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The Great War: Trench Diorama

Be it a tree, a bridge, a building or a nodding dog, this is the place!
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moresby
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The Great War: Trench Diorama

#1

Post by moresby »

I'm almost completing my 1/144 WWI tank and vehicles collection (hope to show you it all before the end of the year).
Meanwhile I was thinking to a diorama base to show a few of them, so I started this little project: the base is an A4-sized wooden tablet (cm 22x33), and I have used DAS modelling clay (it hardens drying up, no need to use a oven)

Image.

I needed my diorama thick enough to allow a deep trench (men were able to walk or move without exposing their heads to enemy fire.
In order to reduce weight and use of modelling clay the 'surface' lies on the sides of the diorama and a few internal supports.
Here it is (with a MkIV Female roaming around)

Image

Using small, flat strips of pre-modelled DAS (same material, but this came in a light gray colour instead of brick red) I've begun adding bottom planking and side wooden walls to the connecting trench. Everything gets blended with the raised base with more DAS and white wall plaster.

Image

The two-colour modelling clay made judging the results difficult, so everything got painted earth colour. Then I started adding sandbags on thench tops (again, these are small lines of modelling clay, applied when still soft and worked with a small bladed tool to simulate the sandbags).

Image

I've painted the sandbags, added a bit of sand and modelling grass and this is what everything looks like now.

Image

Tanks (thrown in just for show) are a Whippet, a Mk V and a Mark V.
Maybe I should remove a bit of grass and sand to show better the shellhole craters...

Next steps will be creating the firing 'step' in the main trench line (maybe adding a pillbox too), creating the barbed wire barriers (this will take quite a long time), finishing my 2 MK IV Males (from Dameya) that will go with my Mk IV Female, deciding wether to add or not the fascine rolls (Battle of Cambrai) and working on my Pegasus Wehrmacht Germans to get enough Kaiser soldiers to man the trench line...
Last edited by moresby on Fri Oct 19, 2018 10:15, edited 8 times in total.

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smeg1959
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Re: The Great War: Trench Diorama

#2

Post by smeg1959 »

Great concept for a diorama and beautifully executed thusfar. Should be a real eye-catcher once finished.
OTB ...
GB13 - Late 298 (Aeronavale), Bf109E-3a Strela (Bulgarian AF), ČKD LT vz.38 Praga (Slovakian Army)

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BigReg
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Re: The Great War: Trench Diorama

#3

Post by BigReg »

Very impressive and appropriate too.
David

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pbhawkin
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Re: The Great War: Trench Diorama

#4

Post by pbhawkin »

Looking very impressive.
Will it be modeled as during an attack? If so don't forget the Allied infantry advancing behind the tanks and the German machine gunners firing at the tanks! And some explosions (painted cotton wool tufts).
Regards
Peter

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moresby
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Re: The Great War: Trench Diorama

#5

Post by moresby »

I've considered adding following infantry behind the tanks. Unfortunately, British or Commonwealth soldiers have been covered very poorly in our scale (there is something in 1/160 white metal but details and proportions -large heads, dwarfsh bodies- are poor). There is something by CGD on Shapeways (British, 12mm? made for Axis and Allies boardgame, not too cheap): they are WWII -and all in the same pose, albeit the right one - advancing, not firing). There are early WWII US troops and sailors (with British style helmets) on Shapeways but they are in static poses. We'll see. I could just place the tanks close to the edge of the diorama.

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moresby
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Re: The Great War: Trench Diorama

#6

Post by moresby »

Update: I've just received CGD's Axis & Allies WWII soldiers (I've ordered the mixed pack). I've got 4 copies (so they aren't so expensive as I thought) of a six-figurines print (featuring a French, a British, a U.S. a Soviet, a Japanese and a German soldier, all in advancing order).

Image

Image

Small adjustments and modifies will be necessary to change a CGD's British/Commonwealth WWII soldier in a WWI one (webbing, puttees). A bit of surgery and more adjustments, combining body parts from other figurines and/or slightly changing legs, head or arms positions) should provide variety of poses for my advancing Tommies. The small scale should make this not too difficult but I'm afraid that Shapeways brittle resin (you need do the surgery in a cup or a box because small parts zip away when cut) and the always stalking carpet monster will result in a few tiny resin limbs and heads missing forever...
Last edited by moresby on Sun Oct 21, 2018 8:55, edited 1 time in total.

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pbhawkin
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Re: The Great War: Trench Diorama

#7

Post by pbhawkin »

Do you have a razor saw (I have the JLC one) and it is brilliant for making very fine cuts. You may find that you only need to cut part way through and then can snap the rest off cleanly (try on a piece of the 'sprue' that the figures came attached to.
Regards
Peter

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