Modelling A 1/76 Scale Park Scene - Micro Diorama Build

Modelling A 1/76 Scale Park Scene - Micro Diorama Build

Time for another of our popular micro diorama builds! This one was the result of another micro-pack development & re-work of one of our oldest kits, the LX012-OO Wood & Concrete Park Benches in OO gauge. We'd been thinking about making them easier to build for a while, removing the need to paint them and also laminate the card parts together. So we streamlined the assembly and thought it was the ideal opportunity to build a little showcase for them.

Project Brief - Rural Park Or Garden Micro Diorama In OO Gauge

The benches are typical of those seen from the 1960's onwards, in parks, gardens and public areas, so we needed something that could quite easily be a vignette of a variety of locations…

Let's get to work!

Step 1: Paint A Micro Layout Base With Earth Colours

The first step is to paint one of our micro layout diorama bases with earth-coloured paints. For this, we used a couple of Wickes emulsion tester pots: Coffee Bean & Mocha. A coat of Coffee Bean was applied and allowed to dry, and then a light coat of Mocha was applied over the top.

Step 2:  Cover Part Of The Base With OO Gauge Slabs

Once the paint had dried, it was then time to partially cover the base with OO scale slabs. This would give us an area on which to sit the bench and to define a pathway with grass either side. For the slabs, we used our LX018-OO 2ft Paving Slabs which are a really simple product to work with. We simply cut three strips and glued them on in a kind of “Stretcher Bond” or offset pattern. 

Step 3:  Preparing The Grassed Area

For the grassed areas, we could have applied static grass using a suitable applicator, but we opted for a quicker method which was a Gaugemaster Static Grass Mat. But rather than using it as is, which is a little too pristine for our application, we weathered the edge that would go up against the slabs a bit with the blade of our craft knife. Why? Well, the aim was to replicate the worn areas you get around benches and other places where kids congregate on summer evenings… So we simply scraped away at the grass to create some bare patches.

Step 4:  Add Grass To The Area In Front Of The Slabs

The area in front of the slabs though wanted to be a little more pristine and less worn, so we used a small section of the grass mat to create a better-cared-for section of grass. Maybe with just a little wear at the edge. This was simply glued into place using Laser Cut Kit Glue.

Step 5:  Trim The Grass To Shape

Once the glue had dried, the excess slabs & grass mat was simply trimmed to size using a very sharp craft knife. Turning the diorama base over makes it much easier to trim it to shape.

Step 6:  Fill The Gaps Between The Slabs

Now this is a tedious job in real life, and in OO scale it's not much more exciting! But our Sandstone Powder (SP001) is perfect for the job as it's super-fine and as close to proper 1/76 scale sand as you're going to get I think. So we grabbed a clean paintbrush and simply brushed the sandstone powder between the gaps in the slabs, just as you would with real ones! Once we were happy, we gave it a quick blast with a little matt lacquer from a spray can to hold it in place.

Step 7:  Add The Grass To The Area Behind The Slabs

So now it's time to add the worn grass to the area. The area behind the slabs was covered with Laser Cut Kit Glue and then the grass mat was glued into place with the worn edge fitting neatly up to the back of the slabs. Once dry, the grass mat was trimmed to shape.

Step 8: Detail The Worn Areas

Now, this is an idea I'd never tried before… it sort of came to me during the build, but it worked a treat. The worn areas were covered with a little glue (Laser Cut Kit Glue) using a fine needle applicator. Then more fine sand powder was sprinkled onto the glue and left to dry. This gave the appearance of bare, sandy earth in the areas close to the slabs. We did the same on the dodgy corner of the front grass section too.

Step 9: Prepare The Benches

The LX012-OO Wood & Concrete Benches are a really quick and easy build, with just 4 components needed to build each bench. Firstly the seat of the bench is glued onto the two uprights as shown.

Step 10:  Complete The Bench

Complete the bench build by adding the rear wooden slats as shown.

Step 11: Glue The Bench Into Place

Glue the completed bench into place as required. We opted for the worn section of grass to be behind the bench.

Step 12: Soften The Scene With A Few Plants

At this point, we were generally happy with the scene we'd created but felt it needed softening… So we opted for some of our 3D Printed OO Gauge Plant Pots and a Handy Pack of Daffodils. The Daffodils are so easy to work with as they're self-adhesive. So we split one daffodil tuft in half with a craft knife and used it to fill two of our larger tubs. Then simply glued them into place on either side of the bench.

Step 13: Taking It Further…

Unfortunately, we didn't have any figures to hand to sit on the bench, but we felt we needed something for the foreground to add some dynamics to the scene, and also add a tiny spot of colour. We'd just released the Soap Box Trollies as a mini-kit so we opted for one of those and then a few random bits of litter in the form of crisp packets and a newspaper on the bench to bring the scene to life.

Shopping List

Fancy building something similar either as a micro-diorama or as part of a larger scene? Here's a list of everything we've used to create this micro-diorama in OO gauge / 1:76.

Acrylic paints were purchased from The Range. Grass Mats are available as special order items through us.