fine work and in some cases real artwork is lost forever.
Modules could be built as separate dioramas each with its own little story and complete scene that when put together makes for an even bigger story.
Take nice overall pics of the huge layout as it once was and then create a picture book for your each modular section that could go with it to its new home.Even museums could make a very nice display of your work and put it in context for the viewer without have to find space for the whole thing.
Maybe it is because I am going on 71 now and these things have become more important to me.We all get old some day and faster than you think,believe me.This may not be important to you now but maybe someday it will.Do your family a favor and plan ahead.
Someday layouts will be as rare as old baseball cards are today and probably just as valuable.Lets face it we are in the golden age of modeling when old farts like me are realizing their boyhood dreams and have the money to do so.What I could buy with my allowance as a kid is history now.Times change rapidly today and a lot of stuff competes for our attention and money.

Personally I don't do large layouts but I do large aircraft dioramas in modular form and donate them to Canada Aviation Museum.Even if there comes a time that that they no longer want them chances are the airplane models themselves will survive as historical examples or maybe in a future collectors home.I feel good to at least have given my stuff a survival plan.
Nothing is forever but humans have since ancient times loved models of all kinds and probably will continue to do so.Kids never change and future imaginations will thank you for it and so will the memories of future older folk too .

07-10-11, 09:43 AM

07-11-11, 06:36 PM
I have started a new thread over on The Aerodrome.com on building basic wood structures for dioramas.It is intended to be for modelers of all kinds who are not familiar with working with wood.
I will in the future also put it up here as well ,when I get all the bugs worked out.

07-11-11, 07:08 PM
Click here:
Basic Wood Structures for Dioramas. (http://www.theaerodrome.com/forum/models/53240-basic-wood-structures-dioramas.html)

08-11-11, 05:11 AM
I have been giving this whole tarp thing some thought and tried to think how I would go about trying to protect my airplane from the elements.
The first thing to do would be to secure down the aircraft at at least 4 different points.Nose wheel,tail and wingtips ,as well as support those long fragile wings.
The wings could sit on saw horses with large tarp envelops covering them,same thing for the tail and nose assemblies.In this way they would be isolated from the damp ground and the grass would still get enough light to continue growing under them.It is only under the engine area that I could leave things a little muddy.Luckily the airplane is standing on sloping ,well drained terrain.

08-11-11, 05:18 AM
No sense keeping this thread open,please see the "How to build....... "thread for all my diorama info.1gramps1