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Diorama project (semi fictional, WWII, somewhere around the Russian front) (now with an update in the comments)

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And here it is, as promised, the showcase of my BR-52 model, and the diorama project it is going to be a part of.

This is going to be a semi-fictional diorama of a small German outpost next to a main-line track somewhere near the Russian front in like 1944...or something like that.

I don't yet have any drawn out plans, but i have pretty clear plans in my head for this.

Basically there is going to be a main-line track (two tracks next to one-another), with a pretty big open area next to it, with a couple ruined buildings (workshop and house) and small wooden structures (guard house, watch tower), with a road running behind them.

The basic idea is that this used to be a small workshop with the owners house next to it, witch was then bombed at some point, and has now been taken over by the advancing Germans, who converted the house in to a command-post, the workshop into a supply-depot, and then built a couple extra structures to turn it into a proper out-post. Now this outpost serves as a home for the railway-gun "Leopold".


All of that will be included, but now per the new plans i have, there will also be a row of small houses (intact and/or ruined) on the other side of the road. The road will have some German tanks driving down it towards the frontlines.

The base will likely receive a radiotower (likely to be under construction) and possibly some other extra building 3D-designed/printed by me.


The base will likely be defended by a single 88mm flak gun in a concrete dugout, a couple machinegun-nests (now possible thanks to the Italeri battlesets) and an AT-gun position (figured 2 would be excessive).



List/pictures of all the models so far.

NOTE: the stuff in the "complete" and "to be acquired" lists are from when i originally made this post, updates on that stuff will be in the comments.



Let's start of with a nice overall view of the train that is going to be this dioramas centerpiece.


It ended up being guite large, but not as large as the locomotive will be placed on the other track next to the "Leopold" and it's supporting wagons.


Now let's look at things a bit more closer and in more detail.

The BR-52 locomotive is the second of the main centerpiece models in this diorama, and probably my favorite of them all.



This model turned out to be quite difficult to get, as the only model store in Finland that could have gotten me one of those had closed down for good, and the other two places had no connections to HobbyBoss, and on top of that, HobbyBoss has no online store. So, i had to resort to good old Ebay to get me one.

The build of this locomotive was really no easier, as there are a LOT of details and parts that need to be aligned just right so that other part's can connect up to them. best example would be the brake-system where pretty much every component needed to be a certain way for things to go together as they should. It didn't help that as usual, i painted the model before assembly, so every hole was a bit smaller now, and every pin was thicker.

I wanted to make this more my own, so i added some extra decals (i have a big box full of instructions and decals from models over the years), an AA-gun on the tender, and some extra armoring around the boiler using cocktail sticks and iron wire. And i have to say, the extra armor turned out way better than i imagined.

All in all, a pretty headache inducing and stress-full, but fun as hell challenge of a build. Definitely worth all the hassle.


Here is a link to a version of this locomotive i built in KSP.

The second of the main models for this diorama, is the Krupp K5 "Leopold" railwaygun.

And this model is also from where this whole diorama-project idea began. I had wanted a model of one of these for a long time, and finally found one by accident when one appeared on the shelf of the model store i went to every now and then. Then it struck me, that this could be a perfect opportunity for me to try and make my first proper diorama project. this was like 2-3 years ago. Gives you an idea of just how big these projects are, and just how difficult sometimes it an be to aguire all these different models, especially if you want to have all the proper stuff. But, it has to be said that this diorama ain't exactly normal when it comes to size.


The model itself was one of my first "proper" successes when it comes to modelling, as-well as being a real pain in the butt when it comes to building...just like the locomotive. The main trouble was the gun elevation mechanism, witch again...was a little harder to build because of the layers of paint that made all holes smaller and all pins thicker.


Decided to separate the modules so that you can get a closer look.


And here is a little look underneath/inside the gun, so that you can hopefully get a good look of the enclosed elevation mechanism for the gun.



At the same time i built and painted the gun, i also put together the Opel Blitz truck and the Sdkfz.6, and also the stuff that came with them.

The Opel Blitz came with a PAK-40 gun with a minimal crew, and the Famo came with a 88mm flak gun. I ditched the PAK 40 that came with the set as it was the lowest quality of the 5 i have so far (you'll get a list later). The build and painting was pretty basic and the results i think are pretty good.



