“Tiger in the Woods”
In this project, I wanted to create a scene using German armour and a selection of personnel, within standard diorama parameters, represented by the Ardennes offensive in the autumn and winter period 1944/45.
The basis of the diorama was Tamiya’s 1/35 scale ‘German King Tiger- Ardennes Front’ (kit 35252). Armour enthusiasts will recognise this kit as that released in around 2002, and while other manufacturers may have since released arguably more detailed, if not more complex, versions of the Hunting Tiger, the Tamiya kit itself builds cleanly into an accurate model of this iconic AFV.
Included in the kit are three figures: a Commander, a Loader, and a Dispatch Rider. In addition, a DKW NZ 350 motorcycle is provided, and this mini-kit is exquisite in its own right. For my scene, I have included additionally three Dragon figures but I opted not to use the kit’s Loader figure.
I chose to model tank No. 204, from the 501st Heavy Tank Battalion, which I believe was moved to the Ardennes area in the autumn of 1944. The scene depicted here is therefore representative of scenery of late autumn in northern Europe.
In order to include as much detail as possible, I depicted the hapless dispatch rider as having slipped part way down a ravine, reaching for a handhold. Since I made these photos, I’ve dirtied-up the rear of the tank with soot around the exhausts, and added corner trim to better finish the corners of the display. The figures appear to have quite a sheen in the photos, but it’s just stray light from a force flash; they are in fact a matte finish.
The trees are roots from a shrub my neighbour was removing from his garden, and I’ve added dried (and painted) birch catkin seeds as leaves. Other forest debris is from various sources.
11 additional images. Click to enlarge.