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  1. Hi, It's the last submarine I built:, HMS Astute (Hobby Boss): . . . . . . The sea made of resin... Chris
  2. Hello! I am taking a leap into a ship and submarine diorama and now that Imgur is working again I can upload some photos of where I am. My idea was to have an upper layer of a flower class corvette sat within a thin but hard seascape that show above water and below water propeller wake including explosions from depth charges. Beneath that is another part of the dio, a submarine diving with air bubble trails and propeller wake with depth charge explosions around it in various shades / types of explosion profile with a North Sea base below……
  3. Hiya all This is my first water Dio and I'm hoping to learn alot and prepare myself for a couple of high detail ship / sub dioramas that I have planned. I have already built and painted the sub, it was soooo tiny that I feel a bit silly posting photos of what was a few pieces and a little glue, not really taxing (apart from being small!) So this build will focus on the water..... A starter for 10. (A big fan of old school university challenge) Comments and suggestions welcome 🤓👍
  4. This project was made as part of the D-Day Group Build. This is my first ever diorama and it's made up with a lot of other firsts. First Typhoon, Panther and Tiger kits, first tank(s) for many, many years, first plane kit in flight, first use of a Prop Blur, first use of aftermarket decals (for the Typhoon) and first 1/72 figures. Nearly everyone who contributed to the WIP thread helped with ideas for the building of various elements of the project so a big thank you to them all - it wouldn't have been possible without the help of the BM team. Also it was seeing Kallisti's Typhoon base that got me thinking about doing a diorama - so thank you to Kallisti for the idea. Typhoon: Airfix 1/72 Mk.IB Typhoon (new tool version) - MN526/TP-V - No.198 Sqn., 123 Wing, 84 Group, 2 TAF B10/Plumetot, France - July 1944. Panther: Dragon 1/72 Ausf G with Zimmerit, no. 135 of 12 SS Pz, Tiger I: Dragon 1/72 Ausf E with Zimmerit, no. 131 of sSSPzAbt 101 German and British troops from Ceasar Miniatures Baseboard: Softwood, Sundela, MDF, filler and various leftover scenic materials from model railway projects made a long time ago. The WIP can be found here The RFI for the Typhoon can be found here The RFI for the two tanks can be found here Time: early evening, July 1944 - Location: somewhere northwest of Normandy This last photo shows the actual diorama and the background I used to give it depth. The background is actually the display shelf I made for my Spitfire builds but it seemed to work well as a backdrop - I thought it would look better than just a plain wall. Although this project is finished as far as the D-Day Group Build is concerned I've still got some ideas for developing this diorama further but I'm going to make a couple of Spitfires first! Thank you for looking. Comments and suggestions welcome. Kind regards, Stix
  5. Clear Box (100-Box01) Special Hobby Storing your models can be just a case of putting the finished work on shelves in a cabinet or on an open shelf, but that leaves them open to damage by incautious hands/paws, and of course, the dreaded dust. Dust has a habit of resolving itself over time into a self-adhesive layer that’s best not thought too deeply about, in case we realise what it consists of. Display cases are usually some combination of quite expensive, heavy or not of the required size, so it’s hard to find one to fit your modelling output. This new clear-topped display box is about to change that, particularly for 1:72 or smaller armour builders, or anyone that needs a display box with 5cm of headroom, measuring 13.4cm x 7.7cm at the base, internally, tapering to 12.8cm x 7.6cm at the top of the box interior. It has a clear upper of course, or you wouldn’t see much, and a black plastic base onto which the top fits neatly, although not tightly. If you grip the clear upper, it will come away without effort from the base, so to keep the atmosphere out, you’d need to glue/seal the two halves together with an adhesive that won’t mar either component. The black base has a lip at the bottom on which the top rests, and a bevelled edge around it that extends diagonally 8mm into the base. This gives 12.1cm x 6.5cm of useable flat space on the base, which is ideal for 1:72 armour, 1:43 vehicles and other such reasonably-sized models. The box arrives in a clear shrink-wrap film, with a sticker on top telling you what it is, and in the process it protects the case from scratch damage in transit. There is nothing stopping you from adding ground works to the base, the diagonal section adding a separation between your diorama/vignette and the clear sides. You must ensure that you don’t use any solvent-based adhesives or putties to create your masterpiece however, for fear of melting the base, and you should also ensure that all paints, glues and potions have fully cured before you drop the lid on your model for eternity, as it’s possible that off-gassing could result in partial melting, or frosting of the clear top, ruining your case. That’s for you to look out for however, as most cases are plastic, and the same rules apply unless you can afford glass cases. Conclusion A simple, effective and cost-conscious way to protect your creations from dust and ill-advised touching from fingers or paws. Fingers crossed that some larger boxes will arrive in due course. