“Borodino” on the table. Figures and dioramas

Anatoly Shepelyuk. Mikhail Kutuzov during the Battle of Borodino. 1952 g.

How difficult, how difficult

Small people!
We do not fit according to GOST
In common size.
But we are all Napoleons!
There are millions of us in the world!
And in our country of micron
Everyone is like Gulliver! “
Anthem of the Lilliputians. Evgeniya Tkalich

This shrunken, shrunken world. So, we continue to consider the reduced world of figures and models, but not just like that, for the sake of interest, but also with thoughts on how you can make money on this. We have already talked about the fact that today on a scale of 1:35 whole “model complexes” are produced for the manufacture of desktop dioramas: fences, lamps, paving stones, bricks of all colors, ruins and whole houses, posters on the wall and figures of people, both military and and civilians, as well as cats, dogs, pigs … And the same is done on a scale of 1:72 and a relatively new scale, which today is especially persistently promoted by the Japanese company Tamiya – 1:48.


“Theater in a Box”: “Snow Dream”! Outside, as you can see, winter, snow, icicles, a winter magic forest, and in a cozy cave by the fireplace, two cute rabbits are sitting at a table with carrots

All the time, new items appear in the field of “creativity” and you need to meet the “challenges of the time”, or rather – to use them to your own advantage. Not so long ago, another prefabricated homemade product appeared – a set of miniature parts from which Christmas dioramas are assembled in the form of small “gift boxes”.

The Snow Dream set includes a box with a lid and many miniature painted parts, from which a small diorama is assembled, illuminated by two LEDs, powered by three miniature round batteries. One light-emitting diode represents the moon, and thanks to the simplest electronic circuit, it floods the “sky” with green, then violet, then blue light. And the second light is on in the cave house of two tiny bunnies. The room has a bed with a blanket, a wardrobe with books, a fireplace, while outside the ground is covered with snow, there are snow-covered trees, a bench and a sled. Nice, isn’t it? And, of course, for a small child, and not very young, this is the real Christmas magic.

All the main details of the diorama are ready: a table, a fireplace, snow-covered Christmas trees. What does the person who bought the kit do? Glues chairs, sets up small things on a mantel and a bookcase. Carves a cave vault out of Styrofoam. Pastes it into a box. He makes tree trunks of winter bare trees and glues them into a foam vault, sticks Christmas trees into it, decorates the sky and snow under Christmas trees with stars and tinsel. In addition, he also collects the microcircuit, or rather, twists the wires according to the instructions and inserts the batteries into the power supply. The work seems to be for children, but a child cannot do that. Moreover, not enough skill – experience with tools and materials. That is, he will have to buy three such sets so that, having ruined two, he would make the third “right”.


In ordinary light, you can clearly see how it all works. A power supply unit with a battery is located at the base, and the hole through which you can reach it and turn on or off the lighting is covered with a cover with the name. The color of the top diode may vary.
The hole in the power supply unit and the switch are covered with a cover with the inscription “Snow Dream”

There is a set with the baby Christ, a manger, a cow and three wise men. That is, absolutely Christmas, and … both this and other such sets can be presented to those to whom you are invited to visit at Christmas, because this is indeed a very beautiful and somewhat even “magic souvenir”.

However, by analogy with these sets, we may well organize the production of mini-dioramas on military history, which will be no worse. For example, the diorama “Kutuzov on the Borodin Field”. As a basis for which you can take one of the famous paintings, and your own vision of what happened there. The box is located not only vertically, but horizontally. A hill is imitated, sprinkled with “grass”, and a colored picture is glued to the back wall. Figures on a scale of 1:72 and 1: 100 (for the background) are painted in advance (it is unlikely that those who buy it will succeed in doing this correctly!) And stick into the hill. All that remains is to figure out where and how to place the batteries, the switch and mask the diode that illuminates your diorama.


Vasily Vereshchagin. Napoleon at the Borodino Heights. 1897 A famous painting, isn’t it? And she, too, can serve as the basis for such a diorama.

