Digging For Dioramas


With this weekend came the first nice day of Spring. As warm weather starts to roll in, we find ourselves outside more often. It is great to let the kids run amok in the yard while daddy sits in his lawn chair, sipping Arnold Palmers and pondering his next diorama. Watching the kids dig in the dirt, pretending to unearth riches, and lost pirate gold, gave me an idea to find some treasure of my own. Diorama treasure...



 Creating realistic scenery and foliage for dioramas can be difficult at times, especially trees. Though I'd made palm trees from scratch, that same process wouldn't work as well for other types of trees, and at larger scales. I needed to find something that would replicate a deciduous tree at 1/35 or even larger. But what would that be? For a long time now I have been using fake foliage purchased from Michael's Arts and Crafts as my trees. Most recently, I used it in the beach scene for The Oscar Goes To but was used more effectively in Yoda in the Hood, which you can see in the picture...


While this tree is nice for smaller vignettes, it only goes so far for larger scales. Plus, it would be nice to have a little variety. Which leads me to my front yard, back to my story. I had received a tip from a gentleman on the forums over at Scale Plastic and Rail that plant roots can be used to make realistic trees, and was convinced by his work. So I set about digging in the yard, with my children, in search of my own treasures. I believe I struck pay dirt...


With a little help, and a little imagination I should be able to make these look quite lovely in no time. I also dug up some smaller roots that I didn't picture here but you get the idea. These are a good size to be used in scales down to about 1/48 so I have a range of options for the future. And you're in luck! Once the Chevy pickup is finished, you'll get to see my best attempt at making a tree for the base it will be displayed on. Lets just hope I can pull it off.
If it works, than you can bet I'll be digging holes in my yard more often, much to my wife's dismay. But, if you have to get what you want, sometimes you need to get dirty...
Thanks for reading!

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