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Hello to all. I know I’m going to be really late for this one but really want to finish my entrophy build before I begin properly (this build it’s a bit ambitious and not sure if I’ll finish but have been looking forwards this for a long time). Anyhow… here’s what I’m approaching: Similar to John masters diorama in that it has several figures and vehicles. Hoping it’s ok to have all three in one thread as they will be appearing all in the one very small simple dessert base. Shot with instructions and still unopened sprues: the tomahawk 2b from academy: the open box to the right is the aml resin/pe set I got from a fellow Brit modeller; Im really really not a plane guy. As I’ve said before I know next to nothing about them just like the way other modellers make them. So I’ll probably lean on the knowledge bank within this gb quite heavily. I’ve only done a couple 1/72 planes before… but will give it a try. This will be a shark mouth, box art colours from 112 sqn. Then it’s something I’m a bit more familiar with: Tamiya damiler dingo mk2: Should be a bit of a quick one. Going to do this in the Mike Starmer guided light stone and dark brown wave pattern. I’ll post up refs a little later. This one comes with two figures but on top of this I’ve gone and got two absolutely stunningly crafted white metal figures from David Parkins: It’s really hard to track down British desert figures in 1/48 but they are beyond beautiful for their scale. Lastly the Tamiya crusader. I’ll be doing the light stone and black pattern in a mk1: I like the mk1 with its funky little mg mini turret, you don’t tend to see to many: I have a wardrawings camo plan which I’ll follow. I’m actually away at a show and brought this kit with me as theirs no tv In the hotel room 😱 so I made a start below: The wheel made up and tidied. The lower cast metal hull screwed to the the part sone upper hull. And that’s it so far. I like the weight the metal base gives and this time will make it hard for me to screw up the running gear alignment… something I’m magnetically drawn to do… I just love it, I mean I can’t actually build something without a wonky wheel or track hanging loose somewhere…. Maybe I should trade mark that? 😉 Anyway it’s called wondering into the blue as that’s what the raf used to call the desert, the blue. The idea is of a pilot who has had some sort of mechanical issues which has caused him to land in the desert. The dingo and crusader were out looking for the pilot (crusader their for extra protection and to possibly tow the plane back to base?). They come across the plane but no pilot. He has left a note, which I have mocked up on the pc and will stick to the side of the base. The note will give very British cryptic clues as to his journey back to base, figuring if he stays with the plane he’ll die without trying to get home. Thanks all, Paul
  7. Hi, I've decided to start Trumpeter HMS Eskimo in 1/350 scale.: . . I use WEM photoetching... and Black Cat models set. Chris
  8. So this is my Tamiya halftrack diorama. It depicts a german infantry unit taking a bit of a break during the battle in France. You can find the buildlog here: https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235132104-tamiya-hanomag-in-france-without-the-krupp/ It was a joy to build this model. In typical tamiya style all the parts went together really nice. The model lacks a bit of detail and i think i will build a second halftrack in the future using a kit with a bit more detail. I used figures from Alpine and Miniart. There is a difference in molding ( details are a bit crude on the miniart figures ) and also in size. The Alpine figures are much more refined and a joy to paint. The miniart figures are ok but need much more work to make them look half decent. The diorama base is a complete scratchbuild using styrofoam and various AK diorama products. My first attempt to make water flowing down looks a bit rough..... Overall i'm happy with the look of the whole scene. I kept the weathering light, a bit of dust and some streaking but nothing over the top. Thank you all for stopping by and taking the time to look at the photo's. All comments and or tips to improve are welcome. Still struggeling a bit with the photo settings. There is something to learn too. On to the next build. Something german named 'Moritz'
  9. Well...it's not often I post here. There is so much going on in this diorama I constructed for the ongoing 'I Feel Deserted' GB that I don't have enough space in the GB gallery thread for all the photos I would like to post. So I will post more here. Here is the WiP, by the way, if you care to look at it. It explains everything. Lots of pictures... I like my rocky outcropping... That's it! --John
  10. I found this in the internet and just loved the scene. As you can see two fairly bored looking Germans guarding the wreckage of a MK V ( no it is a Mk Ia and thankfully my plans are too ) Spitfire. I’ve chosen 1/35 because I have quite a few Tamiya figures in the spares box in that scale, and it rather scratches the spitfire than attempt to scratch figures. First off some plans, scaled to 1/35 and printed. Next up some woodwork. After some time with my detail sander a coat of polyurethane ain’t to see where we’re going. I’ve cut out the engine bay and cockpit area and skinned the whole thing in 20 thou plastic sheet. Next some more spitfire work and a bit more carpentry
  11. So had this idea for a while, this is my third build for the group build, this is only loosley based on the images below, but the idea is a sunken fighter wreck from WW2 long abandoned and now an attractive place for kayakers and free divers in the shallow waters of Nikko Bay Paulau. Its a 1/72 Airfix A6M Zero, converted to a Rufe Floatplane Fighter thats been sunken when it was hidden in the quiet secluded inlets of Nikko Bay in 1944 and forgotten, time hasnt been kind to the wreck and although lightly damage when sunken, scuttled perhaps, time and salt water has started to eat the structure away.
