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How to make items under Tarpaulin for Dioramas

Military dioramas often have lots of interesting supplies and stuff like that. And of course they are often covered by a tarpaulin. So, how do you make a nice group of supplies covered by a tarp? Well, Glen has done just this and you can learn how to do it in this tutorial on making tarp.

You can have a lot of fun with this project by putting all kinds of supplies under the tarp. It can be a few things or a lot of things.

And you can improvise a lot of these materials.



Here is the completed project

Supplies under a Tarp


Supplies needed


  • Materials required.
  • Dowel
  • Polystyrene (thin sheet)
  • Toilet Tissue
  • PVA
  • Paint  Brushes
  • I used crates and oil Barrel that i had at 1/72 scale, cut up polystrene and dowel to size


Foam and wood crates and barrels

You then arrange the polystrene and dowel how you like. And remember you can use all kinds of raw supplies to make these crate and barrel shapes. You could even do mortar shells shapes and well... all kinds of things that need to be covered by a tarp.


mix up 50%PVA with 50%water



Mix is done

Here is the mixture.


Dip tissue in mixture

You need to dip the toilet tissue into the PVA and the let it fall over the crates and barrels, using a stirring stick drape the paper over.


Put wet tissue onto crates

This picture shows placing the wet tarp over the barrels and crates


Press with a tool to shape

You can add bits of paper if it splits or tears with out a problem, you need to let it then dry overnight.


Paint it

You then need to paint them, i used a light and dark colour, put on some black for oil stains and then a light black wash


Trim With Scissors

Once you have done this you need to trim of what you dont require and there you have the finished product.


Here's the Tarp in action!

The tarp on the truck

And here is the truck and tarp in a diorama. You can see more about this diorama right here.

the diorama



The Churchill and Cottage Ruin Diorama

The Churchill and Cottage Ruin Diorama

Here is an excellent project with a spitfire. 1/72 scale and it shows you how much you can do with a few materials. Churchill and Cottage Ruins


The Crashed Spitfire Diorama

The Crashed Spitfire Diorama

Here is an excellent project with a spitfire. 1/72 scale and it shows you how much you can do with a few materials. Learn more and see more pics here The Crashed Spitfire diorama


How to make barbed wire

Here is a nice little tutorial by Glen showing us how to make barbed wire for your military diorama. Lots of pics. How to make barbed wire


New Mini Tutorial: How to Make Military Tarps, Canvas and Canopies

Here I show you techniques for easily making a wide variety of canvas, tarp and canopies for your military diorama. With these techniques the materials look flexible like they should but they are firm and durable for your diorama. How to Make Miliktar Tarps, canvas and canopies for your diorama



Scenery Tips & Techniques book

The New Scenery Tips & Techniques (Model Railroader) Looking for a good book on how to make Diorama scenery? This book is not just for railroaders. It is perfect for the diorama maker.


How to Build Dioramas

How to Build Dioramas - Learn everything you need to know about making your dioramas look real! This fantastic revised edition will show you how with new projects, new photos, and expert tips. Includes painting, weathering, and detailing tips for figures, aircraft, vehicles, and more! 290+ photos with color throughout; 41 illus.; softcover


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