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Badder

First model/diorama after 35yr gap.

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Ok guys, I'm a newbie and I've just returned to model-making after a gap of 35yrs. I thought I'd join this site and post some pics of my recently completed diorama of a Tiger 1 and panzer grenadiers advancing along a street in a village somewhere near Villers Bocage, June 1944. Yes, I KNOW the tank is way too dark! I did a nice camouflage pattern on it, but then overdid the wet-brushing and decided I quite liked it as it was. In some lights the pattern does show up more. But my main aim was just to complete a model. I must admit, I had much more fun with the diorama, which I built from scratch. I will detail the tricks I used. I hope you like the diorama. Don't be too hard on my painting of the tank. I've bought another one and will do a much better job on that one!

Anyhoo, here's a few pics! Comments, questions, tips welcome!

Tiger%201st%20building_zpse3ycd6ob.jpg

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So, I started making the buildings from plastic sheet, using just a ruler and a scalpel. I didn't use set squares, or any other drawing tools as I wanted everything to look a bit wonky, just like real blown up buildings do. I didn't plan ahead, and just constructed everything on a play it by ear basis. Some ideas worked, some didn't. I replaced bits and pieces, like the hand-painted shop signs, the real moss etc and gradually got everything up to a standard that I was happy with.

Tiger%20blue%202_zpszqosjegb.jpg

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The base was a chopping board bought from The Range for about 7 quid. I roughed up the surface with a knife then used Polyfilla to create the street surface, which I made into cobbles by pressing the end of a toothpick into the damp surface. All of the walls were cut from plastic sheet of varying thicknesses, the brickwork picked out with a scalpel. The 'plaster' on the walls was created by gluing fine grade sandpaper directly to the plastic sheet with cyano glue. The first attempts at moss and ivy were made by purchasing 'foliage' from Woodland Scenics, and whilst some of it was okay, I ended up covering most of this up with 'ivy' made from the seed pods of silver birch trees.

Tiger%202nd%20building%202_zpsbvw4fjky.j

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The real moss looked good as foliage, but all attempts to 'preserve' it with PVA glue and varnish failed. Over several weeks, it dried and crumbled. The mosses which survived best were just glued into place with a little cyano, and given a few drops of water once a week! Some of these can be seen in the foreground. I wanted a large tree, but I wasn't going to purchase those kit ones, and so decided to make my own. I found a great way to recreate foliage on line, using the seed pods of silver birch trees, but it took me a while to source them. In the meantime I wondered if I could find something else that might do. And so, the foliage on the tree on the right is made from nettle seeds!Tiger%20tree_zpsuytye61b.jpg

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That's quality that is! I think 'proper modelling' was discussed in a thread recently and this to me is a fine example. There are so many 'add ons' to buy these days that street scenes and foliage are almost ready made but you have built this 'old school' to use an over used phrase, how they did it in old editions of Airfix Magazine and Military Modelling when I was a lad, pouring over the pictures and marvelling at the skills displayed.

Thanks for sharing and the nostalgia.

Regards

Jim

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I didn't like the two shop signs in the end and so replaced them. I also changed the second hand bookshop on the right into a cafe, figuring that French people wouldn't appreciate a second hand bookshop as much as aTiger%20dio%20frontal%20ivy_zpsjl6w9vk0. cafe.

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Panzer Grenadiers were added. I'm not the best at painting figures. Again, I was perhaps in too much of a hurry just to get them done. I haven't fixed them permanently. I drilled into their feet or knees and inserted cut sections of paperclip, and drilled corresponding holes into the base.Tiger%20sunlight%204_zpsupietsyq.jpg

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Looks good in the sunlight....Tiger%20grass%20background_zpss9qomal6.j

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You know for all the failings you are keen to point out to us. The whole effect is excellent. Somehow your diorama is very satisfying. Yes it's flawed but I can see real talent. If that's your first effort after 35 years. I for one can't wait to see what you can do with a bit of practice.