  12. Hi, This is my last diorama, The USS PAUL (KNOX class) on the French Riviera. It's the Orange Hobby kit (USS Robert E. Peary), the water's made with resin: . . . . . . . . . . . .Chris
  13. Folks , Next entropy project is Golan Guard, a 1:72 diorama that will show the last resting place of the last of a long line of Stug III assault guns. TBF from my research its not very clear if they even got a shot off during the 6 day war in 1967. Im going to use the video below as the basis of the project, I have a Revell Stug III G, be aware am using this as a basis similar to the Mig Dio, its not meant to be an exact reflection. I will need to try and figure out how to 3D print an interior and stuff. Let the fun begin 😆
  14. Hi all, This is going to be my first of two entries (I had previously mentioned what I was planning in the chat thread.) This will hopefully be the easier of the 2 and the quicker and … my favourite (but ssshh don’t tell the other!). It’s a small-ish diorama/vignette of a beaten up post apocalypse Gepard. I’m gonna stick a whole bunch of random bits to it to make a sort of ‘across the ages’ tank with a mix of ww1/ww2/Cold War/sci-if items included. Two figures on the edge of a sinkhole/crater. I want people to look it and think “what the hell is that?”. I have never looked so forwards to a model or group build as this and have held back from it for over a year now. So super psyched. The model itself I saved from a so called box of ‘junk’, comes complete with many random faults which I would never have thought to have added. It also comes with its own entrophy… lots of mould, dust, broken parts, parts missing or in the wrong place. Plus the massive amounts of poly cement everywhere. It’s an older tamiya kit I think which was in a box in an artic for the past 20 or 30 years. The first thing I did was take it apart and give it a good clean with hot soapy water. As I took it apart more bits fell off… which is just the sort of natural random destruction I want. Then I started to add some of the bits I wanted to change to the turret. I thought the Gepard looked a little under gunned (joking!) so added a pak 38 to where the radar once sat. I also moved the mount for the top radar to the rear, closer to where it should be. I’m gonna add a new scratch built radar to replace the one missing from the top and a dozer shield for its front, amongst a few other bits and pieces. The hole on the top of the new gun mount I added an armoured plate, cut down from a spare part: I’m gonna add armoured textures, flame cuts and new weld seems along with additional armour plate next. This will cover up any gaps. The large hole beneath the new gun mount will be filled with putty or milliput which will look like the mount from an m48 Patton, with the canvass cover. The camo scheme will be of my own design, one of my sons is into mine craft so going to give it digital camo blocks and Enderdragon purple eyes. The main scheme will be black, white, silver and greys. With the digital blocks being carried through out in a combo of these colours. I’m going to keep the rubber band tracks, maybe cut one off and keep the other attached. Spikes will be added to hatches and barb wire wrapped around each gun. One of the AA guns will be broken off, laying on the ground and the second will hang loose with scratch hoses and electronics gubbins hanging out it. I may add schurzen, but will see how I go. I had to make the base to see if it fitted (anyone for a large cheese roll?) It’s very rough cut insulation mounted on a Poundland mirror. I need to carve the crater out from the centre to place the tank on its rear end sticking up, to see if it fits ok. I was originally going to cut the end off the tank off (engine end) but as the base is so chunky I may leave it on and use this to help keep it up right on the foam. You’ll see what I mean better later on, probably doesn’t make much sense at this stage. Then I made up the figures: filled a couple gaps with plastic putty, added a gun sling and wires to the flame thrower: I’ve added the axe to the modern day figure as well. I’ll further explain my colour choices for these little chaps once I have the paint on. I’m wanting to add to the ‘across the ages’ look to them, similar to the tanks theme. All the best, Paul.
  15. As my first faltering step back into proper scale modelling I've set my heart on an RAF heavy bomber diorama and I have made a start on an Italeri Stirling. I have found many photos online appearing to show aircraft crawling with erks simultaneously refuelling and bombing-up. These have, of course, raised more questions than answers in my, easily confused, mind and I'm in danger of being paralysed by indecision before I've got very far at all. So if anyone out there could chip in with any information on standard procedures of the time I'd be very grateful! Was this an accepted practice? Who was in charge of how much fuel was delivered, the chap at the pump or the chap with the hose on the wing? Would there have been a third erk at the flight engineer's station, manipulating fuel valves and monitoring fuel gauges, or were the gauges relatively useless with the aircraft in a tail down attitude? Lastly, if it were me, I'd want to start loading bombs at the back of the bomb bay and work forward so that I wasn't working directly under the ones already in place. Or is that just being a post-modernist wuss? Many thanks in advance! Murray
  16. During the run up to the GB I(mildly) lambasted Spitfire builds as boring compared to the scope of this GB so in an ironic twist ,I’m doing two Spitfire dioramas ( it is a fantastic airplane) this one is a downed American MKV so I also get an interesting camo scheme too. I’ll be using the Airfix 1/72 MK V, not sure if I’ll add in the two marines or the landing craft, both will depend on what I can find in my local model shop…
  17. This’ll be my third entry for the GB I’ll be using this kit which luckily enough is a female, although the one in the photo may be a hermaphrodite I’m assuming it’s machine guns all round and hence a female.
