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Hope this hasn't been posted, but i want to start getting back into dioramas and such. In the past, I would head to the hobby store and buy a bunch of stuff and go at it. My goal this time is to do it on the cheap. I apologize to all the guys who have AWESOME ready made accessories, but I hope to find hints and tips to do this from common household materials. I figured we could add anything here that would help fellow, like minded collectors who have a creative spark. To kick it off, here is a valuable link that will calculate scale sizes for you. Not my creation, but it is very helpful.
http://www.csgnetwork.com/modcarscalecalc.html

I have in the back of my head a scale road side blues juke joint diorama that would also be display platform for new cars I pick up to photograph and share.
This image is stuck in my head

If you think I have too much time on my hands, I apologize. If you have a tip, let them fly! Garage ideas,diners , anything that would be cool.
 

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I know there is a lot of talent out there. I remember one where the guy used the plastic from a strawberry carton for window frames and it looked great. That sort of thing.
 

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I have found it to be helpful to have a good friend like Stangfreak that makes his own and shares his little treasures! :thumbsup:

However it is fun to fab your own stuff. I use styrene, brass, etc to fab car parts as well as Dio pieces. My 76 Gas Station Dio has a lot of homemade parts in it.

Inside the "head".



Ice machine





My homemade Car dealer and 76 station. The base and roads are made from foam core. Used paint pens to stripe the roads. Curbs and islands are made from styrene.




And sometimes I get some crazy ideas when bored with painting and wheel swaps!

 

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In the past I have looked in my yard for stuff. Twigs make good logs and rocks from the drive make nice boulders. If you want small rocks find some pea size gravel and pick out smaller ones for gardens or fire pits.
 

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Here's a rock side I built for my track. This was made from drop in type ceiling tiles. Home Depot or Lowes should have some damaged or broke ones if you check. Look close and you can count the layers. Just take and glue em together, after drying, I took a screw driver and dug out some areas for insets/overhangs, then took a wire brush and roughed it up. I used some acrylic latex paint for the colors. Started out painting it black, then started adding lighter colors. Added a litle greenery to finsh it off...RM

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Very cool idea!
Here's a rock side I built for my track. This was made from drop in type ceiling tiles. Home Depot or Lowes should have some damaged or broke ones if you check. Look close and you can count the layers. Just take and glue em together, after drying, I took a screw driver and dug out some areas for insets/overhangs, then took a wire brush and roughed it up. I used some acrylic latex paint for the colors. Started out painting it black, then started adding lighter colors. Added a litle greenery to finsh it off...RM

 

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Great work Hilltop!!!
Plain unscented cat litter for rural stone walls. Elmers glue for cement. Dip toothpick tip lightly in glue to pick up and place stones.


Lay a bead of glue about three inches long and add stones just like a real wall.
 

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Mesh from an old screen door for fencing. Post were made from sanding sticks. These are old pics so I apologize for repeats.
 

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Tips and tricks

I always recommend shooting photos as you go along with your project rather if you are doing customs or dioramas. shoot and review often. If you have a high resolution digital camera you can see things that may need to be fixed that your naked eye may not catch. The outlaw
 

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I always recommend shooting photos as you go along with your project rather if you are doing customs or dioramas. shoot and review often. If you have a high resolution digital camera you can see things that may need to be fixed that your naked eye may not catch. The outlaw
Good point Outlaw. I try and take pics often of my projects. Helps me remember how I built it.
Sometimes the Camera gives away too much! :freak:
 

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For the outside of your custom building, try a can of the textured spray paint, gives it a concrete look. For the garage face, I took a piece of scrap MDF, scribed in some break/form lines, then sprayed it with the textured paint...leaves a nice flat finish...



Also built a track side garage, made from MDF. The black is plexiglas with some silver paint pen stripes. Roof is more scrap painted red primer...RM

 

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Awesome ideas! If i'm not mistaken, those weeds may be the ends of a frayed piece of twine. I used to do military dioramas and used it for things much like that.
 

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I was buying "tall grass" from dealers. Then I took gunns advice... clipped them off the ends of a paint brush. a little thicker, but the same effect and a lot cheaper.
 
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