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World War II: Great Britain
Aircraft of Great Britain in WWII.
Hosted by Rowan Baylis
RAF Dispersal Pen diorama
TedMamere
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Moselle, France
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 12:19 AM UTC
Hi all!

I need your help for my RAF Dispersal Pen diorama. I made the base (see below) but I'm not 100% satisfied with it. I won't tell you what I don't like because I want to have your opinion.







For the brick walls I used some products from a new French manufacturer: Mark58 . The grass is made from railroad stuff and the tufts are from Silflor (see review here).

I plan to add a vehicle from Accurate Armour (the Brown Tractor or the Tilly Truck, I don't know yet), some figures from the ICM set, accessories from Flightpath (a woman bicycle ) and equipment from the Revell/Monogram set.



Comments and suggestions are welcomed...

Jean-Luc
alpha_tango
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 12:35 AM UTC
You want FLAK ... well, as you like it

I think the layout of the diorama has two problems:

1. the left wall is parallel to the plate, which makes it look strange and "static" .. just ask the dio guys over at Armorama .. it is a no-no to place buildings or main vehicles this way

2. you got a big blank space behind the right bank, which you can hardly use for your vehicles. Maybe a tree would fill that emptyness.... and add a layer (dios that have several height/depth levels look more interesting)

As always I think the execution of your build is very good (using superlatives all the time is a little boring )

best wishes

Steffen
CRS
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 08:22 AM UTC
As usual your build is excellant !!!


Quoted Text

As always I think the execution of your build is very good (using superlatives all the time is a little boring )



I do agree; however, the Dio looks a little bare (too clean) I look forward to seeing your addition of the Ground equipment and at least a couple of Figures (I always like to try to include a couple of Figures - gives a sense of scale). I also agree was the idea of maybe a tree, I like to inlude those as well.

As for the one rampart being parallel to the edge - sometimes it works out that things windup parallel - in this case I don't see it as a detratctor.
brandydoguk
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 09:58 AM UTC
Hi Jean-Luc,

Firstly I should say what a good job you've done on the construction of the blast pen. I do agree with Steffan's second comment that there is a "dead" area in the back right corner. If you place a vehicle or figures there it may make the dio seem "unbalanced".

If the base was extended on the right hand side by two or three inches it would create a better area for some of the vehicles/figures to be placed and the "dead" area would be connected to the rest of the base. Careful placement of some of the vehicles/figures in this area would draw the eye into the focus of the dio, namely the aircraft.
Henk
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 10:14 AM UTC
The pen looks a bit to small, and the shape/angle of the walls looks odd as well. It looks like there is hardley enough room for the plane, let alone any supply and auxilary equipment..


Quoted Text

1. the left wall is parallel to the plate, which makes it look strange and "static" .. just ask the dio guys over at Armorama .. it is a no-no to place buildings or main vehicles this way



Well, whilst it is usualy best not to have any main diorama parts orientated parallel with the edge of the base, this is wholly dependend on the subject. If a secondary part of the diorama frames the diorama, it is fine for it to be parallel with the edge.
It is all about drawing the viewers eye to the main part of your diorama, preferably via the various little details along the way. Cohesion is more important than angles, as often the different parts of a diorama are not gelling together to draw the viewers eye from one area to the next. It is very easy to get the angles of your diorama right, but that does not mean that the individual parts work together to make it a great diorama
alpha_tango
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 11:56 AM UTC
Hi All

nice comments so far

@Chuck

Quoted Text

I do agree; however, the Dio looks a little bare (too clean)



Have you seen the captains Me 309 dio .. it looked similar "clean" in this stage, so I have no fear ..

@Henk: Well, I am no dio modeller (yet) so I maybe see things a little too dogmatic here. But the leftside wall is a dead area of maybe 10-15% of the whole width ... so something has to be done to spice it up .. giving it an angle or maybe a pilot and his girlfriend picknicking or some crew sun bathing could help ....

I agree that the shape looks odd, but I have zilch idea how Britisch shelters looked at that time. For a German pit it would be much to irregular and badly useable ... OTOH never say never ...

