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Pacific island airstrip diorama in 1/72

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Hey all,

Thought I might post this one, which is from a couple of years back - I wanted to do a Pacific island airstrip diorama for a P-38 and a derelict Zero. I also wanted to do it 'homemade' if at all possible!

So I started with a sketch....a really really bad sketch !


The base was an A4 picture frame, with some wooden coffee stirrers as rudimentary planking for the Zero and some cardboard to give some ground relief...


Covered in Polyfilla...


The space on the left was for the crushed coral or in this case, smashed up kitty litter (unused obviously!)

Any Pacific island needs palm trees so found some advice online on how to make them and went with that. First, some unwanted sprue tree for trunks.The middle one has been wrapped with ordinary masking tape in a random way for the trunk bark..


Coated in white glue and then wrapped with some cotton thread for the bark effect. Here it has been painted black to give some shading before I painted them a grey colour.



The palm fronds were made from paper, soaked in white glue and wrapped around a wire so I could bend them and painted leaf green with bits of brown. I then tried to cut some random palm leaf shapes in them....not the greatest I'll be honest but fine from 6 ft away!


And then marked for location in one corner of the diorama..(pics slightly out of sequence here!)

You can't make it out in this picture but the coconuts are whole coriander seeds, glued into the trees - they're actually pretty good in this scale!


Groundwork painted and weathered. The fuel drums are from a Hasegawa set while the maintenance table is built from matchsticks. The truck shell is the front half of a Matchbox LRDG truck, long forgotten in a model box of horrors. I also opened up one of drums to have its' contents leak out..


And how it finally all came together..



Figures are from Airfix I think and the two plane kits are an Airfix P-38J (yes, that one!) and an ancient Revell Zero - both needed some detailing to make them presentable..





I really enjoyed building this and trying new things out...and very pleased with how it ended up!

Thanks for looking and any questions, comments, just ask.

All the best,


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Hello Dermot, your diorama turned out really well. Good idea to start with a sketch. I believe there is a new section on building dioramas now on Britmodeller. You could post the way you planned yours on there. Joe

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