  18. Here is my first diorama build of a Su-76m stuck in the mud somewhere in Poland 1944. You can find the buildlog here: It was a long build because of real life stuff going on at the same time. However i really enjoyed it. I learned a lot in terms of hiding mistakes, building a miniart kit ( it was my first ) making my first diorama, improving on adding depth, light and shadow. Thanks to all how tagged along, providing me with helpfull tips, reference pictures and positive comments. All feedback is more then welcome. Thanks for your time. Anyway, here are the pictures:
  19. German Artillery Tractor T-60(r) with Crew Towing Pak40 7.5cm Gun (35395) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Pak40 As WWII loomed, Nazi high command got wind of new tank developments in Soviet Russia, and realised that their 3.7cm Pak36 was inadequate for the task ahead, starting work initially on the 5cm Pak38, which was abandoned in favour of a 7.5cm barrel once the rumours were confirmed. It was essentially a re-engineered Pak38, with everything enlarged to suit the bigger rounds, in development between 1939 and 41, with the name Pak40 given to it during its gestation. As Operation Barbarossa began, the project was given a higher priority, and early examples reached the Eastern Front in late 1941, becoming the Wehrmacht’s standard artillery piece from then on, with a total of over 23,000 built before the end of WWII. The success of the weapon was such that it was also re-developed into a main gun for use by tanks and other armoured vehicles, such as the StuG III and Panzer IV, as well as a relatively makeshift mount on the Marder series of self-propelled guns. It was an effective artillery piece, capable of penetrating the armour of everything the Allies fielded, from the Sherman to the Pershing in US service, and the IS heavy tanks that the Soviets operated. It was a heavy piece however, and that affected its mobility, particularly in bad weather where it was prone to bogging down in muddy terrain. It shared projectile with all German 7.5cm rounds, but was mounted in a larger brass cartridge casing that gave it more power and range than the smaller rounds fired by the KwK variant use in the armour installations. Other variations included the driver bands around the projectile and the method of initiating firing, using traditional percussion caps for the Pak40, and an electrical mechanism for the KwK. Three types of round were able to be used, an armour-piercing explosive round, an armour-piercing kinetic penetrator with a tungsten core, and the standard HEAT or High Explosive Anti-Tank round, each of which differed in shape and colour of the projectile, and were marked with stencils accordingly. Artillery Tractor T-60(r) The T-60 was originally a Soviet light tank design, and the Romanians pressed captured examples into service, hacking some about to create the TACAM Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun. The Germans also pressed many captured examples into service in various guises, using the suffix (r) to indicate the Russian origin of the type, often after heavy modifications, of which one such modification was into an Artillery Tractor to go where wheeled or half-track vehicles would find the going difficult. The turret was discarded entirely, leaving the turret ring as the main entry and exit to the vehicle, but leaving it open to the elements that must have made it difficult and unpleasant to crew in the winter months. It wasn’t meant to be a front-line vehicle per se, but it did have to take its charge to where the fighting was, so it was equipped with a bodged MG34 machine gun mounted on the deck in front of the turret ring for self-defence, and it was flanked by a pair of angled stowage boxes, one on each side. At the rear was a sturdy towing hook to couple its charge, its diminutive size making the artillery piece look quite large. The Kit This is a reboxing of three existing kits from the MiniArt range, the T-60(r) based upon a 2017 tooling that has been extended and augmented over the years, although only two previous boxings have had the turret removed and no other weapon installed instead. The Pak40 is a brand-new release, and highly detailed too, topped off by the inclusion of a figure set containing artillery crew in transit, this portion of the set originating in 2007 and lending itself nicely to this kit that wasn’t even contemplated at the time. The kit arrives in a standard top-opening box with a painting of the tractor towing its gun, and festooned with the crew of five that make the vehicle look even smaller. Where they all sat when the weather turned inclement, we can only guess at. There are forty-two sprues of grey styrene, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) and small decal sheet in a card envelope, and the instruction booklet with a glossy colour cover and profiles on the front and rear pages. Detail is excellent, and although the figures predate the other components by a decade or more, they are well-detailed because figures have always been MiniArt’s strong suit. We’ll deal with each component of the kit separately, and to save you clicking away, we’ll reproduce the review of the new Pak40 kit in its entirety, as apart from the PE fret being extended to encompass the rest of the model, it is identical to the included sprues. Artillery Tractor T-60(r) The PE sheet above includes parts for both the main models Construction begins with the floor of the hull, adding driver’s controls, seat and a comparatively small transmission unit offset to one side with clutch and flywheel plus linkages to the driver’s levers. The 70hp straight-6 GAZ engine is built up with ancillaries, fan belt, mounts and a small gearbox at one end, plus a two-part manifold that has a long exhaust added later, exiting near the front of the chassis after passing the driver, which must have been comfortable in the winter, but less so in the heat of the summer. The engine is also mounted offset to the right, and at the front left a pair of lead-acid batteries take up the rest of the space, adding more linkages to the engine, including one to the front bulkhead for manual starting. The side walls, rear bulkhead and the short front bulkhead with accessories are all placed on the floor, fitting a radiator on a bulkhead that runs across the vehicle behind the engine, then adding the coolant hoses to and from the core, and plenty of other small components. On the front and rear of the sides, the final drive housing and idler-wheel axle are installed respectively, adding a longitudinal bulkhead behind the radiator that strengthens the assembly further and sections off the radiator path. The road wheels are installed on short swing-arms, fitting an identical wheel to the idler, and a toothed drive sprocket on each side at the front. The hull roof is mostly made from a single part with the turret ring moulded-in, adding a large square access hatch over the transmission unit, then building up the driver’s hatch and enclosure, adding a hinged vision port with slit in the centre that has armoured hinges and a PE shade over