Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Monday, May 9, 2016

Book Review 1 - F.A.Q Frequently Asked Questions for Constructing & Painting Dioramas

I periodically do searches for books on painting and diorama building just to try and keep up with things that I might have missed. Last week this one popped up in my searches. I own F.A.Q 1 and 2 which are primarily focused on armor modeling so when this one popped up it caught my eye. The first two were both written by Mig Jimenez the first published by Andrea Press and the second by AK Interactive.

This one is by Mario & Rafael Milla and also published by Andrea Press and if you are serious about building dioramas I would put this one on the must have list, right next to Shep Paine's diorama book. Mario & Rafael try to present a very complete book and they aren't far off the mark either. While its not a true step by step book by any means they did approach by building four, essentially identical, dioramas that are used to show the seasonal variations for water and ground cover. I found this a great way to present the material. They do not limit themselves to just these dioramas though and present a vast area of very useful "how to" information.

The book covers a lot of topics:
The Basics
Materials and Tools
Bases and Structure Basics
Deep Sea
Ice and Snow
Climate and Natural Phenomena (the Four Seasons)
Electricity and Electronics
Closed Dioramas
Big Dioramas

All told 311 pages of material. I was actually most looking forward to the electronics sections as I have been slowly trying to figure out the best way to do some lighting effects for my town of Calamity. While there is a ton of useful information there, it doesn't really go into some of the design detail you need to build lighting circuits, rather you have to piece everything together. It does do a fine job of describing all of those electrical components and making suggestions for the proper materials to use to for different types of lighting though, so still very useful.

I think that perhaps the strongest single section is the one on vegetation. Its extensive and quite useful and provides a lot of information on how to replicate different types of vegetation with different materials. While it was a bit expensive, I found a new copy on Amazon for $60.95, I think its a great reference investment. I'm not sure but this book maybe out of print already as well. Amazon was listing used copies running in excess of  $150. So if you can find a new one, I would grab it.

A few sample shots from the inside:


  1. That looks like a very interesting book! Thanks for sharing!