Book Review
Diorama Addicted
Diorama Addicted, from vignettes to mega projects, step by step, by Justo Mira
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by: Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]

Diorama Addicted is a step-by-step guide written by Justo Mira for AK Interactive, a new company based in Spain. Justo is a highly accomplished modeler and diorama artist who almost exclusively works in 1/72nd scale. The book’s text is written in both English and Spanish (Castellano). On the whole I found the English text easy to follow and understand. The text has an obvious air of being translated, but this is not really an impediment to reading the text, nor in gaining knowledge from the step-by-step instructions provided.

My first impression was in regards to the entire book being composed of small scale subject matter. It seemed a bit daunting for a middle-aged person like me to even think of trying some of the custom building techniques Justo outlines. However as he notes himself, many of these building tips could easily be used for larger scales like 1/48th and 1/35th. His personal reasoning for moving to 1/72nd scale was ‘I realized soon that my passion was for big dioramas. Therefore, in 2001, I changed into 1:72 scale, where I think I achieved my best success’.

The book opens with an Introduction from Mig Jimenez who talks about the illusive nature of dioramas and our love in imagining the possibilities that dioramas can evoke. He goes on to point out the Justo Mira is a ‘great model maker and friend (who) knows how to pass on his techniques and secrets like nobody else, to make us think that a diorama like his is an easy and enjoyable task’.

The book is heavily laced with full-color images of Justo’s work, both in completed form and in development stages. It covers five of his dioramas in full step-by step fashion. However keep in mind this book is 75 pages so there is only so much detail you can provide in 10-12 pages for each project. The photos are excellent and provide all the detail needed to convey the scope of Justo’s work. Sometimes it’s hard to fathom the scale of these dioramas unless you see his hand in the shot. And then you realize just how small these projects are and how amazing the detail level.

I have to admit never building anything in 1/72nd scale (armor/afv anyways) and this book seriously made me think of giving it a try. Whether my eyes would cooperate would be the key factor. But either way Justo’s dioramas certainly provide a spark for creative thinking and larger scale subjects that can truly depict some of the real-world scale of these historical situations.

This book would likely be a welcomed addition to any diorama builder’s library. Justo covers both the basics of laying out and making dioramas, but also the more subtle changes and tricks like height variation that are the hallmarks of great dios. Whether you build in 1/35, 1/48, or smaller scales, this book will certainly give you some great ideas on how to build your next diorama.
Highs: Great photography of both completed works and in-progress shots. Easy to follow.
Lows: Some steps or instructional details may be lacking. Limits of a 75 page book.
Verdict: Overall this book should be a great read/reference for diorama builders.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 9788461398683
  Suggested Retail: 18 €
  PUBLISHED: Sep 12, 2010

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About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]. All rights reserved.


It's nice to see a book dedicated to small scale subjects. Thanks for the review
SEP 12, 2010 - 12:53 AM

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