Book Review
Diorama Modelling-1
Scale Model Handbook Diorama Modeling No.1
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by: Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]


MrBlack Publications obviously proved his quality with a nine-book series on figure modelling and now they started a new series for dioramas that I believe it will take a larger number of modelers interest. After 18 months of intensive work, the first book is released with an increase of standard 52 pages format to 100 pages to provide more coverage and satisfy the requirements of readers.
Unlike the diorama books written by one author, the book includes the works of 10 talented modelers which gives reader a chance to see different approaches and learn different techniques to make their own creations. It covers almost all elements of a diorama from building armor, sculpting and converting figures to making terrain and more. Articles are chosen in various scales and time periods to answer more questions on mind.
The book is in A4 format with a matt laminated cover and a strong binding won’t let pages break up though reading or checking it many times.
inside the book

The book includes nine chapters with more than 400 color photos, many marked in numbers and associated texts are added. As stated above, articles cover different scales like 1/35,1/32,1/24 and 1/16 and dioramas show different periods of war like Napoleonic, 15th century, World War I and II and also a civilian scene. The chapters are ;

  • Get inspiration from an Historical Painting : Inspired from oil paintings of Battle of Bailén, Jésus Gamara built a 54 mm scale diorama – Bailén, July 1808, with converted and scratch-built figures and horses. Besides sharing his technique on sculpting the figures, he gives all his color mixes for both Spanish and French soldiers. The article has 15 in progress photos for sculpting and painting steps and 14 photos of the finished diorama in 16 pages.

  • How to Build a WWI German Trench 1917 in 1/16 Scale : Dave Youngquist created a large scale scene with John Smith Modelbau and Jeff Shiu figures and accessories. Besides telling how to paint the figures, he describes making a trench using basswood, plaster and papier mache. Color recipes for figures and 18 photos in 10 pages.Close-up photos of the barbed wire and trench floor worth to see in this article.

  • A Desert Armor Diorama : Noel Petroni shares his M3 Stuart Honey with British tankers at briefing scene. This is a step-by-step article including all elements on making a diorama. He shares how to assembly the tank, using PE parts, painting, applying decals, weathering, how to paint the figures and creating the terrain. 12 pages with more than 50 photos and explanatory texts in numeric sequence.

  • Building a 1/16 scale Vignette : Absolutely an exceptional article from Kazufumi Tomori in 20 pages. First, he describes how to repose plastic figures using putty and creating your own figures over wire armatures, making a ruined building section using plasticard, foamboard, aluminium tubes, plaster and apoxie sculpt. On the painting part, he explains face painting in steps ,how to paint different camo patterns and coloring the groundwork. 108 color photos in numbers with well detailed text.

  • How to Build and Paint a Vignette for Box Artwork : Sergey Popovichenko paints the boxart of Tartar Miniatures 75 mm Conquistadors kit sculpted with the inspiration from an historical painting . He shares his technique and color recipes on painting stonework, Mayans and Conquerors. 17 photos in 6 pages.

  • Recreating a Scene from a Historical Picture : Javier Gonzales-Arsies shares his award winning diorama – The cannon, inspired from a b/w photo with a howitzer and kids. He explains how he built,painted and weathered the cannon, figure convertions for the kids and terrain work for this small scene. 14 photos in 6 pages.

  • How to Build a Scratch-Built Humorous Diorama Using Commercial Parts : Alex Varela-Iguazzu and Antonio Fernandez-Piqui take us away from battlefield with a funny scene- Kings of the Road. They build a vehicle using parts of a 1/24 Dragster and 1/32 WW II Jeep and enrich the scene with a figure and animals. 47 step by step photos in numbers and 5 photos for the finished scene in 8 pages explaining on building the vehicle, figure and terrain.

  • Making Pine Trees from Scratch : Costas Rodopoulos teachs how to make 1/35-1/32 scale pine trees and how to use them in dioramas. 25 photos in numeric sequence describing the process from start to end and 6 photos of trees used in different scenes.

  • How to Build Your First Vignette from Scratch : Theodoros Kelesidis shares his 54 mm vignette – Near Moscow,December 1941. He explains every step of his built in 52 numbered photos and text for each and 8 photos of the final scene. Trench details and dead Soviet soldier made from mannequin are awesome.

    Printing quality and sharpness in photos are very good as in previous publications but I have to state that the content is extremely detailed, easy to understand, useful and applicable in this book.
    Absolutely a MUST to read for all modelers.

    As mentioned in all reviews, MrBlack Publications really cares about the feedback and add new articles due to readers demand. So please send your opinions to Stelios Demiras by e-mail to [email protected] or visit at MrBlack Publications –Facebook


    Book can be directly ordered from MrBlack Publications and also available on the following online stores ;
    Last Cavalry Hobbies - USA
    SK Miniatures – UK
    Historex Agents - UK
    Bookworld Wholesale Ltd – UK
    El Greco Miniatures – UK
    Tuttostoria - Italy
    Pegaso Models –Italy
    Berliner Zinnfiguren – Germany
    Colorado miniatures – USA
    Michigan Toy Soldier Co – USA
    Highs: Printing and photos are top quality. 400+ photos in numeric sequence and detailed text from different modelers in various scales and time periods.
    Lows: No lows on this one.
    Verdict: A great handbook that every modeler can find useful ideas and methods for his own creations.
    Percentage Rating
      Scale: N/A
      PUBLISHED: Mar 25, 2014
      THIS REVIEWER: 92.20%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 95.78%

    Our Thanks to Mr BLACK Publications!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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    About Engin Kayral (Graywolf)

    Born in 1962,married and having 2 sons. I started modelling about 8 years old building USS Fletcher with mom. It was a model dad brought from USA., I think in those days only a few people in Turkey had info on scale model kits. Grown as an AF officer son , I built many aircraft models in years. Som...

    Copyright ©2021 text by Engin Kayral [ GRAYWOLF ]. All rights reserved.


    Absolutely wonderful. Thanks for the review Abi. Mario
    MAR 25, 2014 - 06:42 AM

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