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June 28th, 2011 admin

what ww2 battle should I do for a diorama?

I want to do something with lots of fighting in a city. I want at least three groups of people. And i can't find many soldier packs with winter gear, so I would like it in any other season. I really want to get into this and would really appreciate the help.

DML (Dragon) makes many kits in 1/35 with German soldiers in winter gear. Allied soldiers in winter kit are less common but various manufacturers produce them in resin while Tamiya and Zvezda are good sources in plastic. Miniart make a number of fine building sets and diorama bases once you get the hang of working with vacuform. Verlinden used to be good but their quality has declined dramatically with changes in ownership.

Stalingrad or 3rd Battle of Kharkov are obvious settings for an urban eastern front winter scene. Not so much urban winter fighting in the west. For summer there is all sorts of choice on both fronts.

I enjoy making WW2 dio's mostly in 1/35 scale and have been doing it since I was a kid. Although my very first diorama was a "battle scene" (the ubiquitous Tamiya 1/35 scale FLAK 88 with crew - which I highly recommend for anyone's first diorama even if it is an "old" kit) I prefer to do before or after the battle scene's. I can tell better stories that way than I can with guys just slugging it out with each other. The key is deciding what story you want to tell. Just having a buch of guys scattered about pointing guns at each other is not effective story telling and will not keep the attention of the viewer. 3 groups of people? How is that going to work?

One of my early ones was of German solidiers raiding a French farmhouse chasing Partisans (old ESCI figures, long OOP). It was simple: German soldiers jumping out of a truck to attack the objective, Partisans hiding inside the building ready to defend. The focus was clear as was the story. In another I used a German anti-tank gun on an embankment with American soldiers crawling through the brush below about to lob grenades into the position with the defenders completely unaware. Again, simple and with a clear narrative. The one i am working on now has German soldiers jumping out of a slit trench to attach magnetic mines to a Soviet tank as it drives by. The great danger to both being the obvious focal point. Not to say that big battle scene's can not be done and done well, but one has to be careful to not just make it a random jumble.

I like Miniart and in particular Masterbox who are fabulous at making "diorama in a box" figure sets. This one in particular I think is brilliant. It isn't a combat scene, but it is about to be.

http://www.mbltd.info/3571.htm

If you have not been there yet I highly recommend the forums at Armorama. Lots of very helpful folks there and lots of great ideas.

http://www.armorama.com/

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