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Temporary Dioramas

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Blog article on temporary dioramas at Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine

Like many railway modellers, I have always much more modelling ideas than I can realise due to limitations in time and space. An interesting solution is to make temporary dioramas by arranging models for photography in a temporary scene. This provides also a good opportunity to test the appearance of a specific scene before making a permanent layout. For this, I made a small base board with some tracks, road pavement, and green. For a photo scene, vehicles and structures are arranged on this base board and photographed in front of a clear background. Then, the photo is transformed into a silhouetted picture and blended with a matching background that is added as a separate layer. For the background pictures I used real photos but also screenshots from computer games. Sometimes, cutouts from different pictured were combined into a new one. Colour and perspective were modified in a way the final picture would perfectly blend into the scene.

This page just shows a few samples. A gallery with more photos you find in this Flickr album.

Fantasy in brick Industrial Scene in the US Northeast
Diorama arrangement of a North American industrial scene in the North East 1950s or 1960s. The background picture was composed of several silhouetted cutouts from photos of industrial facades. The central building in the foreground was made from Resin facade parts offered by German manufacturer Müllers Bruchbuden ('Muller's decayed houses').
Russian steam 2 Historical Steam Operations in Russia
Ficticious scene in a Russian steam locomotive depot. For the background picture, I used several scenes I photographed in Braunschweig.
Arriving at the tank Russian Industrial Scene
Industrial scene in the late Soviet era. For the background picture, I used a photo I took in July 2016 at 751D-Park in Beijing. 751 D-Park is a former industrial district that has been transformed into an art district with exhibition sites, event halls, cafes, restaurants, etc.
Brandenburg railroad atmosphere 1 Brandenburg Railway Atmosphere
Since I grew up in Brandenburg state, I made a typical scene of modern Brandenburg railway oeprations. The background picture is also from this region.
Russian industrial scene 2 Industrial scene in Russia
Another photo scene showing some of my Russian rolling stock in an industrial environment provided by a photo background. The steam locomotive is a former German series 56, which, after having changed to broad gauge, ran in Russia as series TO. The model of the loco I made in 1980s be modifying a series 56 by former TT manufacturer BTTB. While that old model does not really meet modeling standards of recent products, it looks still acceptable on such a photo scene.

Blog article on this scene at Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine
Industrial structure 1 Industrial structure
Friends from www.ttnut.com asked me to post a photo of a TT scale industrial structure I recently kitbashed from two Auhagen gas works kits #12244. Here it is. The truck in the foreground is a Russian copy of the International K7. It does hardly differ from the US prototype. Again, I used a computer game background.

While this picture is one of my earlier attempts lacking the quality of later pictures, it got some attention and was published in the November 2014 issue of Model Railroad Hobbyist magazine.

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