My future is in French steel
Nine months after writing my last article I am very happy to say that I still don’t have any fun while doing my dioramas. I have some fun with my wife and new born baby, being with friends –but when I am doing my dioramas it’s just like I connect myself with something very personal, something that keeps me standing and costs less money than alcoholism or therapists.
Doing those lightly or out of fun is therefore out of the question.

Knowing the virtual looks of incredulusness I am getting from fellow modellers every time I hint at this, I wish to add that fun is somewhat there in the process: when I am writing those articles I have a tremendous amount of fun!

But I realize being so openly serious about my dioramas has got only good sides, I can’t allow myself to produce a truly bad diorama so I give 100% of myself in the building process.

So sure, technically I am still not up there with the great diorama masters. Sokol’s idea is not the best I ever had, and then the diorama is pretty small if you consider that eight months of work were put into it. But I also consider this diorama (like the one I did before) as a year long exercises where I experimented new techniques.

Indeed I will use everything I learned from this experience in a next-ish diorama that should really kick a__. But then I don’t consider Sokol being too bad for an exercise which still leads me to think that my future as a diorama maker is in French Steel.

I usually fill my dioramas with deep hidden senses, some kind of invisible ink throughout the scene which makes me love my own work more than what meets the eyes. Here there is none, it’s just some big burst of light chasing the ghosts from the ship. And a weary father pinning some clothes on the wire.

As always, nothing could be as accurate as possible without a good bit of help from the friends: so I wish to thank Peppe Giuffrč who saved my neck for the second time in a short amount of time with yet more plans and pics, Mr David O’Meara for bolts and astounding display of comradeship, Edward Pinniger, Jim Baumann, Mark Gunny and everybody at Modelwarships and Kitmaker for support, other kind of thanks to Rudi Richardson for language, Engin Kayral for Turkish galleys, Rusty White for trust.
  • 01_Fin
  • 02_Fin
  • 03_Fin
  • 04_Fin
  • 922_Fin
  • 822_Fin
  • 622_Fin
  • 522_Fin
  • 422_Fin
  • 322_Fin
  • 222_Fin
  • 19_Fin
  • 1122_Fin
  • 1022_Fin
  • 18_Fin
  • 17_Fin
  • 16_Fin
  • 15_Fin
  • 14_Fin
  • 13_Fin
  • 12_Fin
  • 122_Fin
  • 11_Fin
  • 10_Fin
  • 09_Fin
  • 08_Fin
  • 07_Fin
  • 06_Fin
  • 05_Fin

About the Author

About Jean-Bernard André (jba)

Here are my 10 rules for better dioramas! 1 -The diorama is everything modelling is about, it's the meeting point of the manufactured object that is the model and the human input, you can –and have to- tell stories with dioramas. 2 -When doing your diorama you should not be influenced by any tr...


Hi Claude -well this expo was at half an hour *walking* from my home so.. I arrived at the opening at 9am on saturday, left 10 mn later and took the dio back 10 mn before the closing on Sunday so you see, I am not very good at public relations It was a fig show called Lugdunum, and no i didn't win anything -not that it was important indeed plenty of pics of the show thanks for asking anyway here
FEB 29, 2008 - 02:44 AM
Simply superb, and forget taking your work to model shows, JBA, you need a studio of your own! Peter F
MAR 26, 2008 - 08:06 PM
Thanks Peter, but honestly i 've always been knowing my own diorama promised land was certainly not paved with gold medals from shows But i would still go for the friends. maybe see you at Telford in one year or 10!
MAR 28, 2008 - 12:54 AM
Jean-Bernard, Your work as always is just spectacular. I hope to someday do a diorama so fully realized. I do follow my interests now and let them inspire me. I am growing very tired of the same old types of subjects. I am starting a figure company with my best friend and our subject matter is inspired by history, but civilian history rather then military history. Every one who has seen our first three figures has really liked them. I only hope that our figures add to the hobby the way your work does. Best Jeff
APR 17, 2008 - 03:24 PM
I just saw this, and JBA, my friend, all I can say is, you are a genius. While most dioramists try to faithfully replicate reality, you go much further, and try to replicate a moment of your self. Fantastic work.
APR 18, 2008 - 08:03 AM
So well, I just caught your comments while in a cybercafe in the "worse" kind of French wild west i could be stucked in and you can imagine those really cheers me up Jeff I can only pray for your new company to be successful! And thanks David as always (very long time, very no see!!) may your inspiration still be there wherever in the world you are right now bye for now my friends JB
APR 22, 2008 - 01:53 AM
JBA I really admire your creative skills,such as using cigarette paper for clothes and such. Taking the time to explain your techniques and the reasons behind them is truly a learning experience for me. It would be a joy to see your projects in person. Keep it up! rR
APR 22, 2008 - 02:56 AM
Wow! Just amazing.
MAR 07, 2010 - 02:20 AM
HI JBA For some reason I never replied/posted first time around ... so I´ll do so this time. Have always loved your models, and its always great to see them brought back again. Even the still water looks great!!
MAR 07, 2010 - 02:39 AM
Thanks Michael for unearthing such an old thing, it still looks okay after 3 years.. Than you Franck, the "reverse water" method is completely crazy to be honest and I wouldn't do this again. but i still like the way i treated the green colours. Someday i might change the guy which is the weak point of the scene
MAR 07, 2010 - 11:30 PM