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Ideas and Scales

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Dave Cooper 609/12/2020 10:24:27
309 forum posts
32 photos

In these cold winter days, I'm mainly reduced to indoor pursuits. I was just thinking about a possible model boat diorama though...

Available supporting pieces are in the following scales : 1/72, 1/43 and 4mm:1 foot (model railway).

I'd be interested to hear of any other scenes being modelled.

I'm wondering about a sub' just surfacing - perhaps nearing a supply or hospital ship.

Merry Christmas all

Malcolm Frary09/12/2020 13:15:58
1034 forum posts

Unless a huge amount of space is available, for anything involving a submarine and a supply or hospital ship, a smaller scale might be a good idea. Maybe N at about 2mm/ft. or 1:144.

Dave Cooper 609/12/2020 21:16:13
309 forum posts
32 photos

Hi Malcolm

It seems that (kit-wise) most of the 'big stuff' falls in the 1/400, 1/500 or 1/600 scale areas.

I haven't researched the subs yet, but, I think a ship model of around 12-15" length overall would make a nice diorama size.

Cheers for now,


Richard Simpson10/12/2020 09:28:45
691 forum posts
345 photos

Popular current submarine subjects seem to be in 1/72nd or 1/350th. I have seen a very interesting diorama on YouTube using a 1/350th model submarine cast in clear resin to produce an underwater diorama. The resin was cast in the shape of a bottle then polished so it looked like the whole diorama was inside a bottle. Very clever and very effective.

I think a 1/72nd submarine complete model would require quite a bit of space to create a diorama with however some of the detail sets for the Revell U-Boat could be used to create say a deck gun scene or a bridge diorama.


Edited By Richard Simpson on 10/12/2020 09:43:44

Richard Simpson10/12/2020 09:38:02
691 forum posts
345 photos

I've actually just finished a diorama for a competition entry which comprises of a quayside with a crane on it and a locomotive underneath it. The front of the box it is all sat on was made into a harbour wall, which could have easily had a ship of a submarine against it.

Also worth looking at are the Accurate Armour resin parts to enhance the Revel U-Boat. These could be used on their own to support diorama building.



Edited By Richard Simpson on 10/12/2020 09:44:19

Dave Cooper 610/12/2020 10:47:58
309 forum posts
32 photos

Hello Richard,

Very inspirational photos and ideas created in your work...

Would that be the Airfix dockside crane by any chance ? If so, I expect the loco, wagon and lorry are '00 gauge' - 1/76 or similar ?

I think, so far, I may have two ways to go :-

1. Sub' + 'Mother ship' (eg Hospital /Supply etc). In this case, they would both have to be in similar scales to "look right". I'll look at the Revell U-boat as you suggest.

2. Mixed scene of railway and marine rather like yours. One idea could be the lake ferry /railway as in the WW2 film (Heroes of Telemark ?) where the wagons are actually run onto the boat - docked so as to hold the rails in alignment. More scope here I feel as scale matching not so important.

Good luck with your competition.


ashley needham10/12/2020 17:34:41
7350 forum posts
156 photos

i might start with deciding where you are going to keep it first so as to get an idea of how big you can go and thus get an idea of scale from that.


Richard Simpson10/12/2020 18:09:28
691 forum posts
345 photos

Hi Dave, The crane is now supplied by Dapol but it is indeed still made from the old Airfix moulds. It was a bit of a challenge to make it look anything like reasonable. The loco is a Hornby W4 Peckett, the wagon is a converted Hornby Engineer's flat with the toolbox and side rails removed and a Graupner 1/48th Corvette propeller fitted to it, and the lorry is an Oxford Diecast 1/76th scale lorry.

Colin Bishop10/12/2020 18:23:06
4961 forum posts
6110 photos
411 articles

Lovely work Richard. We may be model boaters on here but we can all appreciate other areas of modelling too. I love dioramas but, as you say, they do take up a lot of space.


Dave Cooper 610/12/2020 23:35:01
309 forum posts
32 photos

Yes, I agree - space is an important consideration. My current 'diorama' is a working railway based on a mix of standard and narrow gauge scales (00 and 009) ie 4mm: foot or, 1/76. It's approx. 4' by 18" in size and spends most of its time propped up against a garage wall when not in use.

The actual detail work - making buildings, kits etc. is done indoors where it's nice and warm ! This is on a table-top about 3' 6" x 2' 0". So, I think this will probably fix the outer limits of my first ship-borne attempt.

Will let you know how the ideas develop...

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