Profile Photo
Rob Pollock
195 articles


October 25, 2016 · in Diorama · · 42 · 2.3K

This Great War diorama uses ' Roland D.VIb, with a British (Royal Artillery) Major from Tommy's War, and Elan 13's German Hussar pilot. The figures are grounded with Vallejo acrylics and finished with artist oils.

The base is scratch-built from balsa, with a few aftermarket resin sandbags and skulls. Additional sandbags at breach point are putty. Ravaged trees are old ivy roots.

A few of the aircraft flying wires have been cut and replaced with loose sections of 0.80mm stainless steel scientific wire, to simulate damage, but this doesn't show up well in the photos because of the slight gauge of the wire.

I've included a couple of images of communications trenches - one an archive photo showing the relative simplicity of the type, and the other an excavated section on the Somme battlefield - and one final photograph of the diorama with comm cables installed and additional scratch-built barbed wire in place (see photo for sequence), items added after original photographs were posted, for greater detail.

Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

15 additional images. Click to enlarge.

42 responses

  1. Once again, a masterful job of creating a unique certainly have a way with these, Rob. And I can see the damaged wire to which you refer in a couple of the photos. But what's with the skulls...? Seems an odd addition to the scene unless I'm missing the point. Again, excellent work, sir.

  2. Masterclas work on an awesome looking diorama!

  3. Well - once again, I have to trot out my favorite interjection - WOW!
    I hate to see an aircraft "grounded" so, but as a diorama it's still a beautiful thing! The skulls were an interesting macabre detail - and I got the point before you clarified! Nice touch - and a reminder that although we are fascinated with the machines of war and the creativity and application of technology that they represent, they are still birthed in a context we all wish didn't exist!

  4. One word - masterpiece! Kudos, sir!

  5. Great job Rob, it is intersting the contrast between the two former enemy that look they talk friendly, and the skull in the mud.

  6. Thanks, Robert.

  7. Hats off again Rob.

  8. stunning art as usual

  9. Doesn't look much different then the way some people park their car at the local mall !
    Well done Rob, I really like a scene that keeps your interest as this does. I find myself searching for more every time I look at it. I like the relaxed attitude portrayed by the pilot.

  10. 🙂 ... Greetings ... 🙂 :
    Always refreshing too observe your work Rob, and this one is no exception.
    Keeps the viewer looking for more details.

  11. Awesome diorama, Rob.

  12. Is the WNW model wrecked beyond repair or will it live to fly another day? Whatever, great work as usual, Rob.

    • Cheers for the comment, George.

      The Roland was in fact posted as a Headline in its own right last year. Consider it up-cycled, wistfully imagined stripped bare of armament and souvenir fabric scraps by enthusiastic Tommies.

  13. Individually, the Roland and the figures are well modeled and nicely presented, but as a whole, I find the diorama very unconvincing.

    • Thanks for the comment, Seamus. I actually based the scene on one I found in a WW1 photographic archive. Naturally, the 'confrontation' is tongue-and-cheek to bring a human dimension into play. Of course if the setup is not for you that's a personal choice and I respect that view.

      • PS meant to add in the photo I think it was a Fokker that had slid in along a trench, not a Roland, but the idea is the same.

        • Actually a correction - I went back to check my source after my first comment to you, and found I was thinking about a dio I had seen (3'x4') that included a plane crashed in along a trench. Apart from the sheer size of the overall dio, the other point of note was that everything was in war gaming scale - 28mm!

      • I have nothing against your setup. I think it is a wonderful premise for a WWI diorama. However, I think the trench is way too sterile looking for WWI, I think the Roland should be a bit more damaged and its surrounding groundwork should give off some sort of impression of impact. What I really feel kills you diorama is the German pilot figure. While very nicely completed, it is totally wrong for your diorama. If I had just come out on the losing end of some aerial scrape having me force land my kite into an enemy trench, I doubt I would be so calm as to lean up against my prop to have a smoke. Also the Hun is wearing a parade uniform with a parade cap, does not look like something one goes flying in. If anything, replace that figure!

        • I will say this, if you did this more as an artistic piece than anything else, then I would not change a thing.

        • I think that as the airframe is at the edge of the base it's arguably difficult to create a mud skid area, so not a lot of scope to add something like that, unless the whole scene was remarkably larger. My thinking was that it is a communications trench; I'm in fact adding a bit of cabling dropped along the rampart face but haven't got to it yet - hopefully by the weekend.

          The Hussar pilot is shown as he might have been having crashed and been taken prisoner, stripped out of his flying gear and waiting around. Captured pilots were treated quite well in fact. However, I wanted the British officer to appear confrontational and against the gentlemanly type.

  14. Beauty!

    Sincerely, Vlad.

  15. Outstanding Dio!

  16. Another stunning diorama Rob, very poignant too.

  17. A real masterpiece! Great!

  18. That's truly amazing work Rob! High fives all round!

Leave a Reply