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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
Operation Anthropoid
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 01:19 PM UTC
Hi Tim,

This is looking great - construction and paintwork - wow! And your plan is to build a few more of these?!? Be brave! Just keep going....

Happy model building, cheers
Nick
Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 02:45 AM UTC
Thanks HP that’s the one alright, the previous year’s model to the ones I’m making. Didn’t see it in the Prague Tram museum virtual tour, runners presumably live elsewhere. Mercifully they simplified the side panel livery for the 1909’s…
Frenchy
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Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018 - 10:48 PM UTC
Hi Tim

I'm not 100% sure but the foreground car in the vidcap looks similar to this one (a 1908 model) :



H.P.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Saturday, September 22, 2018 - 03:51 PM UTC
A couple more unifying washes done on the woodwork & metal – didn’t do much for recessing the brackets…





& let’s see how bright those livery panels look once installed inside the compartment behind glass. I masked/painted them not particularly well so I’ll be using pin-stripe decal lines for the exterior – a different kind of nightmare, I imagine, with double-stripe lengths up to around 6”. But for now the paintbrush is…mmm…benched
Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 01:07 PM UTC
Thanks Paul – quite right my brackets wouldn’t be very comfortable to sit on but I didn’t fancy scraping across the slats 8 times to make them flush, I was still in sod-it mode at that point before having a change of heart about the colour(s) - hopefully fading the black will make them look less proud. MiniArt missed them out and seems to have assumed (from the paint code) that the legs were wooden, but I just noticed - duh - they're metal and part of the same frame those brackets form part of.
trooper82
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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 11:17 AM UTC
Hi Tim
Nice work on the cabs but I think the straps you've added to the benches should be flush with the longitudinals going by a close up of the original, but as you say, given the interior gloominess plus passengers they will look OK.
Paul
Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 02:02 AM UTC
Paul – thanks & you reminded me one of the craft stores in easy range had a bunch of lettering including some gold when I raided it last year. From the MS Word selection the nearest I can see to the Tram font is Bodoni MT (bold) although the former has extra serifs. Matthew – thanks & yes I’ve wondered that myself, certifiable’s another term probably due to mainly Yorkshire/Lancashire/Irish heritage so from your call-sign maybe you’d empathise. Thanks too for the Op Red Beard still, I did a double-take on the foreground car – it looked like those big compartment windows slid open but on reflection it all seems…wait for it…glazed. Don’t think I’ve seen that configuration before although Frenchy may prove me wrong.

What’s new - a scrappy week for various reasons including white-line fever (as in plastic strips) getting too much, so I detoxed by slavishly following the kit instructions for a few parts…



…before attempting Cab v2…



…with a more accurate front - slightly wider with shallower curves, slimmer side panels…



…and the front window mounted further forwards...



For another interlude the compartment benches looked easy & authentic until I looked more closely at an image ref (reproduced further down) so yet more white lines…



But pointless detailing any further, they’ll be mostly in shadow within the compartment with some passengers sat on them so they just a coat of generic wood colour and…and…











I just can’t help myself anymore. Maybe another couple of muting washes required for the wood and the over-black brackets. Looks like those under-seat panels at each end will be good practice for the exterior livery…

Northern_Lad
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Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 06:01 AM UTC
Awesome work going on in this thread. I really don't know where you find the patience and perseverance...

I was watching a documentary on youtube, and there was brief clip of footage of Germany marching into Prague in March 1939, and there were trams! Here is a cribbed image from the video..



Cheers

Matthew
trooper82
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Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 02:08 PM UTC
Hi Tim
The numbers on the tram front read 2272 and although I'm not too savvy on fonts they do look rather like Gothic. From my late night surfing it looks like Woodland Scenics may have the right type or some online craft stores seem to still have more Letraset than you do.Still amazed at your skill
Paul
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 01:23 AM UTC
Thanks guys, one day I should post a bunch of bloopers i.e. scratch fails, but when I get irked the last thing I feel like doing is reaching for the camera.

Meanwhile I’m looking ahead to livery, so if anyone out there is a Font expert could you let me know what the numbering on the front of the tram might be? – 4th image up in my last post & Frenchy’s images on earlier pages. I’ve waded through my stocks of 30+y.o. Letraset but haven’t got anything close to it & too busy/lazy to wade through the Word catalogue.

maartenboersma
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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 - 09:39 AM UTC
Excellent plastic surgery !
Gives it a total different look .....closer to the original.
justsendit
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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 - 07:34 AM UTC
That’s some fine scratch-factory work there, Tim! ... Now we, the “peanut gallery” can relax just a bit... Until the next installment, then!🍿🍺

—mike
cheyenne
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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 - 02:29 AM UTC
Very cool Tim , well planned and executed !!!
Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, September 14, 2018 - 02:16 AM UTC
Time to get back on schedule & tackle the most difficult area, the cab. Doing the compartment windows was useful prep although confidence was not exactly high mainly because I knew the modified cab was various parts of a millimetre (or more) out in places already. Doesn’t sound a lot but if the starting point is asymmetry without identifying it (& understanding why), building on it becomes a house of cards that inevitably ends in tears. The widened cab isn’t symmetrical because I slipped up during the filleting/puttying stage so all measurements thereafter have had to be adjusted depending on which side I was on. That’s also the reason I’m going as far as possible without gluing anything because it can give me advanced warning of consequential mis-alignments.

