Mountain Panorama - The Alps

Mountain panorama including an idyllic hut, mountain hikers and a cross on the mountain summit. Moreover, the children can focus on the typical animals that live in this particular region. For your support, we offer you coloring templates of selected animals that might live in this kind of landscape.

Further material for this article.

Diorama: Mountain Panorama - The Alps

Already in 1822, Louis Daguerre created the world's first DIORAMA. To that time, it was a sort of darkened stage that was able to simulate the different times of the day by varying the light. Later on, nativity scenes were also called DIORAMA.

More about Louis Daguerre: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Daguerre

Nowadays, model builders and friends of locomotives also build DIORAMA, so to say sceneries of reality, in order to make their fantasy world appear even more real. At school, as well, the modeled presentation of real-life sceneries is what is meant by the expression, as for example with the topic "child and map" at primary schools, which is about rebuilding the own classroom, the area around the school, a volcano or a part of a landscape with its appertaining fauna.


The Pelikan Teachers' Info would like to encourage you to create your own DIORAMA and would also like to show you, how easy and effective these particular models can be made by students. We hereby orientate ourselves by the Earth's climate zones and would like to show you one of each striking landscape sceneries. Moreover, your students can focus on the typical fauna of the region.

As a help, we offer you coloring templates of a selection of animals that might live in the particular area. It is also imaginable to recreate the animals with Pelikan Crealight play dough.


In this issue:

The Alps: Mountain panorama including an idyllic hut, mountain hikers and a cross on the mountain summit.

Climate zoneEstimated latitudinal lines north/southAverage temperatures
Temperate zonePolar circles up to 45°5°C to 15°C

The Alps: Mountain panorama including an idyllic hut, mountain hikers and a cross on the mountain summit.

Climate Zone

Our model shows the landscape of the Alps (Austria). It represents a mountain landscape in the temperate zone. The temperate zone reaches from the polar circle, approximately to the 40th latitudinal line. The average temperatures are from 5°C to 15°C

The temperate zone is subdivided into 3 different zones: the warm temperate, the cool temperate and the cold temperate zone.

For more on this topic:

The Golden Eagle

The usual living environment of the golden eagle, which belongs to the Aquila species, are the Alps. Having been widespread in Europe, this bird has been constantly forced back into the upper mountain regions, due to systematic hunting. It tends to build its nest on rock faces, overhanging rocks and large trees. The feathers of this bird have an evenly brown color.
For more on this topic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Eagle



The Alpine Ibex

The ibex also lives in the Alps. In the summer, it climbs up as high as 3.500 meters. In the winter season, it goes back into lower areas, even in the summertime the search for food leads this animal as far down as to the alpine meadows. However, for a place to sleep, the ibex returns back into higher regions.

A template of the Alpine Ibex and the Golden Eagle can both be downloaded to color in or to recreate with play dough.


Description of the DIORAMA

Our mountain landscape begins in the valley with green spots where plants grow. The way to the cross at the summit of the mountain leads past a little hut. The climber leaves the last trees behind him, until the first snow is in sight. But wait, he is not alone! Along a steep rock wall, there is a lady climber.

This is what you need:

Cardboard (length/width/height approx. 50x50x50 cm), paper towels, PLAKA black, grey, green, dark green, dark brown, paintbrushes with thick bristles in the sizes 5 and 12, model trees and figures, moss (modeling moss and other materials to stray in gray, brown and green), little strips of wood (e.g. holding stick of a burned down new year's rocket), model plaster, little putty knife, cutter and for the wood glue some dishwashing liquid and some water, disposable syringe.


For the base frame, so-to-say the substructure of the DIORAMA, cut out a piece of cardboard diagonally into two pieces (picture 1 and 2). One half of the cardboard will be the DIORAMA (the sides should be cut so the terrain stands out better). Cut out the triangle-shaped side parts from the one half of the cardboard and build them into the first cardboard piece to strengthen it (picture 3). To stabilize the construction, glue the little strips of wood into the created bends. Make another sustainer and space grid out of the rest of the cardboard and spread them variously onto the substructure (picture 4).

Liquid glue:

We have used liquid glue for the DIORAMA, which can be applied through a tip. What makes this glue special is that, due to its liquid consistency, paper towels can be soaked in it. This way, all layers of the paper towel can be glued together. It is also very good for gluing scattering materials.

This glue is made of common household ingredients, such as regular wood glue, liquid dishwashing detergent and soap. Mix these ingredients in the given order at a ration of 2:2:1. For further use, fill the glue into an air-tight bottle. When you need to use the liquid glue, just suck the required amount into the syringe and drip it onto the appointed spots.

Terrain Surface:

Before you start, you should take a moment to think about where you would like to put a house, etc. The surface of the terrain should be even in these areas, so that the house stands straight. Glue several layers of paper towels over the strips of cardboard (pictures 5 and 6). The single layers should overlap in order to provide a solid subsurface (picture 7). By the way, the more uneven the layers of paper towels that are glued on, the more vivid the terrain will appear to be.

Preparing the work steps for the plaster:

Preparing the work steps for the plaster:
On some spots, single cliffs, hills or a place for the cross on the mountain summit can be modeled beforehand with hard pieces of plaster. For this purpose, mix some modeling plaster (with little water) and pour the mixture onto an underlay (thickness of mixture, approx. 1.5-2cm). After it is hardened out, break the pieces of plaster into small pieces and sprinkle them onto the model (picture 8).

Modeling the Terrain:

Now the terrain receives its final shape. For this purpose, mix an appropriate amount of plaster. Spread the plaster onto the surface modeled with paper towels and be careful to include the smaller pieces of plaster, too (picture 9). Let it all dry well.

Colorful design

The rock structure will look even more real by painting it in the right color using a paintbrush and PLAKA paints. Perfect contrasts can be worked out. In this step, you should just give it a try and let your imagination run free. In our model, we have painted the path that leads to the hut in green and the place under the trees in light gray (picture 10). Sprinkling the right materials onto the paint will support the effect given by the color. Affix it with glue. After the glue has dried, drill small holes into the rock and stick trees into them. Affix them with glue (picture 11). The scene will look even more vivid by including figures of people, animals, trees, houses, etc., available in the field of model making, such as the climber on the rock wall (picture 12).

The simple construction of the DIORAMA can be seen here very clearly. Cardboard sustainers, paper towels, plaster and PLAKA.

Building The Owl Together

The house is easily made with matches omitting the tips. For this purpose, glue all the matches on top of each other and align the roof transversely to them (picture13). In order to give the hut a bit of a run-down look, try to avoid placing the matches on top of each other very orderly. To make it look even more real, paint the hut with dark brown PLAKA paint and decorate the area around it with sprinkling material (picture 14). By the way, the summit of the mountain can be built with matches very easily, too!

Taking pictures of the DIORAMA:

If you would like to take pictures of your DIORAMA, the following advice might help you:
When taking pictures of the DIORAMA, position your camera, so that you still have parts of the sky on the picture. This will make he scene look even more realistic and you will have created an impressive background decoration without having put a lot of effort into it.

The same scene will look totally different with different clouds in the background: on the left, without blue sky and on the right with dark storm clouds that give the scenery an even more dangerous appearance.