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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

"Memories of Flying School"


JohnReid
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I was originally going to screw the landscaping panels down from underneath the plywood base but that proved to be unpractical.Instead I drilled a hole down through both panels,and screwed down the panel from the top.I will cover the screw heads using rocks or grass etc... I identified the holes under the plywood panels as "screws above" so that if in future if it is to be taken apart they will be able to locate the screws.

The hanger itself was screwed down the same way, from below, and holes added to the plywood where the wheels of the aircraft are bolted down ,so that the Albatros could be removed from the hangar separately if need be.

The landscaping panels are of course removable so that each can be finished individually and then finally re-installed.The now visible seams will be filled as required and blended in to become invisible.

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Something different!

I took a whole bunch of new pics today while I still have easy access to the

hangar windows.I haven't yet had a chance to edit out the bad ones.I removed the frames and shot through the windows from different angles.I am also experimenting with doing photographic type dioramas and vignettes and setting them in formal type frames.This is a lot of fun and opens a whole new dimensions to doing dioramas.One storyboard diorama can be broken down into hundreds of smaller vignettes.

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"Hanging The Left Hand Aileron"Vignette

This is a good example of a storyboard vignette.The aileron on the workbench and the ladder pretty much tell the story.The floorboards give a nice 3d effect and perspective that helps lead the viewers to the sign of human presence, as represented by the boots. For those who are really knowledgeable about uniforms, the hat indicates that this is more than likely, a German hangar of WW1.

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Most of these shots will be lost once the diorama is finished.I took a few days out from building to play with the camera.I really don't know that much about cameras so I take lots of shots at different settings and then delete what I don't want.Using film would have forced me to "read the instructions"(as my dad would always tell me) a long time ago or go broke buying film.

Digital cameras allows guys like me to fool around and really not know what they are doing . I would rather build than read instructions anyway.

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The lane out back.

I am starting to make a lane way(dirt road) out back of the hangar .Here I have started to build up the raised portion that normally lies between the tire tracks.I have used ordinary sand for this,sprayed with alcohol as a water tension breaker and then soaked with the usual 75/25 water and white glue mix.Once dry I will add the fine sand,earth ,vegetation and a few rocks here and there.

Next I covered the sand mound with the earth and measured the dirt roads width using the Ford T truck as a guide.I then covered the the width of the road with the earth,sprayed on the alcohol ,and put on the water /glue mix ,drop by drop. I then took one of the trucks spare tires and rolled it down the dirt road to create a few tracks.The road still looks a little whitish as the white glue hasn't dried yet.

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This vignette from the "Keepers of the Flame" diorama depicts three individuals, one military,one ex-military and one civilian. They represent a cross section of society who were responsible for keeping the dream of aviation alive during some very difficult times following WW1.

After the Great War airplanes represented to the public at large, something that they wanted to forget ,death and destruction.A relatively few individuals risked their money and even their lives to keep it going.1918-1927 was the wild and wholly teenage stage of aviation where just about anything was tolerated.It was in all less than ten years long but what a wild ride it was.

Out of work ex-military pilots who just couldn't settle down,who had the love of flying in their veins ,tried to scratch out a living as barnstormers ,stunt pilots or flying the mail.All very risky positions indeed!

On the civilian side ,a young fellow who dared to tell his parents of his dreams to become a pilot, might have just as well have told them that he was off to join the circus.There were only a few far- sighted businessmen who would dare get involved in aviation and their names are all well known to us today.

By 1927 when the first air regulations started to take hold ,the public's attitude was beginning to change.Of necessity this wonderful short-lived period of real "freedom of the skies" was coming to an end and today unfortunately, it is mostly forgotten.

To their memory this Keepers of the Flame diorama is dedicated.

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Hangar doors and ramp area.

I have added a little more wear and tear in front of the hangar where there would be the most activity, especially when rolling the aircraft in and out.I did this simply by adding more of the dirt from a shaker ,spraying with alcohol and then dropping on the 75/25 water-glue mix.I have left off the wooden planks that would be used for roll out, as this aircraft is obviously not going anywhere soon.They are stashed on the floor on either side of the hangar doors near the wall.

I don't plan to have any junk laying around as most pics that I have seen of German military airfields they are very neat and orderly.(too bad as I love doing junk ).I plan to break this rule a bit by putting a couple of vacated wheel chocks just off to the left of the hangar doors to add a little to the sense of loss, as represented by the crashed aircraft.

On the R/H side of the pic the earth has not been properly blended yet,hence the straight lines.

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Always looking for something new....

Hi guys! I have had a lot of great response from an idea that I have had using old radio cabinets to display dioramas.I have made a mock up of the idea using a diecast car but of course this idea could really be used for any genre.

For you aircraft guys please use your imagination and replace the car with the aircraft of your choice.I think that this would work especially well for half type aircraft that were attached to a mirror along the back wall .This would also be a great way to display the half fuselage type displaying the innards of the aircraft itself while still being able to see the flying aircraft in the mirror.I will post a few pictures later to show you what I mean.

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Albatros hangar's chimney.

The chimney is temporarily installed.I made it from hard maple dowel, sanding it very smooth so no grain is visible.The roof guy wires will be secured down to eyebolts after I remove the roof for the last time.The chimney is actually in two pieces so the roof is easily removable.The chimney cap was made from an old cigar tubes end piece.I will finish the weathering later.This diorama is now nearing completion.

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John,

What an incredible project that you have created. I love the way you put your design processes into words and then provide us with such awesome, detailed and outstanding photographs. The accuracy, scale, construction and craftsmanship you have achieved are of the highest order. However, you also bring the events to life almost as if time stood still. "If it could have happened......" Post 611 with the internal lighting is a personal favourite.

Sadly, there are no pictures on my laptop until post 232, then 247 and 254 and all after that are there. I see post 307 shows today's back garden scene, so it must have struck a chord back then. Good luck with the future creations.

Phil.

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