Mader & Jeep – French Forces – Italy 1944
This diorama was directly inspired by the photo edited in time’s magazine about German convoy destroy by French Artillery in Italy in 1944.
Marder III H is an Italeri kit and is really basic with very poor details and a lot of moulding correction to do. I used Eduard PE to increase details. I had a lot of work on this kit and to adapte PE but I obtain a nice result at the end. Marder is paint in XF60, XF65 and XF64 with dusting effect to give it a wreck aspect.
Jeep is Heller kit and was very basic too with the same problem than Marder : moulting default, and poor details. I still used eduard PE and scratch to upgrade the kit. It was painted with TAMIYA XF62.
Figurines are mix of Tamiya, minimart and bronco with new hornet and blitz head and from “Eastern esast” They are paint in Vallejo 988, 921 or 881 for jacket and 968, 833 for pants.
Diorama is made with polystyrene for the volume, a mix of plaster + cat litter + glue + sand for the ground, paint in XF49 with different paint effect. Tree and vegetation are root and I used black aerogaphe spray and black and white pigment to give them burning aspect. A lot of plastic or PE parts of other kit, jerricans, helmet, tracks elements, shell and pieces of plating or engine are used to made scrap around the Marder.
AB41 – Balkan 1942
We are with Italo-German troops during an operation again resistance in Balkan in 1942. All along world war II, Balkans rest a place of fight and civil war between occupations forces, resistances and ethnics groups. It’s a political delicate subject but my interest about AB41, mediterranean ambiance motive this project.
AB41 kit is very easy with few parts. Quality is correct but adjustment and level of details can really be inprove. Tools are not very good mould and there is some empties between a couple of part that must be corrected by putty.
Figurines are from Alpine, Royal model and dragon and except a new head for dragon, there is no modification. I paint them with Vallejo 930 for german pants, 826, 979 and 833 for german jacket, mix of blues 943 and 965 for driver blouse, mix of 930 and 866 for Italian uniform and shining black 861 for leather jacket and helmet of Italian officier.
I try to give Mediterranean atmosphere to the scenery because action spent along Adriatic coast. Base is polystyrene, wall is grave in balsa foam, ground is plaster and litter, vegetation is mininatur set, mousses from my garden and trees are zeechium glue on metal string, flocage and putty for the “tronc” .
BTR80 – UKRAINE 2015
This is an actual and sensitive topic directly inspired by resent events in Ukraine. My original idea was to do a very dark and post-apocalypse atmosphere but at least I smooth it. We stay in an urban and soviet ambience with a kind of industrial wasteland.
Trumpeter kit is pretty good, any building defaults were finds and adjustments are correct. Inside detail is good enough to show it and keep open hatch with no excessive complexity for build it. Wheels and suspension system are clean to build. Problems are: missing instruction on notice and photo-edge part and little piece hard to manage: There is no instruction for building piece number F29 for door and gun fixation. Photo-edge part PE-B4 are hard to bend and glue and there is a lot of little pieces as lights and projectors who make kit fragile for all stage of painting. Dust bagg are made in putty.
I used this painting session to try several techniques: First, I do a zenithal effect with XF21 and XF61, than a shadow effect with black and a modulation effect with white. Colors are one veil of paint of H64, several veil of XF5 and a modulation effect with clear green.
Figurines came from “Evolution” model and I just change arm position of the sitting guy. Uniform from this conflict is an interesting mix of Russian, Ukrainian, German and NATO equipment who give me nice possibility of uniform color. I did German pants in Vallejo 885, 822, 979, 874 and 950, NATO pants Vallejo 833, black and brown, Ukrainian TSKO helmet and jacket: mix 855/822, 887 and 979 and Russian Pants and jacket in Vallejo 924 or 888
Road is etched board mousse paint in Humbrol 28, 64 and juice black or blue, drybruch and pigment dust.
Building is board mousse cover with coating, cinderblock wall is etched board mousse, windows, door and ventilation system are scratch build in plastic. Others elements are scratch or extra pieces, balsa for palette, 3D print for cinder block and toilette. Graffiti’s are decals or painting.
Laffly W15TCC – June 1940
Laffly W15TCC is an association between antitank gun 47mm SA37 and laffly W15T truck. It was a late try of French army to create mobile anti-tank material. First prototype from march 1940 was refused but with urgent situation of may 1940, 70 Laffly W15TCC were produced between 25th may and end of franch battle and to fight in the Somme battle of june1940 with pretty nice results.
Blitzkit resin kit need work but the final results is good. The preparation of pieces must be done carefully because there are fragile. The package leaflet is bad and pieces positions are sometime hard to see. It need blank test and photo to be sure of the assembly. It’s necessary to pay attention in the alignment of hood, cabin and quaterdeck and of the 6 wheels. I scratch news front suspension. Paint is mix of XF58, XF5 and XF74 and XF10+black.
