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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
Operation Anthropoid
Dioramartin
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: May 04, 2016
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Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 07:38 PM UTC
I’m back, now packing fully refurbed hard-/software – interesting how much I got done without accessing an internet device for a few days, I should do it more often.

Thanks so much Frenchy – I’ve taken a real shine to that Ppolish Fiat van, by far the best candidate (it’s the one that took Heydrich to hospital sprawled in the back) & the Bronco is probably OK for the bread van that refused to take him. I imagine both must have been covered delivery vehicles so big and/or open trucks no good. Yes I always liked Preiser figures, depends on the couture though.

The story so far – continuing experiments with the half-scale mock-up (v2), and using Macdonald’s account for a more informed reconstruction with the dio…I had to start all over again and correct several errors (including two minor ones Macdonald made because they were physically impossible) so I think I’m as close as it’s possible to get to the actual sequence of events. I’m past caring after all this research what the various movies show, because either they agree with me or they’re wrong. Me, arrogant?

But first - the contours issue was bugging me so I spent some time studying it from the 1936/1942 photos plus current topography via Google Earth & stills – the road system’s substantially altered but it helped a little. First draft…



The measurements (in cms. at Big One’s dimensions) are more useful than the lines in this sketch & there’ll doubtless be some adjustments required but this is approximately right. The road over the underpass in the northwest corner will be the highest point at 8cms/3 ins. I’ll probably use balsa for the supports & many sheets of it to lay the basic surface, on top of which will go the cobbles jigsaw leaving gaps for the tramlines…sigh. Through this exercise I’ve realized that (a) the semi-circular sunken parkland can be a separate drop-in (b) deciding where to make the cut (so that the base is in 2 more manageable halves approx 150 x 75 cms each) is highly problematic because no matter how accurately I join them the gap is bound to show especially in close-ups of the action. I could photoshop it out but I’d rather find another way – perhaps a zig-zag east/west median line taking advantage of as many tramline gaps as possible, with surgical-quality cuts in between.

Meanwhile here’s a piece of card worth about US$60 if it saves me building that 2nd trailer coming down the hill on an even larger base. For the Big One I’ll try using a photo (of the trailer) if the angle’s right…







…and a clearer look at the perspective backdrop, an early view in the sequence with Valcik in the distance flashing (his mirror) and Heydrich’s car approaching Tram 14 as it comes down to the tramstop. At this point Gabcik is at the camera’s viewpoint before running across the road into position…which might come as a surprise to some:



Almost right…except I didn’t allow for the centre of the camera lens having to be about 2 cms higher than my eye on the sidewalk when I sketched it. This is how we learn, and I’ve already averted or identified some other potential cock-ups I’d have otherwise made on the Big One. Overall I think it’s do-able, the biggest challenge I haven’t really faced yet is the overhead powerlines but I’ll let the sub-conscious continue to work on that one.

Next time I’ll wrap up this stuff with a few more sample shots and then finally start on the Merc
jrutman
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Posted: Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 11:31 PM UTC
Fascinating how you are going about solving all of these very complex problems. Wow man ! Wonderful stuff.
J
Frenchy
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Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 01:39 AM UTC
I was about to become a bit worried Tim

Here's another candidate for your delivery van : a 1-ton Opel Blitz from Dnepro Model :



H.P.

Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, April 20, 2018 - 06:14 PM UTC
Thanks guys,

Jerry – ha maybe although I can’t decide whether I’m lucky or unlucky the visual references are so good...

Frenchy – that Blitz easily beats the Bronco light van for plausibility & looks like I can get it from an Oz distributor too – I searched Dnepro Model as I’d not heard of them, some amazing stuff there & looks reasonable quality. Many thanks for discovery…in time I’ll need to think about what to paint on the sides, maybe Marian/Zdenka can suggest some script for a baker & a furniture-polisher in a classic art-deco font
PolishBrigade12
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Washington, United States
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Posted: Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 07:02 AM UTC
Beauty Tim, a lot goin into this one, looks great so far!

