Not bad, just rusty

Stairs to nowhere

When building a diorama there are few things as good as finding a kit that A) suits your needs to the sprue and B) it’s cheap. That’s exactly what I had with finding MiniArt’s “Metal Stair”:


For those unfamiliar, MiniArt make a whole variety of different models ranging from singular objects like this to full scale buildings and dioramas-in-a-box. I’ve found their kits to be great and high in detail. 

I wanted, alongside a fire escape attached to a building (more on this in a coming post), a set of stairs leading up to a door. I need to build details vertically as well as horizontally and figured this makes sense within the scene and it’s inspired by actual reference photos anyway.

With all that said, then, there’s nothing more gutting than the perfect kit arriving and… it doesn’t work for you. That’s more killer if you’ve spent some serious coin on it, too. The issue I had was… it was just too big. Even though I had switched to the 1:35 scale with the figures and building, to which this kit is sized (and it was true to that scale) for my alleyway it was taking up too much real estate. So I sucked up the disappointment and began the process of making it work. Which meant lots of chopping.

I started with the platform:

From this you can see the size that I needed from the original platform. Almost 50% reduction. Measure twice, cut once. Never more true here. After that, I had to cut the supporting I-Beams too:

Of course, everything else then has to follow. Each support and, more laborious, each step in the stair. Fortunately the kit requires you to cut the steps anyway, so I didn’t feel like I was giving myself more work here. I used a mini tri-square to make sure everything was uniform and precise. I used this on cutting the platform too.


I also cut the banister and made it into safety fencing that lines the whole staircase. I thought this was more fitting.

Essentially, I’ve made a thinner emergency staircase from the original stairs. Exactly what I needed for my relatively narrow alleyway scene. Here’s the final result:


by RR on January 8, 2017, filed: Dioramas, OUT OF HOURS (wip)

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