Figurines are from Tamiya, Dragon, Blitzkit and a japan resin soldier. New hornet heads, new equipment and new arms position allow us to adapt them. Uniforms are Vallejo 873+871, strips are in vallejo 873, choose with 872, belt and suspenders with 981 and 983, helmet with 888 and 924, bag with 821, skin with 879, 955 and 928
M19 and M3 – Egypte 1942
This is the tank loader M19 composed with a M20 Diamond T truck and a M9 trailer. It appears in 1941 and was used by British army. I didn’t have any historical revelation for this diorama, I only thought it can be a big baby. I asked my father to choose which tank must be carried by the trailer, he chooses M3 Grant.
M19 – Merrit
Kit is f*** udge with a lot of details and who need time and work. There is not major error or building problems but adjustment can be delicate for axles and wheels parts.
I work by elements : back, trailer, cabin and winch as they ask on notice and every part adjusted them together well.
I first build the cabin, because I had to paint it inside and add figurines. I had a lot of work to adjust figurines, I cut and move, seat, arms, legg. There is a decal for gauge in the dashboard. Rest of building is pretty conventional and don’t need more explanation if you can read a notice.
The paint consists to a base XF59, zenithal effect and pre-shadow in black and white and diluted layers of XF59, XF60 and XF57. Decals are home made because there is no british marking in the box.
All things on the back of the truck : jerricans, tools, wheels are from my extra box and scratch build for cover, blanket and net of camouflage. Homemade decals helped me to do label on jerricans.
It’s nearly build out from the box. I just covert turret with “mister surfacer” to obtain a steel foundry effect and used a resin panzer art set for things on the back. Mud guard of the kit are wrong but I’m to lazy to build news.
Paint was a mix of humbrol ocher that I forget with blue/black area and black-blue area.
To fix the tank on the trailer I build fixation system with scratch and chains, that I paint in steel and rust effect.
Diorama is 52cm / 34cm pieces big, it was done with polystyrene, wood, cork pieces and cat litter and plaster. I do a zenithal black and white effect and used different color with juice and dry brushing for painting. Grass and vegetation are roots and mininatur flocage.
This udge diorama present some empty space that I need to bridge with an old Tamiya Bren that I build and paint 20 years ago. Paint was deleted with “decap-four”, some pieces are removed and/or replaced by scratch build to destroy the kit and give it a wreck look. Paint sheme is the same that my Matilda with : Ligth stone 7x XF2 + 2 x XF59 + 2 x XF8 – Dark grey 50/50 XF24 et XF4 et Slate 7x XF21 + 1 x H306 + 1XF4.
Figurines are, Hornet HB1, Alpine 35079, miniart 35051, dragon 6380 and MB 3594 with some new hornet head. Hornet and Alpine quality is great, dragon and MB just good, minimart can be improve.
Uniforms are Vallejo mix of 914/921 (30/70%) or 921/884 (50/50). Choose are paint in black, sox in green 924, helmet in 914.
Renault R35 from 1st BCC after battle of Tilancourt – June 1940
I have a big interest for materials, battles and kit of the French 1940’s army and I read a lot of book to find inspiration. This “passion” gave me chance to meet Silvère Bastien, an amateur historian who had written a book about 1st Tank battalion. To thanks him to help me I decide to build him a diorama with a Renault R35 tank of the 1st battalion. We choose to do the Tank N° 50576 of the Lieutnant Boulmer rescue in Fretoy-Le-Château’forest after battle of Tilancourt on 7st June 1940.
Kit is the old Heller reference older than me, it’s not a bad kit but it’s far away from actual quality and I had to scratch and update it a lot:
- Tool support, rivets, cables, trunk lid, towing cable are scratch build with aluminum and photo edge part grapes
- Gun and machine gun are done with aluminum tube
- Tracks are trumpeter kit N° 02061quite nice to build and who make more realistic than vinyl tracks.
- Tail of crossing behind the tank is SHAPEWAY 3D print ref TES35022. There is no plan for this upgrade but there are not a lot of pieces. It need to defuse the towing hook and try position before glue it because adjustment are not prefect
- Inside is home made with part of other kit. I did it more to give illusion than to respect real inside tank disposition
Silvère and I nearly need 6 months to be ok on the camouflage. We study black and white photo of the original tank, speculate theories, compare with other kit, other photos and magazine color proposition, try color disposition on photoshop … to conclude on this color scheme made with Tamiya: XF68 for brown, XF81 for olive green, XF17 for clear green, mix XF60/59 for yellow, XF25 for blue, XF83 for grey, X16 and white for clear purple. Black lines are made with a pen and tracks are paint with humbrol 173, oil juice and humbrol 11 dry brush.
