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Dioramas: Before Building
Ideas, concepts, and researching your next diorama.
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Which comes first,...
BootsDMS
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 05:02 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Hi all,

Another question if I may, before battle commences...

...As previously mentioned, the diorama will be set late winter/early spring and I have been trying to determine what changes I will have to make to the uniforms of the British troops.

I will probably be using a mix of figures from different companies; however, I’m guessing that they are typically (ignore North Africa/Far East figures) shown in non-cold weather uniforms.

Apart from greatcoats, did the British have standard ‘cold weather/winter’ clothing, or was it the standard uniform that would be worn? I imagine tank crew would wear the pixie suit and simply have more layers beneath, but I'm thinking more about the poor ol' infantry. I have tried ‘googling’ but I’m not getting much joy apart from the aforementioned greatcoat.

Any comments or ideas?

Cheers, ,

G



Gareth,

How wintry do you wish to make this? If it's cold then the wearing of greatcoats would be authorised but it would be a command decision somewhere, not an individual choice. In addition to a greatcoat British soldiers were issued a pullover, a collarless woollen shirt, and undervests. Long johns were available to be worn - obviously - under the BD trousers. Khaki woollen gloves were also issued.

An item called a "Cap Comforter" - which was basically a hollow but closed knitted scarf that could be turned into headdress (often depicted worn by Commandos) - was also on issue; this could be worn under the steel helmet if it was cold. Bear in mind that the serge Battledress was not a lightweight design and provided a certain amount of warmth whether it was needed or not!

You may also run into the problem of finding sufficient figures wearing greatcoats; note that for AFV crews the Pixie suit was not issued until Sep 44. They wore a denim tank suit coverall, which in cold weather would be augmented by most of the above.

Personal Equipment/Webbing. This would be the 37 pattern. The then Fighting Order consisted of the small pack, 2 x ammo pouches, waterbottle and bayonet frog, and the entrenching tool ensemble - though I'm not quite sure when that came into service. However, that means that most available commercial figures for the time-span, come equipped thus. Cloth bandoliers continuing extra ammunition may also be present but would normally indicate imminent useage on the ranges or during a live fire exercise; I mention this so that if you use figures with them you can explain it all away and not have the tedious task of filing them off if moulded on (!)

I've remembered the missing fourth letter "W" from my earlier post: I believe it was "Why?" in that "Why" are your figures/vehicles doing what they are depicted doing?

Remember that the time of year ("When?") would also dictate what vegetation would be around.

Any further questions re 37 Pat webbing or Battledress please ask; I've worn and used both though I must hasten to add that my BD was of the 1949 pattern and worn in the late 60s, just in case someone thinks I'm around a hundred years old.

Brian




Aaargh! Typo re the bandolier bit; should read "containing" not "continuing".
BootsDMS
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 04:24 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi all,

Another question if I may, before battle commences...

...As previously mentioned, the diorama will be set late winter/early spring and I have been trying to determine what changes I will have to make to the uniforms of the British troops.

I will probably be using a mix of figures from different companies; however, I’m guessing that they are typically (ignore North Africa/Far East figures) shown in non-cold weather uniforms.

Apart from greatcoats, did the British have standard ‘cold weather/winter’ clothing, or was it the standard uniform that would be worn? I imagine tank crew would wear the pixie suit and simply have more layers beneath, but I'm thinking more about the poor ol' infantry. I have tried ‘googling’ but I’m not getting much joy apart from the aforementioned greatcoat.

Any comments or ideas?

Cheers, ,

G



Gareth,

How wintry do you wish to make this? If it's cold then the wearing of greatcoats would be authorised but it would be a command decision somewhere, not an individual choice. In addition to a greatcoat British soldiers were issued a pullover, a collarless woollen shirt, and undervests. Long johns were available to be worn - obviously - under the BD trousers. Khaki woollen gloves were also issued.

