Starcevich VC

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The Muddy Puddles.

The puddles were done using casting resin with catalyst. Due to the heavy nightly rainfall, the ground at Beaufort was a quagmire. Therefore, I needed some muddy puddles about the place! The resin was poured into an empty Humbrol acrylic plastic jar, then a few drops of Tamiya desert yellow were added. This was mixed thoroughly with the catalyst, then slowly poured into each rut or hole to the depth of about 2mm. Using a wooden popstick, I carefully worked the centrally poured resin to the edges of the ruts/holes. When the resin had set, I did a second pour to deepen the puddles to about 4mm. Make sure there is no dust in the air as this will embed in the resin and maybe ruin it. Make sure you have a mask and are pouring in a well ventilated area.

The Tropical Tree.

The large tropical tree was made using a natural wooden twig for the armature. The first step to making a tree involves going out into nature, and finding a good quality, dry branch with lots of twig structure.

The leaves I have used on my tree are completely natural, taken from a small fern I found growing near my home. They were preserved (by leaving them inside a notepad for about a week) before being airbrushed. One by one, they were glued to the armature.


After the war, Starcevich settled down to a farming life in country W.A. He felt like a reluctant hero, rarely agreeing to be interviewed and hardly showed his medals. He was subject to the fuss of legal battles, one of which involved another man pretending to be ‘Starcevich VC’. Typical to the real Starcevich’s gentle nature, the fuss was coolly laughed off without bitterness. Even in his retirement, his kindly spirit saw him once again helping fellow people. He supported the RSL, local sporting teams and cropping programs around his home at Grass Patch, Esperance. After health trouble and resulting bypasses, Starcevich (Western Australia’s last surviving VC winner) passed away in 1989, aged 71.

Today the track along which Starcevich and his mates fought is called “VC Road”- and the citizens of Beaufort have built a memorial to him at the site of the action. Finally, I hope that this diorama can reflect in some way the bravery, humility and devotion to duty shown by Private Starcevich on that day, and throughout his entire life.

My thanks go to many people for their help, tips and inspiration which helped build this diorama. I especially would like to thank everyone who helped with research, Martin Schuster for his inspirational groundwork tips, Santiago Tre and Loo Chee Keong for additional vegetation ideas. For anyone else who may have given advice or feedback who I have regrettably forgotten, I thank you for your help.

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About the Author

About Chas Young (youngc)

I bought my first model kit when I was 12 years old. I began making 1:35 figures and dioramas when I stumbled across the Kitmaker Network and never looked back. My main area of interest is the Pacific war especially Australian, Japanese and British/Commonwealth subjects. I am currently hosting the H...


Hey Chas,nice Dio. do you know,by any chance where was your relative originally from? Croatia,maybe?
OCT 07, 2008 - 11:20 AM
Chas mate, Loved the article! So glad those writing lessons way back in February are paying off, mate Guys, what you may not know is that this vignette earned young Charlie a gong at the Western Australian Model Expo held a few weeks ago. Congrats on the gong again, buddy boy! Rudi p.s. I won't tease you about the Sheila's... did that last week chat soon again
OCT 07, 2008 - 05:29 PM
Indeed e great true story well brought on you're dio!! Superb! Grt Nico
OCT 07, 2008 - 08:54 PM
Hi Chas, As Scott has mentioned, a lot of people will be using your feature as a reference to how a jungle diorama can be portrayed. I like the different techniques that you have used in this diorama they have proved very effective! It isn't easy to build a jungle themed diorama, just trying to bring all the of the natural elements to life and make them as realistic as possible isn't an easy task. This is certainly a diorama to be proud of mate and no doubt you will look back at it from time to time with great fondness. Cheers, Shay
OCT 09, 2008 - 04:29 AM
Thanks all for the replies and sorry I haven't got back sooner, I have been away. I will try to answer all the replies below: Firstly I would like to thank Darren for his work editing and sorting almost 100 photos. I am very thankful and happy with the results. Thanks Scott, Michael, Pat, Tomek, Seb, Martyn, Andrew, Shane, Nico and lastly, Shay my dear friend! I am glad that the diorama techniques are helpful. Personally, there are a lot of elements I am un-happy with but hopefully my next diorama involving jungle vegetation (yes I have one planned!) will be an improvement. Bob, I'm glad you also like the vegetation. Anything you need I could send to you, providing that you check it's ok with your customs laws. Claude, no, regrettably I am not producing girls like an assembly line. I will work on this! Nowww, JB and Rudi, I am very blessed to be a musician, this counter-acts modelling in terms of girl getting ability. I also believe and trust that God will bring into my life the perfect girl at the perfect time...that is, anytime apart from when I am modelling Matija, sorry I don't know much about the origins of the name. Unfortunately, strong ties with the Starcevich family have been cut since a divorce occurred. My cousin still bears the name so that next time I see him, I'll try find out. One of the people I forgot to mention in the article was the one and only Rudi Richardson, former ME of HF, former South African He has got to be one of my biggest critics but has really enhanced just about all aspects of my experience here on the Kitmaker network, from practical modelling help, to online conduct, to spelling and grammar!! Now that he is here in Aussie, I am only 3 steps behind, actually only 2 when daylight saving kicks in. So look out mate, we just might meet in person someday! Thanks everyone, it has been really fun writing this feature! (Darren I just noticed you have named me Charles as author of the article. That name is strictly reserved for when I turn 100 years old!) Chas
OCT 09, 2008 - 09:48 PM
thanks for sharing Chas!! great reference as shay pointed out!! greetings koen
OCT 09, 2008 - 09:52 PM
Only to pleased to help name has been edited.
OCT 10, 2008 - 01:26 AM
Hi Chas, A well researched project showing the nature of some ordinary men in times of conflict. I enjoyed reading the article and your smal dio protrays the event well. Excellent work and a well deserved prize. You obviously out a lot of effort into this project and it shows through both in the article and the dio. Great stuff. Al
OCT 12, 2008 - 06:06 AM
Thanks Koen it is a pleasure. Darren, the name was no big deal but thanks anyway! Alan, thanks for your very kind words. Chas
OCT 12, 2008 - 12:33 PM
Hi Chas, very inspiring this dio. Great work, loads of detail and above all, the crowning ingredient in a catching dio, a personal story! Big thumbs up!!
OCT 20, 2008 - 02:17 AM