Cheers, Ski.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Monday, April 23, 2018 - 07:14 PM UTC
Thanks Ski, I’m just glad I’m not doing this in your scale or I’d have to rent a warehouse
justsendit
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Posted: Monday, April 23, 2018 - 07:32 PM UTC
... only two outstanding questions for my purposes – the colour of the Merc (yes it looks black except in a couple of close-ups…)

🎤🎸🥁🎹🎻🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶 ... or not. 🙃
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 07:23 PM UTC
Hey DJ Mikey see p1/March 13/para 1, that was for you dude! Maybe you got your platters juxta’d & meant…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAgnJDJN4VA

justsendit
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Posted: Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 07:46 PM UTC
Tim, That one completely slipped by me ... not too hard to do these days.🤪
Anyway, great stuff happening here. Keep it coming!

Cheers!🍺
—mike
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 08:42 PM UTC
Thanks Mike, so you’d better take charge of the soundtrack - justmendit

Last call on the mock-up – a useful exercise providing me with a 20+ points-list of things to do/not do & most of them only became obvious through trial & error. For example it probably wouldn’t have occurred to me (or too late) to make the parkland as a drop-in so that I can remove it to get close-ups of the action as if standing at any point on the bend’s sidewalk – even at 1/35 scale I don’t think the camera would have squeezed onto it with enough clearance.

Also it doesn’t look like the backdrops need to be anything like 360° - apart from the north, north-west and north-east views I only need some distant impressions of the south side & south-west edge. So no Bauhaus required unless I go overboard & mimic some of the Gestapo reconstruction photos – we’ll see how close the Men in the White Coats are to me when the storyline shoot’s finished. The trickiest backdrop is still that NW corner – this view shows the need to meld those two vistas into a seamless one…




Maybe it’s possible – but then compare this Reconstruction view…



…with this…



OK the car was always slightly over-scale and the trailer should be shorter, but the size of the house is way off from this viewpoint. A 2D backdrop isn’t going to work because moving it nearer & further from the edge of the base depending on the camera position is only half the story. That would only work for a narrow range of angles but the house is going to be visible from much wider angles - and it stands on land below the level of the road like the parkland trees - so because of those complex horizontal and vertical perspectives I’ll have to build it 3D after all, as a mobile appendix to the base. The smaller houses beyond should still work OK as part of the 2D backdrop.

When it comes to fleeing-assassin-turned-NATO top-gun Kubis (here running to mount his invisible bike or Eurofighter) there’s no escape from doing this backdrop although the near-most fence & poles in 3D should help as long as their shadows don’t sabotage the illusion…



On the subject of trompe l’oeil, how’s this as an alternative to full 3D-rigging of the powerlines, just using WinPaint



Some lines aren’t correctly positioned & others are incomplete (all poles will be 3D whatever), it’s just an impression to see whether I can get away with it. Yesterday I thought maybe yes. Today I think maybe not. Tomorrow I may be less decisive.

Next time – another 12 rounds with a Merc car kit

PolishBrigade12
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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 10:01 PM UTC
Man, the logistics on this one is impressive Tim, following this one to the end.

Cheers, Ski.


