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1/76 D-Day Diorama WIP

July 27 2012 at 11:19 PM
Dan Taylor  (Login Dan-Taylor)
Missing-Lynx members
from IP address 85.210.128.222

Hello All
Ive posted a set of diorama pictures on Braille Scale and it was suggested that I put them on this panel as well. Apologies if this is a something you have already seen.

Ive been working on a set of three large dioramas depicting 'Jimmy Mapham's D-Day'. Sgt Mapham was an AFPU photographer who was embedded with 13/18th Hussars during Operation Overlord. Original photographs are now housed at the Imperial War Museum. The first diorama is based on the pictures taken in Shoreham on either 4th or 5th June 1944; the second shows the scene on the beach at about 10am on 6th June, approximately when he landed; and the third scene shows the junction at Hermanville-la-Breche, the first lateral road off the beach an hour or so later. This article mainly deals with the third scene, as that is furthest developed.

[linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]

Mapham's pictures give an excellent narrative of D-Day. They are perfect for model makers because he tends to take a bunch of pictures in a single spot before moving on to the next.

[linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]
[linked image]

It needs a lot more dirtying up and I'm working my way through the figures in the photographs, adding them to my figure range as I go. If you look at the illustrations for the figure sets on my websitehttp://www.dantaylormodelworks.com/british-army-36-c.asp you can probably work out where they are meant to be placed. The buildings are (with minor alteration) still there and so I was able to fully survey the site and create plans of each of them. I have somewhat over produced the vehicles so that all of the ones depicted in the photographs are available in order that I can choose the precise moment at a later stage.

The vehicles and markings can be seen on my website here:http://www.dantaylormodelworks.com/vehicles-12-c.asp and here:http://www.dantaylormodelworks.com/sword-beach-vehicles-15-p.asp

Though there is still some work to do, you can get a pretty good idea of the scope of the model from this aerial view:

[linked image]


The Making of Hermanville-la-Breche

I'm fortunate to visit Normandy fairly regularly and have made two stops to survey the site and measure the buildings. The picture below shows the building just right of centre at the bottom of the aerial photograph in the post above. It shows how I'm making up the fret work for the veranda across the front but it gives an idea of the starting point. Although the actual buildings are still there, a number of minor changes have been made like window frames and other architectural bits so the plans had to be adapted for the correct period.

[linked image]

This is a brass etch fret I made up of the window frames. This method has the big advantage that everything can be painted before attaching to the model. It contains windows, doors, shutters and some wrought iron window railings. The keen eyed among you might also spot two engine decks suitable for M10 TDs. Another story.

[linked image]

This is the basic build of the ornate building in the north-east corner of the diorama. The shell is made up of 40-thou plasticard and then detailing layers of textured plasticard added. The coloured card is mainly brickwork with a stone wall for the garden surround. Notice that the floors have large holes in the middle so that I could place the windows from the inside and add some interior detailing after that. This meant that I could spray paint the exterior without having to mask:

[linked image]
[linked image]

This pictures were taken after the base level of paint had been finished, before weathering. Each wall panel was pre-shaded a little to make them more interesting to look at. One thing I've done here is the textured surface for the large wall panels. After the base coat was applied and cured, I masked the narrow surrounds and stippled the surface with a PVA/plaster mix. This was airbrushed and the masks removed.

[linked image]

To paint the bricks you need a steady hand and lots of time. As they are textured, if you get the right angle with a smallish (No.00) brush, you can get into a rhythm where it doesn't seem too hard or boring. Even then I did it over about a week of small sessions whilst waiting for other jobs to dry or before the school run. I had three slightly different coloured tins of enamel paint on a palette and so could vary the specific shade of brick. Notice also that I've added some varied tones to the stonework to make it look a little more natural too.

My background is in architectural modelmaking with some film work thrown in. The first has advantages when making structures, the second has taught me to create colour charts to give character to the scene and give it the correct 'aged' feel.

Another useful feature of surveying the buildings is that it was possible to identify where repairs had been carried out on the stonework. This suggested where they were damaged during the war. Notice the broken stonework near the chimney above the bay window. You may also notice the way the building has a foundation which projects below the line of the bottom of the walls. My base is made up of loft insulation foam board (great for cutting and sanding to shape) which, after appropriate contouring, has the shape of the buildings cut into it so that they sit in the landscape.

