Shunichi Matsuba, a self-proclaimed diorama artist, creates extraordinarily detailed miniature scenes of Japanese life past and present — often using models smaller than a fingertip.

Maybe you remember what a diorama is from when you had to make one representing your favorite scene from Of Mice and Men or something back in your middle school literature class. While your classmates’ mockery upon seeing your amalgam of crudely cut-out stick figures arranged with several gallons of glue against a ghastly Crayola-crayoned shoebox backdrop probably made you swear off modeling and diorama making for the rest of your life, here in Japan, there are some people that take this stuff pretty seriously.

And they have become very, very good at it.

So good, in fact, that enthusiasts like Shunichi Matsuba, a full-blown diorama artist, can create stunningly realistic models of everyday objects that are fractions of fractions of those objects’ true scale. Ever seen a bucket so small it can perch on a fingertip or a truck the size of a coin? Matsubata makes these things for fun.

It’s not entirely clear what kind of materials Matsuba uses to craft his creations, although clues in a handful of his Twitter photos reveal many of the models are made from various thin metals, wire and plastics, while some pieces of Matsuba’s full diorama scenes are store-bought toys — like Tomica cars — which he’s painted over and deliberately “aged” with dents, rust and other flourishes.

So small are Matsuba’s models that he readily admits to occasionally dropping one under his desk, the tiny bucket or trashcan or whatever never to be found again. There are also, apparently, a whole lot of failed attempts when working on a scale this small; although Matsuba says even some of his “failed” pieces find their way into dioramas as things like broken-down cars. Something tells us, though, that Matsuba’s definition of failure is a lot different from ours. Diorama “failure,” in our case, would probably involve a deep X-acto knife cut, the loss of two pints of blood, and a night in the emergency room.

Despite being on such a small scale, Matsuba’s work is truly impressive. Did we mention the man just does this as a hobby? We imagine he’s very detail-oriented at whatever he actually does for a living.

Source: Curazy
Images: Shunichi Matsuba via Twitter