Jean-Luc .. maybe you should come in with your own dislikes of your diorama, so we can discuss it more thoroughly

best wishes

Steffen
Percheron
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 12:25 PM UTC
Jean-Luc,

I have only one other thing to add than the suggestions already posted. I think since it is supposed to be England, maybe some evidence of rain? Some standing water would add a sense of activity as well. Maybe tire tracks through a mud puddle where the plane was pushed into position? In the grassy areas where water has been standing for months on end, there would be bare mud/dirt, this would certainly break up the continuous visual scene

Either way it is a cool looking diorama, and I can't wait to see the final result!

-Derek


I'm not sure about trees, surely most would have been cut down to keep the aircraft area clear of F.O.D. (foreign object debris), but that is just speculation on my part.
Kriegshund
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 05:42 PM UTC
Only thing I would add to everyone's comments would be the seemingly small pen size. How would they have moved the a/c into the position it is in now? I do believe they towed them around from behind, and it just doesn't seem possible in this configuration. Personally, I would make it all bigger to employ all of the ground support elements, while still centering it around the airplane.

Maybe this base would be better suited for a 1/72 a/c?
TedMamere
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Posted: Saturday, May 05, 2007 - 08:57 PM UTC
Hi all!

There are very valuable comments here! Thanks a lot!

To add some food to the discussion, here is the document I based my dio on:



It seems the first "problem" for some is the left bank which is parallel to the plate. Well, I made this on purpose since I want to add a second plate later to reproduce the entire E shape dispersal. This way the "seam" will be less pronounced later. I plan to make several 54 X 54 cm plates and assemble them later to depict a small part of a British RAF WW2 aerodrome, with control tower, Nissen Huts, Barracks, vehicles, figures... and planes of course. So this is only a small part of a much bigger project (don't expect it to be finished until the year 2023).



You are all right, the open space on the right, behind the bank, needs something. I don't want to put a tree there for the reasons Derek exposed. I don't think they would have left a tree in the middle of an airfield, even if the dispersal is not near the runway. Marc Toillié of Mark58 said that sometimes a small barrack was placed there, Hmmm... I thought of a windsock but the location would be a little odd, even if it would look nice. There is also the possibility to put a warning sign (no trepassing bla bla bla...).

Another "problem" is the size of the dispersal. While mine may be a little undersized, I don't think fighter dispersal pens of this shape were that much bigger. If you look at the document above, there is not much space neither. I think the planes must have been pushed backwards in the dispersals. The banks are a little too short in my diorama though. I placed a Spitfire to compare with the Typhoon which isn't a small plane...



Derek, this will represent the sunny side of England!

My dislikes are the tufts. I don't know if they look right and realistic. I think they are a little "artificial". It's very hard to put them randomly. Hats off to the diorama builders who achieve realistic and natural looking grounds. I have a lot to learn here! I also don't like the gaps between the walls and the concrete. I will have to fill them in a way or another.

Oh well! It won't be perfect but I will try to make the best out of it. Thanks again for your constructive comments...

Jean-Luc
alpha_tango
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Posted: Sunday, May 06, 2007 - 08:46 PM UTC
Hi Jean-Luc

now the shape makes more sense. As I wrote i have no idea about British stuff. On German airfields or a/d's the a/c were in the hangars or deployed in hard stands (often in the woods nearby) ... thats why I thought of adding a tree. No idea what to add instead ..

the environment looks good and I am sure you will improve the one or other thing ...

best wishes

Steffen
TedMamere
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Posted: Tuesday, May 08, 2007 - 10:11 PM UTC

Quoted Text

As I wrote i have no idea about British stuff.



Hi Steffen!

No worry! I don't know much more...

Below are pictures of dispersals. Unfortunately there are not many that show the structure entirely. It seems the Brits didn't took many pictures of them during WW2. Maybe a German spy was more successfull!







The last has a different shape and is divided in two by a brick wall. The germans did something similar with wood structures filled with ground (Mark58 has made some in 1/48 scale). On the picture you can see that the grass wasn't even, to the contrary! You can also see that there wasn't much room to move the planes (the wings are near the banks). I suppose that the dispersals were only meant as protection and for basic servicing and repairs. I also suppose that the planes in the dispersal were not suppose to be used for scramble alerts because they were too far away from the runway... but that's speculation on my part. Below is the only picture I have of a dispersal in it's entirety (the picture was taken after the war). Sorry for the bad quality...