On the picture showing the rear of the building you can see that I have begun to install the etched windows. Hopefully you can also see the broken glass?

[linked image]

The weathering is essentially what I would do with a tank. Discreet amounts of well thinned oil paint: browns and blacks. It is easier to add than take away so I tend to build it up in layers

Though the Hermanville diorama is the furthest developed, the first is coming along fairly well too. It depicts two landing craft of 41 LCT Flotilla as they are being are loaded with 13/18 Hussars and various units of 3 Inf Div. When I built the LCT4 for Accurate Armour about ten years ago this scene was the intended conclusion:

[linked image]

This is just a basic layout and requires a lot of work to finish the sea, the hard and the myriad figures. There's going to be a jetty running out between the two craft and a number more vehicles in LCT 789. You can probably tell, it is a labour of love.

[linked image]

The plan is to have the three dioramas completed next year so that they can be displayed for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

Thanks for taking a look

Regards
Dan

www.dantaylormodelworks.com

 
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AuthorReply
Sean Claxton
(Login SeanDClaxton)
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91.88.14.42

Awesome work.....

July 28 2012, 12:33 PM 

Very impressive!

Cheers,

Sean

 
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Dan Taylor
(Login Dan-Taylor)
Missing-Lynx members
85.210.129.50

Thanks

July 29 2012, 2:02 PM 

Hello Sean
Glad to hear you like it.

Regards
Dan

 
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Stuart Rolfe
(Login stuzzar)
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194.83.242.250

Superb

July 30 2012, 5:27 AM 

Incredible work on those buildings and the dioramas in general, really looking forward to seeing these completed.

Do you have any plans to sell the etched brass fret with window frame/shutters/doors etc through your website? it would be really usefull for scratchbuilding all sorts of buildings not just those that you have designed it for.

Cheers

Stu

 
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Guy DeLillio
(Login sturmdrag)
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68.57.27.131

Hartenstein Hotel

August 5 2012, 4:43 AM 

Dan,

The best small scale D-Day diorama ever! Unparallel balance and superior detail and precision.

I built the Hartenstein Hotel for the Airborne Museum (Oosterbeek) a few years ago.

Hands down you could build a version 10X better than my effort.

BTW do you plan to generate on a small scale production versions of your buildings?

Cheers,

Guy DeLillio

 
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Dan Taylor
(Login Dan-Taylor)
Missing-Lynx members
79.67.233.173

Small scale bits

August 6 2012, 6:23 AM 

Hello Stu and Guy
Thank you for your appreciative comments, glad to hear that it works visually.

You both asked about whether I was considering offering some of the parts. The etched brass could certainly be offered though it will work out at around £50 for the pair of brass sheets. If you are really interestd at that level, send me an e-mail and I'll see what can be worked out.
At the moment I don't have plans to offer the buildings as kits. However, I have been asked a number of times about the ornate building on the corner opposite the little hotel. The main issue would be creating a mould that would be able to accurately recreate the dimensions so that the brass would fit. Resin shrinkage is the main issue but I'll continue to evaluate the possibilities so I'm not saying never.

Thanks again

Dan

www.dantaylormodelworks.com

 
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Peter Lloyd
(Login PeterLloyd)
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118.208.237.44

Superb work

August 6 2012, 10:10 PM 

So many small scale dioramas (and large ones for that matter) appear too crowded. As well as being executed brilliantly in so many other ways, this balance and composition makes it stand out for me. I love the wading Bren Carriers, too.

 
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Dan Taylor
(Login Dan-Taylor)
Missing-Lynx members
85.210.138.189

Composition

August 8 2012, 11:10 PM 

Hello Peter
Thank you for your message. I spent a long time trying to get the feel right so it is always good to hear that it works for others too. I have to confess that the composition is all down to Sgt Mapham's photographs - an excellent guide.

As you like the carriers, here's a picture of one intended for the first diorama of the set, the one where the LCTs are loading at Gosport.

