Saturday, November 15

Review: World of Dioramas by Per Olav Lund: Vol I

Canfora Press has several great modelling titles under their belt – with more to come this year we are treated to a visual fest today with a preview of a new title feature the immersing work of Per Olav Lund. We got the chance to read and review “The World of Dioramas…”

World of Dioramas by Per Olav Lund: Vol I

Presenting Master Collection Series
By Per Olav Lund
Canfora Press
Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.3 x 11 inches
ISBN-13: 978-9197677394
Hardcover 29.50€ ($39.95)
Softcover 25€ ($33.80)
Available from the Canfora Press site – at this here link…

Canfora Publishing regularly turn out some pretty nice books. The Series on the Panther , the Panther book , the “Nordic Edge” series and the many “In Display “ books featuring one type or another of AFV are cases in point. Well laid out with some very nice pictures of very good modeller’s doing what they do best Canfora has established a trusted name in the industry pretty quickly.

So when we saw that Canfora were going to highlight one of our favourite modellers Per Olav Lund, we thought this book might be interesting and having a look at the advanced pictures we could not wait to look at the finished article.

The book came directly from Canfora Publishing safe in a box and a flash of silver caught my eye when I opened the box. The bright white cover and silver writing for the title matched the picture on the cover very well, and upon opening up the softcover book we had a gatefold sleeve opening, we also saw a lot more of this type of well-matched layout. The large format pictures – all well shot by a guy who knows his way around a camera and light box and the layout which always seemed to match and compliment the subject must be commended.
The book is 8x 11 inches in portrait form and available in both soft and hardcovers, we had the softcover but for the extra six bucks we might consider the hardcover for this book which is rare but not much of a price jump. Coming in at only 128 pages this book features ten of Per’s builds plus a gallery of several builds in a two page format for each build. They are more like a showcase with a limited number of step-by-steps included.

Not every minute detail of the build are given but just enough as a guide to how these models were made. There are some new and some tried and trusted techniques but as ever when you get a chance to look at a very good modellers

After a short intro from the man himself we get into the builds, the first being the cover story “Dog Day Afternoon” in which we see a small boy carrying the groceries being attacked by two dogs in front of a very dilapidated neighbourhood.
The green and white building with the individually painted and weathered roof tiles is a thing of beauty to behold, and although it is “pretty” there is a heap of modelling in there and techniques. In this diorama a thing I noticed were the little details of each of the items. Nothing is taken as stock and every part is altered or scratchbuilt to make it into a natural scenery of a slum with dejected people, buildings and several dogs!

The short story of a “StuG with a Punch” is next. We look at the base of this diorama which houses a hastily improvised anti-tank vehicle in the streets of Berlin. This is a small story although the basic elements are laid out for you to look at and the products used or modified are still pointed out.
Next we look at a very dilapidated VW kombi van kind of melting into the scenery around it.  More than anything it is a dio taking the “P” out of the MTV show “Cribs” as the owner of the VW is a fat pig happy as he could be lying in the mud. The creative scene shows the open sliding door for the Revell 24th scale kit as his house.

The wall made from styrene, the home made vac-form bath and the manor of the house all put together with this very weathered Kombi to create a real unique scene with a little bit of humour…
The dynamic scene of “Seenot” is next. This is a very well-known model online simply because of the evocative setting and skill in which not only the diorama but the base is finished with.

This Hansa Brandenburg is seen in it’s natural setting – on the sea – but what a sea! The diorama has been created to show massive waves crushing the little float plane while the brave crewman tries to rescue his comrade – it seems almost in vein.
In an extended building section you see the details of the diorama and the parts and where the modeller sourced them from. Details like how the water was made in many types of states moving from a small wash to a large tearing wave, the dials, maps and  lozenge effects of the aircraft and how they were achieved. It is a great insight into just how you might be able to get these effects on your own model perhaps..

There are a few double page spreads of builds in this book and this diorama certainly deserves it.
Sculpting the pilots is an interesting addition as are the little personal extras to the diorama base that not many modellers may think of including.

Next we look again at the svin or “Pigs!” in this diorama. The scenes shows a typical setting during WWII in which a local woman, carrying a sled with two pigs inside through the icy mountains finds her way blocked by two of the namesakes of the things she is carrying.
The cold setting is beautifully created mostly from scratch. The modellers shows us how he made the cabin from wood and how he aged it, the waterfall from hair and a thick water effects paste and the icy road with candle wax. We look at all the elements of this diorama in this build which is really enlightening.

If destroyed German armour with G.I’s standing on top of it are more your style than the porcine variety then “Hot Shots” is right up your alley. The Pilot who destroyed this vehicle is seen on the Jeep’s bonnet showing just how he wiped it out. His audience is a few G.I.’s and a dead German, the victim of the attack.
The tank is displayed blown open with a charred interior, you are shown how the modellers made the realistic scorched cabin of the tank and how the soldiers were moulded to fit this scene as well as the plants, dirt, snow and forest that surround it.

From carnage and death in WWI we go to a serene scene in WWI where a pilot luckily survived a possibly fatal crash in his Fokker Eindeckker. Having survived the crash the pilot is seen musing over his luck with a couple of sheep which are the field’s real residents.
This round ploughed paddock was given just enough greenery over the other side of the fence while the sheep look to graze on anything they can, maybe the pilot! The way the modeller has created the crushed metal effects is really interesting and helpful to you if you would like to re-create this effect yourself.

A destroyed Panther with some soviet soldiers watching a procession of a wagon with a dead occupant is the next diorama which is called “A frozen Moment”
Interesting here are the three figures at the top of the Panther it seems looking straight at you as the wagon passes by. The Masterbox cat is seen modified with a corpse inside covered by a raincoat. Although this is more of a walkaround s there are not that many tips on building the composition and ideas expressed by the author are just as valuable.

In an article a little like the one with the dogs in the slum again we go post war into Norway in the next diorama called “The Lund Brothers” It shows two young men near a garage they are running with their old bikes,
There is a lot of this dio again scratch built. The Harley, the walls and concrete and even the signs were not from a kit but made from other materials. Some of the figures and the Zundapp sidecar taken from ex-Wehrmacht stock are great additions to this out of the way garage.

The last feature article of this book is again ain the 24th scale VW scheme. “Left to Rot” features another civilian scheme. The modeller has tended towards these with the selections in the book and it is great to see something a little original here. Indeed he does talk about his lack of doing subjects of figures looking at a map or pointing at something. I wholeheartedly agree with the choices made here.
This VW kit from Revell is seen overgrown with fauna and literally left to rot in the disused part of someone’s yard. No figures but a scooter and some beaten woodwork are included, with the plant life almost taking over the scene completely. There is a in depth discussion in photos of how the degradation of metal and wood was created and how several parts were scratchbuilt to  create a hyper realistic green and rust coloured world.

Lastly we see many pages of the modeller’s work in double spread pages – With these settings the modeller could have well created another book – so I am really enthused to see more from Per Olav Lund in the future. He has certainly rocketed into my top list of inspirational modellers.

This book is also now one of best sources of inspiration as well.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Canfora for sending this book for us to read and review - It is available now at Canfora Press site – just follow this here link…