A Southern Biff's Return to Modelling

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
I really enjoy the nest bit, the landscaping (I know, sad ain't it?).

Here's my first roughed out layout, as per the original plan (sorta):

1617289954765.png


Here's the original plan for reference:

1617290019491.png


No jeep now, obvs! I've moved the PAK position forward and to the left as I want it to be more visible (the idea is to mount this in a bookshelf so the main perspective will be from the bottom of the plan & pics.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
A little more landscaping, so it doesn't look like a Vietnamese terraced rice paddy:

1617290467374.png


As you can see the PAK communicating trench (or ammo bunker - haven't fully decided) is now cut out, as is a flanking MG trench PAK over on the left. Also not very apparent to the rear of the PAK position (right edge) is an earth ramp for the PAK to be moved into out of position.

A closer view of the PAK position:

1617290756489.png


The broken surface area (top right in the photo)will be the site of a shell struck tree, with roots exposed and branches shattered; the embrasures of the PAK position will be revetted with logs, and there'll be another tree above and slightly right of the standing tank crewman. If it'll fit, there will also be a tree in the bottom left corner looming over the PAK position, unless it blocks the view too much.

And a closer view of the MG position on the hillock:

1617291294500.png


As you can see Kraut Korpse Nr eins has taken up residence temporarily with an MG34 and the carrier is perched just off the track which needs a lot more work before I put any polyfilla down.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
A little more landscaping, so it doesn't look like a Vietnamese terraced rice paddy:

View attachment 561819

As you can see the PAK communicating trench (or ammo bunker - haven't fully decided) is now cut out, as is a flanking MG trench PAK over on the left. Also not very apparent to the rear of the PAK position (right edge) is an earth ramp for the PAK to be moved into out of position.

A closer view of the PAK position:

View attachment 561820

The broken surface area (top right in the photo)will be the site of a shell struck tree, with roots exposed and branches shattered; the embrasures of the PAK position will be revetted with logs, and there'll be another tree above and slightly right of the standing tank crewman. If it'll fit, there will also be a tree in the bottom left corner looming over the PAK position, unless it blocks the view too much.

And a closer view of the MG position on the hillock:

View attachment 561821

As you can see Kraut Korpse Nr eins has taken up residence temporarily with an MG34 and the carrier is perched just off the track which needs a lot more work before I put any polyfilla down.
And there we have the difference between a none serving and serving/served modeller, everything has a rationale and isn't just dumped in situ at random.
 

RTU'd

War Hero
I saw the thread and thought was this topless/gash modelling?
So nice to see it is on making models, something I used to do.
And then as a junior nutter set fire to them & then the army let me play with explosives!
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
And there we have the difference between a none serving and serving/served modeller, everything has a rationale and isn't just dumped in situ at random.
Guilty! It gets a little OCD though.

I was chairing a TEAMS meeting this morning; at one point I lost complete track of the proceedings because I suddenly realised I could change the comms trench into a bunker. Ah well, the assets we were discussing are only a million a pop, so it's not like they're important or anything....
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Did you come out with the classic line

so, let's just recap then...... but first, coffee anyone?
"Good, but let's just make sure this is nailed down, so Steve can you sum up?"

Always ask a Steve...
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Good Friday's efforts so far...

A bit more sculpting and adding of contours, and then I decided to get on with whacking a load of jallop on the polystyrene:

1617379690164.png


I've also been paying silly sods with coffee stirrers and kitchen matches to produce some duckboards:

1617379757857.png


They aren't slanted in real life, that's the phone camera playing games. As you can see, they're not meant to be factory made, rather knocked up by the Wehrmacht equivalent of the Pioneer Sgt, a little bit uneven, and on plank broken.

Looking at the left hand side, you can see this is where I've added most filler so far, evening out the last of the terrace effect and also making overhead cover for the flanking MG position (not stuck in place yet, as I need to make supporting wood frame joists). Also the track is more obvious now:

1617380159984.png
 
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Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Looking at the right hand side, the first thing to see is a crater just forward of the PAK position, scaled at 6.5 feet diameter & 2 feet deep, about right for a 3" mortar on soft meadow. :cool:

1617380649257.png


I also deepened the communicating trench / ammo bunker, and I can now put some overhead cover on it if I want.

For the PAK position I've slotted the log revetments into place here, and also cut some stirrers into planking for a firing platform as per the standard prepared position layout:

1617381149466.png


With the PAK in position, the barrel is very close to the crater, and may need some minor damage adding to it, although it does mean that any draped cam would have been blown off!

1617381417157.png


The blown up tree will be uprooted just above & to the right of the end of the duckboard, and will be fallen partially over the PAK (giving a good reason why it is in relatively decent condition, but hasn't been recovered by the retreating Huns - I think I'm overthinking this, what do you think?)
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Looking at the right hand side, the first thing to see is a crater just forward of the PAK position, scaled at 6.5 feet diameter & 2 feet deep, about right for a 3" mortar on soft meadow. :cool:

View attachment 562079

I also deepened the communicating trench / ammo bunker, and I can now put some overhead cover on it if I want.

