Christmas market diorama

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Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Sun Dec 20, 2020 8:56 pm

Hi all

I thought I’d share this build as an ‘enthusiastic amateur’ so beginners can learn from my mistakes and experts can giggle

I wanted a Christmas market to go (eventually) with a simple winter layout under the Christmas tree each year. Quite poignant this year as nobody has been to an Xmas market...

So I started with a Faller HO scale kit of an old town wall, picked up cheap from an exhibition last year. Their stuff is generally nice quality and requires no painting.

It’s a modular kit so I decided on the footprint and made a ply base with a frame to allow for hidden wiring.
Attachments
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Last edited by Daveyboy on Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:01 pm

However despite assembling the modules flat on a table they twist and don’t mate squarely. Gap is too big to fill easily so I decided to assemble them best I can to hide the gap inducing a lift in 1 corner which I think the snow can fill...
Attachments
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Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:15 pm

I wired up LEDs to light it up from a 12v transformer I had lying around. A mix of LED strips and individual bulbs. Simple to wire up except the street lights didn’t include a resister, so thanks to board members for advice on that.

Market stalls were from Busch and Noch, horrifically expensive for their size and I think they with hindsight they could be scratch built
Attachments
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Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:21 pm

Now for some snow...

I wanted cobbles for the square and bought some moulded sheets from Auhagen. They looked great but were quite small, meaning lots of joints which looked rubbish so I’ve abandoned that idea- more snow instead!

I tried out Busch snow paste with a coffee stirrer on 1 roof - it went on ‘ok’, then sprinkled some dry snow and was quite happy with that result
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Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:30 pm

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My first school boy error was applying the snow paste to a card kit roof which simply bowed from the damp paste, so a bit of scratch building needed to repair that!

However when trying to copy the application method onto the other roofs, the paste texture wasn’t the same. Too stiff and full of lumps. Not sure why as the pot had the lid on all the time.

I tried to dilute with a mist of water, but that just made it too runny. Great if you wanted melting snow but not what I wanted...

So will leave it overnight to dry and try another coat tomorrow.
Attachments
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Last edited by Daveyboy on Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Mountain
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Location: Somewhere in Wales, UK.

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Mountain » Sun Dec 20, 2020 10:38 pm

That looks brilliant!

Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Mon Dec 21, 2020 9:49 pm

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Thanks mountain. The winter stuff is all new to me. There’s loads of tutorials on YouTube, too many in fact, but sometimes it’s just down to practicing a technique.

Anyway I re-attempted the roof tops, better result this time.

TIPS
1) Only use the paste with a custard like texture in the middle of the pot. Don’t mix it with grainy bits at the bottom or the ‘skin’ at the top of the pot. and DONT mix with water to loosen up the consistency or reduce lumps as it just makes a foam, leaving bubbles when it dries and runs off the roof tops. That means 1/3 of the pot is useless.

2) Smoothing the paste downwards over a roof let’s it flop over the eaves giving a nice natural look.

3) The water misting after a light application of the paste worked if you want a light frosty effect, but not deep snow.

4) The dry powder snow needs to be added when the paste is just setting and getting tacky. Too wet and the powder starts sinking and dissolving in the snow paste - not a good look. Use a tea strainer as a fine sieve and tap gently from a height. Seive was £2 in Morrison’s...

4) The Busch paste includes sparkly glitter but the dry powder covers that up for a natural look. If you still want the sparkles - it is Christmas after all, the Busch dry powder includes a small bag of sparkly glitter, which I gather will adhere using hairspray

Pavements and paths etc tomorrow

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Mountain
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Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Mountain » Tue Dec 22, 2020 1:18 pm

That looks coold!

Daveyboy
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Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Thu Dec 24, 2020 11:07 pm

Well it took some gluhwein to get the job done in the run up to Xmas, but the snow has been falling...

I decided to try again using the cobbled plates. roads and pavements are usually cleared of snow so if I left it all white, i felt it would look odd. instead of covering the whole square with the plates, I cut them to size for roads and around the stalls. This was to minimise the joins between the plates. The rest is simply covered with snow.

I used interior decorating filler to add some drifting snow and piles of cleared snow. Much cheaper than the pukka modelling stuff and easier to use to. Just use a small wet brush to smooth it into snowy mounds.

A dusting with snow powder and finally a touch of glitter. I tried to seal it with hairspray, will see well how that works, a lot easier than using a Matt varnish.

So it’s all up and working. Just the detailing of adding the figures etc which the kids can do over the holidays.

I will try white blu tac to allow the kids to move the figures. Not sure how that will cope with the snow powder. If that fails, Noch make a product called temporary glue which is like post it adhesive - ideal if you want to keep things flexible
Attachments
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Last edited by Daveyboy on Sun Dec 27, 2020 9:28 am, edited 4 times in total.

Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:41 pm

Well you can’t have a market without punters

I did wonder about a bulk pack of unpainted winter figures, but a lot were skiing etc. But tbh my ability, time and patience would be an issue, so that idea was binned. Certainly that is a more cost effective method.

I bought some winter figures from Preiser, Noch and Faller. Expensive but beautifully painted.

The Busch market kit came with accessories such as tables, bottles, glasses, kegs etc. There was even a BBQ grill with tiny bratwurst but at Ho/oo scale you need more dexterity than I have so I kept it easy.

The figures don’t have base plates. I tried gluing the odd figure with plastic glue but it didn’t stick to the snow. I had scrape away the snow with a knife and sand the paint off the figures shoe soles, and even then it’s marginal.

I wanted the ‘shoppers’ movable so the kids can get involved. I used white blu tac as its quick and easy. I think with a bit more time I could reduce the size of the blob used, but to get the kids going it was an easy start.

If anyone has any ideas on temporary fixing for the figures please chime in
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Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Sat Dec 26, 2020 8:54 pm

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Final tweak was to add Fir tree garlands to the stalls.

Again they came with the Busch kit. Some trial error needed when sizing/ cutting the foliage. There were 2 types, one was very thin and I couldnt find a way to hold it after rolling it to look bushier. Thankfully the other type which came with the Citroen coffee van was thicker and denser and much easier to work with.

Dear God, adding HO scale baubles.... I’m more used to 1/32 than 1/72!

Again if anyone has tried this please chime in.

Anyway, the aim of this post was to share my experiences with you so I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Next task I need to make a dust cover to protect it so it can be rolled out next year.

Seasons greetings to you :)

Daniel
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Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daniel » Thu Dec 31, 2020 11:36 am

Greetings to you too,
and thank you for sharing your very convincing diorama.

Daniel
My new Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/158027525@N08/

My old Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/daniel_1_32_scale/page223

Being right is one thing, but being true is quite another.

Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:15 pm

Thanks for your kind words Daniel

I am in awe of the scratch builders and their eye for detail in the threads in this forum. I simply don’t have the time or skills, but they are inspiring.

However for anyone thinking about undertaking a project, no need to feel daunted.This was made with off the shelf kits and a few you tube tutorials. A few hiccups were to be expected, but even the Mrs is happy with the end result.

Daveyboy
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Dec 13, 2020 6:43 pm

Re: Christmas market diorama

Postby Daveyboy » Sun Jan 03, 2021 6:25 pm

Well Christmas and new year have come and gone and the diorama is getting packed away ready for next year

Sneak peak of my vision for next Xmas. The Polar Express.

The big loco struggles even with radius 3 curves, but there’s plenty of time to plan and construct a simple loop for under the tree

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