Friday, September 7, 2012

Les Allemands sont arrivés

by Dino Krafczyk


This is my latest diorama, called "Les Allemands sont arrivés" and it shows a Panzer II of the 7th Panzerdivision in France, 1940. Actually, what you see in the pictures is just a test fitting. The figures are fixed with blu tack and there are some minor touch ups to do. I also think about adding a few details, like a number at the door, some signposts, maybe a poster on the wall.
The test pics I shot came out so well that I decided to show them to you. But if you spot a little blu tack on the figure's feet or some flaws, it's okay, I'm aware of that..  ;)

Some time ago I bought the Alan model of a Panzer II Ausf.C. It was one of the rather unpleasant building experiences. Parts wouldn't fit too well, some parts, like the hooks that are located all over the vehicle, were detailed on one side, but completely flat on the other, the decals would break very easily, a LOT of flash and distorted parts, the individual track links that came with the model would not fit on the road wheels - either the road wheels are too thick or the space between the two rows of "teeth" on the tracks is too narrow - and other little annoyances tested my nerves.

Some modellers actually like that situation, because they love to fix, correct and scratchbuild a poor model into a good one or modify just any model they can get their hands on, I'm not like that! I try to fix the flaws with a good paintjob and weathering. I love to build my models out of the box, without spending lots of money on aftermarket products that are, imho, WAY too expensive. And, by building OOB, I try to boycott that.  It's probably some sort of rebellious spirit that drives me.. But don't get me wrong: if I just discribed your philosophy, please, don't be offended. If you like to add value to your model with expensive aftermarket products and you're happy with it - fine! It's just not my philosophy..  ;D

Anyway, my attempt to build the Panzer strictly OOB failed because of the weapon barrels. They simply weren't usable. Not only were the parts distorted beyond all means, the 2cm cannon barrel also wasn't correct for an Ausf. C. So I spent a few bucks and bought a metal barrel for the 2cm cannon, the MG34 barrel came from the spares box.

After a lot of patience, filling, sanding, painting and dusting with MIG pigments, the end result actually looks quite pleasing, I think.
I decided that my Panzer II would have been in use during the "Blitzkrieg" campaign in France and I thought of a little scene with the gunner and the tank commander checking their maps on their way to Dunkerque. (Figures by Dragon)

An old farmer stands in front of the door to his property, the wall surrounding it and the power pole already showing signs of destruction from the "Blitz". The cruelties of the last world war still fresh in his mind, he looks at the German soldiers and he might think, what I chose to be the title of the diorama: "Les Allemands sont arrivés", the Germans have arrived. But look at his face! Is there a smirk?! Or might he think something else, including words like "merde" and "bâtards", who knows?!?  ;)
(Figure by MasterBox)

The diorama basis is a complete, vacu formed set by Mini Art (Wall with base, item nr.36035), I added some rubble, some grass and the fence and power pole are from a Tamiya set. I used enamels from Revell for the painting and artist oils for washings and wooden parts. An old tyre from the spares box gives some life to the backside of the wall. The boards are the unevitable wooden sticks you can scrounge at a major fast food restaurant..  ;)

The tarp that is draped over the tyre was made from tissue paper soaked with diluted white glue. When still wet, it will attach to any surface and will look very much like cloth. When dry, it's almost as solid as thin styrene and can be painted and weathered. Looks convincing, doesn't it?!

Well, that's it for this time. I hope you like what you see. Comments and constructive criticism are always welcome.

Cheers  :)

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