The diorama “Napoleon on the Borodino field” can be arranged in a similar way, or even a whole series of such dioramas can be prepared: “Great commanders of all times and peoples on the battlefields.” Well, actually, there can be any ideas here. For example, dioramas from the Sea Battle series. One shows the deck of a battleship in such a way that the gunners-gunners have their backs to us. Behind this foreground is the back one – with the image of the enemy ship, which is shrouded in smoke and flickering with flashes of shots (the electronic circuit and the placement of diodes will not be difficult). You can even simulate the sound of shots and it will be something! Another diorama shows the same plan, but the guns are different and the uniform is different: we are on the deck of the northerners ‘ship in a battle with the southerners’ battleship “Alabama”. The next diorama – we are in the tower of the battleship “Monitor”, and the armored flaps of the embrasures can be made movable, and the cannons – so that they could be pushed into these embrasures!


“The cavalry gallops to the attack!” And behind everything is in smoke … Here, however, the figures are large, and, moreover, are made of plasticine. But they can also be on a scale of 1:72. And the smoke from behind is effectively highlighted and then it will look just like the real one!

Attack of the “Scottish Grays” at the Battle of Waterloo – several horsemen gallop at the viewer, and behind the “smoke” of synthetic wool; attack by Polish winged hussars; Ordonance company men at arms attack infantry at the Battle of Pavia – all great subjects for such dioramas. The main thing here is to choose the optimal number of figures and think over the lighting, because a lot depends on it. However, you can simplify things yourself. Place the action in the premises of a castle or cathedral, where LEDs will shine for you as torches or candles, and also illuminate the sky outside the windows – here’s the solution! “Murder of Thomas Becket”, “Feast in the castle of the feudal lord”, “D’Artagnan rescues Athos from the cellar”, “Captain Nemo with Professor Aronax in the salon” Nautilus “,” Elk and Gusev meet with Aelita “(very” narrow “today day plot, but you never know what …) – these are excellent “chamber plots”, where there simply will not be open spaces.

A very good object for such a miniature modeling can be a cave of primitive people: one draws moments on the wall, two sit by the fire, a woman is breastfeeding a baby, and several more people are drawn in the background. Or an Indian wigwam: a fire burns open in the center, and Indians are sitting around in sunny hats. It can also be a separate series: “People in Dwellings” and of course you can’t do without the interior of some Baroque palace.


But this is just a ready-made plot for a diorama with Kutuzov on the Borodino field. Moreover, the LED just can be placed behind the wooden shed, in front of which stands Kutuzov with his adjutants.

You can turn famous battle scenes into a plot for such chamber dioramas. Well, let’s say, the same “Guardhouse” by David Teniers-the Younger, or even “The feat of a young Kievite I. A. Ivanov. That is, there can be very, very many stories, which, by the way, is just good, because today for a successful business, almost the main condition (after quality) is a wide assortment, a rich model range.


French marshals, and especially Murat, will look great in a souvenir set that you can offer to the Army Museum in Paris

People love to be afraid. This means that it is quite possible to make a series with ghosts, skeletons and the hanged. For example, the ghost of Hamlet’s father stands on a blue wall illuminated from below, and Hamlet himself stretches out his arms to him below. Or the deserted hall of a knight’s castle, and in the window his skeleton, which, however, is visible only when behind him a simple timer turns on the light. Or here’s another horror: the diorama “In the dungeon of the Inquisition.” Oh-oh-oh, it could be something out of the ordinary!


See how beautifully the smoke spreads on the battlefield. With appropriate lighting, and even in a small box in which the effect of depth of space is created, it will look more realistic!

Of course, painting all these figures and interior details yourself increases the cost of production. The electronic unit also makes it more expensive. In addition, according to the instructions, batteries are purchased separately, as well as glue. And it is clear that different countries need a different assortment, because the British are interested in one thing, the French are interested in another, and the Japanese and Chinese are interested in the third. But this is just what you can play: “We release our products for the most different countries of the world!” Well, then advertising in the Japanese magazine “Model Grafix”, the American “Fine Scale Modeler”, and … sales will not be slow in coming, because people always want something new, interesting and … luminous!

To be continued…

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