Sunday, January 20, 2013
A diorama, in the strictest sense of the term, is a scene enclosed in a box and viewed through a small opening, something we more commonly call a "shadow box." In recent years, diorama has come to mean any scene executed in three dimensions, whether it is enclosed in a box or not. At its most basic, then, a diorama is nothing more than a model or group of models placed in a realistic setting. This setting almost invariably involves a landscaped base of some sort and probably a few figures to add scale and interest. Once installed in a setting, however, any model undergoes a transformation. It becomes part of a three-dimensional picture, an image as vivid and informative as a painting or a photograph. This is because a model standing alone is limited to being just what it appears to be: a miniature replica of an object in real life. In a diorama setting the model is placed in context, and the context furnishes a frame of reference that amplifies and further illustrates the models meaning and significance.
at 5:42 PM
The Alien Aircraft PT-17 is 3D-CAD designed and contains laser-cut parts that use tab-and-notch construction for a fast and accurately built model. You also get two full-size computer-drawn plans, a quality hardware pack, preformed aluminum landing gear, cabane struts, and decals for either Navy or Army versions of the Stearman. Alien Aircraft also offers the kit as a Deluxe Combo that includes the kit, motor, speed control, motor mount, propeller, connectors, pushrods, and Velcro. Building the PT-17 is an enjoyable experience and you should have the model airborne within a couple of weeks. Because of the construction methods used, this would actually be a good model to build as your first kit, especially if you get the Deluxe Combo. The complete and colorful step-by-step instruction manual is in a PDF format and can be downloaded from Alien Aircraft's website.
at 5:39 PM
I have been a model builder for nearly 60 years, using many different materials and methods. My first was a Matilda tank, made in 1947 with cardboard cut from breakfast cornflake boxes, but as well as tanks I have built models ranging from aircraft carved in sections from solid balsa wood to large-scale cars and full-rigged sailing ships. Many of the methods I used are still the same for 21st-century plastic models; even the carving of balsa wood prepared me to shape new parts from solid plastic! Some years ago, because there had been many comments from newcomers to model building that no-one explained the techniques they needed to know to handle the increasing number of etched-metal and resin accessories and conversions appearing on the market, I wrote for Military Modelling magazine a series called the 'Tank Modelling Course' aimed specifically to meet their needs.
at 5:35 PM