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Tiger Diorama,built in 1991.

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Having grown up in the 70`s, before computers and play stations etc, some my friends and I indulged in building model planes and tanks. Most of mine were 72nd scale and have become lost or broken or both over the years unfortunately.


In my late teens, I bought just a few copies of "Military Modelling" magazine. One of the subjects covered in three or four issues was called "painting panzers", and had some pictures of German tanks and armoured cars that had been beautifully painted and weathered; weathering was a concept that I had never really seen before in my youthful model painting.


These pictures sort off kick started my interest in modelling, and I built a couple of 1/35 German panzers, which now again, are lost. Around this time I was in a modelling shop in Manchester and found, and bought some magazines and catalogues by a comany called "Verlinden Productions".

These models and, more importantly (to me) dioramas, by Mr. Francois Verlinden where as good as, or even better than the "painting panzers" pictures. He seemed to be trailblazing a method of making models and dioramas to actually look like real life in miniature, rather than look like a plastic model, which I was used to as a child and teenager.


These inspired me to build the following:




The Tiger is a Tamiya 1/35 mid production, (I seem to remember) and the building and bricks are, I think, are Verlinden Productions.




The wallpaper is the reverse page of my wife`s wage slip, and the propaganda posters are Tamiya.




The debris is bits of gravel from my old back garden, and the floor joists and boards are general balsa wood.





The paints and weathering are just humbrol enamel washes, combined with pastel chalks.




Zimmerit was just milliput patterened with part of a small hacksaw blade.


This is now a restoration project, because parts of the tank such as the machine gun and hatch are missing, and some German troops I placed behind the tank, and main doors to the building have been lost.


Twenty-plus years on I really can not believe how things have moved on from when I built this. Things such as colour modulation, filters and  hairspray paint chipping OMG! :)


So I look forward to restoring my old diorama with modern technology and techniques, any advice is more than welcome...



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Nice! It's always cool to see those old projects again! I would advise you not to go overboard on the chipping, modulation and whatnot. I nowadays see models that employ color modulation to such an extent that they become almost like manga comics. The same goes for the sometimes overdone amount of chipping on vehicles. While it gives a pleasing effect to the eye, it doesn't resemble the actual situation anymore. One can choose to go the path of artisitic license of course, but I prefer to (try to) find a balance between accuracy and making a scene / model interesting to look at...


I hope you'll take us with you in a WIP of restoring your diorama!

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Yes thanks for the advice. I suppose weathering etc is a very debatable subject, and obviously beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I recently showed a close modelling friend of mine a model Wespe self propelled gun. I was telling him how wonderful I thought the weathering and paint chipping was, and how realistic I thought it looked.He immediately brought me down to earth when he said:


"it looks like it has been sat in a field for forty years after the war, not how it would really look in operational service."


This immediately changed my perspective on it, and like you said, there in a fine balance between the "manga comic" look, and an operational, realistic look.


What path I take, only time will tell...

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