Leyte Gulf; the Orphans of the USS Princeton.
This is my first attempt at a diorama and it’s been a steep learning curve. I wanted to create a scene that captured something of the spirit of the carrier groups that fought so bravely such a long way from home in the Pacific.
The ‘Work In Progress’ explains my choice of build, link below…
I was particularly interested in Fighting 27 and wanted to include their plight after the USS Princeton was lost. There are so many incredible narratives (and don’t we all model for the stories?) in the Pacific theatre that there are literally thousands of examples of courage, heroism, and valour – you don’t have to look far for inspiration.
The figures were a horror. Despite following all advice the paint (Tamiya acrylics) just wouldn’t ‘take’ – a situation remedied by Vallejo Model Colours. For me, what eventually worked was doing the basic colours, varnishing, and adding a wash for details. Next time I’ll take more time, the devil is in the detail.
A big objective of the build was to depict a tired fighter just landing on the USS Essex, having been recently ‘orphaned’ and another bird just about to join the battle. An aim was to express the relentless nature of battle.
Things I’d like to do differently? Apart from retire, move to the southern Mediterranean, spend all my time playing guitar, model building, playing with my kids, scuba diving? Well,
– get the right damned equipment.
– work and practice more on canopies; I think one of the things that really turns a good model aircraft into a great model is the quality of the glasswork. I didn’t get anywhere near this aim on this build. Someone on iModeler recently made the excellent point that the one thing even the most war pilot weary pilot in the most weathered plane would want is a clear canopy.
– make more dioramas. They are addictive.
– 1/48 is fun; having liked 1/32 as a rule, it’s just amazing how much more material is out there in quarter scale.
I printed a simple sea scape for a backdrop just to give some context to the scene.
I really enjoyed this build, moving between (two) aircraft to figures, to the base. I’ll certainly be making more dioramas.
7 additional images. Click to enlarge.