An item called a "Cap Comforter" - which was basically a hollow but closed knitted scarf that could be turned into headdress (often depicted worn by Commandos) - was also on issue; this could be worn under the steel helmet if it was cold. Bear in mind that the serge Battledress was not a lightweight design and provided a certain amount of warmth whether it was needed or not!

You may also run into the problem of finding sufficient figures wearing greatcoats; note that for AFV crews the Pixie suit was not issued until Sep 44. They wore a denim tank suit coverall, which in cold weather would be augmented by most of the above.

Personal Equipment/Webbing. This would be the 37 pattern. The then Fighting Order consisted of the small pack, 2 x ammo pouches, waterbottle and bayonet frog, and the entrenching tool ensemble - though I'm not quite sure when that came into service. However, that means that most available commercial figures for the time-span, come equipped thus. Cloth bandoliers continuing extra ammunition may also be present but would normally indicate imminent useage on the ranges or during a live fire exercise; I mention this so that if you use figures with them you can explain it all away and not have the tedious task of filing them off if moulded on (!)

I've remembered the missing fourth letter "W" from my earlier post: I believe it was "Why?" in that "Why" are your figures/vehicles doing what they are depicted doing?

Remember that the time of year ("When?") would also dictate what vegetation would be around.

Any further questions re 37 Pat webbing or Battledress please ask; I've worn and used both though I must hasten to add that my BD was of the 1949 pattern and worn in the late 60s, just in case someone thinks I'm around a hundred years old.

Brian

Tank1812
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 03:52 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Ryan,

No problem, hope it helped. Will we get to see some photographs of your Russian project? If you start a log, can you give me a heads-up so that I can follow your build?

In many ways, your suggestion of simply transposing the scenario to France makes sense, would be simpler, and would probably save a few pennies. There would be more accessories available, e.g. Miniarts railway signals, telegraph poles, etc., not to mention the figures you've already alluded to. However, now I’ve got the image fixed in my mind, plus the support I’ve been given by the folk at RMweb, I’m loath to give up on the idea...if that makes sense?

Good luck with your build, and cheers, ,

G



Like some, I have great ideas and poor follow through. I will post if I start the build. I do have most of the parts. It’s a BDT-35 with maxim gun displayed near a rail station. I have the rail kit, rail tracks, telegraph poles kit and extra bits. Just need time and motivation to start.

BDT-35

Recreation of the Vallejo railway base

I get not not changing location, just an idea and I look forward to your execution of your plan.

Cannot help on the uniforms.
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 03:41 AM UTC
Hi all,

Another question if I may, before battle commences...

...As previously mentioned, the diorama will be set late winter/early spring and I have been trying to determine what changes I will have to make to the uniforms of the British troops.

I will probably be using a mix of figures from different companies; however, I’m guessing that they are typically (ignore North Africa/Far East figures) shown in non-cold weather uniforms.

Apart from greatcoats, did the British have standard ‘cold weather/winter’ clothing, or was it the standard uniform that would be worn? I imagine tank crew would wear the pixie suit and simply have more layers beneath, but I'm thinking more about the poor ol' infantry. I have tried ‘googling’ but I’m not getting much joy apart from the aforementioned greatcoat.

Any comments or ideas?

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 03:26 AM UTC
Hi Ryan,

No problem, hope it helped. Will we get to see some photographs of your Russian project? If you start a log, can you give me a heads-up so that I can follow your build?

In many ways, your suggestion of simply transposing the scenario to France makes sense, would be simpler, and would probably save a few pennies. There would be more accessories available, e.g. Miniarts railway signals, telegraph poles, etc., not to mention the figures you've already alluded to. However, now I’ve got the image fixed in my mind, plus the support I’ve been given by the folk at RMweb, I’m loath to give up on the idea...if that makes sense?

Good luck with your build, and cheers, ,

G
Tank1812
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 03:00 AM UTC
Thanks, I have a project with the Miniart Russian track and I will have to do the same thing.