P.S. Even in this scale Bro, it's gonna be a biggin!
AlfredCZ
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Praha, Czech Republic
Joined: January 03, 2016
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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 10:05 PM UTC
Hi guys ! Thank you very much for make a diorama of most glorious times of Czech Resistance beyond time of WW II !
But - please - use a "Hollywood Modeling". Problem number one is simple - don´t exist a kit of Heydrich´s Mercedes with two doors configuration. And don´t exist yet a original czech tramway car... Using of Fiat or Opel in diorama from Protectorat Böhmen und Mähren isn´t realistic. After war was Czechoslovakia a technological leader, and in our country was many car producers (Škoda, Praga, Tatra)... Czechoslovak car in plastic kit don´t exist, a decade ago make MMK a resin cast Tatra 87 in 1/35 (Nicknamed a Secret weapon of Mass destrucion against SS - many high ranking SS officiers died in this aerodynamics and fast car...) Very popular was Škoda Popular, Praga Baby, Tatra 57 "Hadimrška"... Fiat, Simca or Citröen isn´t probably used in Czech(choslovakia) region in 1942... (And i think a German occupants used many captured cars...). Tramway car was made in ČKD (Českomoravská Kolben - Daněk - Czech - Moravian Kolben - Daněk ) a huge factory near Prague center (today is on the site a big hockey Prague O2 Arena stadium). So - all cars were probably Czech-made (except lorries/light trucks), Tramway was 100% Czech-made... And site of Heydrich assasination don´t exist today too - were cut a post war highway... When you have a Xbox or PC Forza Motorsport 7 game, you can used it for inspiration (Prague circuit isn´t realistic, but atmosphere and look of road - (with for Prague typical "cat heads" brick street... ) - and on last Call of Duty WW II a ideal for inspiration...)
JGphins
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Thursday, April 26, 2018 - 10:56 PM UTC
Hi Tim, great work you got going on here so far. I see and truly appreciate the time and effort put into the planning phases. The critical design/layout step that each modeler/artist has to envision completed on an empty canvas is in my opinion the hardest phases of creating the dio.

I can see in work drawings that you sir will do this project justice. Thank you for sharing.

JGphins
Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 06:57 PM UTC
Thanks Ski & JGphins, much appreciated & hope you enjoy the ride.

And thank you Alfred - vítejte kamaráda, konečně pražského rodáka! Je mi líto, že nemůžu mluvit češtinu, myslím, že jako ty používám překlad Google. As you can see from the previous pages of this blog I am very aware of the problems of representing the real vehicles with the kits that are available i.e. the Mercedes and the trams - I will be converting/adapting them to be as accurate as possible, with the generous assistance of my fellow researchers. But as you say the commercial vehicles are the most difficult – maybe you could help me by posting some photographs of the correct Czech vehicles you mention? I could try conversions if they look similar enough to kits that are available – nothing is impossible.

Yes the scene has changed a lot since 1942 – but the bend is still recognisable…





However I’m not sure how you reconcile realism & accuracy with Hollywood & video games - for me they are complete contradictions in terms. Nobody seems to be capable of depicting this event exactly as it happened, either because they don’t do enough research or they don’t think it’s dramatic enough. I’m also uncomfortable that those faceless people make money out of it in the name of “entertainment” - something’s wrong there. I just prefer to honour the memories of all (documented) 5,000+ who died as a direct consequence of this assassination by making it as accurate as I can, within the limitations you rightly identify. And I’m putting my money where my mouth is
Frenchy
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Rhone, France
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Posted: Friday, April 27, 2018 - 08:15 PM UTC
Hi Tim

Here's a van variant of the Skoda Popular :



As you can see it is not based on the sedan replicated by Wespe Model (earlier model ?), but there's also a very similar van based on the latter :

1/43 diecast (I think...)







Sooooooooo...Maybe you could convert the Wespe Skoda ?

H.P.



Frenchy
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Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 01:35 AM UTC
Just found the 1:1 one :



Here's a 1936 Tatra 57A van :



and a 1938 model :



The only 1/35 Tatra 57 I know is the Kubelwagen one from Plus Model :



1935 Praga Baby van version :



H.P.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 07:58 AM UTC
Many thanks H.P. – very interesting finds there & gives me much more scope for a plausible bread van. Your 1st post image of the Skoda Popular caused me a sad smile – given the likely heritage of the purveyor, how appropriate/fitting that the driver of that one would refuse to take Heydrich to hospital. I’d love to depict that supreme symbolism - but realistically alas, highly unlikely in 1942 Prague.

The PlusModel kit doesn’t look like it would be much use for a conversion apart from maybe the chassis. I’ll have to spend some time trawling all-nationality kits of 1930’s vans to see which might be easiest to convert to either the Pop or the 57 - the Baby looks cool but maybe a bit too racy for a bakery. I’m beginning to think that fabricating the body shell/panels might be a nice job for my mate’s 3D printer if I can master CAD & estimating dimensions.