Marking are made by myself with special decals paper and rest of decals from other kit (AMD 80, Somua …)
Kit is dusting with classic oil paint juice, Humbrol 72 juice, pigments and XF55veil of paint. I try to be soft to keep camouflage visible because I work a lot and well on the camouflage.
Figurines are resin from Blast-model for lieutnent Boulmer and modified miniart for technician Marcel Bonneau sitting on the front. My Friend Silvère Bastien gave me a lot of instruction and original pictures for uniform’s color, everything is paint with Vallejo: Jacket is leather brown 871, shadow with 861, lighting with 988; pants is US filed drab 873, helmet is brown violet 887 mix with English uniform 921, belt and roll of the helmet is brown sand 876, shadow with 984 and lighting with 988; bag is yellow green 881, chooses are 984 shadow with 871.
To respect history I had to a forest where survival tank are rescue. Diorama in the wood is difficult because you have to do a lot of vegetation without hide models. Grown is mix of glue, dirt, roots. Trees are zeechium cover with parsil. Other plants are lichens or mininatur flocking.
Laffly White 80 – Tunisia 1943
This is a French Laffly withe 80 in Tunisia in 1943. Those armoured car were produced between the two words wars and were obsolete as soon as they were produced. They were sent in Africa for colonial police in the 30st and still equipped local French regiment (12ième RCA) during Tunisia battle in 1943.
Kit is a resin kit from DesKit, very nice stuff to do, I only had problem with bended gun, positioning counter shocks and traps. There is a big default on wheels that I hide with dust. It was paint in XF58 and XF60 marking are home made decals.
Figurines and animals are minimart and Heller with new head and new equipment. Goumier is paind in Vallejo 873, tank driver with leather brown 871.
Decor is a simple djebel road, grown is plaster, water and glue cover with cat-litter. It was paint with XF59, XF79 and XF55 and each cat-litter were paint on pencil with a large nuance of rock color. Tower is from minimart and mininatur flocking and natural dry mosses are use for vegetation.
T20 Konsomoletz defending Odessa 1941.
Let me show you my T20 Konsomoletz and Russians marines defending Odessa in 1941 against German and Romanian army.
T20 is from Mirror Model and is not easy to manage. There are a lot of pieces (too much for the final so small model), sometime fragile and hard to cut from the grapes, assembly is not precis with no mark, molding is sometime rude, track position is wrong and must be remote 1 mm far away from the rest of the vehicle. Inside is full with engine and driver place but we didn’t see anything at the end and I take the liberty to don’t build engine. I don’t remember what color I used to paint; I think it was a mix of XF81 and other green apply on a black and white technique pre-effect. My control of this technique is not really good and we didn’t see this effect at the end.
Russian marines are from MB 35153 build out from the box except for the driver who need a couple of modification to be adapted to his position. Their posture are dynamic and they are pretty good mould except for ammunition on shoulder and side. Gunner is from tamiya with new arms. Maxims Machine Gun is from ICM, it’s pretty nice but one more time there is too many piece for a so small kit.
I try a lot of color combination before finding my way:
- Gunner is in Vallejo 688 for the pants, Vallejo 881 for the jacket and Vallejo 924 for helmet.
- Driver is mix of black 950, dark blues 995 and blue 943, lighting in 943, shadow with black.
- Other marines are a mix 995/899, lighting with add of 943, shadow with 995; belt and stapes in khaki 988; neck is blue 943.
Diorama is home made with glue and dirt for the ground, balsa and putty for the trench, grass flocking for vegetation.
Renault EG and Albatross Dr – 1916
I was inspirited by pictures; it was so original for this period that I couldn’t try something. But I had to find models …and to study the how to carried the plane.
EG Renault truck: This is a resin kit from blitz-kit, French artisan who explored French army material from ww1 and 1940. It’s a good kit without too much pieces, good molding and no major default. It was no free of problems as:
- Axle look like deformed but it find normal bend as soon as it was glue on the back piece number 26.
- It looks like the piece for exhaust pipe was missing and I scratch one.
- Pieces 23 for transmission axis were shorter and I change them with pieces Q-tip
- The Cover doesn’t fit perfectly with the back and must be corrected with putty and glue.
- There is zone molding hole cover by glue
- I break a piece of hood.
- I do a new cable of towing
It was paint in Gunze 303 mix with XF23 and XF25, lighting effect in XF23 and shadow in XF18. The back was paint in wood effect with XF59 and umber oil before been cover by air spray for scratching blue Gunze 303 coat.
