I truly enjoy seeing diorama models at a show, or online or in a magazine and I always marvel at the skill and ingenuity of the artists that make them.
These wonderful works of art have often inspired me or if I am truly honest, made me quite envious as well! That said, they have also been an invaluable learning tool when techniques are deconstructed and learned. It’s always good to see how such a technique or effect had come about and put it into practice in my own work.
So what has inspired me to build a diorama?On this occasion it was a model of a 1/35 Kingtiger that was painted in what was to my eye a very interesting camouflage scheme. Upon doing a little research I soon learned that Das Werk Models had boxed a Takom 1:35 Kingtiger which included that very same scheme.
After purchasing this kit and being very impressed with its quality I began construction immediately! I won’t review the kit here, but suffice to say it is an enjoyable build with good fit and it is well detailed. It comes with link and length tracks which I have not used before, however they are easy enough to use and are far superior to rubber band tracks.
As the Kingtiger build began to take shape in my mind, my thinking moved onto how I would display the finished model? I started to research its setting, Konigsberg, Germany during 1944.
This Kingtiger was a Ausf.B.1/s.H.Pz Abt 505 and that unit was in Konigsberg in the winter of 1944. Photographs from this period show the cityscape to be in ruins and the weather in the grip of a harsh winter. My mate Russ from my model club grinned at me and said “You’re gonna need lots of snow!”
With a picture of what I wanted in my minds eye, I set about the task of finding a diorama building that would suit my needs. When I came across RT Diorama’s Berlin street corner I knew it would be perfect for what I had in mind! I also purchased some Mini-Art German tank crew figures and some Mig Ammo paint with the specific colours I needed for my Kingtiger’s winter scheme.
The Armour assembly
Being what I refer to as an occasional armour builder, I am not an expert tank builder so I literally follow the kit instructions and see where the finished model takes me. In short order I had the assembly phase of the build completed and I was ready for paint:
Paint your wagon!
The painting phase for this project was going to be fun as the scheme that I chose was do interesting to me! The combination of red-brown, dark yellow and off white really makes the Kingtiger look purposeful and quite striking close up.
I choose the recommended Mig Ammo acrylic paints for this build and I have to say they performed perfectly! The Das Werk kit instructions provide a full colour paint guide for the camouflage scheme and with my Procon PS 270 airbrush I was able to freehand spray the three colour camouflage scheme down in short order. Now the model was beginning to come to life!
The next task was to add the markings to the model. The kit decals were very well printed and adhered to the model flawlessly , in no time all I was ready to dive into the weathering process!
I knew I was going to set this Kingtiger in a winter scene and I also knew it would need to resemble late war Konigsberg.
I set about assembly and painting of the excellent RT Diorama street corner diorama base. Once painted, I used AK Interactive’s Snow Terrain and Ice Sparkles. These two products are excellent for replication of winter snow and ice!
I also set about adding stowage to the Kingtiger and began its weathering process. For this I used a combination of enamel washes, pigments and snow effects. I must say I was rather pleased with the look I achieved. Once the tank was finished I added a couple of Mini-Art figures to add interest to the scene.
Here is the finished Kingtiger in its diorama setting, I hope you enjoy it.
I was very pleased with how this diorama turned out and enjoyed working on it immensely. I shall certainly experiment with another diorama project in the future!
Thanks for stopping by and looking at my model, until next time take care and Happy Modelling!