Post image for Grundig 3D TV – Scale model display case – Step 3: Barn find & American Pickers diorama

Grundig 3D TV – Scale model display case – Step 3: Barn find & American Pickers diorama

March 26, 2013

by Seb Perez


This is the third and last step of the 3D TV display case project.

As I already mentioned on my last post, I wanted to make a barn find and “American Pickers” diorama. American Pickers is one of my favorites TV shows, on History Channel. If you know that my grandpa used to be also a picker, he owned a junkyard and loved classic cars and that every sumer holiday I used to hang around with him, learning how to see value in a pile of junk and understanding the difference between a Model T Ford and a Model A Ford, you’ll understand why American Pickers is one of my favorites TV shows!

All the signs that you see in the diorama were picked by Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz during many episodes of American Pickers. It was a lot of work to search for the right signs, getting real pictures, estimating the real size, resizing them and printing them in high resolution. As you see, I also included a huge pile of vintage soda crates. What I initially thought to be a cool and easy way to create a “right wall” for the diorama, turned to be a project in itself. Searching, selecting and resizing more than 200 pictures in order to get a realistic collection of old soda crates took me several days on a row.

I also built in a small light hanging from the roof, to create a focus on the engine bay (where you can see lots of details) and to generate more light inside the dark TV case. Also the gas pump has a built in light, lighting the globe and the face of my favorite gas pump of all times, a Tokheim 39.

Finally its done. This diorama is very special to me as it features most of my passions at once. The vintage signs, the Tokheim 39 and other antiques, the rural setting with an old barn full of surprises, a ’57 Chevy Bel Air convertible (one of my favorite cars ever) and the vintage TV itself, representing my passion for classic movies, specially from the sixties and seventies, like Dirty Harry and Bullit among many others.

I hope you guys enjoy this diorama as much as I do, and most of all, I hope it inspires you to “think out of the box” regarding dioramas and, specially, where to put them into, besides a boring aquarium.

Do you have any ideas about what other objects can be used as display cases? Share your ideas below!



Riley Schultz March 27, 2013 at 12:27 am

Wow! That is insanely cool! It is so cool it made me wanna build my own soda crates. If you don’t mind me asking, what dimensions did yo guys use for yours? Thanks.

Seb March 27, 2013 at 5:21 am

Hi Riley, I’m glad that you like it! I’ll be posting the crates on the site for free download soon. I’m very busy right now. May be next week, or in two weeks. Stay tuned!

Riley Schultz March 27, 2013 at 9:28 pm

You will be posting them?! You guys are awesome! I love all of your tutorials and bonus features. I think that you should try to build some vintage pop machines for your dioramas too.

Seb March 27, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Yes, I’ll be posting them. I’m very busy at the moment, but be patient. It’s a great material that I want to share with you guys!
About the pop machines, yes, they are on our list… we have more ideas than we have to to realize… luckily, I’m still young and life is long!

Jonas December 24, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Hi Seb, have you posted them yet? I cannot find it! :(
Greetings from Germany!

bernd March 28, 2013 at 5:53 pm

beautiful. great idea with the old tv.
very large cinema what you doing.
I like it very well.
best greetings

Seb March 30, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Hallo Bernd! Vielen Dank für’s Kompliment! I just checked your site, you do also great stuff. The mini boxes are amazing!
Schöne Grüße!

Paul Coma March 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Your last email, was superb. The car show pictures, we great. I found one picture of a 54 Merc, in all those pictures. Not many around to do custom work on I guess. It was one of my favorite ones. Even in plastic model, they are hard to find, around here.. Taht model show in BELGIUM, looked real great. I wish we had one like that around here. Our model railroad show has expanded to the University here last year, in the gymnasiam, what a diffrence. Modelers from across the USA and CANADA were there. No big model car shows though. I wish there was, and a lot more venders. Our hobby shops don’t carry enough parts so its hard to make a good model. I know you can make some parts yourself, sometimes it’s not as easy as it looks. I just wish when some one does a model, they would mention where the got the parts or how they made them. Keep up the great work and wait for your next email.


Seb March 30, 2013 at 8:10 pm

Hi Paul,
Thanks a lot for your feedback. My brother Iggy and I want to make road trip across USA some day and we would love to assist a model car show during that trips as well. Please, send us more details about your show so that we can keep it mind for our future trip.
I’m you like our work. There will be lots more coming!

Kevin April 2, 2013 at 12:31 am

It looks very good. i’ve had a TV converted to a display shelf, but never thought of doing it as a diorama piece. They definitely need lighting, which looks good in yours.

I like how you also added the overlay from History Channel. nice touch!

Seb April 2, 2013 at 8:43 am

Hi Kevin, thanks a lot for the feedback! I’ll be making an other TV soon. Stay tuned!

Andrew May 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Beautiful ideas and mind to realize this idea! congrats! also for TV choice!

oleg October 19, 2013 at 8:09 pm

its FANTASTIC diorama end werry original present.I like oal your dioramas.i like the others scalemodelers can learn alot from you gyes.thanks you and a good luck in your next projects.

Seb October 27, 2013 at 10:12 am

Hi oleg! I’m glad you like our stuff! Thank’s for commenting!

Seb January 18, 2014 at 10:16 am

Hello guys, check this post for the free downloading the vintage soda crate templates in all scales:
Have fun!

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