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Dioramas: Before Building
Ideas, concepts, and researching your next diorama.
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Which comes first,...
Golikell
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 06:58 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Erwin,

My apologies, I see what you mean now, and how it would add an element of dynamism.

Cheers, ,

G



No problem We are here to help each other ,aren't we?
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 11:01 PM UTC
Hi Erwin,

Indeed we are, and your help so far has been much appreciated.

Thank you,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 03:02 AM UTC
Hi all,

Decided to start being proactive by looking at the railway track kit from Miniart – I still need to determine if their ‘European Gauge’ track is okay to use, as-is, for a British setting.

The box art (top and one side) is the only guide to painting that you get with the kit (see image below).



The parts come in a reasonably sturdy lidded box, inside of which they are all contained in a single polythene bag along with a separate single sheet with the instructions printed in black-and-white on one side (see images below).





Inside the bag are 8# identical light grey plastic sprues (see images below).





The timber sleepers have some very subtle wood grain effect on the top surface...it’s nicely done but, if anything, it’s too fine for my liking (see image below), .



You can see above how the grain in each sleeper is different, however, the four vertical surfaces are devoid of any engraving (see image below). I guess on a perfectly laid track this wouldn't be an issue as the sleepers will be buried in the ballast, however, in the real world I doubt that would be the case.




I therefore decided to roughen up the existing grain and add grain to the four blank sides (see comparison images below). This is time consuming as there is a total of 40# sleepers (not sure if they’ll all be used on this build), however, it does mean that each sleeper will be slightly different, unlikely to get a repeated pattern, and it also means the ballast can be laid unevenly, which I feel will look more realistic. I have also used a thin wash of black to help show the difference.













Only another 35# to go, !

Not sure whether I should continue the build in here, or should I create a new log specifically for the build...any thoughts?

Please feel free to comment as you see fit.

Cheers, ,

G
Golikell
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 03:43 AM UTC
For clarity, I think it best to start a new topic
G-man69
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 05:03 AM UTC
Hi Erwin,

I think I will follow your suggestion, thank you, !

The log will be called...'Crossing the Line'.

Will most likely get it started tomorrow, would be great to have your continued comments as the build progresses.

Cheers, ,

G
Tank1812
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 06:37 AM UTC
Don’t think it matters where as long as you post photos.

What did you use to make the grains?
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 02:43 AM UTC
Hi Ryan,

The grain was made by using a scribing tool for the heavier pattern, and small blade for the finer scoring (see image below).



However, it’s all probably been in vain, at least for my intended scene, as I’ve since found out that the Miniart European Gauge track isn’t suitable for WW2 era rails in Britain, , however, the Miniart parts can be boxed up until I need them for some future project, .

I have found out from the helpful folk on RMweb, the rail profile isn’t right, it should be what they call ‘Bullhead’ (a sort of dumbbell shape) and the track chairs (the bit that holds the track to the sleepers) are completely wrong for the era I’m considering, . However, they have since informed me that there is a Gauge 1 scale railway system which equates, approximately, to 1/32nd, so I can obtain the British type track that I need, .

I will still have to roughen the sleepers up a tad as again the woodgrain is too neat for my liking (see images below of the Gauge 1 track).







I’m looking to achieve something more akin to the image below.



It's not silly money, I can pick up almost a 3' of straight track for under £20.

Cheers, ,

G
Tank1812
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 03:00 AM UTC
Thanks, I have a project with the Miniart Russian track and I will have to do the same thing.

Could you not keep everything the same but change the location to say France? The rail and civilians mentioned would then work. The layout would still work imho. Course if the location is important to you then never mind.
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 03:26 AM UTC
Hi Ryan,

No problem, hope it helped. Will we get to see some photographs of your Russian project? If you start a log, can you give me a heads-up so that I can follow your build?

