Sunday, August 12, 2012

Staggering Dioramas from the History of the Few and the Proud

Old School here to take a break from the wargaming talk to show you a different sort of miniature that I found while travelling in the D.C. area this summer. Let me introduce you to some of the amazing dioramas of the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, VA (yes, the top photo is of a diorama as well) ....

The Marine Corps Museum has only a few miniature dioramas and they are mostly used to represent eras where photography was not generally available. What impressed me was that these were not just some mass produced museum dollies, these were 54mm models that were built to fit the specifications of the artist who story boarded the diorama's concept.

With that being said, the miniatures and their posing and the flow of the fabric on the models are all very realistic ... but what really strikes me is the incredible detail in their surroundings. Each little ripple in this scene is perfect. Next, the colors and the palette jump out at me. These miniatures were painted by experts who created some of the most realistic effects I have ever seen.

Some even used tricky techniques like this rippled, dyed glass combined with amazing models painted to historical perfection ...

... and others just made straight up use of their subjects and posing to create action.

No matter the diorama, the scenes were striking and vivid all thanks to some dedicated hobbyist(s) who took the time to add the details and pay homage to one of the greatest fighting organizations in history!

Even the weathering is perfect with just the right amount of mud on the trousers ...

Let's not forget the actual dioramas themselves. Go back and look at the rocks, the mud and the snow ... the details are the envy of any and all bases I have seen on the table.

Miniature Dioramas were not all I had the time to enjoy at the museum, the were some life-size dioramas as well ...

A little known fact about the life size dioramas is that the staff used facial molds of current day marines to make the molds for the faces.

The detail and the pristine condition of the displays is just as impressive as the small dioramas.

Some draw you right into the moment!

I could use one of these most Mondays!

Of course in the gift shop, there is a much more nerd-oriented diorama! That's an awesome lego project!

As I sit in my fighting hole writing this I can say that while I may be a bit biased as an active duty Marine, I would recommend that if you are ever in Triangle, VA, you stop by the National Museum of the Marine Corps and take the time to breath in the history of the world's premiere fighting force! Semper Fi!


  1. That 3rd from last pic is the Ontos M50 anti-tank tank. There's a guy on Terra-genesis making a similar set of weapon systems based on it:

  2. Greetings! Do you have personal pages in online social communities?