Could you not keep everything the same but change the location to say France? The rail and civilians mentioned would then work. The layout would still work imho. Course if the location is important to you then never mind.
G-man69
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Posted: Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 02:43 AM UTC
Hi Ryan,

The grain was made by using a scribing tool for the heavier pattern, and small blade for the finer scoring (see image below).



However, it’s all probably been in vain, at least for my intended scene, as I’ve since found out that the Miniart European Gauge track isn’t suitable for WW2 era rails in Britain, , however, the Miniart parts can be boxed up until I need them for some future project, .

I have found out from the helpful folk on RMweb, the rail profile isn’t right, it should be what they call ‘Bullhead’ (a sort of dumbbell shape) and the track chairs (the bit that holds the track to the sleepers) are completely wrong for the era I’m considering, . However, they have since informed me that there is a Gauge 1 scale railway system which equates, approximately, to 1/32nd, so I can obtain the British type track that I need, .

I will still have to roughen the sleepers up a tad as again the woodgrain is too neat for my liking (see images below of the Gauge 1 track).







I’m looking to achieve something more akin to the image below.



It's not silly money, I can pick up almost a 3' of straight track for under £20.

Cheers, ,

G
Tank1812
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 06:37 AM UTC
Don’t think it matters where as long as you post photos.

What did you use to make the grains?
G-man69
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 05:03 AM UTC
Hi Erwin,

I think I will follow your suggestion, thank you, !

The log will be called...'Crossing the Line'.

Will most likely get it started tomorrow, would be great to have your continued comments as the build progresses.

Cheers, ,

G
Golikell
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 03:43 AM UTC
For clarity, I think it best to start a new topic
G-man69
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Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 03:02 AM UTC
Hi all,

Decided to start being proactive by looking at the railway track kit from Miniart – I still need to determine if their ‘European Gauge’ track is okay to use, as-is, for a British setting.

The box art (top and one side) is the only guide to painting that you get with the kit (see image below).



The parts come in a reasonably sturdy lidded box, inside of which they are all contained in a single polythene bag along with a separate single sheet with the instructions printed in black-and-white on one side (see images below).





Inside the bag are 8# identical light grey plastic sprues (see images below).





The timber sleepers have some very subtle wood grain effect on the top surface...it’s nicely done but, if anything, it’s too fine for my liking (see image below), .



You can see above how the grain in each sleeper is different, however, the four vertical surfaces are devoid of any engraving (see image below). I guess on a perfectly laid track this wouldn't be an issue as the sleepers will be buried in the ballast, however, in the real world I doubt that would be the case.




I therefore decided to roughen up the existing grain and add grain to the four blank sides (see comparison images below). This is time consuming as there is a total of 40# sleepers (not sure if they’ll all be used on this build), however, it does mean that each sleeper will be slightly different, unlikely to get a repeated pattern, and it also means the ballast can be laid unevenly, which I feel will look more realistic. I have also used a thin wash of black to help show the difference.













Only another 35# to go, !

Not sure whether I should continue the build in here, or should I create a new log specifically for the build...any thoughts?

Please feel free to comment as you see fit.

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 11:01 PM UTC
Hi Erwin,

Indeed we are, and your help so far has been much appreciated.

Thank you,

G
Golikell
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 06:58 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Erwin,

My apologies, I see what you mean now, and how it would add an element of dynamism.

Cheers, ,

G



No problem We are here to help each other ,aren't we?
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 03:01 AM UTC
Hi Brian,

No, it's not just you, I’m in the same camp as you when it comes to vehicles being laden down with gear, it helps fix a model in place as well as allowing one to bring a little uniqueness to ones creation...plus it helps to potentially cover up any mistakes, or gluey finger marks, !

It’s another of your ‘What’, ‘Where’ and ‘When’ elements...they’re now on an exercise spanning several days, .

Thanks again,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 02:57 AM UTC
Hi Erwin,

My apologies, I see what you mean now, and how it would add an element of dynamism.

