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‘An Inglorious End’ – Scratch built 1/32 B-17 Fortress Diorama

November 22, 2014 in Diorama

Hi guys – this is one I finished last year. It’s a 1/32 Fortress, scratch built and based on the old Combat Models vacform. Total construction time was 18 months. The HK Models kit was released about a year into the project, and my build features a couple of pieces from that kit (like the tailwheel) but 99% is built from scratch. The model is fully detailed inside and out (apart from the bomb bay) and the entire thing is skinned in pewter sheet. The trailer is scratchbuilt, the Diamond T wrecker is from the Accurate Armour 1/35 kit and the jeep is Tamiya 1/35 with Eduard etched detail set. Figures are cannibalised from Zoukei Mura and the spares box.

The dio took a gold medal at last years IPMS UK Nationals. I haven’t had chance to enter it in any more competitions due to the logistics of getting it there (I don’t drive and the dio base alone is 3 feet by 1 and a half feet).

The diorama was also featured recently in a two part article in issues 55 and 56 of AIR Modeller Magazine – both issues are still available in paper and digital format here:

The images are a selection from those which were professionally taken for the magazine.

Finally, you can check out the whole build article here:

Thanks for looking!


25 additional images. Click to enlarge

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35 responses to ‘An Inglorious End’ – Scratch built 1/32 B-17 Fortress Diorama

  1. Outstanding Richard. Your dio definitely tells a story.
    I have that Diamond ‘T’ kit. Any issues with it?
    Once again great workmanship.

  2. Hi Al – thanks! Re: Diamond T – it’s a complex kit for sure. I guess you’d have to build it yourself to find out though… although there is an injection moulded one now available from Mirror Models which looks nice

  3. You did all this in a year and a half?! Very nice work. These are the models I spend most my time looking at when I go to shows just because you never know what you’ll find hidden in them! The pewter sheet really works well replicating the skin. (Especially damaged skin as it seems to wrinkle and tear very well!) Did you use a star wheel on the back to make the raised rivets on the front? The nose art, specifically the name, is very appropriate to the model. Well done Richard!

  4. magnificent…way above and beyond

  5. I am at a loss for words. I have seen it on another forum and could only marvel at what you have achieved! This belongs in a museum!! Absolutely spectacular!!

  6. thanks guys for the nice comments. Funnily enough, I have considered lending it to a museum long term, maybe the Imperial War Museum at Duxford.

  7. Well, you should. This is truly outstanding.

  8. Hi Rich,I stood and gawped open mouthed at this along with everyone else at Telford last year, welcome aboard .

  9. Amazingly crafted and beautifully finished/photographed. Modeling at it’s finest. Pretty difficult to top this one in the diorama world. Look forward to your future endeavors.

  10. Oh my! Incredible seems insufficient here…what a piece of work Richard! That’s it, I’m going back to coloring books…:)

  11. Yes I remember this well. Also saw it on a club stand this year (I think). Marvellous project.

  12. That is just awesome. That is truly a show stopper. WOW.

  13. Holy c**p, all the detail, what a beauty! I wouldn’t want to go against this work of art at a contest…take it to a IPMS competition and clean house!! Exceptional effort, brilliant execution.

  14. I have the magazines Richard, and what an honour it is to be able to compliment you in person!
    What can I say about this build… This is the stuff that us mere mortals can only dream about!

  15. Stunning, to find a word for this piece of art !Great work and a very nice solution to decrease the wingspan of this 1/32 “monster”

  16. I can’t belive what I see and read, Richard.
    I’d better stop driving too.

  17. Hello Richard…That’s an absolutely awesome piece of work. I agree with all the comments above and I stand in awe at your craftsmanship. Creative and very, very nicely done. Simply outstanding !!!

  18. Hello Richard. Welcome aboard! Don’t know what to say except “WOW!” I can only echo the comments above and encourage you to display it in a museum for all to see.

  19. Superb!

    Best regards, Vlad.

  20. Richard:
    Every time I look, I see something new I missed the first time, et seq.
    The detail!
    Tells a story, this is what the bombing campaign over Europe looked like, more often than not.
    Simply stunning! Thanks for showing her to us.
    Best of luck on your next project, let us see that , as well!

  21. I have nothing to say that hasn’t been already said, I am flabbergasted.

  22. Fantastic. Many thanks for posting it on iModeler so that we can all enjoy it.

  23. many thanks for the comment, appreciated! Really not sure why the url for the build isn’t automatically hyperlinked in the initial post, but if you copy and paste it into your browser you can see the entire build thread of around 35 pages

  24. Richard, I too was fortunate enough to see this at Telford last year, and as Neil said your work is just amazing.

  25. Truly an amazing piece of work and a demonstration of real creativity and talent. When you posted this at the other forum, I passed it around to my fellow aviation history authors, all of whom were totally gobsmacked by it. This is one of the most original models I have ever seen. You should definitely put it on permanent display at Duxford.

    Now, how to top yourself? A real problem, with something like this.

  26. amazing, you deserve a monument

  27. Stunning build Richard, words fail me on this.
    Magnificent. .

  28. Wow, wow, wow. hard to add anything to what everyone else has already said. I love all the little details, but what really stood out for me was the way you did the aluminum skin on the B-17 – lots of little wrinkles and dents – amazing rendition. The rest of it is just as fantastic, but for me that really stood out. Would love to see this in person someday. Fantastic job!

  29. I don’t understand the “inglorious” part.
    It looks pretty glorious to me.

  30. That’s awesome. Gotta be this month’s winner, in my opinion. Love the detail, the story it tells and of course, the workmanship.well done, congratulations. 🙂

  31. oops, only just caught these comments… many thanks for the kind words, I appreciate it 🙂

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