Regarding the furniture-polish vehicle that did take Heydrich away, I should correct a previous mis-statement – it wasn’t a van. Here’s MacDonald’s description:

“a small truck carrying a load of floor polish…Heydrich was squeezed into the tiny cab…(& it set off)…jolting heavily on the tram lines. The vibration was too much for Heydrich and he asked the driver to stop. He was transferred into the back where he sprawled on his stomach amongst the crates of wax & polish…”

The original source of that account was Miroslav Ivanovich’s 1974 “Target Heydrich”, I doubt there would be any more detail in that book about the “small truck”, presumably canvas-sided. A brief search turns up only Blitzes & Volvos, neither of which had unusually small cabs
Frenchy
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 11:37 AM UTC
Talking about bakery vans, here's a bigger one based on a Praga RN chassis :



It's not suitable for your project but the writings on the side may be used on a smaller vehicle It belonged to the Prague Odkolek bakery in 1942.

Another period picture here :

http://www.cocoon.cz/en/work/reuniting-and-redesigning-odkolek

Here you'll find some specs for the 1935-1937 Škoda 420 Popular Furgon (the "Julius Meinl" one) :

https://auta5p.eu/lang/en/katalog/auto.php?idf=Skoda-420-Popular-Furgon-13680

I guess the dimensions should be close to those of the later model (Wespe-based one)...


H.P.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 04:05 PM UTC
Holy Telepathy H.P. now you’re mind-reading, the thought occurred while writing the previous post what to put on the side panels. As they said, the world wouldn’t be complete without bread & this dio wouldn’t be complete without Odkolek – a strong chance that it was the actual bakery. Is that photo of the Praga RN pre-1942 vintage? The cog logo looks curiously Nazi-esque – Strength Through Wholemeal?

That Pop link’s also excellent – the photo alone is good enough to derive most/all dimensions (bar the rear doors, but if I photograph it right I won’t need ‘em) & as you say probably same as the later model for my purpose. Your too kind, thanks again
Frenchy
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 06:42 PM UTC
The Praga RN van was built in 1942 by a body building firm called Uhlik :

https://www.automobilrevue.cz/rubriky/automobily/historie/karoserie-o-uhlik-2-dodavky-ze-strasnic_43414.html

The Skoda van probably had a single rear door, like the red diecast model.

I guess the cog logo is pre-WW2, or even pre-WW1



H.P.
Frenchy
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Posted: Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 10:06 PM UTC
Just to broaden your Wespe kit-based options choice :



H.P.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Monday, April 30, 2018 - 04:47 PM UTC
Aw that’s sooo cute – is it a Tran or a...Vuck? Here in Oz they’d call it a custom Ute (utility) presumably because neither of those other conjunctions are particularly marketable. Anyhoo I think you’re right about converting the Wespe Pop kit to a van, nothing else gets close.

Interesting logo then, maybe our Czech correspondents can tell me what the FOV initials stand for? Incidentally the horse-drawn wagon’s probably not so far-fetched for this dio - as Alfred reminded us fuel was rationed, probably more severely than oats.

OK quieten down at the back, I am getting on with it – the Merc’s already underway, WIP shots this weekend
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, April 30, 2018 - 07:37 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Interesting logo then, maybe our Czech correspondents can tell me what the FOV initials stand for?



František Odkolek, Vysočany. Vysočany is an industrial suburb of Prague where the Odkolek bakery factory was built in 1912.

http://www.das-mcp.cz/muzeum/files/vestniky/ve1104.pdf

H.P.
HansBouwmeester
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Zuid-Holland, Netherlands
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Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2018 - 12:48 PM UTC
I bow for you, sir. This is truly an indepth study of the situation/event and will, no doubt, lead to a very accurate scene. I would not be surprised that, when the research is done and the scene/dio is set, the conclusion will be that Heydrich was shot by another person due to the position of the car and the alledged attackers..
True detectivework!!
jrutman
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Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2018 - 06:41 PM UTC
Continually gobsmacked by Frenchies' ability to find even the most obtuse and obscure refs,
J