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Building Dioramas

Building Dioramas Book Review

By Dave Manter

Date of Review April 2014 Title Building Dioramas
Author Chris Mrosko Publisher Kalmbach
Published 2014 ISBN 978-0-89024-870-6
Format 108 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $21.95


This book released by Kalmbach Books as part of their Finescale Modeler Books series is a much needed and overdue modern version of the Shep Paine "How to build Dioramas" book.

Shep's book is still considered the father of all modeling books, but the new one by Chris Mrosko features many modern techniques and Chris's unique style.

  • The "how to" chapters are:
  • Concepts and composition
  • Groundwork
  • Wonderful Wedgies
  • Figure painting
  • Airbrushing skills
  • Resin casting

There are also 5 full build up covered. They are:

  • "The Way of the Rabbit"
  • "Defenders of the Reich"
  • "Iranian Pasdaren patrol"
  • "Somali technical"
  • "Congolese Type 69 hybrid"

As you can see, Chris's subjects cover a very broad range of topics! His book also features some modeling subjects finished by other great modelers.

There is also a large appendix covering various tools.

This book is packed with info and very high quality photographs. Chris's writing style is very easy to follow and not to technical. Chris is a master at composition and one of the best painters that I have had the pleasure of meeting. This book is absolutely packed with information and will be fun to read again and again. I still find myself picking up the Shep Paine book when I am in need of some inspiration and I feel that this new book will also fill that spot. This book will have a place on my book shelf right next to my dog-eared Shep Paine books.

This book is available in paperback or electronic versions.

I first met Chris at one of the early Mastercon shows when they were still in St. Louis (the best modeling shows that I have ever been to!). I was just starting back into the modeling hobby at that time and even though he was famous (or notorious!) back then, he still took time to talk to me and answer all of my questions. There are a lot of guys in this hobby that just wouldn't do that.