In many ways, your suggestion of simply transposing the scenario to France makes sense, would be simpler, and would probably save a few pennies. There would be more accessories available, e.g. Miniarts railway signals, telegraph poles, etc., not to mention the figures you've already alluded to. However, now I’ve got the image fixed in my mind, plus the support I’ve been given by the folk at RMweb, I’m loath to give up on the idea...if that makes sense?

Good luck with your build, and cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 03:41 AM UTC
Hi all,

Another question if I may, before battle commences...

...As previously mentioned, the diorama will be set late winter/early spring and I have been trying to determine what changes I will have to make to the uniforms of the British troops.

I will probably be using a mix of figures from different companies; however, I’m guessing that they are typically (ignore North Africa/Far East figures) shown in non-cold weather uniforms.

Apart from greatcoats, did the British have standard ‘cold weather/winter’ clothing, or was it the standard uniform that would be worn? I imagine tank crew would wear the pixie suit and simply have more layers beneath, but I'm thinking more about the poor ol' infantry. I have tried ‘googling’ but I’m not getting much joy apart from the aforementioned greatcoat.

Any comments or ideas?

Cheers, ,

G
Tank1812
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 03:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Ryan,

No problem, hope it helped. Will we get to see some photographs of your Russian project? If you start a log, can you give me a heads-up so that I can follow your build?

In many ways, your suggestion of simply transposing the scenario to France makes sense, would be simpler, and would probably save a few pennies. There would be more accessories available, e.g. Miniarts railway signals, telegraph poles, etc., not to mention the figures you've already alluded to. However, now I’ve got the image fixed in my mind, plus the support I’ve been given by the folk at RMweb, I’m loath to give up on the idea...if that makes sense?

Good luck with your build, and cheers, ,

G



Like some, I have great ideas and poor follow through. I will post if I start the build. I do have most of the parts. It’s a BDT-35 with maxim gun displayed near a rail station. I have the rail kit, rail tracks, telegraph poles kit and extra bits. Just need time and motivation to start.

BDT-35

Recreation of the Vallejo railway base

I get not not changing location, just an idea and I look forward to your execution of your plan.

Cannot help on the uniforms.
BootsDMS
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 04:24 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi all,

Another question if I may, before battle commences...

...As previously mentioned, the diorama will be set late winter/early spring and I have been trying to determine what changes I will have to make to the uniforms of the British troops.

I will probably be using a mix of figures from different companies; however, I’m guessing that they are typically (ignore North Africa/Far East figures) shown in non-cold weather uniforms.

Apart from greatcoats, did the British have standard ‘cold weather/winter’ clothing, or was it the standard uniform that would be worn? I imagine tank crew would wear the pixie suit and simply have more layers beneath, but I'm thinking more about the poor ol' infantry. I have tried ‘googling’ but I’m not getting much joy apart from the aforementioned greatcoat.

Any comments or ideas?

Cheers, ,

G



Gareth,

How wintry do you wish to make this? If it's cold then the wearing of greatcoats would be authorised but it would be a command decision somewhere, not an individual choice. In addition to a greatcoat British soldiers were issued a pullover, a collarless woollen shirt, and undervests. Long johns were available to be worn - obviously - under the BD trousers. Khaki woollen gloves were also issued.

An item called a "Cap Comforter" - which was basically a hollow but closed knitted scarf that could be turned into headdress (often depicted worn by Commandos) - was also on issue; this could be worn under the steel helmet if it was cold. Bear in mind that the serge Battledress was not a lightweight design and provided a certain amount of warmth whether it was needed or not!

You may also run into the problem of finding sufficient figures wearing greatcoats; note that for AFV crews the Pixie suit was not issued until Sep 44. They wore a denim tank suit coverall, which in cold weather would be augmented by most of the above.

Personal Equipment/Webbing. This would be the 37 pattern. The then Fighting Order consisted of the small pack, 2 x ammo pouches, waterbottle and bayonet frog, and the entrenching tool ensemble - though I'm not quite sure when that came into service. However, that means that most available commercial figures for the time-span, come equipped thus. Cloth bandoliers continuing extra ammunition may also be present but would normally indicate imminent useage on the ranges or during a live fire exercise; I mention this so that if you use figures with them you can explain it all away and not have the tedious task of filing them off if moulded on (!)