the slot to deflect incoming rounds from some angles. A single headlamp is mounted on a folded-up PE bracket and fixed to the deck beside the driver’s hump, and at the rear the cooling louvres are slotted into the space in the rear deck, and each of these has a thicker armoured top edge, and a flange at the very rear. The space in the deck to right of the turret ring is filled by another cooling vent that has an armoured grille over the centre, and can be mounted on its two hinges without glue so that the engine can be exposed if you wish. The track links are small and finely detailed, with three sprue gates per link that are on the curved mating surfaces, so don’t take long to remove. You should to treat them gently though, as they are quite delicate, and you need eighty-six per side, fixing them together with liquid glue, then wrapping them around the road wheels while the glue is still flexible, holding the track run in position with clips, sponges and tape as you see fit. The large cooling louvres on the rear deck are covered by a fine PE mesh that has a further perimeter strip applied over it to hold it in place, adding nine tiny wingnuts down one side that allows it to be lifted for maintenance on the real vehicle. The fenders that run down each side of the tank have several small pips removed and have triangular fillets and a PE flange added to the front, with an axe that is held down by PE clamps, a series of rectangular and triangular profiled stowage boxes installed on both sides with a choice of two layouts, plus a selection of pioneer tools held in place by more PE clamps. The fenders are glued to the sides of the hull and have triangular PE supports added along their length, fitting more small brackets and couplings to the sloped glacis that secure them in place. The final sub-assembly for the tractor is the MG34, which has a separate breech top, a choice of deployed or stowed bi-pod, and a single drum magazine feeding it rounds. This is mounted for one decal option on the roof of the driver’s enclosure, completing the tractor. Pak40 75mm Field Gun This a new tool from MiniArt, and detail is exactly what we’ve come to expect from MiniArt, with options to pose the model in transport mode or ready for action. You also get a few shells and wooden cases to dot around the gun if you intend to place it in a diorama. Construction begins with the chassis of the gun, on which the wheels and trails are installed, fixing many parts on it, adding brakes to the axles and a front fender, then cutting some lengths of wire from your own stock to link the brake cylinder to the pistons, with PE tie-downs holding them to the underside, and additional scrap diagrams showing the completed loom to help you with location. The trails are detailed with tools, grab-handles and spades at the rear, plus additional parts that differ depending on whether you are opening them up for combat, or ready for transport. They are mated to the chassis and locked in place by the top pivots, again changing some parts and their positions depending on the option you have chosen. A choice of two methods of attaching a shovel to the bottom plate are offered, one using a simple pair of PE clasps, the other creating a fully articulated retention clamp for the handle. The finished plate is fitted vertically for transport, but tipped up horizontally for action. There are actually three configurations for the gun, the traditional ready-for-action pose with the trails spread, plus two transport options, one for towing by a vehicle, the other for moving the gun off-road with a third wheel perched behind the trails, raising them off the ground for manual fine-tuning of position by the crew. The trails have a pair of cross-braces to hold them together during towing, with a split towing bar made from two halves connecting it to your choice of prime-mover. The wheels are laminated from three layers plus a central boss, making up two of these and a third without the boss that sits across the trails for the vehicle transport option, held in place on a sturdy bracket. For the manual transport option, the bracket is reused and fixed to the towing arm from underneath with the third wheel attached on an axle to raise the trails above the ground. The gun barrel is a single part with a keyed peg on each end, the thicker end inserting into the eight-part breech, which includes a sliding block if you leave it unglued. The barrel slide is made up from three sides and an end-cap, adding more details on the sides, and a cover on the front portion made from three sections. The barrel drops over the slide with the addition of a small PE crutch and is surrounded by a pair of pivots to the sides, the elevation arc-gear under the slide, and a few other detail parts, popping the pivots into the trunnions that glue to a detailed bottom plate, holding the gun in position from there. Dampers with corrugated gaiters are attached to the trunnions, with different parts for transport and combat positions, then the adjustment wheels and their actuators are fixed onto the left side, with a stubby axe on the right, again with PE socket and clasp on the handle. The sighting gear is also installed on the left, then it’s time to protect the crew from incoming fire. A U-shaped armour panel is built from two layers of styrene with a PE layer in between them, slotting it over the barrel from above and mounting on four supports, adding an additional link on each side using scrap diagrams to locate them properly. The cheek armour panels are also two layers per side, with cylindrical stowage items including a torch to the inner face before they are mated with the centre armour and braced by additional links to the sides of the trunnions, with an angled PE lip on the inside just below the top edge. There are three choices of muzzle-brake, each one made from similar but slightly different shaped parts, plus an optional part that is covered with a bag and PE ring to prevent debris ingress. The gun is then lowered onto the chassis, locating the pin in a corresponding hole in the top. To add detail around your model, a set of ten ready rounds are included on a sprue, with another four empty brass casings on another, plus a pair of shell boxes that have slots for three shells each, and are made from individual sides, bottom, and lid plus handles, and can be posed open or closed if you wish. Stencils for the shells and boxes are included, as well as a full painting guide next to the colour chart that gives codes for Vallejo, Mr Color, AK Real Color, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya, as well as swatches and generic colour names. Figures The sprue containing the figures is actually a pair of sprues linked together, providing a driver figure with his hands out in front of him on the control levers, plus four seated crew that are relaxing on the deck as they move from one position to another. Each of them has a different pose, and all of them are wearing a standard Wehrmacht Field Grey uniform with calf-length jackboots and either a forage cap or peaked cap typical of the period. There are a selection of Stahlhelms on the sprues for a more battle-ready look, as well as a selection of Kar98 rifles, ammo pouches, canteens, and a single pistol in its holster. The parts for each figure are found in separate areas of the sprue for ease of identification, and parts breakdown is sensibly placed along clothing seams or natural breaks to minimise clean-up of the figures once they are built up. The sculpting is typically excellent, as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt’s sculptors and tool-makers, with natural poses, drape of clothing and textures appropriate to the parts of the model. Markings There are two decal options included on the sheet, both on the Eastern Front, but different enough to give you some options. From the box you can build one of the following: Eastern Front 1943 Eastern Front 1943 Decals are by Cartograf, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s worth it just for the superb new Pak40, and when you consider you’re also getting a T-60(r) and five figures that are all well-detailed, it’s an appealing offering. