Post image for 1/24 Junkyard diorama project

1/24 Junkyard diorama project

February 4, 2011

by Seb Perez

As you might already have realized by now, we are really passionate about junk cars, junkyards and everything that looks old and rusty.

One of our greatest dreams is to own a junkyard full of great classic cars… but how do you do that when you live and work in a big city and you barely have space for you and your family at home?

One day we were looking at one of those great railroad dioramas and we though, why not building a huge junkyard diorama?

So we decided to do that! We already have many cars in 1/24 scale. Now we are trying many things out like buildings (barn, garage, gas station), landscape and other nice details such as a Tokheim 39 gas pump (the one in the picture below is a 1/16 scale gas pump).

This is a long term project, so please don’t expect us to be ready next week ;-). We’ll keep you posted!

Tokheim 39 gas pump

Tony P February 4, 2011 at 12:54 pm

I look forward to seeing your progress. I am about to embark on my first junk car myself.

Iggy February 4, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Hey Tony,

Keep us posted on your progress!

About our Junkyard: I am thinking of a modular way to make the junkyard, so you can have it in sections, as a shelf or rack with every section as a scene – but at the same time in a way that I can put it together to make a full size junkyard. The other way would be to have it hanging from the roof and any time I want, I can pull it down…. still don’t know what’s better.


TERRY TERWILLEGAR February 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm

I would like to know where I could get colored pictures so I could transfer them to wood, like a picture of the Vietnam Wall. I was asked to do a Diarama of : ” An OCC Chopper (POW-MIA) standing in front of the Wall-with an eternal flame-like light. I have everything but the picture. Where can I buy this? And how much?

seb February 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Hi Terry, maybe you can google for pictures with high-res or look at . They have the best pictures in the world, but in most cases you have to pay for using their pictures.

Robin February 13, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Hello guys!

I just wanna say i’m a big fan of what you do, theres just something about junkyards thats always interested me. The models you build are all super high quality and a big inspiration. I used to build junkyards from 1/87th scale cars all the time when i was a kid.

I’ve just recently decided to do something similar to what you do, tough i’d like to build one huge junkyard consisting of 1/24 and 1/25 scale old american cars. But my idea would be to try and actually make it work as a real junkyard only for scale cars. I know there’s always model car builders looking for spare parts or project cars, so wouldnt it be a cool idea to actually have a fully functioning junkyard for vintage cars? :)

Cheers, Robin

Seb February 13, 2011 at 9:28 pm

Robin, thank you a lot for your feedback! We are glad that our work is inspiring for others! Please keep us posted with your project. We are curious about it. It sounds like a great idea!

Robin February 14, 2011 at 2:45 am

Thanks! Well i used to have quite alot of 1/24-25 junkyard cars a few years ago, around 20 or so, unfortunatley i sold them back then. So this means i’ll have to start from the very beginning. I have prepared a room for the project and all the nessesary equipment such as glue, paintcolors and tools etc. I have also purchased the first 2 cars for the yard, a 1977 dodge monaco and a 1956 ford victoria that i’m eagerly awaiting delivery of :)

Furthermore when i build my cars, i will use pictures from actual junked cars as reference to make it abit more realistic, there is one junkyard in particular in arizona that has about 10,000 vintage cars and most of them are photographed on their homepage. Also my idea is to keep the number of rare models at a low and have more “common” cars in stock (like the 77′ monaco) for added realism. I.e not a junkyard full of shelby gt500’s and plymouth superbirds cuz thats not really believeable.

Must say tough my cars won’t be as detailed as yours are, cuz i’m nowhere near as talented 😛 And also since my free-time is limited and i want many cars in the yard i can’t afford to spend too much time on each one.

So how are you guys progressing? How many cars have you got in your yard? :)

Seb February 14, 2011 at 10:51 am

It’s a shame that you sold your cars! I totally agree about having more common cars and less top classic cars on the yard. We’ll be converting cars from coupes to 4-door versions soon as well. We have already have lots of cars, I don’t know exactly how many, though we are still working on the diorama now. We also already have the barn you see on this post and are working on more buildings. (At this very moment we are moving, therefore our projects are on standby but we’ll be continuing as soon as possible)
We also use real pictures as reference. That junkyard you mentions sounds great. It would be great if you could share the link here in the comments so that other fellows can check that website.

