Road to Nowhere: from Photo to Diorama

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Editors Note: This article was originally published on Armorama in German.

A picture can express more than thousand words, they say. So does a photo of a 38 (t), vehicle of 7th Panzer division with mounted infantry, making its way through an uncomfortable Ukrainian landscape in late summer 1941. This picture anticipates very well how tough the going would get in this vast terrain - a real "Road to Nowhere". A scenery like that claimed to be recreated as a diorama. I decided to depict it as close as possible following the original photo. Of course the key-point in this dio would be the 38 (t) with its mounted infantry. So the diorama could be limited to that punch of mud on the photo.

So the dimension was pretty clear: 20 x 15 cm approximately, with a trench for the mud hole. The photo shows a 38 (t) with tank commander, 4 infantry-men with a bike and lots of stowage, tool- and ammunition boxes, typical for all German vehicles in the Russian campaign.

The Kits
I identified this tank as a 38 (t) Ausf. D of 7th Panzer division, so as equivalent I choose Marquette's-Kit of the 38 (t). Many has been written about this kit. In short terms, it is a satisfying solution, better in any case as the old Italeri kit. Pay attention with the single track links: They are made from very soft plastic and show many molding joints, so that You have to spend a good time in sanding (if You don't like to pay 28 $ in Fruil-tracks). Moreover, it is very difficult to fit the tracks right on the drive wheel. The model itself is built "straight out of the box", only drivers hatch and grill plate on the engine deck are photo etch parts from "Airwaves". Main problem was the figure-chapter, as it's very difficult to find seated figures in a relaxed and tired pose, without gear and helmet. Finally I choose a Panzergrenadiers-set by "El Viejo Dragon", Figures from Tamiya's bicycle-set, and a commander from an Academy-set. Their arms are fitted individually, many parts come from the spare box, meanwhile all heads are taken from Verlinden's "Super Value" kit. A very peculiar thing on the photo is the bike: In our case it comes from the excellent Tamiya-kit, modified with Aber photo-etch-parts. (to continue click on next page").

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About the Author

About Ralf Gellings (Ralf)


that dio is not only amazing but breath takeing. he took a pice of history and made it come to life. he should win a medla for this dio. it catures the feeling of the real picture
NOV 07, 2003 - 05:12 AM
You have raised the bar! This a truly amazing feat. Well done! --daredevil
NOV 07, 2003 - 01:37 PM