I've remembered the missing fourth letter "W" from my earlier post: I believe it was "Why?" in that "Why" are your figures/vehicles doing what they are depicted doing?

Remember that the time of year ("When?") would also dictate what vegetation would be around.

Any further questions re 37 Pat webbing or Battledress please ask; I've worn and used both though I must hasten to add that my BD was of the 1949 pattern and worn in the late 60s, just in case someone thinks I'm around a hundred years old.

Brian

BootsDMS
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 05:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Hi all,

Another question if I may, before battle commences...

...As previously mentioned, the diorama will be set late winter/early spring and I have been trying to determine what changes I will have to make to the uniforms of the British troops.

I will probably be using a mix of figures from different companies; however, I’m guessing that they are typically (ignore North Africa/Far East figures) shown in non-cold weather uniforms.

Apart from greatcoats, did the British have standard ‘cold weather/winter’ clothing, or was it the standard uniform that would be worn? I imagine tank crew would wear the pixie suit and simply have more layers beneath, but I'm thinking more about the poor ol' infantry. I have tried ‘googling’ but I’m not getting much joy apart from the aforementioned greatcoat.

Any comments or ideas?

Cheers, ,

G



Gareth,

How wintry do you wish to make this? If it's cold then the wearing of greatcoats would be authorised but it would be a command decision somewhere, not an individual choice. In addition to a greatcoat British soldiers were issued a pullover, a collarless woollen shirt, and undervests. Long johns were available to be worn - obviously - under the BD trousers. Khaki woollen gloves were also issued.

An item called a "Cap Comforter" - which was basically a hollow but closed knitted scarf that could be turned into headdress (often depicted worn by Commandos) - was also on issue; this could be worn under the steel helmet if it was cold. Bear in mind that the serge Battledress was not a lightweight design and provided a certain amount of warmth whether it was needed or not!

You may also run into the problem of finding sufficient figures wearing greatcoats; note that for AFV crews the Pixie suit was not issued until Sep 44. They wore a denim tank suit coverall, which in cold weather would be augmented by most of the above.

Personal Equipment/Webbing. This would be the 37 pattern. The then Fighting Order consisted of the small pack, 2 x ammo pouches, waterbottle and bayonet frog, and the entrenching tool ensemble - though I'm not quite sure when that came into service. However, that means that most available commercial figures for the time-span, come equipped thus. Cloth bandoliers continuing extra ammunition may also be present but would normally indicate imminent useage on the ranges or during a live fire exercise; I mention this so that if you use figures with them you can explain it all away and not have the tedious task of filing them off if moulded on (!)

I've remembered the missing fourth letter "W" from my earlier post: I believe it was "Why?" in that "Why" are your figures/vehicles doing what they are depicted doing?

Remember that the time of year ("When?") would also dictate what vegetation would be around.

Any further questions re 37 Pat webbing or Battledress please ask; I've worn and used both though I must hasten to add that my BD was of the 1949 pattern and worn in the late 60s, just in case someone thinks I'm around a hundred years old.

Brian




Aaargh! Typo re the bandolier bit; should read "containing" not "continuing".
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 10:57 PM UTC
Hi Ryan,

I fall into that category, that’s part of the reason I did my last winter build on here...felt that once I’d started posting that I was obliged to finish, though I'm sure the perceived motivation won't always work, .

Hope you manage to find both the motivation and time as it sounds like you’re already partway there, having sourced the basics, .

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 11:26 PM UTC
Hi Brian,

Thank you for the feedback, excellent and much appreciated as always.

I’m thinking of a cold frosty morning, maybe the remnants of a recent snow thaw with small patches of snow surviving beneath hedgerows, and in other shaded areas...cold and wet.