Iggy February 14, 2011 at 10:56 am

Hey Robin!

please, keep us posted on your project. You can also email us if you have any questions. I bet your model junkyard will be awesome too!! I totally agree to what you say about having ordinary cars too. There are some resin kits of 4-door Fords and stuff like that. With a lot of patience you can also make a 2-door into a 4-door (beware: you may need to change the roof line, it is not as easy as it sounds, but can be cool). I think Jo-Han had some police cars (i.e. 4-door models) too that could be built as normal civil cars.

You may want to do some kit bashing too. For instance AMT’s 40 Ford or AMT’s 34 Ford (among many others) come with old school steel trims. You may want to check out some auctions on ebay or such and buy a lot at once with some unfinished or incomplete kits (great material for a junkyard!).

Our project is getting there. Seb has been busy with his 1/16 Chevy and his 1/16 completely self made and scratch built gas pump (we have a book about that). He is making a “small” diorama (just the Chevy and the Gas Pump). I am working on a Thunderbird and a 59 Cadillac right now – both 1/25. My brother is working on the 1/25 barn (we are making a book about that too). Mike Akai sent us some gas pumps in 1/25 (really looking forward to them, thanks Mike!). So we are quite busy with that – and updating the website, writing blog posts, managing book orders and customer mail are also parts of our hobby that we enjoy (but keeps us away from the workbench sometimes).

Please, keep up us posted. I am looking forward to see your progress!


Robin February 14, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Cool! Thanks for your replys and good tips, your experience in making junk models i’m sure will be of much help. The junkyard i was referring to is Desert valley autoparts in phoenix, arizona. Click “Search for parts” and then option #1 for the “survivors” wich are the restorable cars, and option #2 for the massive parts cars inventory. Another interesting thing about this junkyard is that Discovery channel just started a reality show at their junkyard called “Desert car kings” wich I recommend! Infact this junkyard has inspired me so much that i would like to build my scale junkyard into a sort of miniature of theirs :)

I’ll keep u guys posted on the progress, and offcourse I’ve already bookmarked this blog ^^

Iggy February 16, 2011 at 10:49 am

Hey Robin,

thx for the link!! Those survivors look just awesome as a reference to build a junk model car – or maybe buy one and make a nice ride out it (tempting!!!)


TERRY TERWILLEGAR February 16, 2011 at 4:53 am

On your barn junk yard. How do you want what dimeissions to use to make a of these? Like how high, how long? Is there a pattern-to use to get started?

Seb February 17, 2011 at 11:31 am

Hi Terry

We are working on a few instructions right now, among others, scratch building instructions for buildings such as barns, gas stations or other “junky” places. We will also make on scale blue prints.
You can register here for the barn and get 20% discount at the prelaunch.

In the meanwhile, you can always try it yourself with no instructions. What I did is to search for different barn kinds and sizes usual for the US. I paid special attention to the real structure of the barn, roof system, exterior wall cover, etc.

mark cunnan June 12, 2011 at 5:16 am

I love your site and work. I’ve done a 71 Hemi Cuda in junk state. I’ll send picks. Nothing as detailed as yours. I find myself at a crossroad as I’ve also done and I am modeling 1:64 and 1:87 versions of junkyards. I miss my actual days of hopping roofs and seeing great cars. I’m trying to finish 1:87 in time for 1:87 vehicle club show in Mass in 2012. I’ve junked several 1:64 cars for my diorama as well. are you interested in those photos also? I love those forgotten cars. I used to collect every one, but now find myself tearing them apart and weathing them to junkyard status. The smaller scales make my wife complain less. I am also trying to make car crushers in both scales as no one makes them. Yet

Iggy June 12, 2011 at 5:31 am

Hey Mark,

thanks for your words of support! Feel free to send us pics of any kind! We love all related to junkyard art, no matter which scale.

