Monday, November 2, 2009

Kharkov Tiger Diorama The Beginning

So here we start with the new projects for this winter. I will be starting a number of projects and will try to divide them up by type/label so they will be easier to track for those interested in specific projects. I actually began acquiring the items for this project many years ago and began forming my design last spring. The idea is to create a scene in 1/16th scale using John Rosengrant's spectacular German figures and the Tamiya Tiger I tank to represent the entry of German troops into the outskirts of Kharkov. The design will be all about the tiring nature of the battle, the cold and the bleak nature of Russia at that time. My color pallet will be very cool and will hopefully translate into the vision I have gotten over the years from reading stories of the battle. I have included a few pics of the pieces in their current state as well as my pattern for the building wall that will stand behind the tank and figures. The cardboard rectangle represents the base size. You can see drawn "footprints" on the base indicating two of the three other figures that will be standing in front of the tank. Ambitious? Yes, to say the least! To be seen soon? No, probably not. I plan on taking my time and doing this right. I begin painting the figures tonight as we begin twice monthly modelling sessions here in Buffalo with a group from the IPMS club and the figures will be used as "training exercises" with at least one other person.
My next posts will start the Pegaso Mayan Priest bust as well as continue the Greek and Roman subjects that have been gathering dust since early summer. I am also working on completing some painted subjects for an old friend that thinks I've forgotten about him. I am even building an HO scale craftsman wooden building kit for a seaside diorama, something new but something I've always been interested in.


  1. Nice project, Jim! What material will you using for the building?


  2. I'm toying with a few ideas and always looking for input. As I want to have the back side of the wall covered in the same wood as the base I thought of making a "Box" that I could pour Hydro-cal or Plaster in and work the way model railroaders make walls. However the size and weight would make that ungainly so now I am looking at using pink insulation foam as the core and building off that with plaster or putty of some kind. I've tried researching how others have done this and haven't found anything useful so far. I'm always open to suggestions.

  3. If you haven't already got it, pick up Dave Frary's book on Scenery as well as his DVD on casting Resin walls for structures, models, etc. Both are very worthwhile...

  4. Thanks for the reference idea. I have actually decided that since the wall will be a stone structure and fairly conservative in design that I will build the face of the wall in either plastic or basswood coated/sealed in bondo. The wood is the best choice as it can be sanded and distressed prior to sealing so that it can be simply finished with paint.