Miniature Pop Culture Decorative Dioramas

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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This shop got multiple 5-star reviews in the past 7 days.



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Nino Balistrieri

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Nino Balistrieri


Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
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Quality 9 Shipping 31 Customer service 10

About DioramaGuy

Sales 987
On Etsy since 2012

My hobby has value? I have an idea!

Model building was a talent I didn't know I had. I just fell in love with it during art school. When I was hired as an exhibit designer just after graduation, I had the opportunity to use these skills occasionally, but not as much (or to the level of detail) as I desired to.

For many years, I would view the miniature railroad at the museum I worked at and think about how awesome it would be to build something like this... but with an ominous tone to it! For years, I visualized and dreamt of this layout, even keeping a list of things I wanted to be a part of it.

Finally, over ten years later, now married with a house - and a small workshop in the garage - I thought it was about time to start working towards this goal! I met an awesome photographer (who specialized in abandonments) and approached him with the idea of building a highly detailed miniature of an abandoned building. He loved the idea and invited me to join an art show with a few other photographers to display such a project. I couldn't believe the response to my work! The piece did not sell, but seeing people staring in amazement at my work, really lit the fire!

Not long after this show I decided to donate a sculpted plaque using some leftover material from the project to donate several items for a fundraiser. I created 6 castings from the original sculpture and raised about $600 for the campaign! This made me think "Maybe I could do this. I could sell smaller pieces to begin funding the big one!"

My next step was a horror convention. I used the now popular "crowd funding" concept at this convention to raise money to build a larger platform with several buildings, landscaping and even animations! Once again, I was overwhelmed by the support of horror fans in making this happen - I met my funding goal and ever surpassed it a bit!

It was after this convention that I decided to open this Etsy store to share my creations with more than just the attendees of a local art show or horror convention, I decided it was time to share them with the world!

Thanks for reading my story! Please visit my Facebook page to view the above mentioned projects (and many others). I hope you decide to follow along as this story progresses! I feel like it's just getting started!

Shop members

  • Nino Balistrieri

    Owner, Model Builder, Owner

    Interactive exhibit designer by day, haunted house designer by night. I build dioramas in any free time I get in-between. This shop was created as a way to share my creations with the world while supporting my model building habit!

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