I started the Tilly Truck from Accurate Armor...





Apart from small air bubbles that needed some filler (red arrows) the build is very straightforward. In two hours you can get the model in it's painting stage!

Jean-Luc
TedMamere
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Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2007 - 11:51 PM UTC
Hi all!

I made some progess, mainly assembling accessories and figures...







The Tilly Truck is from Accurate Armor, the figures and the white accessories are from ICM's RAF Set, the grey carts are from the Revell-Monogram Airfield Set and the Cycle is from Flightpath.

This is basically what I will use for the diorama...

Jean-Luc
lampie
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Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 01:32 AM UTC

Quoted Text

The Tilly Truck is from Accurate Armor, the figures and the white accessories are from ICM's RAF Set, the grey carts are from the Revell-Monogram Airfield Set and the Cycle is from Flightpath.

This is basically what I will use for the diorama...

Jean-Luc



How are you finding the figures Jean Luc? I have the set in my stash for a future diorama. Are you going to be using the dog as well?
Nige
TedMamere
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Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 02:04 AM UTC

Quoted Text

How are you finding the figures Jean Luc? I have the set in my stash for a future diorama. Are you going to be using the dog as well?



Hi Nigel!

The ICM RAF figures are simply the best in 1/48 scale in injected plastic! They are very well sculpted and the poses are very realistic. The Luftwaffe and Soviet sets from ICM are also very nice. If you plan to do a dio and need some 1/48 figures I can recommend them.
Using the dog? Well, maybe I will use a pig instead...

Jean-Luc
CRS
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Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 02:17 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Using the dog? Well, maybe I will use a pig instead...



What, no sheep Actually quite common around airfields, they are great little self-propelled Lawn mowers.
TedMamere
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Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 12:07 PM UTC

Quoted Text

What, no sheep Actually quite common around airfields, they are great little self-propelled Lawn mowers.



Hi Chuck!

You are right! This crossed my mind too. Maybe it's an option to fill that empty space on the top right of the diorama...



Jean-Luc
lampie
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Posted: Wednesday, May 16, 2007 - 02:22 PM UTC
Stop stealing your childs toys for modelling purposes Jean Luc,,LOL.
I agree about the poses on the ICM figures,they are excellent.
The RAF set that Eduard are releasing in June looks very good also.
Nige
TedMamere
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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 12:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Stop stealing your childs toys for modelling purposes Jean Luc,,LOL.



Hey Nigel! These are very serious diorama accessories, no toys!


Quoted Text

The RAF set that Eduard are releasing in June looks very good also.



You already saw them? I only know about the boxart...

Jean-Luc
CRS
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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 01:13 AM UTC
Sheep make a great ground cover filler



Added Plus, they are reusable - they don't go out of date and don't have Nationality Markings
TedMamere
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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 10:41 AM UTC

Quoted Text

...and don't have Nationality Markings



Hi Chuck!

That's not always the case with pigs!



That's why I wanted to add a pig in the dio. In one of the Biggles comic I have, "Hermann" is the mascot of a Spitfire squadron and received cocards to show that it belongs to the RAF. I wanted to do something similar in my dio...

I'll probably go for the more "serious" solution of using sheeps.

Jean-Luc
CRS
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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 11:45 PM UTC
Jean-Luc you could always "borrow" the technique and put some Union Jacks on your sheep, I don't think anyone would complain
alpha_tango
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Posted: Thursday, May 17, 2007 - 11:52 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Jean-Luc you could always "borrow" the technique and put some Union Jacks on your sheep, I don't think anyone would complain



but you can hardly call it Herrmann ..

cheers

Steffen
CRS
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Posted: Friday, May 18, 2007 - 12:30 AM UTC
No, that would be Lambert
TedMamere
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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 07:22 AM UTC
Hi all!

Just a quick note to say that I didn't forgot this project...

I added the small PE parts to the Tilly truck, opened it's back, sanded the accessories and figures smooth and applied a coat of green for the vehicle and grey for the rest. If you don't apply a coat of matt paint on figures, brush painting them is very difficult, especially with Tamiya's acrylic range.



Now I have to paint all those little details...

Jean-Luc
CRS
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Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 - 07:34 AM UTC
Those will dress up / clutter your RAF Pen Dio quite nicely. I believe I see sheep in there, do ewe ?