Saturday, October 27, 2012

Motoring along the Route Bleue

That small band of regular readers of my little diecast blog will know that I like to create dioramas using Photoshop, but I also like the more traditional 3-D dioramas as well. The sad fact is that I don't really have much skill at building things with my hands, and so I have resorted to buying some pre-made 3D dioramas, all in the fabulous 'Route Bleue' series made by Altaya. I have bought nine of them so far, and as I am rapidly running out of places to put them in my study, I think that's it... well unless I see something just irresistible.

So here's the Route Bleue show and tell.

Citroen Dyane 'Flowers' model, stopping lakeside at Annecy,
looking suspiciously like they are both lost and on holidays.
Citroen Type H van in Roanne selling an ice-cream to a little boy.
It's the people and the setting, as well as the cars, which draw
me to any diorama. I can't resist food vans of any sort....

Mercedes 280SL, with startlet perched on the bonnet, posing
for photos at the Cannes film festival.
Every time I see Mercedes sports car of this vintage I always
think of my sister Helen. It was her dream Lotto-win car and
sadly for her, she never won Lotto and hasn't owned a Merc.
Family of picknickers in a Renault Ondine at Aix-en-Provence.
Bread, butter, cheese, fruit, cakes, Thermos of coffee. Happy days.

Fisherman and his pooch stop in their Citroen Mehari to
dangle the line for a while, at L'Yonne.
A beekeeper driving a Morris Minivan stops to tend a hive
by a lavender field at Digne.

My one 'modded' diorama, of a Panhard Dyna stopping off
at Le Meridionale Cafe for refreshments. My 'mod' is that the
Route Bleue original car is a dull grey Dyna, and I thought
my lemon yellow Dyna (by Sunstar) looked a lot better than
the original scene, which was a bit brab and colourless.
Nice car, boring diorama! This is a Salmson S4E stopped by
the seaside at La Moyenne Corniche. Viewed side-on, you
can't see any people, as it's two oldies sitting on a bench and
a small kid walking by. The car and the pretty background
photo of the ocean make up for these deficiencies.

Last, definitely not least, my absolute favourite. Protesting
farmers dump a load of melons from their Peugeot 203 Pickup
onto the middle of the road, stopping the traffic.

Lovely attention to detail, those dumped, broken melons.

No to price rises! Love it...
The final thing to say about these Route Bleue dioramas by Altaya is that they are both plentiful and not very expensive. On eBay I've been paying anywhere between $10 and $25 for each one, with postage costs to Australia varying from $10 to $20 on top. On average each is costing about $30-$35 in my hand.

And they are plentiful, there's no shortage of them, so they're not exactly 'collectable' in the sense of being rare or valuable. I like that 'ordinary and common' thing about them. I'm not interested in 'capitalist collecting' – doing it to make a buck. I plan to keep every model I ever buy just because I like them – and I really do love these charming French dioramas by Altaya.


  1. Bellos dioramas, tan bellos que me dieron ganas de ir de pic-nic, comer sandía y tomar un helado.

    Beautiful dioramas, so beautiful that wanted me go picnic, eating watermelon and take an ice cream.

  2. Thanks Juan H. Those picnic dioramas make me hungry, so I am having olives, pate and cheese for lunch today!

  3. Leer ésto a mi también me ha dado hambre. Como aquí hace calor, ya me voy a comer un helado.

    Read it to my has also given me hungry. As here, it's hot, I'm eating an ice cream.

  4. Love these pics Oz. Great collection. The protesting farmers is a very good but Renault and picnicers is the one for me.

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