by: Carlos Martin [ ]
This third volume of the series "Landscapes of War" is devoted to rural environment's dioramas. It is a 160 pages softcover, printed on good quality glossy paper with lots of crisp colour photos. Some of these are even printed on full page. Apart from the dioramas depicted, with both general views and close ups, there are also photos of real houses and walls to be used as reference. The book is entirely in English.
Its is structured as a step-by step guide, with a brief introduction to each diorama and then a good number of photos detailing each step.
Photos are accompanied by detailed captions and linked by numbers. These captions are grouped on the same area of the page so they can be read sequentially also, as conventional text. In any case, the system is very clear and allows to follow the process easily.
Although each chapter describes how the diorama was created, the focus is on buildings and walls, with different techniques depending on the author.
There are also two independent chapters for building walls, without a diorama associated.
The book has four main chapters, each one with a scene created by a different modeller, plus two more focused on wall building -one for brick walls and the other one for stone walls.
All the scenes in the book are located in European villages during the Second World War, however they are quite different in size, theme and style. All but one are at 1/35 scale, the exception being a 1/9 diorama by Robert Döpp.
The first one is "Sniper", from Frederik Astier, who explains how he built the scene through 42 pages. There are several techniques used, with materials like foam, putty or styrodur, and the painting of these elements is covered in detail as well. There are also two pages with photos of real buildings in Mont Saint-Michel, France, which look very similar to the one on the diorama.
Then comes a vignette from Robert Döpp at 1/9, a modeller well known by his sculpting abilities. The wall is made of individual bricks as the real ones, so as the cobblestones of the road and the bridge.
This is the subject also of the next article, which deals with walls made of individual bricks made of modelling paste and moulds. The painting process is detailed, accompanied of real brick wall photos as reference.
The next section is from Volker Bembennek, who shows how to work with styrodur. This material is not limited to building but also for bases, as shown here. Another part of this section is about building and painting doors and roofs with Styrene.
The second part of wall building is next, dealing with stone walls. It is covered in depth, with three different methods plus painting guides, and three pages of real stone walls
Last diorama is from Javier Redondo, who builds the walls using styrene and gets equally good results. Again some real buildings are shown at the end of the article.
The last section is a small biography of the modellers featured in this volume, with a few photos of their works.
At the end there is a photo index of techniques, quite useful for quickly location of specific information.
This is an excellent guide for building scale village houses and walls, as it offers different ways using multiple materials like styrene, foam or styrodur. Each method is well explained through the text and plenty of photos. Both the construction and painting areas are covered in depth.
Apart from that main subject, it also deals with ground or wood recreation through several examples.