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1:24 Istanbul diorama - OcCre

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1:24 Istanbul Diorama

Catalogue # 53010D
Available from OcCre for €60,95




If you’ve recently taken a look at our Istanbul tram review, you might like this particular review article. Yes, of course you can display your tram on a shelf, or in a cabinet, but what about outside Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar? That’s exactly what this new product from OcCre allows us to do, and with relative ease of construction. This is what OcCre have as their website product description:


“The diorama is a representation of the entrance to the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, one of the largest in the world.


Located inside the old “walled city", on the European side of Istanbul, between Nuruosmaniye, Mercan and Beyazıt, with more than 58 covered streets and 4,000 shops or stalls, every day the bazaar attracts between 250,000 and 400,000 visitors.

The bazaar offers a wide range of products, in particular jewellers, precious metal workers, spice shops and carpet shops. The stalls tend to be grouped together by type, following the tradition of the ancient guilds. The bazaar includes two Bedestens, or domed stone-built structures, which are used for the storage of merchandise. The first of these was built in 1464, by order of Mehmet II, although it then had to be mostly rebuilt in 1864, following the earthquake.


This fabulous diorama combines perfectly with the tram of Istanbul, joining the nostalgic line of Taksim-Tunnel with the Grand Bazaar, in an effort to group two large emblems of the city of Istanbul.”



The kit
The Istanbul diorama is packaged into quite a plain, shallow corrugated cardboard box, with a colour product label attached. There is also a reasonable amount of weight here too, so you know there’s plenty of building material afoot. Upon opening the box, it ca be seen that the multitude of sheet material is wrapped in a heat-sealed sleeve that needs to be cut away. As the sheets in here are various sizes, and the internal box has no compartmentalisation, this is a good way of ensuring that damage risk is minimised. There are also a number of printed sheets which are rolled up, some strip timber and brass wire. A catalogue and sheet pointing to the instructions, are also included. More on the latter in a moment.



The numerous sheets are made from MDF and are very neatly laser-cut. You will note how some of the parts have dovetail connections too. In essence, the entire diorama is built up from a series of wall panels that have the Islamic arch shapes that attach to them to create a 3D relief, and this is sat upon a base which is built from sections, to incorporate the ruts along which the tram lines would run. Oddly enough, there is no actual brass section strip to recreate the tram line itself, but instead, timber strip, painted silver, it what’s prescribed. Using some metal strip could be a nice enhancement, but you would need to purchase that yourself, measured against the OcCre tram wheels for best fit.






The idea behind this diorama is that anyone can typically build it, simply out of the box contents. To decorate the walls and floors etc. a series of colour-printed textures are provided, on A4 sheets. These include stone, marble and parquet styles, and these need to be cut out to suit the various structures, and then glued into position with a glue stick, for example. Using wet glues may cause the sheets to ripple and not adhere as flat as they should, although the instructions do actually show brushed PVA as being the glue of choice. Sheets of paper are also supplied to simulate the Bazaar interior, with crowds of people and stalls etc. 







When it comes to depicting the exterior details, more printed sheets are supplied, with such things as Turkish rugs, flags etc, and these can be draped over the display stands that sit outside the various stalls on the exterior of the Bazaar. These stalls also have printed awnings to shelter them from the Turkish sun. 






To recreate the road itself, then a series of strip card is supplied. This needs to be cut into brick-sized sections, and then plastered over the road in a staggered manner. You can of course then paint and infill between them and add some airbrushed staining to weather things realistically.


Brass wire is supplied for all manner of things, such as the random-looking electrical cables that run along the outside walls.


OcCre supply no instructions for this kit. Instead, they provide an online build guide which is very comprehensive, showing everything right down to measuring out specific dimensions for everything. This multi-part guide is excellent, with the facility to be able to download each part as a PDF. To check out the guide, head to this link: http://www.occremania.com/diorama-de-istanbul-parte-8-2/


Dioramas aren’t usually my thing, but this looks very tempting, just to see if I can make a reasonable attempt at it and add some airbrush work to make it look a little more lived in. There’s certainly a nice quantity of building material here, and all nicely produced. Recreating the street surface will also be quite absorbing, as well as those kerb stones that are cut from the thick strip timber.

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My sincere thanks to OcCre for providing the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click the link at the top of the article.




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1 hour ago, GOKHAN ARICAN said:


Well, that's got to be slightly embarrassing for OcCre!

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Thank you for the great review.


I have bought the tram kit and cannot wait to start building it. However as someone who lived several years in Istanbul in the past, the only thing that discourages me from building this diorama (other than the misspelled KAPALICARSI text, which can be corrected), is the fact that this beautiful nostalgic tram, which is operating between TAKSIM and TUNEL districts (as indicated on the model), does not travel via the Grand Bazaar at all 🙂. It operates back and forth on Istiklal Street which is 2-3km long. 


Other than this reality check fail, it seems like a beautiful background to the tram and it can be excused for the sake of combining two attractions of the city 🙂.

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Occre has some nice trams, that will be build into beautiful models. This diorama looks like a way to make them look even more beautiful. Thanks for the nice review and photos. Do you use a white card background to make the pictures?

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On 6/17/2020 at 10:11 PM, aydingocer said:

this beautiful nostalgic tram, which is operating between TAKSIM and TUNEL districts (as indicated on the model), does not travel via the Grand Bazaar at all

That's for sure. The other side of the harbour!


I visited Taksim Square way back in '93 and got to the covered market but not the Grand Bazaar (ran out of time). Stayed in a little pension at Sultanahmet, with a roof deck that looked over the Marmara Sea and the Straits. Loved the place! Next time I went back (in 2000) the pension was gone and I stayed in another one (not as good) just out the back of the Hippodrome. Wonderful memories. 


Oh, and I nearly got run over by one of those wonderful trams because, coming from a country where people drive on the left, I looked the wrong way before I crossed the street (Yeniçeriler Cadessi).

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