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Michel Verschuere
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Final reveal: The German Air Ministry in 1941 in 1:35

October 5, 2018 · in Diorama · · 26 · 3.2K
This article is part of a series:
  1. Work in Progress: The German Air Ministry 1941
  2. First reveal: The German Air Ministry 1941 in 1:35
  3. From model to diorama: A day’s work at the German air ministry 1941
  4. Final reveal: The German Air Ministry in 1941 in 1:35

Some of you have followed on this project, depicting buzzing activity at the German in 1941:

This was a longer project, initiated in the beginning of this year. It involved mapping the scratch-built facade of the building () in the Wilhelmstrasse in Berlin based on the original plans by its architect Ernst Sagebiel.

Since I had many other duties in scale 1:1 this year, I had to postpone finishing it for longer than I wanted to. The last step involved finishing the vehicles in the diorama, already featured in an entry:

The vehicles are a gloss black Admiral 1936 and a 170V staff car for the Land Berlin also dating from the thirties' of the previous century.

In fact, I wanted to depict a dinner party on the balcony of the main hall involving many more figures. I will remember that as a side project I can reveal at a later date, but since my time is limited and David LS's next GB is up, I decided that was it for now.

To summarize, the building was completed using both hardwood and balsa and then painted using acrylics. The sandstone tiles in the courtyard were cut to size from printed pictures. The figures are and depicting drivers and senior staff in 1941 uniforms. The guard at the door is from a Dragon figure kit.

The last step was painting the figures (primer and basic acrylics) which place the building in its right proportions: Believe me, it is huge! The building spans an entire housing block between Leipziger Strasse, Wilhelmstrasse and Niederkirchner Strasse in the center of the German capital.

I hope you like this build, took me most of the year.

Happy modeling, Michel.

Reader reactions:
12  Awesome

1 additional image. Click to enlarge.

26 responses

  1. Really nice Michel. Bet it feels good to call this one done. Would be nice to see an overall photo of the entire project. Did I remember correctly, you were going to hang this like a painting?

    A job well done!

    • @jamesb I added some general layout pictures for you. I took them in natural light outside just this morning. For now, the model decorates my fireplace in the living room but maybe I will indeed fix it to the wall as a sort of 3D painting 🙂

      • Awesome Michel. The morning light really brings the dio to life! When I was in Architecture school, I would hang some of my design vignettes or final design models on the walls of my apartment. Looked pretty good IMHO. Try it.

        Thanks for updating. Cheers!

  2. Bizarrely, it occurred to me the other day what had happened to this project. I think someone posted something that reminded me of the architectural modelling element in your build, and I didn't recall anything being posted for awhile. Quite a feat!

    Knowing where you started with this, you must be pleased.

  3. I have been awaiting this project’s appearance on the headlines.

    Technically brilliant. Creatively inspired. Artistically beautiful. Can’t say more, Michel, other than well done on a magnificent work. I wish I could give it more than one ‘like’.

    Ps I really like the idea of a build that you can add to as time passes. With this project you could go on for years, even adding ‘what if’ scenarios or adding historically significant characters.


  4. Outstanding, Michel! This was quite an ambitious project. I'm with David in the idea of adding to this at a later date (or dates) is a good one.


  5. Fabulous work, sir...a true modeling masterpiece.

  6. Good to finally see it across the "finish" line (to David's point - lots of future possibilities...!). What a cool project.

  7. Its the best and most realistic diorama I have yet seen. That's it.

  8. Really amazing. Great detail and I love the figures and cars as well as the scratchbuilt architecture.

  9. Bravo Michel, it took you several months at the bench but the end result is amazing. The cars and the figures not only add movement (sort of like a still image of time) but also the sense of size the building naturally imposes. Don’t know if it’s the best diorama but certainly is one of the most out of the box ever saw.

  10. Thanks everyone for your likes! I hope to post more work soon 🙂

  11. Fantastic. Outstanding work Michel

  12. I agree,fantastic!

  13. Words fail. This is masterful.

  14. That’s a monster build! Looks very nice and unique!

  15. Fantastic work, really amazing, well done.

  16. WOW !

    This is stunning work my friend... You Sir have some serious skills.

  17. A truly amazing, "outside of the box" triumph in modeling. Only a few could have pulled such a feat off.

    What strikes me is the simple grandeur of it all, which must be even more impressive in person given the scale. Most dioramas are (obviously) much smaller, but typically packed with detail so that the eye flits from vignette to vignette, like a composite of numerous dramas. Such an approach has its charms, to be sure. But yours is a classic understatement in visual power, eschewing the "where's Waldo" strategy to embrace a sort of less-is-more intimidation. The result is a completely different, almost unique emotional effect upon the viewer. Remarkable.

    Standing ovation, Michel!

    • Dear Dr Thomas! @davidathomas
      Thanks for your kind wishes of appreciation!

      I thought about how to compose a model this size (almost three feet wide).
      On the one hand, I wanted to present the eye of the onlooker with sufficient calm so that the shape and detail of the build becomes apparent. However, for vertical size reference reasons, I always like to place figures next to my builds. So then I thought to place two more or less independent dioramas in the middle and in one of the corners, for horizontal reference. I attempted to do this with the Mercedes 170 on the left side and the Opel grand staff car center. Overall, the building could take even more detail like doors but since I wanted to place emphasis on what happens in front mainly, I did not fit these although I had printed them ready with my 3D printer. I am happy about the end result as it is.

      As said, I have some ideas to extend the work later but wanted to get a break from this one. The future addition will feature the "lord of the house" Luftwaffe Reichsmarshall Hermann Göring at one of his esteemed parties on the balcony. I will sculpt Mr. Göring myself for did not find a model that features him with a cognac bottle. This part will be placed dominantly in the right corner, again for horizontal reference. When making small vignettes, left, center and right come together for reasons of spatial limitation, but in this kind of size, it needs some thought to direct the onlookers' eye left to right.

      Again Dr. Thomas, I very much appreciate your words, those of a fine modeler and member to this great community at imodeler!

      Thanks again everyone else for your likes, at times when finishing this monster project seemed a distant event, your interests in the advance and eventual end-result kept me going! 😉


      • Nice. But the fitting of the doors and those other vignettes will not take away any of the aspect I mention. To me the whole seems something like the set of a Greek tragedy: imposing and intimidating in its grandeur (and the sunlit look you chose for the photo op helps this), the Ministry building nevertheless speaks of its own doom--like Speer choosing Wagner's "Twilight of the Gods" for the final performance of the Berlin Opera as the Russians closed in.

  18. Gran trabajo, gran escala y muy real.

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