With these model vehicles, i decided to add another more personal touch, and put something in there that i can pretty much guarantee aren't going to be in any other diorama. These are 1/72 (rescaled from 1:87...aka HO scale) models of a captured repainted KV-1 and a KV-1 that has been converted into a supply vehicle. They may be a little out of place, but i really like them.



Speaking of HO scale stuff, not all the right model could be found, so the supporting traincars and railway track are from my model railroad.

Yes, there are 1/72 scale German rolling-stock out there, but it's really hard to find, and they usually end up being some really expensive resin kits.

Plus, these train cars are already painted, and it's not like these trains used a specific type of train-car to carry ammunition. I have seen them being carried in flat-cars, standard box-cars, box-cars with a brake operators box, and in specially built ammo-cars.

The flat car on this one is basically just a loading dock from witch the shells can be lifted using the guns own crane, while the box-cars carry the ammo itself.

The supplies carried on the flat-car will be distributed all over the diorama.



One of the main places where these supplies will be put, is the small ruined workshop, witch now serves as a storage building.

The ruined house is going to serve as a small command-post.



The workshop is also a pretty good place to put some defenses in.

Like a small AT-gun for example.



Or maby even a small squad of infantry.



Dunno if im going to place any of that in it, as i already have two AT-gun nests on the plans, and there will be a watch tower there as-well.

These will most likely be placed on lower and upper corners of the diorama, while an AA-nest will be placed somewhere in the middle.



I have a good selection of these guns now. Here's a group shot showing all of them and their gun-crews.




To be built/acquired


With the addition of those miniatures, there are still some stuff that needs to be built, before i can begin to make the base for this diorama.

The main thing missing right now, is a whole bunch more of figures, gun crew for the "Leopold", soldiers guarding the place, some field-commanders for the command-post, and a bunch of engineers that keep everything in check.

Thankfully i already have all of these, they just need to be painted. And let me tell you, there are a TON of these...about 200 from witch to pick and choose


(this was my pile o stuff that may or may not be added)

Im also waiting for an ordr of mine to be ready so that i can pick it up. In this are three packs of stuff for the out-post itself, sandbags, tank-traps, small structures...that sort of stuff.


Another thing that may or may not appear on this diorama, are model of the Sturer Emil and panther D.


List of all the models and their manufacturers (unless noted, all stuff is 1/72 scale).


I know there are at least a few who want to know what the models are and who manufactured them.


Train stuff

HobbyBoss BR-52.

Hasegawa models Krupp K5 "leopold" with crew.

Roco minitanks HO-scale flat-car with M113 and M577.

some Roco HO-scale bendy box-car.

Scenery stuff

Airfix ruined workshop.

Airfix forward out-post.

Italeri fence set.

Italeri battlefield buildings (WWII) (hasn't arrived yet).

Italeri WWII battlefield accessories (hasn't arrived yet).

Roco HO-scale geoline track

Telephone poles/powerlines are from some Bachmann HO scale starter set.


Airfix Opel Blitz with PAK-40 and gun-crew.

Airfix Sdkfz.6 with 88mm flak gun.

Both papercraft KV-1's are from the now dead "Bestpapermodels.com"

Trumpeter Sturer Emil.

Revell Panther D/A.

Revell Tiger-II Ausf B.

Revell B1-Bis and FT-17 set/mini diorama

Sdkfz.7 Famo from Thingiverse.

Trumpeter German Pz.Kpfw KV-1 756(r).

Trumpeter German Pz.Kpfw KV-2 751(r).


Revell German engineers.

Revell PAK-40 with gun-crew.

Airfix German soldiers.

Some Revell Afrikakorps diorama, can probably be found as a separate figure only Afrikakorps set.

ESCI German AA-gun/AT-gun set with Guad-flak, PAK-40 and PAK-37.

Battle sets

Italeri 1944 Battle at Malinava.

Italeri D-DAy 75th anniversary Pegasus Bridge Airborne assault.


For the diorama base on this one, i plan on first cutting a piece of thick plywood as the structural base, and then adding some foam on top, witch will then be carved into the terrain. This will be my first time doing so, so i don't yet have clear idea on how to get the terrain to look like actual terrain, but im sure the library and the internet have more than enough tutorials to help me get there.


And that's pretty much it for now, more updates will come some day. Now im very busy and will most likely be entering a job-life soon, so time for these projects will be cut a bit short, so it may take some time before the next update appears.

So, i hope you enjoyed this look into this huge project of mine :).

