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Old 09-08-2021, 01:45 AM
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Hidden in a matchbox

My favorite size for paper modelling is, as I called it, "matchbox" size, and in this thread I will share some of these models.

The name is not derived from the Matchbox-series cars (1/60) and in fact it doesn't mean any particular scale - it only indicates that the ready model or a micro-diorama should fit in the standard matchbox 53 by 35 by 16 mm.

My first model in this scale was a 1:350 narrow gauge steam loco. I made it some forty years ago, and it was far before an era of the mobile phones equipped with sophisticated cameras so I had no possibility to make any image of this model. Together with all my other "early models" it was made from scratch, as no personal computers with color printers nor Internet with its resources were available. And together with few more of my "matchbox models", for example a series of the Hungarian chainsaws Husqvarna (PS-180, PS-190 etc.) - not as much scaled down of course - have been lost during the numerous relocations to a new flat (three times during seven years period), together with the majority of my "big" paper models of airplanes, cars or tanks made after nets printed in "Maly Modelarz" series.

The only survivor of my pre-fall-of-the-Berlin-wall "matchbox models" is a small rocket boat, so let's start with this model images, although it doesn't go with any diorama (my next models to be shared will be real dioramas).

This first model was made after a blueprints (top and side views) of the project of a small rocket boat, purchased by Gabon in one of the Italian shipyards, planned to be equipped with four water-to-water missile launchers and a 76 mm OTO Melara cannon. The blueprints were printed in a News section of a monthly magazine "Morze" ("The Sea") and were no bigger themselves than a matchbox, and moreover no details nor name of the series was given (as everything in these socialistic times was classified).

Later I tried to find the name of the project in the Internet, including the webpages dedicated to the fleets with the complete list of vessels in operation of the navies all over the world and the register of all the rocket boats since the first Russian projects, but I found nothing. I am sure that there was no such rocket boat in the Gabonese navy (nor, perhaps, in any other country's fleet). Perhaps the project was cancelled or modernized during construction. It is possible, because the configuration of the launchers was highly derived after the first Komar-class ("Mosquito" in English - NATO codename: "Osa-class") Soviet Project 205 missile boats, so it was very basic and simple, or even obsolete, and moreover the Gabonese navy was really small and had limited funds, some of which must be spent on the repairs and modernization of one of their patrol boats which was damaged by fire about the same time.

Nonetheless, I was impressed with a simple beauty of the elegant little craft and I made the waterline model. The hull with a bridge was made as a solid block of multiple horizontal layers of 180 g/sqm sheets glued together. The same technique was used for making blocks imitating rocket launchers and a gun turret. The mast with its radar equipment was slightly simplified and the barrel of the gun was made of the cupper wire, the thinnest I was able to find (some 30 AWG / 100 turns per inch / 0,25 mm gauge as far as I remember). Some of the equipment were made of small clippings glued to the deck while some others including all the windows and openings were simply painted black with ink with the 0,18 mm and 0,25 mm technical pens (rapidographs). The whole model was painted gray with a brush with a water-soluble tempera. No final varnish was used. The scale is 1/850 (length of the hull equals two inches / 50 mm).
Attached Thumbnails
Hidden in a matchbox-zdj-cie-0277zmn.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-zdj-cie-0278zmn.jpg  
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Last edited by Viator; 09-08-2021 at 02:02 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-08-2021, 02:53 AM
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Great work, looking forward to seeing more.😊
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Old 09-08-2021, 03:41 AM
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The matchbox diorama of a railway station with KiHa48-series DMU of West Japan Railways.

A pretty historical carriage of a Diesel Multiple Unit class KiHa40 to 48 (キハ40, 41, 47, 48) was the first to be modelled in the "matchbox scale". Every modern JR EMU/DMU/HMU wagons are highly standarized and for example each of them, independently from the series, is exactly 20.00 m long, which could be scaled down to 1/400 to fit the matchbox size, but this older coach was 21.30 m long so I choose to scaled it down to 1/450. This time the ready model was simply downloaded for free from the JR homepage at:
‰‚‚‚—ŽԁFJR“–{
and scaled down. All the models on this site are simplified but that is perfect for this scale.

