Re: How I build large scale dioramas!
The Model Elephant In The Room
When visiting my local hobby store the other day,I overheard a conversation that seems to be all too familiar these days.A local RR modeler had recently passed away and word finally reached the store about two weeks later.He was a regular visitor and buyer who had spent a good portion of his lifetime building a model RR layout.The store owner called the widow to express his condolences and mentioned to her something about helping her find a good home for his labor of love.She informed him that she had already thrown a lot of his stuff in the garbage and the rest her brother would sell on e-bay.
I hear about things like this all too often.For those who aren't familiar with the modern RR layouts,I can only describe the best of them as 3D works of art.Moving trains in a static setting never much appealed to me personally but when looked at as dioramas ,they are some of the best work I have seen.A lot of these RR types developed their artistic skills over time working on their huge layouts over many years.Their initial interest may have been in the moving train, which was the hook for their interest, but many of these guys became diorama artists in their own right.To see a lot of this stuff go in the garbage has always saddened me.
I wonder if some more thought was given to smaller layouts made in sections and not huge layouts that are difficult move and store, would it make better sense ? I don't know what kind of relationship the modeler in question had with his wife,maybe she considered it junk,I don't know but I am sure that there are families out there that would love to be able to keep some of uncle Joe's or grandpa Fred's stuff for future generations to admire.Whether we realize it or not we are living,in what I believe, is the golden age of modeling ,as we know it.Modelers should think about this because someday this stuff will be rare.If just a little thought were given to this during the construction of layouts then areas of the layout could be made into dioramas.I know a lot of you guys will say "who cares, I'll be dead" but a lot of craftsmen /artists I know, do care whether secretly or not.
You could plan for this by making your favorite areas of the layout into little dioramas of their own but with only a temporary role in the bigger layout.
You could have nice display cases made for your best work to be put into upon your move to a smaller home or after your departure for the "happy hunting ground." You could even take the route I did and approach museums with a gift of your work ,so that kids and the young at heart can enjoy it for many years to come.Cheers! John.
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