Edited by kapteenipirk
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4 hours ago, Mad Rocket Scientist said:

Ooh, that's going to look great!

Let's hope so. Im really afraid im going to completely cheeks up the terrain due to a lack of experience and proper tools in that field. And thanks btw :).

3 hours ago, Shpaget said:


That reminds me that I still have three Nashorns and a Tiger that I was planning on making a diorama out of. Too busy with building stuff for work, though.

Thanks :).

Man, i really need to continue the 1/35 Tamiya Nashorn i have laying around. Motivation kinda died out as i ran out of paint TWO times during the painting phase (I like to paint the parts first, then build the model), first i had used all my dark yellow on two other Tamiya kits, and the second time i ran out after i had about 95% of the model painted. It wouldn't have been that bad if not for the fact that the closet place where i could get that paint is a 110 km away. just waiting....and waiting...and waiting to get a damn can of spray-paint.

The Nashorn is one of my favorite military vehicles and so was a must have :D.

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  • 1 year later...

Finally, time for a proper update on this project :D.


During all this time i have gotten hands on a few new models that will make an appearance, and with the acquiring of my own 3D printer last December i opened up a whole load of new possibilities/ideas.

The overall plan is still the same, but there a few additions to it now.


First tough, let's get the interesting bit out of the way, the staff for the base and the Leopold.



The guys on the lower left corner came with the Leopold (only used 50% of the ones that came with it). The ones on the middle and the upper left corner are from the German engineers set (used about 70% of the figures on the set)

And the ones on the right are from the Afrikakorps set (used about 35% of the figures that came with that set). I decided not to use any of the Airfix figures as they are a bit crusty compared to the others.




It was a solid 10 or so hours of painting. the total amount of figures painted on that one go was i think 52.

Tough im pretty sure not all of them are gonna get used. The minelayers/sweepers/goliath operators where made more because i really liked them.

I did have the idea of placing a small mine field on the end of the road...but...my plan was also to place some tanks and soldiers on it (as if they where going to the front lines).


And here is all the new stuff.



There are the battlefield buildings/accessories i was waiting to arrive at the time, the Panther D that i may or may not use, a Tiger II to go with the Panther, a V2 rocket and a couple 3D printed Famo's for our engineers.

I did 3D print some other vehicles as well, but i don't feel like using them, as they do tend to stick out. Plus i feel like it would have overcrowded the diorama.


Like this Opel blitz for example (rescaled from 1/200)



The Famo models will replace the Sdkfz.6 as it's kinda starting to fall apart, and it doesn't really fit the theme of the diorama.

The Panther and the Tiger II will be placed on the road with some soldiers (yes, the Sturer Emil is out).

The V-2 rocket (if im gonna use it in the end) will likely be placed on a rail-car witch i will likely 3D design/print myself (will likely replace the HO stuff with custom stuff)


Here's a small list of all the stuff that i plan on 3D-printing:

Famo with crane, and Famo with spade (already printed). I wanted to give my engineers some engineering vehicles, as i wanted the base to have a sort of still needs some finishing touches kinda feel where some stuff is still under construction (still digging a gun-pit for one of the PAK 40's, in the progress of setting up the radio mast...that sort of stuff)

Stone fences. The Italeri one's wouldn't have been nearly enough, plus i kinda messed up the paint job on em. Plus, i feel stone one's will fit better overall.

AA gun pit. Feel like i need to print one of those concrete dugouts/nests for my 88mm Flak gun.

Custom rail-cars. Really feel like i should take the time and create the perfect 1/72 rolling stock for this diorama instead of using stuff from my model-railroad.

Ruined buildings. Decided i wanted to add an "extra layer" to the diorama in the for a row of destroyed buildings across the road. One of the ruined buildings is a possible place for one of the AT-guns.


One idea that i also had, witch i decided to drop as i taught it was a bit much and didn't really make sense.



That was the idea of printing a concrete AT bunker to protect the base.


And that's about it for this first update on the project. As far as the models themselves go, im pretty happy with the selection i got, and feel that the acquiring phase is complete and now it's just a matter of printing/completing the models i have acquired after witch comes the making of the base for the diorama. I don't plan on gluing any of the models to the base as i still want the option of using them elsewhere, and it helps storage, as i can just remove the models and then put the base up against the wall, witch in this case is pretty important as the base WILL be the size of a small table.

Expect another update soon.


