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How to Make a Diorama Chapter 1 Continued: The Materials Needed

You have a lot of different options when it comes to making your diorama. You can purchase a variety of raw materials or you can improvise materials. Throughout this tutorial I will show you these various options.


Materials needed for the landscape details:

For the terrain details I have purchased a variety of ready made materials from a hobby shop. You can creatively replace these materials:


The terrain materials

  • artificial grass strands - you can easily make your own by using the strands of a discarded paint brush and painting them green.
  • rough landscape brown materials - various lichen, moss and scraped styrofoam painted works well for this
  • bag of small pebbles
  • landscape green grass, you can dye sawdust green to make a suitable material
  • the large bag is a kit to make trees - with some creativity you can use wire or actual twigs to make realistic looking trees.


Cut a brush

Replacement and improvised materials:

This photo shows the bristles being cut off a paintbrush. You can wash these bristles in a thin green paint and they make wonderful grass.


Rocks, Stones and Cliffs

The plaster molds

There are several techniques you can use to get great looking stone effects.

You can find small stones that will look great and granite is a good stone for this. You should avoid predominantly round and smooth stones. Small jagged stones look the best. They lend realism to the small scale of the model .

You can also purchase liquid latex rubber. You paint the latex onto an interesting stone and when it dries you carefully remove it. It is now a mold that you can pour your hydrocal or plaster of paris into.

You can also purchase ready made rock molds from a hobby store.(the black items in photo) you simply sprinkle baby powder into the mold then pour in your liquid hydrocal or plaster of paris and remove when dried.

NextLet's continue on to advanced materials




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.

Conflix diorama

Some wonderful new Diorama buildings. I have discovered a company named Conflix that makes some terrific 1/72 scale stuff for dioramas and wargaming. Here are six different items for Medieval And Renaissance dioramas: Conflix Diorama Buildings I really like these buildings.

Spitfire plane

Tamiya 1/48 Spitfire Mk.Vb - w/R.A.F. Crew (Limited Ed.)

This is the 1/48 scale Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vb / with 7 Royal Air Force Crew Figures from Tamiya. / Suitable for Modelers Age 10 and Older.

FEATURES: Includes 7 highly detailed ICM figures in various poses. Various accessories including work table and gas cylinder lines. / Detailed landing gear / Multi-part canopy may be posed open or closed / Highly detailed cockpit with accurate instrument panel, seat, control / stick, rudder pedals and sculpted pilot figure / Detailed instructions.

Budapest diorama 1945

MiniArt Diorama Bases on Amazon- A company called MiniArt makes a lot of great looking diorama scenes and bases. And they are available on Amazon.com

Tamiya Walker Bulldog

Tamiya Models and Kits - Amazon.com has lots of Tamiya kits ranging from tanks, figures, accessories, troops and buildings.



Will's Book on Diorama Making

Will's Diorama Book

How to Make Fantasy and Medieval Dioramas

This books shows you how to make fantasy and medieval dioramas using many commonly available tools and materials. There are over 100 pictures and illustrations showing you how to make great dioramas in fantasy and medieval styles. Chapters include basics, water effects, terrain tips and special effects like electricity and small motors. Tutorials include how to use foam, plaster of paris and paper mache to make great looking dioramas.