Monday, March 10, 2014

Westbay Halt Diorama

The experimental diorama is finished.  Or at least as finished as its going to be.  It would be possible to tinker for hours adding detail, and perhaps I ought to, but I'm afraid I don't have the sticking power.

I have been doing a lot of reading lately about layouts in boxes and found the concept very appealing. This is hardly a layout but I've enjoyed experimenting nonetheless.

The diorama is in an adapted IKEA APA storage box suggested to me by Mikkel.

Here are a few photos, with thanks to Mrs Chas for artistic advice.

The thing I most wanted to do with this diorama was experiment with a few of the scenic techniques I'd seen on other blogs - Rails to Llangunllo is a prime example - and improve on my past attempts.  There are some wonderful scenic materials available - Silflor grass mats, Mininatur ivy, Greenscene static grass, Noch leaves, Woodland Scenics fine leaf foliage - so little excuse not to improve.   Some materials have been around for ages though but I've just never thought to use them - hanging basket liners for the wild grassland base layer and rubberised horse hair covered with leaves for hawthorn hedges. I thought of making brambles from horse hair but decided life was too short.

It's satisfying to have made progress but with more patience I could do better.  Anyway, on to the next project. 


  1. Very nice Chas, I like the way you have kept the backscene horizon low and muted which gives real depth to photos 7 and 8, the latter being my favourite shot. The grass in the foreground is looking good as well not to mention the trees around the tunnel mouth.

    There is no doubt that your experimentation has paid off, as for brambles made from horsehair, well it's little things like that which make the difference. Just add a little at a time in spare moments to keep your sanity :-)

  2. Thanks Geoff. The low and muted horizon is something I have unashamedly copied from you of course, and how to use Silflor! On reflection, I think you are right - It'd be interesting and satisfying to add a little more detail. Brambles and static grass tufts for starters I think.

  3. Chris Nevard eat your heart out! Chas, this is brilliant. I hope you're rightly proud of yourself. Fantastic work

  4. Very nice indeed, Chas. You have obviously really enjoyed yourself and the results are delightful. There's so much to like in this scene. I like the way you have blended all the differing scenic techniques/media together in a seamless picture and not allowed any textures or colours to dominate. I also like the way you've used the wall as a stepping stone through to the miniature world. As for brambles...grrrr...the bane of my life when trying to access old mines!

    1. Thanks Iain. I appreciate the encouragement. I have enjoyed myself. It made a change to make a structure and put it into a scene instead of making a building and losing interest. Yes, I hate brambles too. We are surrounded by them and they grow to the height of Triffids only more vicious.

  5. Hi Chas, I've just found your blog and this is a lovely use of the apa box. I've not seen many so scenic, at first I thought it was based on Penhelig halt on the Cambrian. The natural blend of scenics into the background I like in particular.

  6. Hi Chas, love this and your tunnel and grass work in particular! Great to see someone mix techniques with such great results. Also nice to find an APA box fan, I thought I was the only follower of Mikkel and the Farthing layout, LOL Don't need to mention brambles, I've just spent a week fighting the things while taking prototype photos in cornwall. Agghhh! Looking forward to reading more.

  7. The grasses look nice when the sunlight falls on the drops of water scattered on the grass. The grass free of weeds looks great. The grass mats are really the precious gifts of the grass mats(web) for the house owners and every nature lover.


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