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From model to diorama: A day’s work at the German air ministry 1941

This article is part of a series:
  1. Work in Progress: The German Air Ministry 1941
  2. First reveal: The German Air Ministry 1941 in 1:35
  3.   From model to diorama: A day’s work at the German air ministry 1941

Some of you noticed the build report and first reveal of the German air ministry already.

Because a model is a model and a diorama something different, I opted for adding vehicles and figures in order to bring the building to life.

I opted for two vehicle kits to do the job, so in a way this is a sort of build review for these. The ICM Opel Admiral Saloon #35472 (left in the picture) and Masterbox’s #35113 [Mercedes] Type 170 which comes with some nice crew set (right in the picture).

ICM Opel Admiral Saloon:
A bit of history:
The first kit is ICM’ kit #35472 of the Opel Admiral Saloon. This 4-door passenger car had the same engine as the Opel Blitz and was at the time of its introduction the largest vehicle of its kind. Most Admirals purchased by private citizens in Germany were requisitioned during the war and saw extensive use as a staff car like the one depicted here.
The kit:
ICM really did it’s utmost best to introduce some very detailed soft-skinned vehicles into the modeling community. This kit is no exception and the molding is of the highest quality. You get a highly detailed engine, X-chassis and body for an aggressive price and are guaranteed of hours of pleasure watching the car take shape when building the kit. ICM also released an open top version of the Saloon (#35471) but here, I opted for the sedan version. There is absolutely no flash to speak of in this kit and ejection pin marks are well positioned so most are hidden from the eye once the model is finished.
The build (ongoing):
This kit really is a joy to build, but careful ordering of the sprues and parts is required given this car had a lot of chrome and lacquered areas that are best painted separately prior to assembly. The paintjob consisted in two layers of light grey primer (rattle can) and 4 layers of black gloss laquer paint on the body. I posed the car in its current shape in front of the Air ministry building so you get the idea how massive the building was (or how small the Opel Admiral for that matter) 🙂

Next steps:
I opted to have one of the rear doors open. Fortunately, ICM has forseen this option alas without hinges. I need to figure out attaching the opened rear door to the car next. The windows have not been added yet as they required a chrome lining. Finally, there are some decals to the kit.

Masterbox’ [Mercedes] Type 170 Tourenwagen:
A bit of history:
The second kit is in fact a Mercedes Type 170 although Masterbox does not use the name of the brand name, probably because of licensing issues. There is not much to say about this classic German car as it was widely used as staff car during WWII and has seen action in virtually every theater.
The kit:
Masterbox has capitalized on the mold by re-boxing, slicing and dicing this one, sometimes in various diorama-style kits so typical for this manufacturer. It is to my knowledge the best kit available for this vehicle and a joy to build. I do not know whether the mold is worn, but this kit does have some flash. It would not be fair not to mention the both the occasional flash and ejection pin marks in this kit, for other manufacturers do better and deserve an extra citation, notably ICM’s Opel Admiral reviewed here. The flash is nothing we modelers can’t deal with and the only nasty ejection marks were on the license plates as far as I can tell. The vehicle model is featured of a hyper-detailed engine and transmission and I could not find dimensional deviations with 1:35 drawings I had in a magazine. There are some very small parts in this kit, note the engine hood holder on the 50 EURcents coin…

Next steps:
I have assembled most of the vehicle and started to primer it. I plan to bring this Type 170 into the diorama as a plain German grey “Stabwagen” featured of a driver. The figures in the kit will be part of the dio but not in the usual way… You know me 😀

Well that’s about it! Stay tuned for more!

Happy modeling!


17 responses to From model to diorama: A day’s work at the German air ministry 1941

  1. That’s gonna be some nice piece of work, Michel…lookin’ forward to the end result.

  2. Maybe the figures will be Sgt. Shultz and Col. Klink?

  3. Concept still going strong 👍

  4. Wow! Amazing work! You must have plenty of room ar really BIG cabinet for models 🙂

  5. This is just amazing work, Michel. Enjoyable in every respect.

  6. What an amazing project.

  7. Coming along nicely. That really is an imposing piece of architecture! Those vehicles will really set it off.

  8. Now here’s an interesting thing. A certain Hermann Goering examining what looks suspiciously like your model, Michel.

    • Yes the guy next to him is Dr. Albert Speer. He was the architect of the Neue Reichskanzlei in the Voesstrasse. He also designed the Tempelhof airport building in Berlin for those who flew there before it closed in 2008. Speer had very good contacts to the dictatorship and later became the 3rd Reichs minister of armament, replacing Goering in that role. He oversaw the restructuring of the German war industry following the protracted war in the East. A lot of the standardization of equipment in the later war years bears his signature. Ever wondered why the late Tiger and Panther tanks had the same road wheels? Now you know!

      Speer was aquitted at Nuremberg and died a millionaire in London in 1981. It s a small world even if buildings are large, I guess…

      • It is indeed a small World. My dear old Dad guarded Speer on several occasions at the “Spandau Prison” when Dad was assigned to the “Berlin Brigade” with the 6th US Infantry during the 1950’s. Dad told me some stories about Adm. Doenitz, Hess, Speer and a few others………….

  9. Hello Michel,
    Great job so far. I can see the two SS guards already standing by the entrance.
    Regards, Dirk / The Netherlands.

  10. Maybe you’ve already seen this, but I’ll post it anyway.
    Look closely at 7:38.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=845F1E8tFKE

  11. I wathed it, thanks Ulf! The narrator indeed talks about the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) but what they show is the change of guards at the main entrance of the Neue Reichskanzlei (NRK). I guess there was some confusion with all these new buildings erected in few years time. Here is a picture of the NRK. Maybe an idea for another model. But I have not yet found plans, so I don’t start it as too many unknowns…

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  12. This is fantastic Michel !!!! I can’t wait to see the next installment…………… This has to be HUGE !!! The vehicles are going to be a nice touch. Now if you could find a model of a 1939 G4 Mercedes like this one………………..

    or even one like this …………..

    just teasing with you. This is an amazing build. You my friend have some serious talent.

    I have had good results using Bare Metal Foil on automobile models. It comes in various shades such as “Chrome”, “Ultra Bright Chrome”, and “Matt Aluminum” to name a few. You might be able to replicate the chrome window frames you are needing using this material.

    • Yes that’s an excellent idea Louis, I am still puzzled how to do the chrome framing. I don’t want to mess it up at the last step… Amazing story about your dad at Spandau prison, must have been quite an experience for him to see these fallen dictators all together on bread and water instead of scotch and cigars… This Mercedes 770 is definitely a future project. I doubted about the G4 because it is actually a dreadfully looking car. I guess Nazis and good taste don’t always go together… 🙂

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