A recent commission from a collector involved making a display for his 54mm German tanks. He had been inspired by an article in a model making magazine of a German repair shop with a couple of Stug III 's in it.The brief , then, was to make a 2ft x 2ft diorama set inside a German bombed out tank repair shop. It had to look like the building had been badly damaged and we were able to look inside because a wall and half the ceiling had fallen in due to the damage.
|the empty repair shop|
The shell of the building was straight forward to make- a square brick building with a big metal door at the far end. The challenges in this diorama was the detail. I needed to try to make it look like a working repair shop but leaving enough space to put the tanks and figures in.
I bought alot of bits and pieces from Verlinden. They are 1/35th scale so strictly a little small for the 1/30th scale figures but by choosing carefully what I got the difference in scale is hard to spot. Verlinden do some very nice bits of machinery along with barrels and bottles that all help to make the scene.
|examples of Verlinden machinery.|
In the UK, Verlinden kits are available from:
There is a big range so take your time. They also do 1/48th scale stuff which works well with 28mm figures (a bit big but OK)
|populated repair shop|
The walk way was from my spares box so but was just the right size- the moral of the story- never throw anything away!
The boiler was fun to make. The parts came from:
These are well worth a look as they have loads of useful detailing pieces for all scale of model making.
The top and bottom are plastic elliptical heads with plastic tube for the main body. I just cut the tube to length and glued the heads to top and bottom and I found myself with a tank. Adding some pipework and other details soon makes the tank a good looking boiler.
Once all the detail modelling was finished then I had to paint it all. It is an industrial working building so I used lots of greys and browns with splashes of colour supplied by posters and bits of equipment painted in bright reds and yellows.
Once all the basic painting was done, I love to go over it all and weather it with streaks of oil and grime. I find this final stage is what often brings a diorama to life. I think it did it for this commission as well. Of course the final touch is when the figures and tanks arrive and that pleasure is always left to my customer!