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Scrap Metal
A 1/48 Scale Luftwaffe Diorama

by Charles Pritchett


"Scrap Metal"


Tamiya's 1/48 Fw 190F-8 and Fw 190D-9 are available online from Squadron.com




As aircraft modelers know, it's always a challenge to create an original diorama of our favorite aircraft. The most dramatic models (with everything hanging out) are usually set on a mirror or a piece of tarmac, maybe a few figures, and if we're really lucky, some ground equipment. There is nothing wrong with that, and I will continue to present my aircraft in that way in the future, but I've always wanted to simulate a post-war scrapyard setting.

The first challenge is references (what airframe was scrapped at what airfield with what other airframe, or was that serial no. shot down over the channel?...) Then there is the damage inflicted on the thin-skinned aircraft. It doesn't take much to dent & gash the skin of an aircraft, and all of the details inside will be visible through the holes...it's enough to make you want to give-up! Nevertheless, I REALLY wanted to do this, so I forced myself to overlook what are legitimate accuracy problems with this kind of project and just did it!


The Diorama Elements

My original plan was to make a large base with 5 or so different aircraft types, but this idea was quickly 'scrapped' (pun intended) because I knew it would take too long to finish. Instead, I decided to make the base as small as possible, with only the 2 airframes.

Because the Fw-190 is in itself a diverse enough subject, I went with the D-9 and A-8. It was a way for me to represent the two main generational differences of the Fw-190 with the inline & radial engines. I also added different variations in the spare parts laying on the base.



If you look carefully, you can see the Ta-152 style tail section, the Ta-152H engine block, and some different underwing stores, flaps, cowling panels, etc., all reflecting the diversity of the Fw-190 series. The figures and jeep were added simply to add some interest and scale, and help to convey the story of the diorama, like vultures picking over a carcass.





The two 1/48 scale Focke-Wulf Fw 190 kits are both from Tamiya, each detailed with extra aftermarket parts.



The A-8 has some VP parts to simulate the engine, opened inspection panels & flaps, and photo-etched seat belts hanging down from the cockpit sill. The D-9 has the cockpit from Teknics (now owned by Cutting Edge), as well as VP parts for the opened inspection panels, gun bays, and flaps. The starboard radio access panel was opened and a radio added, and a new canopy frame was constructed so that I could simulate the glass as being shattered.

Both models have had their control surfaces cut-off & repositioned for a more candid appearance. I felt that this was PLENTY of work, so I opted out of thinning the airframe from the inside & adding dents, wrinkles, & gashes (although it would have looked much better). The models were further separated from each other by selecting the two differing color schemes. I used Polly Scale acrylics to paint them, but ended up stripping the A-8 after my semi-clogged airbrush spit paint-boogers all over it (I repainted it with Testor's Model Masters enamels).

The most difficult and challenging aspect of this diorama was achieving the necessary balance. I knew the tail would be up on the A-8 (from a photo I had seen), but couldn't get the two models to sit convincingly together on the round base. I ended-up tossing the base and making another one slightly larger, in the present oval shape, which made life MUCH easier. I also re-did the groundwork to vary the texture (the original base was all grass). To finish it off, I added a tree stump, some oil stains, the figures, Jeep & spare parts, and lots of little pieces of wire and lead foil.



That's about it! For specifics on painting & weathering, I recommend getting the recent VP book on WWII aircraft (Francois took some photos before it was completed).




This diorama was a lot of fun, and I would love to see some others on the same theme...I'm even considering doing another myself! enjoy!

A special thanks to the guys at Tamiya for awarding this diorama a first place at Tamiyacon 2002!



Additional Images


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Model, Images and Text Copyright 2002 by Charles Pritchett
Page Created 15 June, 2002
Last Updated 04 June, 2007

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