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Cobblestone Road with Tramline (36065) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Before tarmac, blacktop, asphalt, metalled roads, or whatever name by which you know modern road surfaces became predominant, cobbled roads were more common, as they were hard-wearing, produced little or no dust, wouldn’t rut in winter, and lasted a long time. They were cheap and easy to maintain by removing any damaged sections piecemeal and replacing it with new cobbles, or the old cobbles reseated on replacement substrate, which was often compressed ash. My father was a bit of an expert cobbler (and talks it to this very day) before he retired, and tells me that it’s very hard on your knees, but not all that difficult to do if you have the right tools and someone wheeling the next load of cobbles into reach. The Kit This set is a quick and easy way of creating a diorama, typically around WWII or earlier, and it arrives in a top-opening box with a painting of the finished model, and inside are two large sheets of injection-moulded cobblestone paving, plus two sprues of furniture to decorate the road with catenary supports for an electric tram to draw power from. Historically, MiniArt diorama bases have been vacuum-formed from thick grey plastic, but this base is full injection-moulded in grey plastic with a crisp form and no clean-up needed before you can begin building. It also presents a firm and heavy base on which to place your model or models. Construction begins with deciding on how you would like to arrange the two base plates, or you could use them separately with two dioramas if you wish. The most obvious arrangement would be to run them end-to-end to depict a single tram line, but you can rotate one 180° and put them side-by-side to depict a short run of twin rails close to each other or at opposite sides of the base. You could strengthen the joint by drilling some brass pins through the mated bases if you wish, or flood the join with liquid glue and give it plenty of time to cure. The two posts are made up identically, starting with the fluted base and vertical post that are both made from two halves each, then adding a single narrower upper post with a ferruled top. The outrigger fixes close to the top of the narrower vertical, adding a tensioner at each end on brackets, strung with wire from your own stocks, with another bracing wire leading from the end of the outrigger to the top of the pole, with a choice or plain or fancy designs on the sprues. The thicker overhead conductor wire is strung between the two tensioner wires, and although it isn’t mentioned on the instruction sheet, it is prominent on the box artwork. Markings There aren’t any, and there are no painting guides either, just the box art to act as a suggestion. In reality, the world is your oyster, as streets could have cobbles of a different shade to the one down the road, and tram companies may paint their catenary poles in any colour they choose. If you wish to paint your street accurately, a little research will be required to establish the correct colours for the posts at least. The cobbles are quick to paint with various shades of grey, adding an earthy or ash-coloured pigment to the interstices, wiping the excess from the top surface when dry, fixing the pigment in place with your preferred method. The addition of some rust on the rails and a few spills or puddles should make the whole thing come alive. Conclusion As a diorama-phobic myself, these kits are a boon and allow the modeller a quick and easy route to an attractive and realistic looking backdrop for your models. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. Farm Cart & Village Accessories (35657) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Any diorama benefits from background details, and MiniArt have a range of kits for the modeller to use in order to improve the visual interest and realism of their models. This set arrives in an end-opening figure-sized box, and inside are four grey sprues of varying sizes in a heat-sealed bag that protects them from excessive rattling, and therefore damage during transit. The parts on the sprues allow the modeller to build a farm cart of the type that was typically pulled by a horse between the two traces, the long straight wooden rails that project from the front of the cart. The instructions can be found of the rear of the box, and are quite simple with only a few steps. The cart is begun by fixing the axle under the frame that has the traces moulded-in, and adding a support leg on one trace that indicates that this was more likely propelled by shanks’ pony, or people power. The cart wheels slot onto the ends of the axles, and a three-part foot step is fixed to the right side of the frame, with two eyelets hanging one underneath each trace. The body is a simple open box with sloped sides that is built around the rectangular floor, adding sides with raised rails at the top, and a rear bulkhead with hook, after which a short stop is added to the front, and over it, suspended between the two sides, is a simple bench seat, all of which is engraved with a fine wood texture. The two sub-assemblies are joined together to complete them, then it is a case of putting together some of the more shapely accessories, and cutting the rest from the sprues. A watering can is made up from two halves plus a nozzle, while three sacks are each two parts, with different textures implying the contents. A long-handled mattock and rake are two parts each, adding a scythe, sickle, three forks or hoes to complete the toolkit. A painting guide under the instructions gives some examples of possible colours for the various elements, but the world really is your oyster, unless you’re planning on painting it with HAVE Glass anti-radiation coating, which is just silly. