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Creating Diorama Walls From Foam

Creating Diorama Walls From Foam


Now that you’ve got your materials, and hopefully some sort of idea in your head of where you want to start, it’s time to dive in.

I cut down my larger boards into roughly 24″ x 10″ boards, so now I have some strips that are easier to manage. For my first wall section, I squared up 2 adjoining sides so that a T-square can work accurately off the 90º angles. I left the other end a bit rougher as I’m going to be cutting it off clean once the detail work is done and it’s time to knock out the window holes. So with one perfectly square corner and 2 sides that are at 90º to each other, I use that as my origin and begin marking off the 3 buildings that I’m going to use for this tutorial.

I divided the larger wall into 3 smaller, unequal sections that will become the separate building façades. For building 1, I’m doing a concrete/stucco type wall with underlying brick showing through broken-off places. The center building will be a cinder-block construction wall, and the third building will be typical brick. I marked off places for doors and windows that I will later cut out and fill in with styrene doors and windows (to be shown in a separate section). Individual brick rows were measured off at every third tick on my T-square, which I believe is roughly 3/32″ per brick. I matched it roughly to the PTE dio walls, but you can make your bricks whatever scale suits your needs. Below you will see the finished markups made with a sharpie and 2-foot T-square and 2-foot metal ruler. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do for a rough draft that I’ll carve into in the next step.

As far as door and window dimensions, I wasn’t very strict as far as building standards, so I guesstimated the door heights at 4.25-4.5″, and used a modern GI Joe figure as a stand-in for a 6′ man to make sure that it looked close enough. You can be stricter in your standards if you want, but for the time being, I’m working a bit looser to keep things simpler.



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About Chris Navarro

Chris is from Australia, where everything is trying to kill you. Maybe even this post.