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My Daughter's Airfix D-Day Battlefront Diorama - with Additions


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  • 1 month later...
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My daughter and I had a six hour modelling session today. We began with giving the Jeep, trailer, field gun, crates and bench a dirty wash to pick out detail.

 

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Painting the road signs came next. They had already had their posts painted, so just needed the signs painting white. They'll all be piled up somewhere on the diorama.

 

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After a time for the wash to harden, the Jeep had its windscreen, mirror, axe, shovel and steering wheel fitted. It was also dirtied up a bit with some mud around the tyres, fenders and rear wheel arches. We used a chrome pen to paint in the mirror. The diorama base also had a bit more work with washes and dirt/mud along the moulded in track marks.

 

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Edited by Army_Air_Force
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We had a few other craft projects to work on during the day which were done while paint on the diorama was drying in my curing cabinet. Later in the day, I told my daughter to cut one of each figure off the sprues and to look at what they were doing and try to work out where they could go. This was a bit of a challenge as most of the figures are in fighting poses, while we wanted to portray a forward position being held, but not under fire.

 

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Four of the items that needed a location were coiled up rolls of barbed wire. That got us thinking and out came some mono-strand, electrical copper wire which had its insulation stripped off. It was then coiled around a carbon fibre tube to make a long coil. The wire is a bit thick, but it was fairly easy to work with, not too fragile and held its shape.

 

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Edited by Army_Air_Force
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Here's one of the stretched out barbed wire coils, awaiting painting and becoming a road block. When we come to attach the figures, those with bases need the base cutting off, and I'll possibly use a fine wire up one foot to help secure them.

 

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As can be seen here, guns, webbing, packs etc., still need detail painting to be done. The figures may not be in the final layout, but we photographed each scene as a reminder of their location should we wish to replicate those positions in the final glue down.

 

d_day157.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force
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Three moulded coils of wire are likely to be piled up in preparation for another road block, while one of the running soldiers is to be used, carrying the last coil into place. In the background, three of the four poles can be seen which will support the camo-net over the radio operator. One of the figures who was throwing a granade, will be used to be pulling on of the rigging ropes that hold up the poles and camo-net.

 

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Some figures in the house will be on watch. There's still lots of roof tiles and timbers that we made, that need attaching around the remains of the house.

 

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Last two pictures. A close up of the Jeep, now with its spare wheel fitted. Just behind the hood is the solder who was throwing the granade, but will now be juggling the camo-net guy rope. We haven't painted the seated radio operator yet, so he needs to be finished and seated at his bench before the camo-net can be fitted. The radio has had a base coat of black, but needs some highlights adding.

 

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Finally for this update, an overview of the diorama so far. We're very pleased with our work in what turned out to be our longest building session ever. 

 

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Edited by Army_Air_Force
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12 hours ago, Army_Air_Force said:

We're very pleased with our work in what turned out to be our longest building session ever. 

And so you should be. Tell your daughter, well done.

 

John.

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It looks absolutely fantastic; well done to you both! 

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Fantastic work the both of you!

 

I particularly like the idea of posing the figures (unfinished) and taking photos so you can reposition them after they are finished (post 130) - nicked for future use!

 

And the repurposing of the grenade flinger/rigging tensioner - inspired! Was that your daughter's idea - brilliant!

 

All the best

 

Geoff

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We were just chatting about the poses of the combat figures. I said we need to look at what they were doing and whether that could be perceived as another non-combat action. We'd positioned the camo net over its poles and I noticed the granade guy was about the right height to be pulling on the net. Cutting guns off some figures is an option, so we needed to look creatively at the poses.

I often find that when modelling, you can become detail blind. You work on something so long, you start to miss little defects. Go away for a day and come back to it and they often jump out at you. So I've used photographing dioramas before, setting up a scene, photographing it from a few angles, then perhaps trying a different layout and photographing it. A few days later, look at the pictures and you'll often see the scenes with a new perspective and realise that some things don't work. If they do still look good, you have a photographic record of where everything needs to be.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

We had another short session the other day and I did some experimenting on the figures. We didn't want them all standing on their plastic paving slabs, so one was sliced off for a test.

 

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I wanted to pin the figures in place as well as gluing them. In order to do this, they needed a hole up through their foot, leg or other suitable moulding. The plastic is quite strong, but bendy, making drilling with a small drill a bit tricky. Instead, I wrapped some copper wire around a soldering iron tip and told the soldier to brace himself!

 

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Edited by Army_Air_Force
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The soldier was prepared for a bit of a sting, so bit down hard on his rifle butt!

 

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Carefully lining up the copper wire, a short hole was melted into his foot and lower leg. Only around 2mm deep, but enough to strengthen the attachment to the base. After the melted waste had cooled and was cut free, he was pushed onto the end of the barbed wire coil to check the fit and depth.

 

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Edited by Army_Air_Force
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The rest of the figures were then cut from their bases, for those who were moulded with bases. They also had holes melted up one leg. They were hopping mad!

 

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The barbed wire coils were painted......

 

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....along with a metallic dusting over the three sheets of corrugated iron.

 

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Edited by Army_Air_Force
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Good progress. At least you have  daughter who (hopefully) will be able to keep herself occupied while she's in lockdown.

 

John.

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superb work... wish I was half as good with a diorama... one of these days I Will try one

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is looking like a lot of fun.  Didn't she build some Spitfires and even Snoopy and the Red Baron over at the Aircraft forum?

 

 

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  • 3 months later...
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After a break of four months, we finally got back to the diorama today. Since late March, life has mainly been focused on school work, so we've had little time for modelling. I just had a big clean up of the workshop yesterday, giving me bench space again, so we spent the whole day modelmaking. Most of the painting and detailing had been done on the various components, so it was time to start the final assembly. Work began on cutting some small brass pins to length which would be used to attach the figures.  The pins were filed with a diamond file to rough up the surface to aid the glue joint.

 

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All the figures then had the pins glued in with cyano and their boots touched up where needed, following the melting of the holes for the pins. They were left in the curing cabinet for a while to dry while we moved on to other jobs.

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Edited by Army_Air_Force
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A few small details still needed painting, so those were done next.

 

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While the paint was drying, we started the final assembly by gluing down the field gun. That gave us a position for the two crew and enabled us to drill the mounting holes. After a test fit, they were both glued in place. 

d_day172.jpg

Edited by Army_Air_Force
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The coil of barbed wire was next. It was quite springy, so were started at one end, attaching it with cyano. It was held down against its natural spring, and glued every inch or so.

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Rob the radio operator was next. He and his radio were glued to the bench and the bench glued under the position of the camo net. The barrels and crates were trial fitted, but we didn't know if their positions would interfere with the netting, so they were left loose for the time being. A few options for cargo was also tried in the trailer.

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Edited by Army_Air_Force
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