Trolley is a resin kit part from the Schneider 155C Gun from Blitz-kit that I already done. It was very easy to build with only 5 or 6 part and paint with the same way than truck.
Albatross is a Rodden 1/32 scale kit and it could be really better molded and have better detail. I can’t say it was a good model. Kit needs a big work and care to be build properly and to over-retail engine with pipe and cable. Some pieces must be cut or release to fix the engine. Rudder is scratch build.
Wood effect inside and outside is made by wiped umber oil on XF59 (or XF57) color coat then cover by a mix of X24/ X26/ X22. I find this technique on internet. Green color is XF65 (shadow in XF61), red Gunze H13, metal part in Humbrol 56 with black oil juice, leather roll around pilot is Vallejo 873.
Decals from the kit was a dirty shit!!! I ask a college “Ayrtsen “to send me some decals from an other kit.
Figurines are from very old box of “mountain infantryman” by Heller and resin ww1 tank driver from Deskit. Both have new hornet head. They are paint in with Vallejo 943 for uniform and Vallejo 816 for helmet and kepi.
Decor is pretty simple board cover with a mix of tile glue and cat litter. Some paint spray and oil juice modulate the tint and flocking grass complete the scene.
Sturmi – Tali Ihantala – summer 1944
Tali Ihantal is the name of two villages in Finland and one of the biggest battle in Scandinavia. In summer 1944, this strong battle stops Russian army after their powerful attack of Finland. Finland winds this battle but had to negotiate end of war with Russia.
STURMI is the name of Stug III G that German gave to equipped Finland in 1943. There are some modifications that are explains on website www.andreaslarka.net.
I used the Dragon Kit, pretty easy and nice to build but, without any kind of problem and who don’t need specific building explains. I only had to scratch specificity of STURMI like wheels side support, tail box in the back and I change MG42 by Miniart DT28 machine gun as you can this on pictures.
The typical “Hard-edge” camouflage scheme was made with a mix of Tamiya XF55 and XF57 for “Light grey”, Humbrol 31 for “Moss Green” and XF10 for “Sand Brown” and I must admit that there is a part of personal feeling in this color choice. I used bison decals for marking.
Finland army figurine doesn’t exist and I had to use Russian and German figurine from tamiya, dragon and jaguar. Pocket and badge must be cut from German’s uniforms and putty help me to dress the tank leader. I change head and used German, Russian and Italian hap and helmet. I mix grey and blue for painting jacket and used Vallejo 966 for pants.
Diorama is a polystyrene piece cover by a mix of plaster, glue and pigments.
Birches are zeechium paint, leaf are hashed parsley fixed with glue in spray and paint with aerograph.
Conifers are dry stick cover with sculpted putty and asparagus branch.
Ground is cover by mix of roots, dry plants and flocking.
First Freedon for Siddi Barani
Here is my new project that I kept in mind since a long time ago because I waited to have a better level and all kit to start. It‘s showing British forces again Italian army during “Compass” operation at the end of 1940 after the fight for Sidi Barani. It’s one of my biggest diorama with 3 kits and all DIY building and decor.
Matilda is the old but still fine model from TAMIYA. It’s easy to build and details level was increase by Eduard PE; metallic gun and scratch. Tracks are fine for a so old kit. It was paint in Gaunted British sheme with “light stone” : done with 7 pts XF2 + 2 pts XF59 + 2 pts XF3, “Silver grey” done with mix of 7pts XF21 + 1pt XF19 +1pt XF4 and “Slate” 1prt XF24 + 1 prt XF4 .. or something very close because à didn’t have all references.
Italian CV33 is from BRONCO and was not really easy. This kit had so much and so little pieces that make it delicate to build and fragile during painting operations. It needs a lot of reflections, try and adjustment to build it and tracks are hard to glue correctly. It was a hard kit !!! It was pains in XF 60 and green XF65 spot with a failed zenithal effect J
Motorbike is from BRONCO too and I really like built this one. It was not easy too with a lot of very small pieces but building process is clear and I’m very proud of my final work. It was paint with the same “light stone” than matilda on a black and white zenital effect who is nearly invisible at the end.
Figurines are from Ultracast for Matilda’s crew, Bronco for motor biker and minimart and MB for others. I adjust arm and change some head by hornet. They are paint with a base of Vallejo Iraqi sand 819 and Khali 988.
Diorama is made with a piece of polystyrene circle with skinny balsa. Ground is made with stone-flor glue, pigments, sand and kitty litter paint un humbrol 93 and other washes and filter.
Buildings are plaster mould paint with air-spray technique in sand and white. Doors are balsa. Moucharabia is build with plastic, balsa and plaster-strip. Little walls is kitty-litter glue with stone flor.