Edited by noelh

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Here's 'the nearly finished diorama.' There's a few bits and pieces left to do. I want to change the 'Cafe Bleu' sign to one printed out rather than using transfers. I intend to touch up a few of the figures and get them just that little bit better. I've also added a couple of subtle bits of humour.... CAN YOU SPOT THEM?Tiger%20couchon%20lateral_zpsh76nhdy7.jp

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Oh yes and you have captured the Tiger effect. I for one would be leaping clear of my Sherman by now!

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Well, that's it for now folks. I have done a bit more work on it since these photos were taken, and I'll post them soon. Thanks for your comments. Yes, I am very much 'old school'. Wet brushing and dry brushing. That was the height of technique the last time I made a model! I have just started a Churchill Mk VII. I reckon I can whip the Tiger and panzer grenadiers out of this diorama, and plonk in the old Churchill and the accompanying 'French farmer offering the tankies a bottle of wine'. lol

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I must admit, the 'staring down the muzzle of a Tiger' photo is pretty chilling. Imagine facing that in 1944!

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Yes the photo in post no 6 really captures the Tiger effect. Reminds me of Wittmans Tiger in Villers Bocage.

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SPOT THE BIT OF HUMOUR?

Clue... Fritz, haben sie meine Steifel gesehen?'Tiger%20sunlight%20lateral%203_zpsavnjmi

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I made a mistake when I replaced the road signs pictured earlier. I originally had a sign pointing to Villy Bocage, a small village to the west of Villers Bocage. Taking into account that Caen and Evrecy are signposted north, and Vire south, this would place this Tiger tank in Villers Bocage itself. Now the sign shows Villers Bocage to the west! lol. I may replace it, I may not. Villy, Villers, who cares? lol

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Oh, by the way... the zimmerit coating effect was achieved by using a pyrograph (an electrically-heated tool used primarily to burn pictures into wood) I would strongly advise doing this job outside, or in an extremely well ventilated room and preferably with a gas mask. My next Tiger will be zimmerited with the Tamiya zimmerit sheets, unless they turn out to be awful, in which case its out with the pyrograph again! P.S. In the last pic you can see 'ivy' creeping around the corner of the 'Cochon Charcuterie'. This was originally a Woodland Scenic product, but here it has been improved with 'leaves' from silver birch tree seed pods.

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Top banana!

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I've added an antenna to the Tiger and some jerry cans and fuel drums to the 'sniper' position front left of the diorama. Yeah, it's not the ideal position to choose to shoot from, but a great target to aim at! This appeals to my sense of humour - as does the pair of boots tied together and hanging over the 'telegraph' wires. I just thought it would be funny to suggest that children of the 1940's invented the game of throwing footwear up over wires/powerlines and that it is not a modern housing estate phenomenon) I am definitely going to change the Cafe Bleu sign for one printed out, but other than that, I think this diorama is just about done. Pics to follow shortly!

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12000983_10207768522597034_7510879445544

Edited by Badder

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A better view of the 'ivy'. Made by pulling apart the 'catkins' of a Silver Birch tree and separating out the 'seed dividers'. These look just like certain species of climbing plant and are about the right scale for some of the larger leafed varieties.11942136_10207768525717112_3613470600917


11958322_10207768523317052_7372256946719

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Simply brilliant mate, loving the diorama, really atmosphieric and portrays the mayhem in the heat of battle. A superb model and wel worth the time, effort and money that you put in to it, you should be suitably proud.

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Thanks Davejay. I am 80 percent pleased with it! lol. I will plan out the next one rather than build as I go! At one stage I realised that there was no access to the top floor of the building on the left, and had to add a staircase. It's not visible unless you look down from above, but I KNOW IT'S THERE! lol. I learned a few things during the making of this diorams. Like, DON'T try to paint the lettering on road signs/shop signs etc by hand!

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This is a great diorama. You might have had a 35 year gap but at least that means we get to see it now. Great job and thanks for sharing it with us!

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