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Michel Verschuere
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Dragon Nashorn in 1:35 (#6386), with Diorama

June 17, 2017 · in Armor · · 15 · 11.8K

Some history:

This kit #6386 by is fairly recent, dating back to 2010 and represents the Sd.Kfz.164 in a 3 in 1 kit edition. I opted for the initial version delivered to the heavy tank destroyer unit 655 at Kursk, Russia in 1943. Only a limited number of these vehicles were delivered in time for the "Zitadelle" operation and few actually saw combat in the Orel region. After the operation to encircle large concentrations of the Red Army was abandoned, the Wehrmacht finally lost the initiative on the Eastern front and these tank destroyers increasingly became "fire fighters" to counter Russian armor wherever it appeared. With the introduction of the Nashorn, the renowned Pak 43 antitank gun, caliber 71 on 88mm became mobile on the extended Pz III-IV chassis perfectly fitting the mid and late war German doctrine of anti-tank mobility.

The build:

Although this kit very attractive because of its high level of detail, photo etch, metal parts, an aluminium turned barrel in three different versions, it is not one for beginners. The main drawback is the crowded and sometimes incorrect instruction sheet which may lure even the experienced modeler into a dead-end at times.

As the kit has all elements to end up with a detailed model, the build was pretty much OOB. I only added some detailing features like figures (Dragon #6367), a scratchbuilt radio FuG/Spr and the like. While building this kit, you really need to get the parts bookkeeping right, otherwise you easily get lost. I use two different colors of marker to get the job done one for installed parts and one for parts to be added later. This is one of the longest builds I've ever done in armor, spanning almost one year (with interruptions and side-projects) and many hours also because the open fighting compartment adds to the complexity of the build.


I started primering the model in a red-brown oxide flat finish. I then applied three generous layers of hairspray and colored the vehicle dark-yellow. Some grid-like camo scheme was then added in green with my Harder & Steenbeck airbrush. I am quite happy with the end result! Although this scheme was not in the DML instructions, I imagine it to be simple enough for some crew to have chosen it for their Nashorn in the Summer of 1943 😛


I first dissolved the hairspray locally to get the red-brown patched allover the vehicle. As a next step, I applied two protective layers of dull cote. I opted for a burnt umber filter first before the post weathering started to embed the model best with its surrounding diorama.

The diorama:

I decided to place the model in a late Summer 1943 setting, after the Kursk operation had ended. I though about how I could best model a wheat field in Southern Russia. I found out that plumbers' chord and fine (home made) sawdust did the job perfectly. To add some drama to the diorama, I cannibalized an old KV-1 kit (Tamiya) to add a turret that was blown free from the hull after a direct hit from the 88mm gun!

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy this project, comments welcome! I spent about 65 hours on this one including researching and building the diorama. I am quite pleased with the result. What do you think of it?

Happy modelling!


Reader reactions:
9  Awesome

13 additional images. Click to enlarge.

15 responses

  1. Michel, this is a superb build and a really interesting diorama. I always think the test of a diorama is whether it draws you in and gets the viewer to think about the subject or situation. This definitely passes that test for me. There's a good story in there!
    Lovely paintwork and the wheat looks terrific.

  2. Thanks David! Yes the wheat looks good although it was the first time farming in this scale for me 😛

  3. Stellar workmanship, did an outstanding job here.

  4. Very nice ! Your Nashorn turned out great. I really like how the red primer is showing through on the paint. Excellent work and a good description of the build. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  5. I echo every ones views this is a stunning build,diorama and a good read,I have many AFV with the open compartment always adds interest to a model and just after the Kursk battle one of my favorites ,just the sheer size of this battle,you gave me the viewer a real insight as to a scene that could be real,thank you for sharing with us one of my favorite subjects.Cheers.

  6. When I see models like this, it always makes me wonder how much stuff is still out there. Nice build Michael, the model looks great and dio definitely draws an interest to it. Well done !

  7. Nice job on a tough kit. I like the description of the build. Very spot on. Thanks for posting

  8. Michel, really fine result,both the vehicle and the diorama setting.

  9. LOVE the wheat field effect. Keen to try it myself, looks like an excellent effect

  10. Very nice! Excellent paint work and a great diorama concept.

  11. Thanks all for your likes and comments! Happy to share here what I know and learned anew!

  12. That's a really cool diorama! The tank is weathered brilliantly as well.

  13. Outstanding, Michel! Beautifully painted, weathered, & detailed.

  14. Thanks Jeffry, appreciated!

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