Book Review
Military Dioramas
Static Model Manual step by step Volume 1
  • move

by: Jeff [ SGTREEF ]


Well another book, one might say, on the subject of building static display Dioramas. Who needs another one with all the others out there?
The answer to that is we all do.

Yes, that is right, we all need to see and learn different ways of doing things, not everybody builds the same way. Nor do all folks use the same methods to achieve the results.

Okay, I'll admit, my initial thought was “well, just another book”, but after browsing through this one for about a week I found that I was totally wrong in that idea. The edges are getting a bit dog eared by now and this is definitely not just another book!

Some may have heard of the author, José Brito, who is kind of a new person in the diorama business (at least for me he is). José has some articles and builds published in Military Modelling International and other publications I am sure of, and may even have one on Armorama.


The book is broken down into 12 sections including the Introduction. This covers all bases from before getting started to conclusion. The book spans a total of 66 pages, and is about the size of a Panzer Aces magazine.
The chapters are as follows;
  • Introduction
  • Before getting started
  • Planning
  • Placing Elements
  • Materials
  • Terrains
  • Vegetation
  • Water
  • Snow
  • Mud
  • Conclusion
  • Gallery


A little walk-thru on some of the chapters:

The Before Getting Started chapter is the basic idea of what you want to do and what you want to use, this will be very helpful for the beginner.

This section is about the same as “before getting started”, covering the layout of all the elements that you want to use, and the drawing up of a plan.

Placing Elements:
Actually the same idea as the first two sections now that you have your items collected, such as a built model, figures, building, etc., now we proceed to the layout on the base and placing these elements to see how everything will look.

This is good, as now we get to use all of our gathered supplies like foam, tree roots, dirt, rocks, static grass, paint, etc. This is a great chapter and shares some good ideas on what to gather up.

Okay here we go, what location do we want our diorama to depict; a beach front, a snow scene, or a desert?
This is where we are shown how to depict our chosen terrain selected in the planning stage.

Now on to the serious building, painting and applying our individual components that we chose to use in our planning stage.

This is one of the hardest things to portray in a diorama, and here José covers a nice use of his technique.

Snow, for me, is the hardest form of weather to make and look realistic, but after a quick look at José’s way of doing it, this isn’t too bad and something I will give a try soon.

Another element that can make or break a diorama, again José gives some good pointers on its use. I think most tanks had a lot more mud on them than what is displayed, but it’s a matter of choice I guess.

This shows a collection of finished dioramas and of all the previous work, along with a final verdict of “did it come out the way you thought of” in your planning stage.

This is the best, who doesn’t want to look at pictures of finished dioramas and get ideas for something that they can use in their next display. The only negative comment is that some of the pictures are a little on the small size for me.

Each section has its own little walk-thru, ideas for, and ways to do things, which most are totally new to me. Some are very good at covering methods of using some newer products, like the Vallejo line of water effects and the use of Florist foam (which European modelers seem to have more of than us). The thing is, some of these European published books use materials that are not available here in the USA, a bummer sometimes. That probably works both ways, though, and I probably use materials that are not readily available in other parts of the world.


This is a great book for the beginner to get some good results fast and easy. The more experienced modeler may not find much in the way of improvements on what they already know. My biggest complaint is that there are not enough pictures in the Gallery section.
Highs: Good subject matter, very good for the first timer.
Lows: I would have liked more, and larger, pictures in the Gallery section.
Verdict: A well written book on the subject of building static display models.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Suggested Retail: 16.50 Euro
  PUBLISHED: Jun 28, 2010

Our Thanks to Auriga Publishing!
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.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Jeff (sgtreef)

Ex mechanic, Cabinet builder,Fossil and Arrowhead collector. best stickball player East of the Mississippi. Ex Army 8 years

Copyright ©2021 text by Jeff [ SGTREEF ]. All rights reserved.


As you sayed, to much diorama books out there, money is getting to much spread out Thanks for the review Jeff! Cheers Claude
JUN 29, 2010 - 07:02 PM

Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move