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172
Braille Scale Stalins

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The vehicles are all by S Model, built largely OOB with additions sourced from a stalled Zvezda build and aftermarket providers. Cast effect was added using liquid polystyrene cement and a stiff brush, and weld seams added with model filler. Handles on the external fuel tanks were made from scrap plastic. The kit-supplied grab rails were replaced by copper wire.

The winter diorama shows a pair of ISU-152s of the 388th Guards Heavy Self Propelled Gun Regiment, East Prussia, February 1945. The rib detail on the mantlet was added with stretched sprue. The winter whitewash is a Precision Ice and Snow product, and the towing hawsers on the rear decking are by Eureka XXL. The DShK AA MG on the lead vehicle is by Zvezda, and the figures are by HaT and Orion. The conifer trees are by Noch, slightly modified by having branches removed at random and those remaining bent downwards against the trunks to give them a more realistic sagging look. The mud on the road and running gear is by Vallejo, and the snow is by Precision Ice and Snow.

The ruined factory diorama shows an IS-2 “A. Nevskii” of the 95th Independent Guards Heavy Tank Regiment, Pomerania, March 1945. The diorama base and ruin are by Black Dog, while the debris came from Sergeant’s Mess, Basecrafts, the spares box and my model railway. The figures are by Milicast and Orion. The towing hawser came from a Zvezda kit, and the stowage is by Value Gear and home made from Milliput. The sign says “Onwards to Danzig”.

The muddy road diorama shows an IS-2 of the 4th Heavy Tank Regiment, 1st Army, People's Army of Poland, Oder crossing, April 1945. The hull is by S Model, while the turret and DShK are from a Zvezda IS-2. Stowage is by Value Gear and homemade. The mud is by Vallejo, while the grass and birch tree are by The Model Tree Shop. Strips of masking tape were used to represent the bark on the birch tree. The figures are by HaT and Plastic Soldier Company.

Footnote: Only very late in the IS-2 builds did I realise that the gun port for the hull machine gun was missing from the S Model moulding. Its absence is disguised by placing stowage over where it should be. A number of photographs of late-war IS-2s show stowage unceremoniously dumped over the gun port, so there is some justification for this!
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About the Author

About Andrew James (amjames)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH EAST, UNITED KINGDOM

Returned to AFV modelling a few years ago after a 35 year break, as a result of building vehicles for a WW2-set model railway layout. Now model mainly 1/72 AFV dioramas.


Comments

Good stuff Colin. Really like the Winter Scene.
APR 12, 2020 - 04:38 AM
Well-done, especially considering the itsy-bitsy scale involved; think of it as a compliment that I thought that they were larger kits reflected in their reasonable detail and nice dios.
APR 12, 2020 - 09:20 AM
Thank you for your kind comments. The S model Stalins build quite well. Although marketed as "quick build", they contain separate hatches and tools as well as a photo etch fret. The tracks, well detailed on the outside, feature the characteristic sag between the return rollers which is difficult to achieve in the otherwise excellent Zvezda kit. The main compromise on detail is on the inside faces of the tracks, but this is easy to hide with mud and snow.
APR 12, 2020 - 11:25 AM
Andrew, These are exceptional models in wonderful dioramas! I like how you modified NOCH's trees, very effective. The ground cover is well done, too.
APR 13, 2020 - 06:12 AM
Thank you for your generous compliments. The Noch trees, which have good foliage, were a bit unrealistic to start with, being uniform in shape and having branches that stuck out horizontally. There are now so many suppliers of excellent diorama buildings, bases and scenic accessories that I am spoiled for choice. I get a lot of inspiration from the superb 1/35 work showcased on Armorama, and also from browsing railway modelling scenic work.
APR 13, 2020 - 07:33 AM
Incredible scene of dioramas! Really love the snow, mud, and the ruins, congratulations ^^
APR 14, 2020 - 08:54 PM
Thank you Garry_007. I nearly always put a model into a diorama, as it is a good way of hiding mistakes! Artfully placed mud, snow, stowage, battle damage and figures conceal a multitude of sins. For example, the hammer and sickle flag on one of the IS-2s is covering up a botched hatch. I tend to steer clear of aircraft as the opportunities for disguising workbench calamities are limited.
APR 15, 2020 - 07:14 AM