If I’m understanding your comments in general terms, are you saying that the clothing worn by the Tamiya British Infantry on Patrol set (see image below) would have been the norm in all but the coldest/wettest of conditions?



Are you also saying that if I model one infantryman in a greatcoat that they’d all have to be wearing them due to the authorisation process you mentioned?

Thanks for the heads-up on the ‘pixie’ suit, as I’m early 1944 that rules them out of contention...I would have made a huge gaff there, .

Thanks, and cheers, ,

G
BootsDMS
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Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2019 - 01:06 AM UTC
Gareth,

Basically (re greatcoat) "Yes"; no self respecting Section Comd (Corporal) would let it be otherwise.

The Tamiya figures are fine I should think; if you really wished to try and depict a frosty morning then you could add cap Comforters around the necks and paint gloves. I would lose the picks and shovels; I suspect these were only carried once they'd landed in France and learned the hard way about digging in.

I think the helmets might benefit from some scrim; the Battle Schools were kicking in by then so what we call personal camouflage and concealment these days would be apparent.

You may also wish to utilise Hornet Heads although I don't think overall that the Tamiya feature are that bad.

Unless actually engaged in a tactical scenario the weapons would really be slung if perambulating through a town or village. That said, there's nothing to stop such a town being host to some sort of exercise.

You'll have to do a bit of research re the formation badges and the like on the BD sleeves (as well as rank or lack of it), but this is widely available.

Whilst I have these figures in my stash (with an idea to use them for a late 40s/early 50s scenario) I haven't them to hand so am not sure what comes with what; but all figures would wear the same personal equipment so that's small packs for all and the webbing as described earlier. The Bren Gun No 2 carries extra ammo for the Bren of course, and the Gunner himself appears to carry the Gun tool kit wallet - I'm going off the box art here.

Brian

PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2019 - 01:42 AM UTC
Howdy Gareth, all is coming along nicely.

To your first question, I agree with what most of the guys have said and it looks like you are off to a great start.

Personally, after I create a concept and ponder the scenario, I usually work as follows in this basic order: figures, rigs/vehicles, base/structures/veggies, then weather/blend it all together.

Got this bookmarked and following. Keep er rollin.

Cheers, Ski.
Tank1812
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Posted: Sunday, September 29, 2019 - 11:39 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Ryan,

I fall into that category, that’s part of the reason I did my last winter build on here...felt that once I’d started posting that I was obliged to finish, though I'm sure the perceived motivation won't always work, .

Hope you manage to find both the motivation and time as it sounds like you’re already partway there, having sourced the basics, .

Cheers, ,

G



All good points.
G-man69
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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 01:20 AM UTC
Hi Brian,

Great information, and more food for thought...or the ‘What, When, Where and Why’ that you mentioned previously.

I presume then that the standard British uniform, as well as being warm, must have had a level of waterproofing/resistance?

Would they have also worn the leather jerkin at this juncture and, if so, would this have been worn by choice or, as with the greatcoat, would it have been everyone or no one?

Thanks again for your invaluable input,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 01:36 AM UTC
Hi Ski,

Thank you for the kind words. Since my first build last winter I’ve realised that I need to think ahead and plan, something I didn’t do last year, so ended up with a mediocre model displayed on an even more mediocre base...it didn’t really tell a story. As the build progressed, I found so much positive feedback and advice from the folk on here that I realised I’d missed a trick of tapping in to that expertise, both actual modelling-wise and historical-wise, .

So, this winter, I aim to be better prepared, therefore hopefully resulting in a less mediocre diorama, .

Thanks for your comments on the order you’d proceed in...as you may have noticed my original question was related to the order of build, and I had originally thought base first. However, from your feedback, and that of others earlier in this post, I have come to realise that’s not the best way to proceed, .

Thanks for following...no pressure now, .

Cheers, ,

G
BootsDMS
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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 01:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Brian,

Great information, and more food for thought...or the ‘What, When, Where and Why’ that you mentioned previously.