Then the model was printed on the common xerograph paper, the wagon box glued with no additional stiffenners inside, while in the chassis the layer of the thicker black paper (some 180 g/sqm) was added. The platform, rails and the semaphore were made after the photographs of the real Tokyo railway stations. The 4 mm high figures of passengers were simply printed from the photo images of Tokyo metro platform. The background was taken from the photo of some suburbs railway line.
Attached Thumbnails
Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201014_205050.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201014_205107.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201015_052847.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201205_170644_1-2.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201205_170707_1-2.jpg  

Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201205_170848_1-2.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-kiha-40-519-preserved-next-onagawa-station-september-2007.jpg  
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Last edited by Viator; 09-08-2021 at 04:18 AM.
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Old 09-08-2021, 04:29 AM
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The matchbox diorama of a railway station with E235-series EMU of Yamanote Line.

Yamanote Line (Yamanote-sen) is the Tokyo circular line, perhaps the most famous of Japanese railway lines, with the highest passenger traffic and perhaps one of the most profitable (considering that NO OTHER passenger railway around the world is profitable save the JR Tokyo transport and the Yamanote Line is the first of all in this ranking!). 50 sets of 11-car trains goes in both directions, connecting 30 stations. Every 2.5 minute a train opens its doors on the platform, perfectly in the same place, which allowed the JR to install the gates on the platforms in these locations and a solid wall between them (which highly increased the safety). Supposedly JR is the unique railway in the world which excuses themselves if their train arrived more than 10 seconds later than scheduled (I am not joking)!

The mini-diorama shows the E235 unit carriage, operating on the Yamanote-sen since 2020, with elements in the light green color (obligatory for this line). On the background once again we can see the far distant cityscape with the famous Tokyo Tower.
Attached Thumbnails
Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201020_223625.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201020_181312.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201205_165240_1-2.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201205_165300_1-2.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201205_165325_1-2.jpg  

Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201020_213051.jpg  
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Old 09-08-2021, 04:32 AM
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Mind blowing and stunning work.
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Old 09-08-2021, 05:42 AM
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The matchbox diorama of a bus stop somewhere in Japan.

The variety of Japanese bus stops is of course vast but I choose one of the projects after the stock photographs taken in Tokyo. I used an Isuzu Cubic LV bus in Tokyo Transport Authority colors, however finally I decided to use the Osaka cityscape in a background, so the diorama is not fully consistent (maybe I should replace the box and glued-in background with another one). The bus stop shelter is similar to the bus stops shelters all over the world including Poland, but it has some distinctively Japanese features. Same as in case of trains, the arriving bus stops exactly in the provided place and the doors of the bus opens exactly vis-a-vis the opening in the back wall of the shelter, so one can access the bus directly from the covered area. It gives an obvious advantage for the waiting people especially during the rainy season. The people exiting the bus were devoid of such amenities but it is of no importance, as they must use their umbrellas or hoods to continue their walk. On the pavement there is always a footpath marked with the yellow color and the different surface, heading directly to this opening in the shelter and bus doors. The safety glass walls, information boards and a seat completes the whole.

The walls were made of a rigid sheet of a transparent plastic with the posts painted on them, the roof and the pavement & road was layered with the thicker sheet, the bus and the remaining stuff out of a standard paper. The scale is the same as for railroad dioramas (1/450). The people are cut out of paper and hand painted, but I am not satisfied with the result. The sitting woman reading some newspaper is less or more okay, because she can be seen only from the front, but the walking businesman, even with his legs spread and the suitcase glued to the hand, has an extremely flat and inattractive side view, so I decided to avoid makig paper people in this scale in future. The white strip of paper around the inside walls of the matchbox is not glued but only loosely inserted as a protective device, temporarily fixing the base of the diorama to the wall of the box thus securing the model from bumping into walls, and could be removed if needed.
Attached Thumbnails
Hidden in a matchbox-1629968454653.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-1629968454672.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-1629968454687.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-1629968454704.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-1629968594282.jpg  

Hidden in a matchbox-1629968594287.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-1629968594293.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-1629968594306.jpg   Hidden in a matchbox-img_20201205_154526.jpg  
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Old 09-08-2021, 06:34 PM
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These are all wonderful! Incidentally, my wife and I spent a lot of time riding on the Yamanote Line back in the day.

Don
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Old 09-08-2021, 08:04 PM
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Quite nice. While a confirmed railway fan I have to observe that the bus stop scene is quite nice.
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Old 09-08-2021, 10:40 PM
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Thanks a lot!
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Old 09-08-2021, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viator View Post
The matchbox diorama of a railway station with E235-series EMU of Yamanote Line.

(...)

The mini-diorama shows the E235 unit carriage, operating on the Yamanote-sen since 2020, with elements in the light green color (obligatory for this line). On the background once again we can see the far distant cityscape with the famous Tokyo Tower.
Sorry, only now I realised this itsn't the Tokyo Tower silhouette in the background but the Tokyo Skytree in the Asakusa district.
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