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Old 12-25-2006, 12:32 PM
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Diorama - Featuring Tamiya’s old Pz IV D

Hello all. Merry Christmas!

This is my first thread here at Planet Armor, and I would like to share this holiday’s project with you guys.
Some time ago while looking at some photos this one caught my eye.



I thought it was interesting to have the tanks driving past the Acropolis. So I decided to make diorama of something similar. I looked at my hoarded models and discovered the old and venerable Tamiya’s Panzer IV ausf D.



Since this kit is older than I am. I knew there would be loads of corrective work to do but decided to give it a try anyways. Then I found the ICM figure kit of German Tank Crew 1941-42. I really liked the figures posing for a photograph and after some reading an idea came to me.



The tank would be part of the 2nd Panzer Div and set during the invasion of Greece in 1941. The story would be simple the tank has passed an ancient Greek Temple while its unit advances into Macedonia. The crew (soldiers at the end) decided to take a small turistic souvenir and take a picture next to the ruins. I made a quick sketch of how I wanted the Diorama to look.



The idea seems clear in my mind. Now the question is, can this old model kit cut it in an age of super kits and aftermarket details? We would have to wait and see.
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Old 12-25-2006, 02:15 PM
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Wink wohaaaa herculean works to come

nice idea, but on the picture, it looks like more pz IV ausf F2 than D... anyway, i like to see old kit been "refitted" with a lot of works
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Old 12-25-2006, 05:33 PM
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Quote:
nice idea, but on the picture, it looks like more pz IV ausf F2 than D...
That picture was taken in 1943. My diorama will be set in 1941, so an ausf D would fit right in.
Today I did some research on the architecture of Greek temples. This is an excellent book for architectural photographic reference. Even if it’s in Spanish, it has so many nice photographs it doesn’t really matter.



Contrary to my modeler friends I always build the base before the models on my dioramas. So I set out to find a suitable way of building the columns of the temple. I found some old wedding cake decorative columns stashed away and decided to use those as a starting point for my columns.



After some examination and comparison I notice that the cake columns were of the Ionic order and I needed Doric columns since with two or three exceptions most Greek temples have Doric columns.



So in order to get mine right I sealed the hollow plastic cake columns and made a rubber silicone mold.







After this was done I made eight half columns out of plaster. Since I was not going to use neither the base nor the ionic capital I saw them off. This left only the shaft of the column. Since the plaster is not totally dry I will leave these overnight to dry before I continue working with them tomorrow.



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Old 12-25-2006, 05:51 PM
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Great begining!
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Old 12-25-2006, 09:04 PM
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Welcoem to Planet Armor David!

I like the idea. I thought about something similar a few years back but with a PzKpfw III ausf E. Nice start with those columns

Lawrence
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Old 12-25-2006, 09:33 PM
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Nice work on those columns.
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Old 12-25-2006, 10:53 PM
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Jeeze dude- do yourself a really big favour and buy a New Tristar or Dragon Panzer IV kit- the differance between them and this one is light years. Give this to some kid and start with something nice. Trust me you won't regret it.
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Jeeze dude- do yourself a really big favour and buy a New Tristar or Dragon Panzer IV kit- the differance between them and this one is light years. Give this to some kid and start with something nice. Trust me you won't regret it.
I totally agree with you James. The new model kits these days are a world apart from this “ancient artifact”. Actually, I do have the Dragon Panzer IV kit waiting for its moment to shine. Now, after studying the diorama I decided that since all the crew would be outside I wanted to leave all the hatches open. And since the Panzer IV has very large hatches (compared to other AFVs) I decided to scratch build the whole interior. This will take me much longer to complete, especially since the kit needs a lot of rework already. But since I like scratch building a lot, this is just a challenge I cannot pass. I think that’s why I will stick to the old Tamiya kit.
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Old 12-26-2006, 03:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Sturmmann View Post
But since I like scratch building a lot, this is just a challenge I cannot pass. I think that’s why I will stick to the old Tamiya kit.
just what i like to hear - very interesting start
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Old 12-27-2006, 01:32 AM
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The Columns are raised!

Hello all! Hope you all had a great day.

Today I continued to work on the columns. Once they were dry I went ahead and glued both halves together to create the four columns I would need.



In some of the columns there was a gap left between the two halves. This is not a real problem since it will be filled with Vinyl Spackling. This is used to repair plaster walls and cracks and in excellent for situations such as these. It is available at any hardware store.
There was also some chipping around the ends that was created when I sawed off the bases and capitals, but since the temple would be in ruins damage such as this is welcome.





While the spackling was drying I went ahead and started casting the blocks I would use to build the temple in plaster. For this I used silicone rubber molds of individual interchangeable blocks. (I will be posting some info on this technique on a future thread in my v-Bench titled “Tips and Tricks” ). These molds are easy to make and some are available commercially from different companies. However the ones available are not made for military modeling and are meant for war-gamming terrain and train layouts, and are meant for much smaller scales but they can be easily modified to be used in 1/35 dioramas.



I also decided to use a set of Friulmodel tracks with the Panzer IV. I had these fro quite a while and I would be substituting the kit’s vinyl tracks for these. Not only are these more realistic, but vinyl tracks tent to crack and break with time, (Here in the tropics it is 85 t0 95 % humidity most of the year). It is sad to put so much effort in a model only to have to rebuild it years down the road because the vinyl rotted away and snapped.



Next, once the glue and spackling were dry I proceeded to cut the column in drums. Since this was the method the real columns were constructed I decided to build mine the same way. Now, studying photographs I noticed that the Greeks made their columns out of as few as 5 columns or in some cases as many as 12 or even 15! So I decided for an average and easy to handle number of 7 drums.



The columns were sectioned and the drums numbered to make sure their order was not altered. This is important as Greek columns are wider at the bases and their diameter decreases in size gradually toward the top.





Now that the columns were sectioned its time to work on giving them the damage and weathering that these ancient structures have. This is the main reason why I chose plaster as my working material. It is easy to work with, and sculpt to create different effects
In order to weather the columns I used a rotor toll bit and by had rolled it over the individual drums. I made sure I was covering all its edges to break the smooth finish.





Next using a modeling knife I made some random indentations to simulate damage on the drums.



Once all this was done, the drums were glued back in the same ascending diameter order as the were cut. The columns are finished! Now once the blocks are dry I will start working with the base of the temple.



Until next time. Model on!

Dave
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