For the PAK position I've slotted the log revetments into place here, and also cut some stirrers into planking for a firing platform as per the standard prepared position layout:

View attachment 562080

With the PAK in position, the barrel is very close to the crater, and may need some minor damage adding to it, although it does mean that any draped cam would have been blown off!

View attachment 562082

The blown up tree will be uprooted just above & to the right of the end of the duckboard, and will be fallen partially over the PAK (giving a good reason why it is in relatively decent condition, but hasn't been recovered by the retreating Huns - I think I'm overthinking this, what do you think?)
No I think you're doing it right as mentioned before tying it together not dumping random crap everywhere.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Easter Saturday's effort: First thing I tackled was the ground - I finished covering the polystyrene in filler and smoothed over some rough bits.

Thinking about the layout of the diorama I decided the middle meadow area was looking a little unsullied, and thought "A Churchill rolling through there would sully things PDQ". But actually sticking a ginormous tank in the middle would make the whole thing too busy so I decided on just putting some tracks instead. First step was to cut two shallow trenches where the tracks would go and then filler them in again:

1617483264341.png
(Left one filled in)

Once the filler was halfway dry, I pressed Churchill tracks into the filled trenches:

1617483382952.png
1617483448055.png


Obviously I'll have to do something similar for the M5 and the Carrier as well.

In between the stages above, I started building more defence store bits & bobs, more duck boards, revetment pilings, and some overhead cover for the MG position and the bunker:

1617483799372.png
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Once the filler was dry, I decided to have a go at some more trees. First off, I decided to create son of Frankentree, seen here next to the MG trench(now with overhead cover, and Kraut Korpse Nr Eins):

1617484096743.png


The tree will need spraying with brown / grey paint, to match the Angels breath in with the twigs.

Around the PAK I tried out the three large trees; these are all straight cuts from a dead garden shrub, no plan to put any Angels breath extra foliage on them, as they will have been subjected to shell fire and there'll be a lot more broken branches around on the deck, as well as undergrowth, bushes etc. they look a bit straggly now, but you get the idea hopefully:

1617484586057.png


At the rear of the photo you can just make out the overhead cover for the bunker.

So here's the whole thing:

1617484858387.png


It's half past Beer O'clock.
 
all going well, how about some German tyre marks too, also a couple of shrapnel holes in the gun shield would not be out of the question.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
all going well, how about some German tyre marks too, also a couple of shrapnel holes in the gun shield would not be out of the question.
All in good time!

Could almost be the Ardennes 1944 ! looking good mate ;)
I'm aiming for Holland / Germany, Feb to March 45 (No snow ^_^ )

Op Veritable.
 
Very good.
My only diorama experience was when I was 16 in the early 70's. No internet, only fillums, comics and library books for reference and imagination.
I did a desert scene with the Tamiya Quad and 25 pdr and the SAS jeep. I used browning plaster on top of some broken up fibre board for the base and I recall years later binning it and noticing how hard it was to break up.
I couldn't afford polyfilla at the time and I'd certainly try browning plaster again as its slow going off sets harder than normal skimming/pollyfilla.
I just wish I'd have had a camera phone.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
After a BH Sunday visiting in-laws for the first time since before Christmas, yesterday evening I got stuck into cutting the tracks for the Carrier and the M5 Recce, same process with the Churchill tracks:

1617615731667.png


After filling and marking in the tracks, I left it to dry, and toddled off to bed. This morning I woke up bright and early, keen to get on with painting the base. I was just about to nick a bit more of my daughter's dark brown acrylic paint, when I noticed a whiff of sulphur in the air. A voice whispered in my ear, "Nah TMW, what you want to do first is give it a spray of undercoat to seal the plaster and stop it from absorbing all the paint..."

"Great idea EM!" (swirl of purple cape, flashbang and cloud of sulphurous smoke...)"Ah! Thought I recognised that smell... oh fcuk."

Points to note: Halfords primer melts uncovered polystyrene.

1617616171096.png


The polystyrene is now weakened so I've stuck a bit of hard board on the bottom. Now weighted down until it sticks:

1617616388612.png


It's not completely cattle trucked, most of the melty bits can be covered with more filler. The PAK position is worst affected the berm just to the rear is in rag order. Luckily, That's where the wrecked tree will be fallen over so I'll be able to use the melty bits hopefully.

1617616342577.png


Damn you EM, damn you to hell!
 

stuskimac

Clanker
I would worry too much, if you flock cover the green area it'll hide the imperfections and if anything improve the look of the track when painted, giving it a wet muddy/boggy appearence which kind of fits the location/time of year.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
I would worry too much, if you flock cover the green area it'll hide the imperfections and if anything improve the look of the track when painted, giving it a wet muddy/boggy appearence which kind of fits the location/time of year.
I thought that myself when I was trying to be optimistic, but the melted bits are extremely brittle to the point of crumbling at the lightest touch, so I've splurged on another wodge of filler instead:

1617620899492.png
 

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