Cheers, ,

G
BootsDMS
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 02:32 AM UTC
Gareth,

Re gear on tanks; I imagine it would depend on whether or not how long the crews are due to be out training; even if only a couple of days Commanding Officers - especially those who had operational experience and were inserted into regiments specifically for the purpose of instilling such associated disciplines - could well insist that the units deploy with everything required for war.

This would also apply to any units not just armoured.

I imagine however, that a run around the respective garrison/training camp to test engines or even radios ie within a working day, might mean that not much was taken. Drawing stores, guns, tools, fuel, radios and even ammunition for an exercise/operation is a demanding chore and takes ages; everything has to be accounted for and often signed for. There's also a lot of paperwork - maps, radio frequencies - all classified of course, all contribute to the effort required.

From a modelling perspective I normally like my vehicles fully bombed up as they - to me - look more purposeful and even sinister. But that might just be me!

Brian
Golikell
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 01:13 AM UTC
I merely mean the slight incline to get over the embankment. I said MIGHT...
This for example:
https://i2-prod.mirror.co.uk/incoming/article14208113.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/0_PAY-.jpg
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 12:39 AM UTC
Hi Tim,

Totally agree with your comment on station-keeping when on the march, however, I have looked at a number of images of vehicle movements in England. Admittedly they are generally taken in towns/villages, where bottlenecks might occur but they often show quite close spacings between vehicles...this might have to be one of those instances where artistic licence comes to the fore, .

I like your idea of the cart causing a problem...I’d need to look at this further to see what reason there might be for it being on the road at the time of year I'm thinking of...what winter crops might they be harvesting, turnips possibly, ?

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 12:36 AM UTC
Hi Erwin,

I’m certainly no railway expert, I’ve always presumed...because of the disruptive nature to other vehicles...that level crossings in the UK were sited on relatively flat ground where the use of under/over bridges wasn’t practical...I will post a question on the railway modeller site as it’s a good consideration.

I’m not sure of the difference in Europe-wide fashion, but in this scale, it might not be so critical or obvious.

Cheers, ,

G
G-man69
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Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 12:34 AM UTC
Hi Brian,

I recall watching some old footage of Vickers light tanks, not sure which Mks, travelling at speed over open country...possibly Salisbury Plain...with Vickers Medium tanks trundling along in the background, very stirring stuff.

Your idea sounds like a good one, are you sure it can’t tempt you to the dark side, ?

I know what you mean about ‘mass’, if I were going to build two identical vehicles it would have to be something straightforward, e.g. a Tamiya kit, but it would definitely rule out the AFV Club Churchill's I bought, .

It’s going to be a late winter/early spring on manoeuvres sort of scenario. I have been looking at Miniart and Masterbox sets, and there are some potential figures that I could use straight from the box, others might need some conversion work, others though would be destined for the spares box, priests and coppers.

One question for you, or anyone else reading this...in your opinion would British tanks on manoeuvres pre-D-day be relatively free of external stowage, or would they still be festooned with gear?

Cheers, ,

G
Dioramartin
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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 04:16 PM UTC
Yes promising plans. With dios & vignettes it always raises the game if you can tell a story – when I saw your sketch I imagined a pre-D Day scene “somewhere in England” where local life had to go on. So I thought about a horse & cart, or a farmer leading a draught horse, waiting at the level crossing with those Shermans (or whatever) backed up behind it with grumpy commanders waving their arms around in their turrets. Arguably a tad too comical but betcha it happened many times.

One other thought – I think there was a minimum distance limit stipulated between tanks so your base will need to be bigger, with the tanks at least ? 6 inches? apart. Masterbox does some generic farming types & carts I think.
Golikell
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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 02:01 AM UTC
I think you have the basics of the dio right. Adding figures give more of a sense of size and human interest. Mind you that level crossings might still have some incline in both directions. This would make the dio even more dynamic.
I wonder what typical British civilians will look like, opposed to German or French ones. Of course outside the gendarmes and priests...
BootsDMS
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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 01:44 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi all,

Below is my attempted sketch, in PowerPoint, showing the basic concept. A country road, surrounded by hedgerows/fields, leading down to and across a single branch line somewhere in the southwest of England.



