Rural Farmhouse Diorama - Behind the Scenes

Hi All.  Today, I wanted to show you a behind the scenes look from one of my diorama setups.  I recently blogged about my latest acquisition, a Jeep Wagoneer by Johnny Lightning/ERTL.  (more pics can be found here: ). 

For the above blogpost, I wanted to present the Jeep in a rural setting.  Even though I live in the city, I like to drive out to the countryside every now and then and enjoy nature and surroundings.  A lot of times, I will see a house on a big parcel of land, and sometimes there will be a tractor cab sitting in the driveway.  I thought it might be interesting to show a bit of that in the diorama.

I actually have more diorama pieces than I need for this setup, but wasn't sure which angle I wanted to use so I added some extras even though they weren't featured in the blog pics.  My normal diorama table is already filled up with a few buildings and there wasn't enough real estate to give me the visual depth that I wanted for the shot, so I ended up taking over the bathroom counter.  Shh, don't tell my wife!

The main dio pieces are a farmhouse by ERTL, which I haven't quite finished completing yet, a grass cloth  mat that represents the lawn, a linoleum tile with sand attached to the sticky side to simulate a gravel driveway, and some dollar store grass mats for the background foliage, a favourite I like to use often.  Also featured in the shot are some white picket fences from Tonka playsets and a couple of paper shacks I built using cardboard.  Got some dollar store christmas trees that I painted green to remove the snow.  

To light the scene, I use two freestanding lights with CFL daylight bulbs.  And my Canon S90 camera mounted on a tripod.

The vehicle assortment in this shot consists of the ERTL/JL Collect N Play gold Jeep Wagoneer which i wanted to feature in my blog post.  Also in the shot is another ERTL/JL Collect N Play vehicle, the red International Scout.  Background vehicles consist of the Matchbox Super Convoy blue Kenworth Aerodyne Cab, a Johnny Lightning yellow Chevy Blazer. Vehicles that never made it into the shots consist of a brown UPS delivery truck and some Maistos, a golf convertible and a bass boat on a trailer. 

For added interest, I've got a couple of JL dog figures and some assorted figures from Tonka and Greenlight.

 I always like using a low camera angle on my blog shots as opposed to the overhead helicopter shots, as it feels more real (well, to me anyways).  Although, if I moved the lights out of the way, the overhead shot would still work if I cropped out the bathroom counter, lol.  I will typically crop the shot so that the main focus is the vehicle I'm featuring.  Also I will try to blur the background so that the attention is also directed on the featured vehicle, although I will always use one or two shots with a full depth of field, for anyone who likes looking at all the details of the picture.

From a functional point of view, I never glue down any of my dio sets, as I tend to reuse pieces in other layouts, so everything is pretty much fluid.  Layout the base, add the necessary pieces, take the shots and tear it down.  I imagine that they use a similar idea for movie sets.

I really believe in layering a shot, with dio pieces in front of other dio pieces. For me that means a lot of visual detail in trying to achieve a believable look, but I'm not so anal as to try to fool you into thinking it's real.  In this example, you've got car on lawn, car on driveway, people interspersed, house behind people, fence behind vehicles, trees behind fence, foliage behind trees, etc, if you see what I mean.

And don't think that dios need to be expensive.  Apart from the farmhouse, which I think cost me about twenty bucks, the rest of the featured diorama pieces probably cost under ten bucks, not counting the cars.

Well, there you go, hope you enjoyed the behind the scenes look of one of my layouts.  Hope it gave you some stimulus and ideas for creating your own diorama shots.  Oh and don't forget to click on the pictures to see more detail. Thanks as always for visiting!

1 comment:

  1. Hello!

    Congratulations on your blog! Nice collection!
    I'm posting the site of my collection as well:

    Thank you for your visit!

    Danilo Candido
    São Paulo - Brazil