The story so far…



Despite those issues the gap between cab fascia & doors says it’s level & it’s the same on other side – crucial for what’s coming.



The inner roof’s out of whack only because it’s slightly warped, it does line up when sworn at. The prototype front window frame (subsequently ditched) is skewed for a different reason – the dashboard support, & I’m beginning to think I’m slightly dyslexic with rulers.

After boosting Evergreen strips/angles/beams/channels stocks I spent a couple of days trying different combinations for making the cab window frames. Trial & Error all the way (“It’s scratch-building Jim, but not as we know it”) I’m quite strong on imagining how to do something + the result, but weak on imagining how to actually construct so I have to make it in 3D to discover the pros & cons…and share some pain around of course. No longer trusting my ability to correctly add, oh let’s say 2.4 + 3.7 (5.1 right?) I abandoned the ruler & went for a more direct measurement of the cab, tracing the outline onto a paper strip…



…cutting & gluing together channel-strips directly onto that outline…



The result barely held together because the gluing points were tiny, so for rigidity I glued it straight onto a sheet of plastic card & cut around it…



Much stronger. To make the other one (these being the top & bottom supports for the frames) I just traced the outline onto the sheet etc. Yes they’re not quite identical but we’ve been through that already…



…trust me, it was a necessary adjusting thing. Now glued in position I was glad I trusted my instinct to spare the original frame’s top bar on each side from amputation…





As mentioned the roof will line up OK eventually, it’ll need a tailored surround constructed on the underside to receive the upper support frame…



For the window frames, after failing to find a viable alternative I returned to the original idea of gluing two L-angle strips together to make T-section strips, with 2 changes. I’d imagined making each frame like a separate mini-picture frame, but noticed that the top/bottom support channels could actually also serve as the tops & bottoms of the frames themselves, meaning I only had to make the vertical posts. The second change was to reverse the posts so that the recesses faced outwards instead of inwards, so that dropping in the glazed (wood coloured) inner frames can be done after all painting is completed – what a bonus, no masking of the outer & inner frames required. Those who’ve been following closely will have guessed that this also resolved the similar dilemma as with the compartment, namely I can glue the roof down as soon as the interiors are completed/painted and glue the cab down at the same time to ensure it all fits together.



The side & diagonal window posts installed and symmetrical within 0.5 mm which is as good as it’ll get. Test fitting the sub-assembly…





Some final tidy-ups still to do frames, tonight I just dry-fitted some trial inner frames for the sake of glimpsing the end result – glass at last…



I felt quite good about surmounting this ultra-tedious hurdle for at least 30 seconds until I remembered there are 5 more of these suckers to build, but the hardest work’s done – now I know (a) how to do it (b) how to do it better. This prototype cab is just that, there are a few accuracy issues (if you’re a tram aficionado) which I can only fix on the other 5 so this one will probably never be seen again, it’ll always be the rear end in any of the final photographs…so apt, it’s been a real horse’s ass.

Next time - I think I’ve earned some fun detailing & painting the compartment before making the other end’s cab.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Saturday, September 08, 2018 - 02:16 PM UTC
Thanks guys maybe it is OK - besides there’s plenty of time for mo’ slatherin' if it still bugs me, never tried a patchy gloss black wash before…

There has been an internal Skritch Investigation without result – it looks like sand in the photo but it’s more like fine sawdust under a magnifying glass. If there be termites around I should enlist them (especially if they’re undermining the workbench), might come in handy
cheyenne
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Posted: Friday, September 07, 2018 - 11:36 PM UTC
Tim the mystery skritches look like they belong also .
Soooooo not so much Back In Black , more of a Ebony and Ivory , sorry Jerry but you started it , ....... which is always fun .
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, September 07, 2018 - 05:19 AM UTC
"Back in Black" seems to work.
J
cheyenne
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Posted: Friday, September 07, 2018 - 03:07 AM UTC
Looks good Tim , every change looks like it belongs , nice .
Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, September 07, 2018 - 01:25 AM UTC
I came to a grinding halt early in the week having got into a loop over assembly priorities. The only way out was to suspend parallel work on the 2nd driver tram, & also the first cab due to uncertainty about the size of the front window & how the modified cab will fit - intractable without the roof fixed in place & a heap of stuff must happen before that.

