King Tiger Ruins

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Starting Point
The project began with Tamiya's Ardennes Front King Tiger built as a vehicle from the 505 sPz. Abt. that would have served somewhere in East Prussia late in the war. I used several Aber PE sets, Fruil tracks and Archer transfers on the vehicle as well. The pieces of equipment are mainly from Verlinden with a few pieces from Plus Models and Warriors as well. The walls, road and sidewalks where created with casting plaster and molds that I made from plastic sheet and L beams.

Details of the Story
The first detail of the diorama I'd like to note is the figure, which is from Verlinden and is the first full figure I've painted. It is a very simple figure, but I think it adds a lot of perspective to the scene. I just had the idea of an old woman looking up at the monstrous King Tiger wondering why anyone would build such a machine, that was specifically designed for destruction, and why did they have to use it to destroy her little town.

If you look carefully there is a faucet at her feet. A former coworker told me he grew up next to a Polish immigrant who moved to the USA after W.W.II. He said a Russian soldier ripped the faucets off the walls of his home. He claimed they thought if they hammered them into their walls at home water would come out. I just had this mental picture of a solider dropping it there after his buddies had a good laugh at him and explained his plan wouldn't work. Who knows if the story is true?

One more detail I'd like to note is the 95 on glacis plate. The site Russian Battlefield has many great pictures of captured and knocked out vehicles which all have numbers painted on them like that. To be honest I'm not sure why, but would speculate it was a cataloging number for photographed vehicles. I'd never seen it used on a model so I thought it would be a neat detail to incorporate into this setting.

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About the Author

About david budd (dbudd)

I'm a 40year old engineer living in Pittsburgh who started seriously modeling about three years ago. My philosophy of modeling would be that the greatest compliment my work could get is when someone says "that looks so real"! Anywho, I'm always eager for comments on my work and am always happy to a...


Thanks, I wish I could say the zimmerit was putty, but I think it is Cavalier. I had that in my write up, but for some reason they didn't put it in. Actually there are a number of things that got edited out of my write up as well as one picture.
JUN 07, 2007 - 09:03 AM
Awesome job man. I love how it says so much in such a small scene. Very inspiring...
JUN 14, 2007 - 08:28 AM
Nicely done David, lots of little details that only become apparent after looking closely, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details...
JUN 15, 2007 - 01:01 AM
Artistically, the model is absolutely beautiful. The detailing and weathering is superb, and I love the little metal kitchen chair in the corner. The ammunition posed leaning up is something that real tankers always have kittens about when they see it in dioramas, though. Occasionally, one does sees a round posed leaning on the turret side of a captured tank as you have done, but this was invariably done by the photographer who wanted to show the folks back home the size of the ammunition used by the "captured monster." However, I gather the premise here is that the crew were interrupted by the advancing Soviets as they were loading ammunition at a supply point. Several rounds are out of their packing cases and are leaning precariously. Ordinarily, the last thing you want is to do is damage a round by letting it topple over, and the steel cartridge cases of late-war German ammo were heavily greased, so they would pick up any dirt they were set on and introduce it into the moving parts of the breach when loaded, another no-no. In US units, a round was supposed to be removed from its container and handed from man to to man until it was safely in its rack in the vehicle. If absolutely necessary, it could be set down sideways on a tarp to keep it clean. It was almost certainly the same in German units.
JUN 15, 2007 - 03:06 AM
Thanks, I saw a photograph of American soldiers around a captured King Tiger and they had set the ammunition up like it is in my diorama. So, you are correct it is just set that way for the propaganda shot. There was also a picture of one man holding a Sherman round and another guy holding the King Tiger round. Like you said, I was making the scene to show that there was a last ditch effort to get the tank running, but with the approaching Red Army they just decided to take off on foot. Then the Soviets troops came along and started monkeying with things and climbing all over it (you can't see it in the pictures but there are foot prints on the vehicle) until the political officer came along and told them to get off Comrade Stalin's new tank.
JUN 16, 2007 - 11:13 AM
very nicely made, inpsiring piece and a work of art in it's detailing and simplicity
JUN 16, 2007 - 09:23 PM
Fantastic work David! Phenomenal attention to detail. Love the chair and spilled bottle of wine in image 7. (Who makes the chair?)
JUN 20, 2007 - 04:11 AM
Thanks, and the chair is from the Verlinden set 1/35 VPI0724 Wrought Iron Bench and Tables
JUN 21, 2007 - 04:34 PM
i like
JUN 23, 2007 - 08:36 AM
This is honestly one of the best dioramas I have ever seen. SCOTT
JUL 13, 2009 - 07:26 AM