88mm Flack 37 Artillery Gun – Diorama

88mm Artillery GunIt’s Done. After many hours of careful, detailed craftsmanship between Kristina and I the diorama has been officially declared finis. It becomes difficult with these things to draw the line because there are always additional little things you could add to make the scene just a bit more realistic. However, if you want to move on to the next one you have to stop somewhere. I don’t think the Mistycastle site goes back far enough to detail the beginnings of this creation so if you want a little history on the project you can read the article I wrote back in Oct 2009. It talks about the beginnings and shows some intermediate results.

When Kristina was back for Christmas a few months ago she encouraged me to finish it up so we could start a new one. I decided that was a good idea and we got it out along with all the modelling supplies. Most of the paints were in bad shape being some ten years old but we got the lids off and added some water to them. For the most part the remained usable but I would not want to start a new model with them. the bulk of the diorama was already complete but the 88mm gun had never been painted and the figures all needed to be positioned and mounted to the board. Also missing was some required supporting “stuff” that was needed to round out the scene.

One of the things that had always held me back was painting the gun. I have painted many models over the years but always by brush. I really wanted to learn how to use an airbrush and even purchased one along with a small air compressor some years back but have never gotten serious about using it. Somewhere along the line I sold the little air compressor but I fortunately replaced it with a big air compressor to blow out the sprinkler lines so I still had an air source. I borrowed an air tank from my neighbor and picked up a little regulator from a surplus center and was all set. I practiced on some extra parts from the model that I did not use and it went pretty well but the old PollyScale paint just kept clogging up the airbrush so I decided to invest in some new paint. After a trip to the local hobby shop I was all set. The new Tamiya paint made a huge difference and I am pretty sold on it. I like the way it sprays on. Mastering the airbrush turned out to be easier than I had thought. Keeping the pressure low allows you to be pretty precise with where you put the paint.

So the gun was painted a nice camouflage pattern and looking good. I painted up some new and expended shells, a few tools, canteens, rifles, and decided to add a radio. The radio was from an accessories kit and consisted of six pieces that had to be assembled and painted. I added a wire from the front panel to the antenna to make it look better and sat it on the wall. Not bad but still not quite right. There should be headphones. The kit provided headphones but they were molded into the soldiers head that was using the radio so that did me no good. I decided to make them from scratch using a bit of flattened solder wire, some rubber bits, and tiny wire. It was very tiny but came out looking rather well.

Photographing it turned out to be somewhat of a challenge as well and I ended up taking it outside so there was plenty of light. This adds a distracting background but at least you can see the diorama. One of these days I’ll try and do a proper job of it with some lighting and a plain background but for now here are some pictures of the diorama. For perspective, the motorcycle wheel is the same size as a dime.