I can imagine what you mean about not everybody at home liking big junkyards. Still, there are ways to build big dioramas and keep them out of the way, for those who want to save space. How about hanging the diorama from the ceiling? Railroad modelers do that a lot. You can pull the diorama up and back down again (to show it to somebody or work on it).

Have a nice day,


mark cunnan June 27, 2011 at 5:55 am

Still working on my projects. Check out as he has some cool Tshirts. I think that’s his address, but you should be able to find it. Cool guy! There are many cool books around that you might not know about in your foreign lands. Rusted Muscle is one! Still waiting on my Jerry Heasley “Rare Finds” book. I love junkyards and abandoned vehicles books. Taken my own photos over the years. Car and Parts has run salvage yard articles for years which is why I buy all back issues that I don’t have when I find them. Magazine is gone now but fused with Auto Enthusiast. They always have (as of yet) a salvage yard article. I’ll cancel when they don’t. Road side relics is another great book. Diamonts in the Rust is a great book, but has nothing on these others. Cobra in the Barn and Hemi in the Barn are also great reads with pictures as well. I think I have all of the junkyard books available and have visited all of the sites around. I share your passion and I am going to start my 73 Cuda resto this summer. If you’re in the states this summer I can take you to a lost yard that has a barn full of cars and parts. How about a stutz bearcat pontiac, couple XKE’s, and a drove of american classics that haven’t been picked over? He even has a 56 Ford? with that glass top.

Iggy June 27, 2011 at 8:30 am

Hey Mark,

cool comment!! Thanks for all the book recommendations. I knew some of them, but not all. I guess all of our readers will be delighted with that book list you posted!

My brother and I are thinking of making a junkyard road trip in the US. We have been in the US before, however, we couldn’t make that road trip yet. I bet you have some great places to recommend! We will sure get back to you once we know when we are going. Until then, we will keep on making our own junkyard. seems to be a cool site! I guess we should get in touch with this guy. We have made a re-design on our T-Shirts (the ones we sold before were kind of lame, to be honest and we came up with some cool stuff now). We will surely publish something about the new shirts any time soon!



Jim Roark March 31, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Your stuff is great. Learned much from you guys. If you would like to see just how
much I have learn and learning…please check out my website above. I think you will
be surprised!

Seb April 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

Hi Jim, your stuff is cool as well! Thanks for sharing! We love to see other’s people work. Keep us posted! Take care -Seb-

Dingo May 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm

One of the hardest things I find in building a dio of any sort is getting started, I sit down and then I end up with a blank mind what do I build where do I start and how do I go about it, its all too darn hard BUT not really for me it’s just I’m too bloody lazy these days maybe it’s my 60 yrs of age or maybe its I just can’t be bothered but hell I luv seeing wot other people do any maybe just maybe one day it will all come together and bingo, Dingo will start on one top notch dio.

dennis September 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm

i have a 1/64th scale junkyard……i used hotwheels and matchbox cars ……it was a lot of work cutting hoods open and dent them …..i dont have any room for a model junk yard..unless its 10-12 cars…… usuall your work is awesome

Seb September 18, 2012 at 2:37 pm

I would like to see your 1/64 scale junkyard.

dave mileski September 29, 2012 at 3:22 pm

hi i just recently stumbled across a barn find diorama. i am just drooling to attempt to build one. i have several old classics that i have and still restoring. but sometimes you just run out of time and or money and they just sit around. i built models as a kid and always enjoyed it. anyways while doing research for building a barn find, i ran across your website. i know i would need alot of tips to make this realistic, i just purchased your package deal with the three books to help me out. i am eagerly awaiting its arrival. i already have my first car for it , yrs ago i purchased a franklin mint 58 chevy. my son got a hold of it and some things were broken. i was mad at the time but this will be my first attempt and your books will help me i am sure. the car is a convertable so i will have to age the interior somehow…hope yore books help me out. dave

Seb October 1, 2012 at 9:11 am

Hi Dave, thank your for your feedback. I can’t wait to see the results of your model. Using a franklin mint as a base for a junk model car can only look great when finished! Please keep us posted. I’m sure you’ll find enough information in our books to build your barn and weather you car but if you still have any questions, please let me know.
Take care
~ Seb ~

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