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 A "European Christmas" Diorama Build Thread
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Premium Member

Posted - 11/27/2017 :  9:52:16 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl My Ophthalmologist told me to use a strong magnifying glass on a stand instead of the visor. 5 to 10 times strength works great for LPs No eye strain as you get with the visor....


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Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/28/2017 :  08:37:34 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Ted, I actually tried that years ago with one of those glass magnifiers on a stand, that my wife had. (And doesn't use.)

I couldn't get VERY close to the work, had to hold the LP out in front of the magnifier- then position myself in such a way to keep it all in focus. Oh well, I'll just take longer rest periods...

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Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  07:04:26 AM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I can finally begin assembling the pieces together of the model. I soldered all the black & white power wires in-between the background flats. Also installed some brown construction paper between building side walls, to block any light from behind.

A test fire of the entire block of buildings to verify they all work. Will set this aside to wait its turn for mounting.

The street is the first piece to be set on the base. Where the canals run under the street, water has been applied in the form of Liquitex gel. Then I set the brick paper "cavern" on top of it. The chopped out section in the paper ceiling is to accommodate a light pole coming thru.

Eleven light poles were mounted. I drilled holes deliberately a bit small to hold these very tightly in place. I made a height jig to make sure they were identical. The top of the globe is a scale 12 ft., or approx. 1 & 3/4" high.

In this spot in the back, these connections are for 2 light poles and the 3 market stand lights. Soldering these before the buildings are in place, was the idea that started it all. I worked my way around the entire diorama soldering every light, the three market stands, and the clock kiosk. The soldering pencil slipped & burned the tip of my thumb shortly after this pic was taken.

This 9V transformer will power all 47 LED lights on the model, because it puts out 1.2 amps. It could fire up to 60 lights. I bought it at an electronics parts store locally, that has hundreds of used power supplies for cheap. You just have to go digging thru old boxes, because their all mixed up! The DC jack will be mounted on the back panel.

Beginning the process of placing Preiser people in scenes. Darlene had some real fun with this-just deciding their positions....while I had to glue them in place! Actually, these are only temporarily being held down with a watery white glue, I'll take pictures of their positions, remove them and then permanently glue them down later on. They all need a brown wash to tone down some factory bright colors.

I scratch built an "A" frame tree stand to hold up the Christmas trees for sale. I also wired an LED just above the top center of the frame. Those weird short plastic trees will be replaced with ones I built, these just happen to be inside a Preiser package.

After about three hours of selection, position and re-position, about 55 little people are finalized. With that, I glued down the street section into its proper position, on top of the balsa supports.

To be sure all street wiring is working-a test fire of just that section. I also managed to get another light into the clock's bottom floor, I think it looks much better. The coffee house was not in place, because it was damaged thru frequent handling. It will be repaired.

Till next time....

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Posted - 11/29/2017 :  07:31:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit kebmo's Homepage  Reply with Quote

if you don't know where you're going any road will get you there.

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Bill Gill

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  07:36:07 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, Your diorama is coming to life! Hope your thumb recovers quickly. The additional light below the clock does look better.

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Engine Wiper

Supporting Member

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  08:34:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very cool!

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Posted - 11/29/2017 :  08:57:58 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Carl, your European Christmas display is coming to life!
And it's all looking wonderful!
Have you thought about turning your water feature into a frozen one, so you could add skaters on it, enjoying that space?

Greg Shinnie

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Premium Member

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  09:51:13 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
First rate modeling! Beautiful diorama!
Your lighting techniques are fascinating.
This is going to be a spectacular showpiece.

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Premium Member

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  11:10:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wow!! That is just outstanding.

Sorry to hear about the thumb.


"And in the end, itís not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." A. Lincoln

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Premium Member

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  11:29:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Very nicely done, Carl! Very nicely done.

Except for the thumb part.... Hope it heals quickly. Been there, done that....

Looking forward to seeing it it all come together!

in Michigan

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Premium Member

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  12:37:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit sgtbob's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Very nice Carl, it's getting to look a lot like Christmas. (I think there is a song by that title).

Try to talk your wife into just a whiff of snow.




Edited by - sgtbob on 11/30/2017 06:18:18 AM

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Frank Palmer

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  6:43:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit Frank Palmer's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Greg had a good suggestion of freezing the water. Skaters would be a nice touch. Darn, wish I had thought of that.

This is really coming together very nice seems by making Darlene happy youíll have a wonderful life.

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Carl B

Premium Member

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  7:40:39 PM  Show Profile  Visit Carl B's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Kevin, Bill, Jim, Greg, Dave G., Jerry, Pete, Bob and Frank thanks for your posts and compliments.

Bill, Jerry and Pete- My thumb is fine, appreciate your concern. It wasn't the first time, and it won't be the last!

Greg- Excellent idea on the skaters, and Darlene likes it too. Except, she reiterated her concern that she did not want any "attention grabbing" away from the street scenes.

Dave G. It's the biggest "light count" I've ever attempted...I hope she holds together!

Bob- I wish I could have some snow- but it's the same answer I gave to Greg...

Frank- You hit the nail on the head brother. The whole project is a happiness booster for Darlene.
Her 92 year old Mom died this past April- and ever since shes not been herself. I think in a small way... this may be helping to "heal" some of that loss.

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Premium Member

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  8:54:59 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Getting back to your build of this wonderful diorama, especially lighting tutorial, OMG and plenty of them!
I think you're having more fun than building.

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Michael Hohn

Posted - 11/29/2017 :  9:04:03 PM  Show Profile  Visit Michael Hohn's Homepage  Reply with Quote

I really like seeing all those people. Everything is coming together nicely.

Iím thinking that I wonít be too fast about throwing away unneeded power supplies in the future. Useful information you have provided.


Nobody living can ever stop me, as I go walking that freedom highway -- Woody Guthrie

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