Painting Backgrounds for Dinosaur Dioramas

By | July 22nd, 2017|Dinosaur Fans, Educational Activities, Main Page|0 Comments

Jurassic Park III Backdrop Completed

Talented model maker and dinosaur model enthusiast Robert Townsend has completed the backgrounds to his huge prehistoric animal diorama that he has been building.  The project entitled “Jurassic Park III”, has been meticulously planned and Robert’s care and attention to detail is reflected in the skilfully painted backdrop that he has created.

Background Boards in Place and Painted

Background painted for dinosaur diorama.

The beautifully painted backdrop to a prehistoric landscape.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Careful Choice of Colour Scheme

The background boards are constructed of stiff, but very lightweight foam and have been painted sky blue with various cloud shapes.   The use of longer, thinner cloud shapes in the centre of the diorama and at a lower height, helps to draw the viewer into the prehistoric landscape and assists in giving the backdrop a sense of perspective.  Choice of materials for a backdrop of this nature can be tricky, for example, wooden panels can be used but they can add considerable weight to the model and there can be problems securing them to base.  The foam boards would have been easier to fix into place, but painting them proved to be more difficult than anticipated.

Robert explained:

“As the paint dried they [the foam boards] had the annoying habit of curling up and had to be repeatedly bent back and flattened out again by laying them face down on my dinner table and placing heavy objects on then to flatten them out again.”

Light Foam Boards were used in the Backdrop Construction

Background for dinosaur diorama.

Backdrop for dinosaur diorama.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Adding Pterosaurs

Some flying reptile stickers, given to Robert by Everything Dinosaur, were utilised in the background making process, providing points of interest within the sky.  Robert wants to hang some flying reptile models within the diorama and asked our team members for advice on how best to go about this.  We find that fishing line is very useful for this purpose.  Very fine lines of less than one- pound breaking strain can be purchased from most tackle shops, or if you have a friend that enjoys angling, they are usually happy to donate a metre or two of line for this purpose.  Fishing line tends to be stronger than cotton, it is easier to tie and is less conspicuous.

Robert asked:

“Will the threads show on any pictures that I might take?”

Sadly, even the most carefully tied, finest threads will show, however, their presence can be mitigated by a careful selection of photo angle to minimise any intrusion and the relatively simple, blue background would make any lines quite easy to photoshop out of any pictures.  Thankfully, model making companies such as CollectA and Papo have recently introduced excellent Pterosaur models in terrestrial poses, after all, even the most capable flyers would spend a proportion of their time on the ground.

All It Needs Now are Prehistoric Animals

Prehistoric landscape ready for dinosaurs.

Diorama is ready to be populated by prehistoric animals.

Picture Credit: Robert Townsend

Large Scale Dinosaur Diorama

The size of the prehistoric landscape gives Robert plenty of options when it comes to depicting prehistoric animals.  He intends to create a series of mini-scenes within the landscape, with the animals indulging in a number of different behaviours such as herding, nesting, hunting, fighting, drinking at the water hole and feeding.

We look forward to seeing Robert’s “Jurassic Park III” complete with its prehistoric animal residents.