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. German Civilians 1930-40s (38075) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd We often forget the civilian side of WWII, unless it’s to discuss the effects of bombing, but throughout the whole conflict, many people carried on as best they could with their ordinary lives, whether they were exempt from serving, too old, too young, or the wrong gender at the time. This new box of figures contains five characters that you may possibly have seen on any given day on the streets of Berlin, or another German town or city. Inside the figure-sized end-opening box are two sprues plus a small casting block containing five resin heads, that will allow you to build a variety of German people, including an old lady in a long smock-coat, a gentleman in business suit with Homberg or Trilby hat, a military police officer with alternate helmet to give him either a traffic directing pose, or asking for someone’s papers, a lady in a knee-length dress with her handbag under her arm, and a Hitler Youth member in shorts and brown shirt, looking shiftily over his shoulder, probably looking to grass someone up. Each figure is broken down into individual torso, arms, legs, heads and helmet/hat where appropriate, with the ladies diverging from that path slightly, the old lady’s body consisting mostly of the two halves of her coat, while the lady with bag has a two-part hollow skirt, and both have flat platforms within the skirts onto which their legs locate. There are styrene heads for each of the figures on the sprues, but this edition has the afore mentioned resin heads on a single casting block, adding superior detail to the figures and improved sculpting that allows the artist to impart more character into the faces for you to bring out with careful painting. There are a few accessories with the set as you might expect, extending to a pistol holster for the soldier along with his extra head and arms, plus a vertical badge on the top of his optional helmet; a walking cane for the old lady that is moulded into her hand with a scarf insert between her head and body, and the handbag clutched in the lady’s arm. As usual with MiniArt figures their sculpting is exceptional with crisp detail, realistic poses, drape of fabrics, and sensible parts breakdown, improved further by the resin heads, although you don’t have to use them if you’re not a fan. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. This will be my first 'diorama' base since way back in the last century--1988! Eventually I want to create a series of bases I can use for RFI images on the Forum with different basic looks: snow, greenish grass, desert sand, etc...nothing too crazy yet. So I am starting small. This will be a simple dry dirt road with some grass on the side, etc...you get it, right? In the old days we use Plaster of Paris or that stuff for train sets that was mostly vermiculite. You had to put down a mesh screen first so it would stick. I am hoping this acrylic mix will work without the mesh. 🤞 I mixed a few spoonfuls with a very small amount of tap water and now I have this. I will let it set up a bit and sculpt the road running through it, then when it is dry I am hoping to be able to sand it some and so forth. It looks like MacArthur's Park, i.e. someone left the cake out in the rain... Wish me luck! --John
  24. EGNT Newcastle Airport Main Terminal Pier 1/144 Firstly I must say I'm not sure if this project belongs in the diorama or civil aviation thread but I'd thought I'd appeal to the small number of airliner fans as I'm going to need some expertise on the way. Some of the aircraft I'm going to make are going to be conversions and from some dodgy kits (minicraft). Newcastle Airport is a very small airport and it's only terminal is served by a pier surrounded by a handful of aircraft. Despite the expansion of the airport itself the pier has looked the same for the last 30 or so years which has hosted a few eras of civil aviation and numerous different types of aircraft. This give me an idea of building the whole pier which would give me a choice of what era I want to exhibit. Some include:- late 1980s - Wardair 747-100/200s, Britannia & BA 737-200s early 1990s - Britannia 767/757s, Caledonian L1011s or DC10s, BA 757 & a320s (landor) early 2000s - Flying Colours & JMC 757s, Monarch a330s, Air2000 a320s 2010 to now - this is the era I'm going with, there will be a few discrepancies for sure but this diorama is going to coincide with the outgoing Thomas Cook 757s in the old livery and when easyjet introduced the bandana livery and I'm toying with the idea of at least one easyjet in the old livery. This may be too early to introduce the easyjet a320neo but I've got the kit so what the hell. here's a rough look at the set up.... Stand 3 - this is always reserved for BA and is only 1 of 3 air bridges. This stand can accommodate the whole a320 family but I'm going for a bog standard a321 by Zvezda Stand 4 - This side of the pier is mainly for domestic routes but can change depending on availability. Stand 4 will accommodate a Easyjet a319 in the old or new livery. I haven't been able to get a Revell A319 kit yet so I'm going to take apart an old a320 kit. Stand 5 - Easyjet a320neo by Zvezda Stand 6 - Easyjet a319 (need to find a cheap Revell) Stand 7- The airport is now dominated by Jet2 the 737-800 is now the most common jet. The zvezda 737-800 is the obvious choice. (red and silver livery not that jet2holidays horror show) Stand 8 - Another 737-800. With the sight of old TCX 757s it will be Thomson and not TUI. Stand 9 - also stand 30 depending on the size of the aircraft. This is always the Emirates 777 spot and the A330 before that. However its also common to find the TUI dreamliner here or before that First choice or Thomson 767. I've got an old zvezda 767 I'm busy tearing apart so I thought I'd go for the latter. Also for the sake of a balanced diorama I thought the Emirates would be too big! This will have an airbridge. Stand 10/11 - Stand 10 and 11 are primarily for slightly larger narrow body sized aircraft so the 757 is a good fit. I haven't decided if these are going to be TCX or Jet2 or a combination of both. The kits I have bought is the well criticized Minicraft C32 kit of hell (I'm going to need some advice with these). If I go with Jet2 I'm going for scratch built winglets and the red and silver livery. The TCX will be the sunny heart blue livery. Stand 10 has an air bridge. Stand 12 - KLM 737-900 or AF a318. To be honest I fancy making both but I'm leaning more toward the 737-900 as I may be sick of airbus by the time I've done BA and 3 EZYs. I believe no kit exists for the 737-900 apart from Authentic Airliners which is not available but I'm up for doing a conversion. I've also been given some advice to avoid the Eastern Express A318 kit and do a A319 conversion instead. Although this stand is often reserved for KLM/AF, I'm going to have to check that this stand can accommodate and aircraft the size of the 737-900. Most often you'll see the 737-700 or the Cityjet RJ85 parked up. in this example the furthest Easyjet on the left is in the wrong place. This is where the BA A321 shuttle will be Stands 1 and 2 exist but will likely be out the picture unless I decide to make the whole terminal! more content to follow...........
