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Malaysia WWII

The painting of the bicycles started with some Gunze 1500 primer and a coat of Tamiya black with Gunze super silver and Vallejo natural metal for touch up of the metallic parts. As most bicycles were painted black in those days, only some minor highlights were dark grey was airbrushed on the upper surfaces.Initial 'rusting' was applied with the appropriate acrylic hues. The electrical line and brake line (made from stretched sprue) was included instead of the original intention to use copper wires as there was no appropriate ones near my work bench! With some artistic licensing here and there , the bicycles were quickly completed to move on to the figures.

The rider had his leggings redone and the figure is now primed for painting and attaching the various duffel bags, water bottle, ammo pouches, gun, etc...All the figures were painted in Vallejo colors and washed with some Fairbro airbrush inks. They received a fair amount of highlights and shadows, but my figure painting skills is nothing to shout about, so I will leave it at that.

The diorama base started as a straightforward scene along a tarred road next to a rubber estate but initial posting found that there was a lack of urgency in the piece. So a major rethink resulted in a scene at a demolished bridge where a makeshift crossing made from planks were hastily put up to get to the other side.

The overall composition was carved out from scrap polystyrene and some cork board salvaged from a hot plate coaster. This was soon coated with a plaster sand mix with copious amount of PVA glue to bind the base. Some saw dust was sprinkled onto the vegetation areas and some scoured styrene strips were cut to simulate the planks.
The vegetation was a mix of preserved ferns, plastic aquarium plants and rope hemp while the tree was made from a mixture of stiff wire, dried teak flower stems and some putty to blend them all together.

  • WW2 Malasya
  • WW2 Malasya
    the base paints are airbrushed and touched up with hand painting
  • WW2 Malasya
    some washes and pigments were introduced to weather the look
  • WW2 Malasya
    Gunze tire black was hand painted on the tires
  • WW2 Malasya
    close up of the front fork in its final stage. Too late to repair the obvious misalignment to the axle
  • WW2 Malasya
    the seat and spring
  • WW2 Malasya
    the headlight and handle
  • WW2 Malasya
    completed bicycles
  • WW2 Malasya
    primed figure
  • WW2 Malasya
  • WW2 Malasya
  • WW2 Malasya

About the Author

About Loo Chee Keong (CKLOO)

SFTPMS ( Malaysia) member. Interested in all genre of modelling but have soft spot for dioramas on Malaya/Malaysia related subjects.


The SFTPMS is currently arranging to confirm the exhibition venues. We do have in the collated collection approximately 80 various kits and dioramas related to Malaya/Malaysia. Its unlikely that it will reach Singappore though there would be a lot of interesting stuff to model on Singapore's join history with Malaysia. Anyone out there who knows of any good pictorial references on the Malaya campaigns? It would be of great help because its quite scarce. BTW: guys. Appreciate all the encouraging words. Thanks
MAY 04, 2007 - 11:19 AM
CKLOO, you created a very beautiful and fresh scene (compared to amount of german armor subjects). regarding the bicycles my only comment is: You are nuts in the most positive way I really would like to se more pacific/far east campaign dioramas. I once bookmarked a link on british soldier stories in the far east publish by BBC. Maybe this can be of use for your further projects. Here you can access the page.
MAY 04, 2007 - 10:40 PM
Hi Loo, You made Malaysian proud... At least we have a patriotic modeller who built Malaysia WWII diorama... way to go. The multilevel settings are beautiful and the landscape is fantastic. Love the story line, cyclist and bicycles too..... Hope to see in flash... Allan
MAY 05, 2007 - 01:35 AM
Beautiful job. Makes me wanna use the LionMarc PE set I saw a while ago and add some bicycles to my diorama.
MAY 07, 2007 - 02:00 AM
Barry, get the PE set. Its worth every dime. You just need to be a bit careful with the spokes as the external diameter do not match too well with the bicycle rim. The other part to look out for is the brass rod connection to the seat and handle which needs to be at the similar angle. Good luck on your bicycles. CK
MAY 07, 2007 - 08:41 AM
Thanks CK, I think I will. Has LionMarc been around long? I'm just getting back into military modelling after working on other subjects and am not too familiar with them.
MAY 08, 2007 - 02:03 AM
thanks for the link Patrick. It will come in handy to fill in the missing pieces. Not too sure about LionMarc. I am using the Lion Roar set which is quite good and really value for money. BTW, I still have parts for 1 more bicycle which is meant for a vignette of a lone rider. After that, I will not touch another bicycle in this lifetime!
MAY 08, 2007 - 08:35 AM
Oops, I meant Lion Roar. My bad.
MAY 08, 2007 - 06:45 PM
I read about this while it was in progress and seeing it now just blows me away. One of the best dios I've seen CK ! Cheers patrick
JUN 02, 2007 - 03:49 PM
Fantastic CKLOO I'm impressed with anyone that has the ability to recreate real looking groundwork. That wetness of the bank and the mosslike covering is super... Add to that the flowing nature of the action which really uses the shape of the scene, and also as mentioned the different subject matter and content all adds up to one very attractive diorama Brad
JUN 03, 2007 - 12:51 AM