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The Red Army Arrive - Berlin 1945

If it relates to Terra Firma, wheeled, tracked or booted - man or machine on the land - it goes here!
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Tim R-T-C
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The Red Army Arrive - Berlin 1945

#1

Post by Tim R-T-C »

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May 1945 - Soviet forces pour into the shattered remains of the Reich capital.

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This vignette which has, at least in my humble opinion, become the pièce de résistance of my land-based 144th scale scenes, started life as an exercise in creating ruins. Inspired by the myriad of Berlin '45 scenes in 1/35th scale that catch the eye at model shows and in publications, I wanted to create something similar, capturing the desperate defence and the apocalyptic destruction of the city.

The big difficultly was creating realistic ruins - I have tried this before using cork pieces, but they just didn't look quite believable. Then a revelation! N gauge (which in this case is 1/160) rubble loads, apparently designed for railway wagons (not sure I've ever seen a railway wagon carrying a load of house ruins).

I immediately ordered a pack - I got mine from
https://www.modelscenerysupplies.co.uk/ ... eela-21214

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The detail is superb and very varied, so I did a little careful picking to select pieces of a similar style since I'm trying to replicate a single destroyed building rather than a mix of different rubbles.

Before embarking on a larger sized scene, it made sense to test the techniques on a small vignette base, so out came one of my 10x10cm boards and an idea for a diorama started to form.

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3d figure printer 3djson on eBay released figures of Soviet traffic controllers - women who guided Russian convoys from the East, into Germany and I wanted an excuse to use these. I had recently picked up a few Zis trucks from 3d printers - a Zis-6 from Butlers Printed Models and a Zis-5 tanker from Paint & Glue Minatures - both with lovely detail. So it made for an interesting idea to represent a less commonly portrayed part of military modelling in general and particuarly this campaign - the supply columns - that must have stretched on endlessly to support the Soviet juggernaut.

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A little playing with layouts gave this finalised plan. With a little extra space to spare I could include a destroyed German vehicle too.

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This was a wargame model from the Victrix range which are injection plastic with simple construction but good detail. I wanted the vehicle to look damaged and abandoned and 3d printed resin vehicles are much harder to 'damage' without cracking the material.

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I was able to cut the 'tyre' off the front left and also drilled out the front engine hatch so it could be posed open. I painted this area to represent a fire, perhaps from an attack or just an over-stressed, unmaintained engine.

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With the layout complete, I started to build up the rubble pile. It seemed rather wasteful to use the rubble pieces where they wouldn't be visible, so I made a base out of cork, topped with Duluxe Create and Sculpt paste, then dotted with cork pieces and a few offcuts of cork coaster to make for some walls that struggle to remain intact.

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I fixed the Hanomag into position then carefully placed the rubble pieces across the area to try and make a realistic scatter.

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Then pigment, tonnes and tonnes of pigment. Even just a brief glance of reference photos showed dust to be ubiquitous on destroyed buildings. Fortunately I hadn't wasted any effort painting the rubble as it all received a good coating, as did the Hanomag (obscuring almost all of the careful painting!) and much of the base too.

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Meanwhile I painted the other vehicles in appropriate greenery. The figures are also from 3djson, the Soviet tank riders set. The figure at the back is supposed to be holding on to a T-34 turret, but it made for a perfect flag holding stance too which fitted the last days of war mood of the piece.

More tank riders made up the soldiers sat on the statue base, while the statue itself is a whitemetal medieval wargame soldier. The small children watching are from a Preiser model railway set.

With the addition of a nameplate from Name It Plates it was complete and I am very happy with the outcome - hopefully the first of a series of builds on this topic.

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ajmm
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Re: The Red Army Arrive - Berlin 1945

#2

Post by ajmm »

I can see why you may see this as your favourite. Absolutely magnificent and a real testament to your dio and model building skills. Fantastic. I hope to see this in person some day!

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smeg1959
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Re: The Red Army Arrive - Berlin 1945

#3

Post by smeg1959 »

With the wonderful range of vignettes you have given us to date, it is very hard to have a favourite, but this one would have to be high on my list. All the details add to this little masterpiece. Particularly impressed by the way you covered the Sd Kfz 251 in dust and rubble ... amazingly lifelike. :mrgreen:

I suspect Angus will beat me to seeing your creations "in the flesh" by virtue of living a tad closer to you than I do. Nevertheless, if I can ever get the dubloons together to take that Bucket List return trip to the UK ... :idea:
OTB ...
GB20 - Lavochkin La-7 (Mark I)
GB25 - Vickers Windsor (Anigrand), Curtiss P-40M Kittyhawk III (AFV Club)
SoS - Douglas C-47B Dakota (Minicraft) and several others :-(

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Catherder
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Re: The Red Army Arrive - Berlin 1945

#4

Post by Catherder »

Superb. Particularly like the combination of burned out and rusted effects on the Hanomag. And the inclusion of the Preiser civilian figures really adds to the story

Where did you get the cobbled street base?

Tim has been my inspiration to try vignettes and small dioramas as a way of optimizing and maximizing the impact with our favorite small scale models.

Andy

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