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Tiger in the (Deeper) Woods

About eighten months ago, I posted an article here, with photographs of an armour diorama, depicting a Konigstiger making its way through scrubby Ardennes forest in December, 1944. Also modelled – a few troops, including a hapless motorbike rider who had slid down an embankment in the foreground.

I’m a great believer in revisiting projects where they can be improved, and although the principal design was set, this diorama was no exception. I had scratchbuilt the landscape, which included a sharply elevated ground, the angle of which, I felt, provided a dynamic quality, at least more so than might have been realised on flat terrain.

In addition I had added various scrub trees – meant as hawthorn or similar – at various points to further ‘break up’ the setting. The issue though was that although these trees were placed at various angles on the sloping ground, they were all about the same height, which worked against the original concept.

A few months ago, at a show, I purchased a set of European larch trees, and a single, taller spruce tree, from the Czech company Model Scene, who produce landscape materials for modelling. I had no idea at the time what use they might be, but they looked great, and then recently it occurred to me that these would provide the perfect foil for the more static areas of the landscape. I simply drilled holes for four of the larches and the spruce, ensuring that the placements were ‘off-centre’ to look more natural (and using an odd number of trees helps, too), and pressed them in position. They remain rigid, even though not glued in place, and naturally can be removed and stored flat with the dio itself as required.

These simple additions have added a natural element of drama to the diorama, enough so that I felt it deserved another outing.

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

24 responses to Tiger in the (Deeper) Woods

  1. Very nice! It really is a dynamic looking diorama. Having just finished a 12.5 mile hike with my son and some friends this weekend, including some nice ridge line elevation ups and downs, I can appreciate the “energy” of your setting. It adds a lot to take the vertical plane even higher with the additional trees. Well done!

  2. Look great Rob. Armor dioramas are fine examples of multi-skill sets and your subject is a fine presentation.

  3. Neat little build, Rob….I like it.

  4. Nice work Rob.
    The dynamics created with the tall trees etc brings more to it.

  5. Crouching tiger, hidden…..tiger!
    That’s a really cool diorama Rob, great skills.

  6. Nicely done Rob, a very tidy and compact diorama.

    • Our club has a show latter this month in the city centre, and I wanted to bring something that was a little easier to transport this time, which got me thinking about this dio, and then how it might be improved. As you say, there’s a lot going on in a very compact space.

  7. Great diorama. Pics are really good but I’m sure they don’t exhibit the splendour of your build. I’d love to see it live. Good job.

  8. That’s a lot of “diorama” in a little space! Nice work, very inventive.

  9. Rob, Looks like you plucked out a piece of history. Very nice. It has a kind of an eerie look to it.

  10. Really great dio there Rob. Really tells a story.
    Me likie!!
    California Steve

  11. Stunning szene, looking very nice, Rob. Upgrading older builds are like meeting an old friend and you have a new look in the display cabinet

  12. Rob,
    Stunning build and a very clever display.

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