First reveal: The German Air Ministry 1941 in 1:35
This article is part of a series:
Some of you have been following this Work-in-Progress for a little more than one month:
Since the scratch building is now finished, I decided to reveal the building. It will become the setting for a diorama and those who have followed the thread may already have an idea.
This building was designed by the architect Ernst Sagebiel and erected in the 1930s in Berlin, Germany as one of the first employing a mixed steel and concrete concept. The natural stone lining of the building “hangs” from a steel support frame. It was commissioned as Reichsmarschall Görings infamous “Reichsluftfahrtministerium” or air ministry. At the time it was first used, it was the biggest office building in the world, surpassed of course by Groves’ Pentagon in Washington DC, USA.
The building was only slightly damaged in WWII and has had many different uses since, see
I always liked to build architectural models since childhood. It started with H0 houses and industrial buildings to place next to my electric train, I’m sure some of you have done this as well. I evolved from there to some commission builds over the years but today I construct buildings to go with my military 1:35 models. You can pretty much follow the entire building process in the above thread. I based this build on the original plans as available online from the library of the architectural department at TU Berlin.
First a frame was constructed with the rough overall dimensions of the building. There are many windows as you can see and in order to construct them with matching dimensions, I first crafted a wooden jig, taped-off with clear cellophane tape. This allowed me to reproduce the hardwood windows without the risk of them sticking to the jig after gluing them together with PVA glue.
The lining of the building is all balsa, I think about 1 m² of 2mm balsa sheet went into this build overall. I used many other thicknesses as well. The ornaments (German Cross with Oak Leaves) were printed with my Prusa i3 3D printer. It is nice to be able to craft your own models from ABS plastic that way. Without this recent technique, this would be hard to do I find…
The texture of the natural sandstone (Muschelkalkstein) covering the 1:1 scale issue is hard to reproduce. I tested many techniques and at some point I thought about covering the model entirely with photo paper. Finally I devised a technique to apply a mixture of acrylics of different colors and apply with a sponge for effect. It looks very good. The painting steps were: Balsa first, thinned water-based MDF filler, sanding x 10, white primer x 2, sanding x1, stone markings, texture acrylics.
The tiling on the base is photo paper cut to shape and then manually applied in the actual pattern. It looks good to me! I’m very happy with the result so far, I like straight lines in perspective so watching this one is pure joy to me. I think when it is finished, the building will look as majestic as it is in reality .
I placed a Pzkpfw. IV next to the building for relative sizing. The base is 120cm wide…
What do you think?
I will now start working on the dio itself which involves plastic modeling mainly. After a scratch build job like this, you actually rejoice when you allow yourself to build a kit where all pieces are available from the start…
I worked over 200 hours on this one, all dedicated to my daughter Fievi Delphine who very much enjoys looking at the building!
Happy modeling and stay tuned for the sequel!
6 additional images. Click to enlarge.