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A micro-scale train diorama
image gallery

gallery owner (hitahita-05)

From Brickshelf Copyright held by Brickshelf user hitahita-05.

A diorama is a model or series of models that combine into a coherent 'story-telling' whole. They can cover fictitious, historical or mundane events. Vignettes can be considered a very small kind of diorama whilst a full train layout serves at the other end of the spectrum.

A LEGO diorama is typically (although not always) more detailed than larger layouts (eg. in trains or castle shows) as it is designed as a standalone work. Popular themes for dioramas are castle, trains/town and space.


Building Dioramas

A diorama is often build around a centrepiece, be that a story, a model or a minifig. In building a diorama it often pays to design or build this centrpiece first and work from there. Looking at the dioramas in the reference list shows the importance of a centrepiece.

Working through an example should help to demonstrate how a diorama can be built. This example diorama will be based on the theme 'The fall of Rome'.

  1. First work out a centrepiece structure: in this case the Coliseum
  2. After building this decide upon a story: there is a rebellion of gladiators going on inside the Coliseum
  3. Working from there, add some characters and associated props: gladiators, soldiers on chariots, maybe some released exotic animals, and some spectators
  4. Finally, add miscellaneous props to give a bit more life: perhaps some dropped fruit, overturned benches etc. and maybe some other small buildings nearby

These steps should produce a diorama with lots of action and a definite 'story' that a viewer could work out, all based around a single centrpiece model (the Coliseum) and a theme ('The fall of Rome').

Types of dioramas




These dioramas often focus on city life (modern or recent-historical) and will often feature minifigs going about their everyday life (perhaps in slightly more exciting ways).

External References