Diorama Man


How to Make a World War 2 Diorama - Part 4 Finishing the detailed terrain features

In this part of the tutorial I show you how to do the detailed terrain features like the trees, grass, dirt, soil and other things. This part of the diorama making tutorial also has a video. You can find it at the bottom of this page. In the video I show you everything step by step.




Scene-a-RamaI use a wide variety of materials when making dioramas and I improvise a lot of various materials. For this part of the tutorial I am using one of these Woodland Scenics Diorama kits. The picture at left shows two different sizes. The Basic Diorama Kit on the left has a lot of materials including trees. The foliage and grasses kit on the right doesn't have trees. This kind of kit (called Scene-a-Rama) is a nice way to get a little bit of a variety of textures and terrains cheaply.

Scene-A-Rama Basic Diorama Kit

Scene-A-Rama Bushes, Foliage & Grasses Kit

More Scene-A-Rama Kits here

Okay, Let's continue making this diorama by adding the terrain and trees

Mix the GlueThe Grass textures will be sprinkled onto the base of the diorama. This will give us a great look of grass. To attach this terrain material to the diorama you should mix up a very watery solution of white glue. I use 1 part white glue and 2 parts of water. Mix this up in a container and if possible put it in a spray bottle.









Spray the glue on

Spray the glue onto the surface of the diorama in a thick coat. At this early stage you can brush it on and or brush it around so it makes a nice thick layer. Do not try to do the whole diorama. Do small sections at a time so the glue doesn't dry on you!










Sprinkle on the Textures

Now sprinkle on a thick layer of your terrain texture.

I put it in a spice bottle. This works really well for getting the texture spread out nice and evenly.

Some Notes: Generally you don't want the whole surface of the diorama to be an evenly distributed color. You want the color to vary. This simulates real life better. So use different shades if you can and even mix the shades to get some nice variations.

Once you have completed covering the whole diorama you should let it dry then use your spray bottle full of watery glue and spray the whole terrain surface down. This will securely affix the texture materials down.





The Rougher Textures

Next you start putting in the highlighting rougher textures. Think of these as the small bushes and rough.

These will be little clumps of various colors, shapes and sizes. You glue them in place then spray them with the liquid glue to affix them in place.

In the picture shown You can see long stalks of grass. I made this using the bristles of a paintbrush and I have a tutorial on how to do this here: Making tufts of Grass for your diorama



So, the basic process is to start with the very fine materials then move on to the rougher materials. Then you put in the roughest textures that are like bushes. Finally you add the trees.

Will KalifA Note from Will: If you need to know how to make trees I have a tutorial on how to do it. It includes making traditional trees from the Woodland Scenics Kits and how to improvise your own trees from wire. How to make miniature trees - Trees at Amazon.com

Let's add the trees

Punch a hole

Pierce a small hole in the surface of the diorama where you want the tree to go.






Put glue in the hole

Put glue in the hole. (If you have a hot glue gun it will work very well. Just be conscious of the fact that excesss hot glue can look a bit messy and is difficult to paint)






Insert the tree

Insert the tree.






Here is the diorama with all the terrain textures and trees in place.

A couple of things to note: The trees tend to form an irregular shape. Don't space them evenly apart. And, I generally put the large trees to the left. This forms a nice tapering shape into the middle of the diorama. And, the color green of the grass is the darkest on the left of the diorama (which is inside a forest) and lightest toward the right.

The terrain and trees in place


Okay, Let's move on to the next part of the tutorial (Part 5) How to make barbed wire

Here is the Video for this part of the tutorial


Scene-A-Rama Kits

Basic Diorama Kit

Scene-A-Rama Basic Diorama Kit - Use this kit to create a flat, landscaped surface for your project. It includes everything you need to make plains, prairies, grasslands, farmlands, woods and meadows.


Scene A Rama Foliage and Grasses

Scene-A-Rama Bushes, Foliage & Grasses Kit - Use this kit to create short and tall grasses, weeds, bushes, shrubs, hedges, ivy, flowering plants and roads and paths.





Deciduous Tree Kit, Large (7)

Deciduous Tree Kit, Small (36)

Pine Forest Tree Kit, 2-4"

More Trees at Amazon.com


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