  25. No Fishing- Pripyat Marshes Near Chernobyl 1942 This is a fictional diorama of what might have taken place, its set outside the town of Chernobyl in Vyshhorod Raion of northern Kyiv Oblast. There are three characters in this diorama. Hans, Misha and zhadnyye kishki (greedy guts). Today is Hans birthday, he turned 21 today and his commander has given Hans 24hrs off work to celebrate, what does a fishing mad German from Wittenberg do in the middle of Russia on their birthday? Spend it fishing of course! Its not like there was much else to do really. Hans was part of the 213th Division that provides local security for convoys of supplies going east. Hans found some line, fashioned his own rod and used some of the flies that he brought from home. He found the little jetty with a sign that one of the villagers told him said No Fishing in Russian. Such a sign was an affront to any fisherman and Hans duly took care of the sign, besides he thought this area is under new management. Hans hopes to land a good sized catch but he is about to land something he didn’t expect, a rotting old Russian boot! Misha the cat, observed the human walking down to the jetty and in her experience humans tended to be a good source of food, particularly scraps of tasty fish, this human seemed friendly not like the other one the commissar, a nasty kick in the ribs from a boot taught Misha not to get caught anywhere near that one, although she hadn’t seen much of him recently not since the terrible thunder came and went. Now if Misha can just convince this human to part with something nice… zhadnyye kishki (greedy guts) was a wylie fish, as he had grown many had tried to snare him, but it was like he could sense when something wasn’t right, when a fly was just to tempting, it was this and this alone that had saved greedy guts from the many dangers that these waters held for a Carp. Greedy guts quietly loitered under the reeds and lillies of the marshes as he sought out his next meal. The Build I used ICMs 1/35 scale German Armoured Vehicle Crew, and I mixed and matched the set to get the figure sitting with the right pose. This is my first foray into figures and I was lucky enough to get a master class in figure painting from a good mate, Don (Cheers mate!) I think I definitely need more practice with figures right enough The diorama was built with a photoframe, turned upside down , epoxyed in and sealed with bathroom sealer, next I used foamboard to build up the terrain and then used tile grout plus brown paint to form the terrain, I added some gravel ballast from the garden to give me the boulders. I used a scribe to create the three plastic side for the diorama then cut the fibreboard that was the photoframe back for the fourth side , painted it to match the frame. For the pier I gathered some twigs from woods, and I had some 1mm jute twine, I used the twigs to form the pier used a hot glue gun to stick it together and used the twine as rope. I took my first foray into oil paints and used some to paint the pier. The grass is a mix of 2 and 6mm static spring grass. The reeds were a pain in the bottom, I tried a few things, I used the bristles from a cheap paint brush, as in one for your walls, I put some painted brown grout on baking paper, soaked the bristles in green paint and when dry stuck them in the grout, I let the grout start to dry out as well and that seemed to work better than when I tried initially, when the grout was “wet” the bristles would fall over. The little tufts were done slightly differently the were painted then I took a small bunch and glued them with a hot glue gun and I dipped them in water to solidify the glue, they were then stuck in the semi dry grout. The lillies are Fimo clay, rolled some flat, then used some metal rods as a cookie cutter and then further thinned the disk of clay, cut a notch in them , baked them and painted them (BTW I tried Fimmo’s green clay and that was a bust, it seemed wetter than the white and seemed stickier so the lillies ripped , not sure if it was me or the clay is different? ) Greedy guts the fish was just a lot of experimenting until I got the right shape for a fish, then baked and painted roughly like a carp. The boot and fishing line (black thread) was set on the base and the resin poured adding in Tamiya smoke to make the water murky. Three issues with the resin that I need to try and improve on, 1 bubbles, I managed to get most of them, however the area that was a right T$%t was around the reeds , I tried to get my mini blow torch in there to get the bubble and only succeed is setting fire to some of the reeds, so I needed to live with the bubbles, second I was pouring the resin in layers and I managed to get get a drop of water on the wet resin, there was a horrible reaction where it formed a whitish skin on the surface and when it dried I had several holes in the resin, I tried to fix them but it didn’t work all that well, I will just need to live with them and be very aware of that in the future, lastly I managed to get resin on the Perspex sides and scratched it trying to remove it, I think next time I use perspex I will leave the film on as long as possible. All in all a longer build but I enjoyed it , and I enjoyed creating the story to the diorama, I wanted to build something that was military related but like not a battle or war scene , kinda of military downtime type thing. Any tips or advice welcome 😊 Making The Lillies First pour and Greed Guts In And the finished results Thanks for reading this far 🙂 Mark
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