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1/48 Airfix 'Ready for Battle'

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Well, these are strange times. This is my first attempt at a diorama, albeit a very simple one. It is also my first time putting anything I hve produced out in public, so please be gentle.

My wife bought me the Airfix 'Ready for Battle' gift set for xmas, this diorama is pretty much straight out of the box, apart from a couple of little tweaks such as the refueller and the addition of the Tilly.

I look forward to learning from your comments, I would also appreciate some thoughts on photographing dioramas - I am not too happy with how these shots turned out.

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Very busy scene. The figures are very well painted too. I think you must have experience painting figures? 

One thing, both ailerons are drooping downward. It should be one up and one down although in practice they'd normally be neutral. 


I like dioramas. It always nice to see one. 

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Wow! I have been doing some sort of modelling since I was a kid and 40 plus years later I would be showing off my figures if they were painted as well as yours.

 I can't offer any advice as to photographing your models as I have yet to try to post any photos on line.  Don't hesitate to post more of your work on this site.

You will always find that practice makes..... well not perfect but probably better.    See my profile picture to the left? I think it took me 6 tries to get the face painted

like that.  (wondering where I can get  a life sized poster made of that )



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Excellent. And welcome to the forum!


Photography advice - the blue fabric is a bit distracting. A plain background is better. And maybe take the diorama outside if you have a garden and shoot some low angle shots?


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Very nicely done 👍. Just watch your ailerons on future builds, you've got both of them dropped. Some aircraft have droop ailerons where they drop down when the flaps are out ( or powered control where they drop with hydraulics off ) but not on the Hurricane.


Photographing dioramas is not easy. Like IanC says outside with a out of focus distance background can work or adding your own realistic background such as https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/NM72018 or https://www.hannants.co.uk/product/NM72018

If shooting under indoor lighting try not to use such a strong light ( or move it further a way ) and take the exposure down a little.



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Wow they were a busy lot on 32 Sqn, their Chiefy must have been a right keen type. Love it well done sir.

Edited by Edger
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My spontaneous impression is that your dio is full of life (as Aces High also remarked). All the excellent figures are busy with realistic tasks  – that's an important aspect of the overall effect. Another detail that adds life: the offset front wheels of the trucks. Vehicles with their wheels locked straight forward have a tendency to look stiff and unnatural in a 'working' environment.


The Hurricane looks more at home in a modern warbirds context, because of the gloss paintwork. 1940s era fighters usually had a very matte paintwork.


All in all, a really impressive effort, not least for a first diorama.


Kind regards,



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19 hours ago, Ian A said:

I look forward to learning from your comments,

If you used the supplied paints, well done.  I find them gritty.


One point,  you went for RAF blue on the vehicles,  in the war they camouflaged (as shown on the instructions) though the colours on the instructions are wrong....  Airfix must have a huge stockpile of blinkin' Humbrol 30 as they keep using it ...

here's a shot showing the disruptive camo pattern in July 1940, Hurricane P3166 at Castle Camps, July 1940

33880446008_8d1fa14ce1_b.jpg85 Squadron 52 by Сергей Кривицкий, on Flickr

If you follow the link there are lots of more photos.


Post and pre war they used RAF Blue,  but your diorama shows,  the blue stands out against a grass strip! 



I would also appreciate some thoughts on photographing dioramas - I am not too happy with how these shots turned out.

try some shots outside in diffuse natural light.  i think the above are over lit, so lack shadows and it makes it seem a bit flat.  At least with digital you can easily try different methods.


@PlaStix is good at dioramas and photography, and maybe able to give some tips.  


my ultra basic method...I live by a park,  I found a chucked out baize topped card table (it folds flat and is handy for the odd occasion I want a table at the front.... the green baize has naturally 'weathered' .... (it's faded and stained and bobbly...) 


I have a storage box at the front, table laid on box.... and I taken with my 'toytown' camera (old, very basic point and shoot digital) 



more here - https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235053609-airfix-172-hurricane-mki-fabric-wing-oob/




more here https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235071488-airfix-cromwell-72nd-pretty-much-oob/


As the box there are on is about 4 ft high, it's easy to get a low camera angle, which helps.  


If you have a garden, have a look and see if there is place that gets diffuse light, and has a neutral natural background...


Alternately, and as I don't have a printer set up,  I did go image hunting for backgrounds,  I spent some time hunting about, in the end I ran across this place






But have a browse,  it  has lots of photos of various bits of the landscape,   many of the images are have really large versions available, print some off and use as a backdrop, you might need to do over 2-3 sheets of A4 though.  You would need to trim the image, or just do a long curve up (see diorama pics below) 



46968288934_125f9b8ca7_b.jpg85 Squadron 25 by Сергей Кривицкий, on Flickr


you'd need to crop off some foreground. or, as a posting here suggest,



curve it up





I'd forgotten about the classic series of 32 sq




smaller scale stuff can be placed in the background for a 'trompe l'oeil'  effect.





shot in the garden.....


If you have time,  play around,  experiment,  compare to real scenes


HTH and look forward to more of your work



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Hi guys, thanks for all of your comments. My figure painting is more a case of obstinate determination than any sort of skill, I take photos on my phone, blow them up and revisit the bad bits - over and over again.

As for the ailerons, I had a horrible feeling that I'd got it wrong but it was too late by then.

I will certainly take on board your thoughts about staging, lighting, backgrounds and photographing in future.

Thanks again

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