I presume then that the standard British uniform, as well as being warm, must have had a level of waterproofing/resistance?

Would they have also worn the leather jerkin at this juncture and, if so, would this have been worn by choice or, as with the greatcoat, would it have been everyone or no one?

Thanks again for your invaluable input,

G



Gareth,

Certainly my 1949 BD had precious little waterproofing/water resistant properties, so I'm sure that the wartime economy versions would have had even less!

Waterproofing then was confined to the use of the groundsheet worn as a cape (I'm not quite sure of the WW2 design though), and by utilising/mis-using the anti-gas suit. How common this was in training I am unsure. Ditto the re-issue of the WW1 leather jerkin, but again, it would have been all or nothing. a) because it would have been a unit issue (in other words not available for individuals to draw from stores on a whim) and b) wearing it would have had to have been authorised. No options for personal preference back then when discipline was arguably greater than today.

Of course, things change on operations and expediencies will then prevail - as is always the case, but for your diorama, that is yet to come.

Brian
G-man69
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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 01:45 AM UTC
Hi all,

I’ve been trying to determine whether allied armour, but more specifically British tanks, would have been fitted with applique armour prior to D-day and whilst still in the UK? I have found images of the Sherman with the welded-on hull plates, but I’m thinking more of added tank tracks around the turret and on the glacis plate etc., or would such works only be carried out in field once they'd landed in Normandy?

I have tried ‘googling’ but no real joy...could be I’m asking the wrong question though, .

Anyone have any thoughts?

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 01:55 AM UTC
Hi Brian,

I suspected that would be your answer regarding the leather jerkin, having had your previous comments regarding the greatcoat and its issue. Having said that, the opportunity to try modelling some 'rain' capes would be a good challenge, I’m sure I saw some images when I was ‘googling’ cold weather clothing.

It must have been a miserable experience for the troops when out on manoeuvres if it had been raining, brrrrr! .

Thanks again,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 03:14 AM UTC
Hi all,

Another question, if I may, ,

The timeframe for my diorama is late winter/early spring...say February/March 1944, 3-4 months prior to the D-day landings.

The two tanks I’d been thinking of using were the Tamiya Cromwell, which is a Mk IV, and Sherman Firefly (think this might be a Tasca, nee Asuka kit).

However, I want to be certain both vehicles would have been in general use in early 1944, the Tamiya instructions for the Cromwell suggest that Mk IVs, Vs and Vis began introduction in October 1943 and that the Firefly was early 1944.

Wikipedia tends to back up the comment relating to the Firefly, but suggests the Cromwell might have been nearer to the Firefly date.

Therefore, my question is this...would it be accurate to use both vehicles for my intended period, or would you suggest I look for alternatives, e.g. standard British Sherman variants, or the Tamiya Churchill VII?

All feedback appreciated.

Cheers, ,

G
BootsDMS
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Posted: Monday, September 30, 2019 - 04:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Brian,

I suspected that would be your answer regarding the leather jerkin, having had your previous comments regarding the greatcoat and its issue. Having said that, the opportunity to try modelling some 'rain' capes would be a good challenge, I’m sure I saw some images when I was ‘googling’ cold weather clothing.

It must have been a miserable experience for the troops when out on manoeuvres if it had been raining, brrrrr! .

Thanks again,

G



If you do try modelling rain capes - and I don't think I've seen this before - then good luck; I imagine experiments with tissue/white glue or even finely-rolled Milliput would all be starters (and the good thing is you hardly need bother with personal equipment save fixing it all to ensure outlines), however, you'll then need to depict rain, or recent rain and that could throw up all sorts of finishing problems, for the figures, the vehicles and the terrain, and I'm certainly not talented enough to advise on any of that! Mind you, probably not as much of a black art as I think it is.

However, if you do pursue this, then remember that in heavy rain personal weapons are slung upside down to prevent water ingress into the barrels.

Brian