1:72 scale modellers and diorama builders typically build rural residences, farms and hovels from scratch, because there are so few historically accurate model buildings available commercially. Many modellers are inspired by construction tipps published in magazines, others experiment with their own building techniques, and some impress the modelling community with fascinating buildings of outstanding historical accuracy and detail. German modeller Wolfgang Meyer is an expert diorama builder, and he demonstrates his unique scale model building technique in a 65-minute German language DVD video Modellwelten III published by MABO Pictures. The rural inn pictured here, centre-piece of a 1:72 scale diorama of the Battle of Leipzig, is an example of Meyer’s amazing work.
Wolfgang Meyer constructs fascinating buildings from cheap cardboard and air-drying modelling clay which can be sculpted with simple tools. The highly detailed windows, doors, strips of roofing tiles, and architectural ornaments are drawn to scale and laser-cut by an architectural design studio, based on original design sketches provided by Wolfgang Meyer. Modellwelten III takes a step by step look at Wolfgang Meyer’s modelling technique from the first design sketches to the completed and expertly painted 1:72 scale model a rural inn. Many of the demonstrated modelling techniques are imminently suitable for building models of other historic periods and modelling scales.
The film shows Wolfgang Meyer transferring the measurements of his design sketches to cheap cardboard and cutting out the first parts with a scalpel knife. It’s interesting to see how he draws the razor-sharp knife along the edge of a steel ruler and away from his body repeatedly, making several small cuts with minimal pressure to avoid mistakes and possible injury. Wolfgang Meyer works in a large and well lit studio, on a clean and spacious table, and using proper tools for the work at hand.
With the exception of one solvent-based enamel paint which Wolfgang Meyer uses to paint a small door, only non-toxic building materials, adhesives and paints are used to construct the model building. Interior and exterior walls are painted with household emulsion paints which mix well and are available in a variety of historically accurate colours. These water-based paints are cheaper and more suitable than enamel paints, because the completed diorama is not spoiled by nauseating and harmful fumes emanating from it.
Wolfgang Meyer’s unique modelling technique is suitable for beginners interested in creating superb models at a reasonable cost, simply by avoiding costly and painful mistakes. Experienced modellers will benefit if they can let go of outdated and needlessly complicated modelling techniques, and adopt this new approach.
Wolfgang Meyer achieves an exceptionally realistic appearance of his models by combining unevenly textured, cracked and slightly damaged exterior walls made of modelling clay with highly detailed, laser-cut windows and architectural ornaments. Once dry, the clay walls have the texture of real walls, and they may be painted and weathered with the same waterbased paints to achieve an amazingly realistic effect. This is the secret to success of Wolfgang Meyer’s modelling technique, his buildings are not made of waterproof plastic siding, they are constructed of natural materials which are true to scale, and absorb water and paint like real buildings do.
Modellwelten III published by MABO Pictures Filmproduktion is available at hobby shops. The 65-minute DVD video is a valuable demonstration of Wolfgang Meyer’s simple, natural, and very effective technique of constructing state-of-the-art historic model buildings. Modellers familiar with Wolfgang Meyer’s construction technique probably will not want touch plastic building models ever again.
Sample from MABO Pictures Filmproduktion