A couple of vehicles on manoeuvres, I have shown tanks, are travelling across the level crossing, however, I may include a couple of universal carriers instead of one of the tanks...it’s a work in progress. I appreciate the vehicles drawn look a tad like Sherman tanks, but that’s only because they’re easier to block out in PowerPoint, , but they could be Churchills or something else.

I’ll add some troops, but also am thinking a few civilian adults, possibly kids, watching on. The difficulty is that the choice of civilian western adult plastic figures seems to be French or German…will need to give this some thought.

I also have the Bronco Cameramen figures, so am thinking of a film crew shooting for a Pathe News item...as I said, a work in progress, .

Any thoughts or suggestions would be more than welcome...I'm not proud, .

Is it best to keep with the build in here, or start a new log?

Cheers, ,

G



Gareth,

Ambitious stuff!

If you do go for a couple of Shermans it will create the illusion of "mass"; I know it's only 2 x vehicles but I am just finishing up a T-64 dio and wished somehow to convey the same - ie the Soviet hordes. Building 2 x identical vehicles is a bit of a flog, but you do ending up creating said mass in a way.

You'll need to do a bit of research and establish if this is D Day minus whatever, as the vehicles would be waterproofed and fitted for deep wading if the invasion was imminent - which all means extra work. If it's just say, Spring 1944, the tanks could just be out for a radio exercise/road run whatever. Unless it's a weekend any kids are likely to be at school. A scrutiny of both Miniart and Master Box sets will throw up a surprising amount of figures that might be suitable. Wee Friends do a decent British Copper.

When it comes to planning something on this scale - or indeed any - I recall that within an ancient copy of Airfix Magazine from the 60s, a figure modeller cited his formula for establishing what was what: I think it was "What", "Where" and "When". There might have been a fourth but I can't remember. If nothing else these 3 words can help sometimes in clarifying what one is attempting.

Brian
BootsDMS
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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 12:25 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Hi Brian,

You're welcome, .

A penny for your thoughts as to what might possibly tempt you to stray, ?

Cheers, ,

G



Gareth,

Just the subject matter; I recall when I was at Primary School (way back when) within the library was an illustrated book from the 30s depicting the Vickers Medium as then state of the art(!)

Your thread brought the memories back and I could envisage a small base with one of these trundling along disturbing the countryside of 30s Britain with say, the figure with a rake from the Master Box Western Europe figures, in a field, chatting to the Frau Mueller figure with her bicycle over a small hedge. Add the seemingly excellent figures from Gecko, or at least the Commander in the helmet and one would have a decent looking model I reckon. Not too crowded and telling a story, even if a simple one.

Ah, the powers of imagination in this great hobby!

However, my NATO and Warsaw Pact collection of unbuilt/half built models beckon. Groan.

Brian
G-man69
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Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 12:12 AM UTC
Hi all,

Below is my attempted sketch, in PowerPoint, showing the basic concept. A country road, surrounded by hedgerows/fields, leading down to and across a single branch line somewhere in the southwest of England.



A couple of vehicles on manoeuvres, I have shown tanks, are travelling across the level crossing, however, I may include a couple of universal carriers instead of one of the tanks...it’s a work in progress. I appreciate the vehicles drawn look a tad like Sherman tanks, but that’s only because they’re easier to block out in PowerPoint, , but they could be Churchills or something else.

I’ll add some troops, but also am thinking a few civilian adults, possibly kids, watching on. The difficulty is that the choice of civilian western adult plastic figures seems to be French or German…will need to give this some thought.

I also have the Bronco Cameramen figures, so am thinking of a film crew shooting for a Pathe News item...as I said, a work in progress, .

Any thoughts or suggestions would be more than welcome...I'm not proud, .

Is it best to keep with the build in here, or start a new log?

Cheers, ,

G