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Help with a Base

May 17 2005 at 3:36 PM
Jared Siegel  (Login piat.sapper)
Missing-Lynx members
from IP address

Hello everyone,

I've been researching how to do dioramas now for a couple years and am slightly perplexed as to how I can build one. I have Mr. Paine's book and it is very helpful, however I still have a bit of "gray area."

I've never had much for woodworking skills, and I don't intend on making anything nicer than my low expectations, so my question to you is this: could I use railroad modeller's 1"-2" foam sheet as a base? I realize it's pourous and what not, but I believe I've heard of people using it before. I figure I'd just paint the foam flat black and maybe add some sort of cheaper venire stripping to make it look decent. I'd put down a layer of plaster cloth before any type of Celluclay base is applied. Would this work? Or is it absolutely necessary to have some sort of wood base?

Thanks in advance,

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Gino P. Quintiliani
(Login HeavyArty)
Missing-Lynx members

Not essential, but...

May 17 2005, 4:17 PM 

I prefer a wood base. You really don't ahve to have any woodworking skills. Take a look at a craft store such as Michael's or Hobby Lobby, or even Wal-Mart. They carry precut display bases for a few bucks in many different sizes. All you have to do is stain and seal it. I don't know how strong the foam you are talking about is, it may or may not work. Another option is to find a picture frame in the size you want and cut a piece of plywood to the inner dimensions as a base as wll. That way, all you need to do is build up the groundwork and complete it. A good base is not relly that hard to make.

Good luck.

Gino P. Quintiliani

Field Artillery --- The KING of BATTLE!!!
HeavyArty's Showcase

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david nickels
(Login djnick66)
Missing-Lynx members

Even more options

May 20 2005, 7:26 AM 

In addition to Gino's suggestions, you can get some pre-finished plaques in different sizes from a Trophy shop. Sometimes you can find some with the metal plaque that had a type or some mistake... for dirt cheap.

A picture frame can be used with a square piece of wood or plex in the middle for your base to go on top of.

You can also make a base from frame stock glued together.

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Jared Siegel
(Login piat.sapper)
Missing-Lynx members

Thanks (n/t)

May 22 2005, 2:20 PM 


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Andrew Tomlinson
(Login AndrewTomlinson2)
Missing-Lynx members

Pre shaped frames

June 3 2005, 2:32 PM 

When in Walmart, in USA we noticed very cheap pictures of France mounted on bevel edged MDF, pre-painted in black.

Ideal and ready to use !


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(Login Phil5000)
Missing-Lynx members

Display case

June 10 2005, 8:14 PM 

If I were you I'd think seriously about getting a display case made. Unless of course you plan on putting the dio in a cabinet or something. If you don't cover it, it will soon be thickly coated with dust. Ok you can brush it off but as you do more and more that will become quite a chore plus if it gets into something like static grass it will more or less be impossible to remove.

I used to make bases by getting a piece of scap wood, marking it to the size I wanted then taking it a hardware place or lumber yard or something and getting it cut. Then brushing on a coat of varnish to seal against moisture and finally adding vaneer around the edges. The result looked fine but I got sick of the dust so started using display cases. Now I wouldn't dream of doing a model and just leaving it out in the open unprotected.

As for where to get cases, I'd recommend approaching hobby shops and asking if they know of anyone who makes them. That's what I did and can now get professional, made to order glass cases for a very reasonable price. There are some commercially available ones, like Tamiya but they're probably not the right size plus they're really expensive for some reason.

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