Special delivery

Bicycle couriers have a rich history. Over the past century, they’ve delivered pretty much anything that will fit on the front or back of a bike without making things unduly stressful for the cyclist. Able to weave through slow moving traffic with agility and grace, the bicycle courier will often arrive at his destination well ahead of his motor vehicle driving counterpart. 

So it was a pleasant surprise to see this specially outfitted bike in Budapest, Hungary, proudly displayed in front of Miniversum, one of the largest miniature model exhibitions in the world. If you were lamenting the fact that your diorama doesn’t get out much, lament no more. The technology exists to show off your diorama wherever you can find a bike path. 

Miniversum is a beautifully detailed model layout featuring famous sights and landmarks from Budapest and Hungary (and a bit of Austria and Germany). About a hundred trains run through the display, which includes 600 buildings in 14 towns, and a total population of some 5,000 miniature figures. It was constructed by 50 modellers over a 10-month period and opened in 2014. 

Miniversum is a must-see for diorama and model railroad fans of all ages. Details can be found at www.miniversum.hu. 

If you like to build dioramas and want to learn more about how to optimize the visual impact of your work, you might like my new book, Diorama Design. It’s available in both ebook and print formats at Amazon.

-Ivar

Death Star II and Star Destroyer mini kit set

Bandai’s latest Star Wars release is a pair of palm-sized mini kits which offer endless diorama possibilities. The second Death Star, even more menacing than the first, is scaled down to 1:2,700,000. The Empire’s might in the palm of your hand! Accompanied by a Star Destroyer in 1:14,500 scale.

Star Wars Wikia tells us the following: “Upon completion, the Death Star II would have been an immense battle station 200 kilometers in diameter that featured 560 internal levels which could house 2,471,647 passengers and crew.” To quote Darth Vader, “Impressive.”

I’m hoping that the Death Star II is in fact a kit with a good number of parts rather than a one-piece casting. This would make lighting it much easier. We’re so accustomed to seeing the Death Star lit up with thousands of internal lights, that an unlit version might come across as rather lifeless. Even adding a few dozen lights to the model would make a big difference. 

The ideal design for a kit of this type would be a thin outer shell which can be easily drilled to accommodate fiber optics. The same is true for the Star Destroyer. The challenge in both cases will be to find enough room for all the electronics.  

Diorama possibilities range from a simple scene of the Death Star II in space to a full blown recreation of the Battle of Endor. And because these are mini kits, you won’t need your entire living room to display the finished piece!

If you like to build dioramas and want to learn more about how to optimize the visual impact of your work, you might like my new book, Diorama Design. It’s available in both ebook and print formats at Amazon.

-Ivar