Diorama Commissions


Want to show your model at its best?

So you've got your new model. Maybe you have spent weeks or months of your own time carefully making it perfect. Or maybe someone else has built it for you (maybe even me). It looks great there on the shelf, but what can you do to make it even better?

The answer is to place it in a diorama. A diorama adds something to a model that no amount of careful finishing of the article itself can achieve. It adds a location, a time, and a story. When you see a historical photograph of the actual vehicle that your model represents, it isn't on a shelf in your house. It's on an airfield, or in a workshop, or a muddy field, or a snow covered landscape. There may be other things nearby. For example support vehicles, munitions, tools, barrels, cases, trees, hedges, rocks and of course people. Should it be flat or landscaped? Add to that your own imagination and the options really are endless.

The possibilities...

Dioramas come in all shapes and sizes. At its simplest, it could be a straightforward grass or tarmac effect base no bigger than the model itself and it is amazing how this alone can enhance the presentation of the model.

But it doesn't have to end there. Let's say you have a model Spitfire. How about a model of the pilot standing by the aircraft in conversation with an engineer? How about a fuel bowser? Maybe the engineer could be working on the engine? Is it a grass or concrete airfield? What time of year is it - this could dictate the colour of the grass, whether there is water on the ground or even snow and ice? Did the engineer cycle to meet the pilot? Where's the bicycle? I could go on, and on, and on.... As I said - imagination is the limit.

I can help...

I have been building diorama bases for many years now, often to accompany models I have built for customers but also many to complement models that already exist. My dioramas are all entirely hand built from scratch with the same passion and care I put into the models themselves. As a result, each one is entirely unique. The diorama can be designed to your exact requirements, right down to tyre tracks matching your model if appropriate. Any additional vehicles or figures required will usually be based on kits that are available on the market or scratch built if necessary, but the important thing is that I will take care of sourcing, building, painting and incorporating everything needed to construct exactly what you want.

My dioramas are based on a wooden base frame, which can be made to your exact size requirements, and there are also many options as to the type of wood effect and colouring. On top of this is fitted a 6mm foam board which forms the basis for the actual diorama. If the scene is to be anything other than completely flat, I then use plaster to create the surface contours, which is then painted and the appropriate modelling materials used to create the surface effects, be they grass, mud, concrete, tarmac, sand or whatever has been agreed. Please see here for some diorama base examples constructed in this fashion.

Please Note: My dioramas are bases only, they do not include covers. I can source acrylic covers for you if you wish but they can be expensive both to buy and to ship, I usually recommend that customers source their own.

Here's how it works...

Firstly we need to discuss your requirements. There are a number of ways to do this, some customers provide a photo of a historical setting and ask for that to be used as the basis, some will describe their idea is and I will turn it into a design, and others simply say something like "in the desert" and leave it up to me to design something. In all cases, I provide a graphic image of the proposed diorama layout showing where everything will be placed. Of course if there are space restrictions where you want to display the diorama, these will be taken in to account, I can produce bases of pretty much any exact size.

Once the layout and size is agreed, I will provide you with a fixed price for the build. There are some diorama pricing guidelines on my pricing page, but these are at best guidelines and assume the very simplest of dioramas. I am sure you will appreciate that the more complexity is added the more the diorama will cost to produce. Apart from the cost of the basic raw materials (i.e. the wooden base, the board, plaster, vegetation etc) if you need additional vehicles, figures and hardware these will need to be purchased and/or constructed and painted as well. And the more labour involved the higher the cost, naturally.

Happy?

If you're happy with everything, I'll send you an order document confirming the price and I'll need a deposit (usually the cost of all raw materials as a minimum) and then I'll do all the necessary procurement and construction. Building dioramas is usually a relatively quick process in terms of my scheduling because I can build them alongside any models I am working on at the time, so no need to wait for my next available build slot. That said, I am of course at the mercy of delivery timescales on any specific items needed to complete the piece. I will always specify my expected completion dates and do my very best to keep to them.

When complete, I'll publish high res photos of the diorama for your approval. If you are really unhappy with the result then we can part company at that point and I'll see if anyone else wants to buy it! Otherwise, I'll ask for payment of the balance and once received will send the diorama out to you. Alternatively, you may pick the diorama up in person by arrangement (I am based near Reading, UK).

So please do get in touch with your requirements and we can discuss further. I can promise you that you will get a top class product, built by someone who actually loves what they do and could not conceive of delivering anything less than a top quality result. Not to mention, a really nice guy as well...

Full terms and conditions can be found here...