[linked image]

Further pictures can be viewed here:

http://www.dantaylormodelworks.com/carrier-deep-wading-1-p.asp

All of the vehicles and figures are being produced for my 'Modelworks' by Milicast. I've also been doing sets of transfers for vehicle markings as I go along. Hopefully they will all be finished in time for an exhibition in time for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

Regards
Dan

 
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Paul Alderton
(Login paulalderton)
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90.200.130.116

Your photos don't do it justice Dan...

August 7 2012, 7:19 AM 

It was fantastic to see this in the flesh at Cesson-Sevigne earlier this year, and really good to chat about Villers Bocage etc.

Look forward to seeing it finished.

Cheers,
Paul

 
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Dan Taylor
(Login Dan-Taylor)
Missing-Lynx members
85.210.138.189

Photographic limitations

August 8 2012, 11:13 PM 

Hello Paul.
Good to hear from you. The Rennes show was a lot of fun.

I am a little aware that someone who knew how to work a camera better would probably get more out of this. Maybe I should drop Dave a line?

Regards
Dan

 
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Paul Alderton
(Login paulalderton)
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90.200.130.31

Re: Photographic limitations

August 10 2012, 12:01 PM 

Your photography skills are absolutely fine and far better than mine Dan, just your diorama has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

Best wishes,
Paul

 
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Jerry Rutman
(Login jrutman53)
Missing-Lynx members
64.121.175.128

Well this is certainly on par with

August 12 2012, 8:48 AM 

the rest of your work,if not better. I am in awe of the ornate building and the way you went about its' construction,up to,and including your PE frets. I know this small scale is perfect because of space limitations but I would love to see what you could do in 1/35. Did you start in this by working on scale railroad stuff? You are among the top 10 dio guys of all time as far as I am concerned.
J

 
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Dan Taylor
(Login Dan-Taylor)
Missing-Lynx members
85.210.132.103

Small Scale

August 13 2012, 3:10 AM 

Hello Jerry
Thank you very much for your kind appreciation. I'll have to work on calming my ego all afternoon.

My background is in architectural modelmaking and various bits of film/advertising modelmaking. I have in mind a railway layout I'd like to build one day, but have never built one. As for 1/35, I think my mind works in 1/76 for some reason. Even doing architectural projects, I often specify them in 1/75 scale so that I can instantly work out if a doorway looks right. Though I've done the odd larger scale project in the past, they fail to excite me viscerally. As you imply, the space around an item is vital to its character. The more space and context, the more story you can tell. I love looking at other people's 1/35 creations (and often think to myself, 'wouldn't it be good to see if I could do that in 1/76'), but I always want to see what is going on around it. I'd end up building things that couldn't possibly fit in my house!

Thanks again, much appreciated.

Regards
Dan

 
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Jerry Rutman
(Login jrutman53)
Missing-Lynx members
64.121.175.128

No need for modesty here. You can keep your chest inflated Sir! Your Tommy figs look

August 15 2012, 8:16 AM 

better than my 1/35 Tommies.
J

 
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bas slaats
(Login Bas_Slaats)
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82.157.0.25

beautifull

August 14 2012, 3:02 PM 

Hello Dan,

this is really beautiful to see. I have been there last year and I could remember the place at a first look. Maybe you should also post some pics/link on the braille forum, so that more people can be inspired by this work.

gr Bas


ps: How it looks today:

[linked image]

[linked image]







SMF-BANNER.gif

 
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Dan Taylor
(Login Dan-Taylor)
Missing-Lynx members
85.210.142.165

Thanks

August 21 2012, 10:06 PM 

Hello Bas
Thanks for your comments and the pictures. It is remarkable how unchanged that small corner in Normandy remains.

I've posted on Braille a little while ago under a piece I did on the CMP HUW. I'll post on both forums as soon as I get a chance to finish the model.

All the best
Dan

 
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Phil Peterson
(Login phil13)
Missing-Lynx members
24.10.186.68

Want to see more...

September 10 2012, 10:08 PM 

I have contemplated several D-Day dios but other than getting a couple of landing craft haven't done much else (wish your stuff was 72nd happy.gif

I am thinking of concentrating on the 5 beaches and at least one for each airborne attack.

Will see if I ever get there.

In the mean time, let's see more of these.

 
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