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Christmas Village Diorama - Part 1



I wrote a blog post on my old blog site back in 2016 about a Christmas Village Diorama that I was building, so I figured since we were coming up on Christmas, I would move the contents over here. Instead of one big post, I'll beak it up into several. 


I apparently have more hobbies than I thought I had. 🙂

My wife and I bought a bunch of Thomas Kinkade Hawthorne Christmas Village houses and buildings off of eBay to use as a Christmas display.  We put them out last year on some fluffy cotton stuff but being picky like I am, I just wasn't satisfied with that look at all, I wanted something that looked "real".

My interest in model trains goes back to when I was a kid, and I had started looking at creating a detailed and realistic train layout when I remembered the Kinkade houses. I started searching the internet for some examples of designs where people had used the house in some designed setting but I couldn't really find anything, so I started thinking about creating my own winter scene. 

So....here is where I'm at. First, I've never done anything like this before, so it was all new to me. Second, I spent a lot of time watching videos, reading up on materials, finding examples, and collecting images of scenes I wanted to duplicate, etc. After a lot of thought and consideration, I jumped in head first. And yes, I have messed up and still messing up. 🙂 The great thing is that if you don't like something, you rip it out and start over. 

The Kinkade houses aren't exactly HO scale, but that's the closest scale to what the the houses are, so that's what I used. I don't have a lot of before images, but even these images are "before" as it is still in the working stage. I'll try to break these images into groups to help show the progression of the build from this point forward.

I wanted to quote a piece from the Thomas Kinkade website, and it says perfectly what I was trying to capture in creating this diorama:

"The look of Christmas, with its trees and garlands and twinkling lights, is of course well known. But for Thomas Kinkade, the challenge in painting Christmas scenes was capturing the spirit of the holiday – the warmth, the joy, the good fellowship and family feeling. He loved the contrast of the cold gleam of moonlight on snow with the warm radiance of golden light pouring through the windows of a festively decorated cottage. That golden glow is truly the light of love."

These are some of the images that I used to help me in the inspiration and design of the Christmas Village, and of course they are all Thomas Kinkade paintings. I tried to incorporate as much of his scenes as I practically could into the diorama. 

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This first group of images were taken after some very basic landscaping had been done. The original pond had to be redone when I realized that its elevation was higher than the stream that was feeding it. 🙂 I blame the clown that is working on it now... :-). I may need to redo it again as I probably dug it too low this time. 😞 I'll get it right eventually.  

I created a wooden frame for the base and glued sheets of foam over the top and the dimensions are 60"x24". The elevated areas were created using wads of paper and plaster cloth along with pieces of foam cut to shape.  Almost all of my supplies comes from Woodland Scenic and they probably have the most complete set of supplies and materials anywhere. Not only that, they have tons of how-to videos that show you how to use their products. There is no way I could do this without those videos showing the way.

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The remaining post will follow. 







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