So I corrected the inner-roof shell - having wrongly chopped out 11mm instead of 6mm I broke the two parts apart to lengthen it & took the opportunity to give it more rigidity, because the plastic’s so soft the front end was sagging…



The outer roof shell doesn’t reach the outer sides of the inner so partial filling required…



Next the compartment walls, starting with the new windows - five regular ones down both sides. Seemed simple enough until I started measuring it out & finding the top-side frame of the compartment, freed of its original pillars, was flexing & sagging so I had to be dead accurate cutting the 4 new pillars - the first quartet, made from 2 x 26.0001 mm strips of “L”-angle glued back to back to make “T” sections…



…and in position, weighted down while they dried to minimise frame warpage. I swear the two end windows look wider but it’s an illusion painting should eliminate…



After doing the other side I added retaining strips round all the bare edges so the panes will engage on all sides…









The top frames are still slightly wavy (laterally) but bonding them to the roof should straighten them out so apart from some final sanding, painting & glazing, hopefully job done. However, during diorama photography I’ll need to knock out some of the window panes from the driver/trailer trams nearest Heydrich’s car & replace with broken ones, so they’ll need to be held in place with PVA/Elmers to make them easy to replace. Which leads to one of the reasons for getting into a loop - glue the roof down or not? I don’t want to, so that glass replacement will be easy…but I must, because it’s the only way to secure the cab sections & compartment sides rigidly. I guess the windows are big enough I can punch them in & use 2 pairs of long-arm tweezers & blu-tac to get ‘em out & reach through to install replacements. And move the passengers around…easier than ships in bottles anyway.

So having distanced myself from assembly dilemmas for a day or two I suddenly came up with a totally new & radical idea – why not follow the kit instructions? After recovering from that astounding revelation I blew the dust off the shortened half of #1 chassis, chopped the other end down to match, stuck it all together, experimented with a pivot for the coupling arm…



…re-positioned the springs over the axles…



…and tried out my Prague-type pedestrian fenders…



Hard to believe this received a dark (flat) grey primer slathering looking at that photo, or this…



Those paper sheets beneath it really are blackish black. Uncertainty Principle also applies regarding the final coat, modern photos of those trams indicate the entire chassis should be semi-gloss black while the Reconstruction images are indistinct. I usually run a mile from painting anything “black” because it’s hard to convincingly vary the tone without throwing dirt at it. So I tried a deliberately unevenly brushed satin black wash and…



…it’s subtle…



…very subtle…



As I feared, a dead black. But hey the weathering’s started without me, I have no idea how this happened & no I wasn’t on location on Bondi beach…



Maybe I’ll try retro & dry-brush some variations but it’s not worth spending much more time on, it’ll hardly be the centre of attention. The kit instructions call for rusty leaf springs - on one hand this tram would have been up to 30 years old in 1942 so plausible, but on the other hand they seemed to slather heavy black rust-prevention over the entire undercarriage, so maybe not plausible.

For the record, before & after surgery…



I told you I was getting better - not a Fifty Shades of Gray quip in sight, probably because I was too tied up.

Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, September 02, 2018 - 10:19 PM UTC
Thanks for the positive feedback gents, it really does make a/the difference particularly in those times when exasperation takes over – or when that voice goes off in my head…”WHAT are you DOING?!” Two of you used the word “mad” but truly…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IvxnK3xZtg

(DJ Cheyenne – cute, & on the other turntable “…with Trams like us, baby we were born to ruuuuuuuun”)

strongarden
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Posted: Saturday, September 01, 2018 - 03:25 AM UTC
Tim - This is just incredible, outstanding work man, thanks for sharing your mad skills and ideas w/ us here.
Love the way you work and how you discuss the process of what's goin' on.

Cheers Brah
Dave
jrutman
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Posted: Saturday, September 01, 2018 - 02:57 AM UTC
Above and beyond the call of duty.
J
cheyenne
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Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 - 10:19 PM UTC
Trama lama ding dong Tim [ apologies to Otis Day and The Nights the Boppers , the Edsels , the Platters or anyone else who used that riff ] .
Fascinating butchery man , looking good Tim !!!
justsendit
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Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 - 12:58 PM UTC
Hi Tim – Mad surgical skills! 🔪
Stickframe
#362
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Posted: Friday, August 31, 2018 - 03:30 AM UTC
Hi Tim - great scratch work going on. Yes, the challenges are many, what the plan is and then remembering all those crucial little bits you solved in your head before you boldly begin cutting and gluing - and if you skip over one of those little steps, it can be like leaving that cake of yours out in the rain!! Lol - nice work going on here!

Nick