Edited by kapteenipirk
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  • 1 month later...

Merry Christmas folks.

Time for another update. While im spending time with my parents, taught id continue the diorama project.

My original plan was to just take the stuff that was undone, but decided i should take all the models instead and at the end of it clear the table and use it to plan the layout of the entire diorama.




Progress this time is the completion of the small buildings and some of the accessories.

The barrels and some of the other stuff needs some patching up.


Im currently working on the A4/V2 rocket. Im pretty sure by now that im not gonna include it in the diorama. It's still nice to have on it's own anyways.

After that it's just the two tank models and i'll be able to start planning the diorama so i can get working on the display base.

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Progress continues with the completion of the A4/V2 rocket.




The launch-platform of the rocket was a bit of a pain and the rockets paint-job took some doing cause i chose green as my base color, instead of brown witch cowers 80-90% of it.

I was planning on hiding this rocket somewhere in the diorama, but i haven't really come up with a good idea how.

I was also planning on maby building some kind of a launch site as the base is big enough, but for that id like to have a couple more of these rockets and the proper transport trailers for them before i did that...witch would be a bit expensive and hard to get.

Plus, i think it would add a little too much to the diorama.

Other crazy stuff that i just taught of that i could add if i wanted to:



V-1 flying-bomb launch site.



Secret command bunker.




The BP-42 is an armored train ive always wanted a model of.




Even more choises.



Not really an armored train, but if i wanted to go with my idea of having a rail-car with my V2 in it, here's some idea for that.


Flak tower with quad-20mm flak-guns and twin-120mm flak-guns.





Maus tanks instead of King-tigers and Panthers.




Hmm, a secret command bunker with a V2 rocket launch site next to it protected by some small flak-towers and prototype tanks, that sounds like a pretty fun idea for a sort of what if 1946 diorama.

Anyways, the possibilities are endless, especially now as i have the ability to 3D-design and 3D-print anything i wish.




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  • 7 months later...

It's been months since i got anything relating to this project done, but during this summer i really got things going, and have a ton of new stuff now.

While in the past i was concentrating solely on stuff relating to this specific diorama i have now broadened my spectrum quite a bit and have aguired a bunch off stuff that i can use in this and other dioramas as-well.

Since my plan has always been to make sure none of the miniatures are getting glued to the diorama base, why not broaden the selection models to give myself the opportunity to create a multitude of dioramas with this set of models.

Plus, i just really really like building models of this stuff anyways :D, so even if it doesn't end up in a diorama, it doesn't matter.

Don't know if i told it yet, but the main reason i went with choice of not gluing stuff to the base, is so i can store the models on a shelf or a box, and have the literal table sized base be stored up against a wall. Plus, i cant lie, i still like to play around with my models from time to time. One of the things i liked to do the most as a kid, was have a bunch of these 1/72 scale models around my computer desk, so every-time i had to wait for something to load or install, i could stage little tabletop battles with these soldiers and tanks. Now my desk is so stuffed up with other junk, i cant really do that anymore.


Anyways, here's all the new stuff.



Couple of nice Italeri Battlesets full of lovely goodies :D.

And to go with those, a couple proper captured KV's.




And here's all the new model i got built during this summer.



A Panther Ausf-A, Tiger II Ausf-B, Sturer Emil, T34-85, a couple B1-Bis and FT-17 tanks and a couple more PAK-40 AT-guns.

The Panther, Tiger and T34 models are to receive special decals and commanders, that's why there blank at the moment. The special decals/commanders will be from a series ive come to like very much. More on that later.

The PAK-40 guns i got more for the sake of getting more gun-crews, as i felt i was a bit lacking in that area.

The B1-Bis and FT-17 tanks where built more cause there some of my all time favorite tanks, and also because i felt they could make for some really interesting pieces for a future diorama (the grey FT-17 was apparently used by the Luftwaffe, so could fit in an airfield diorama...for example).

The T34 is something i acquired a long time ago, but never got around to building. I might paint the Russian tanks from the Malinava set in the same special camo, but that remains to be seen.

I had an idea to take the T34 from the Malinava set and build it in a more destroyed kind of state (track broken, couple shell holes, hatches open), but since it's one of those simple fast build models, that's not really going to work.


Oh, i also have a few tanks i 3D-printed witch ill likely be showing here as-well, one of them being...ehm...rather large and armed with naval guns.


Ahh, just so many lovely models :D:D.

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