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Michel Verschuere
39 articles

Somewhere in France, May 1940

December 12, 2018 · in Diorama · · 18 · 6K
This article is part of a series:
  1. ICM Krupp L3H163 Kfz. 72 Radio Truck in 1:35 (#35462), Work in Progress
  2. Somewhere in France, May 1940

This build took me from June this year to yesterday, when I made the finishing touches on it.

It features the kit #35462 of the L3H163 Radio () in 1:35th scale. I dedicate this build to Bernie Hackett who left our earthly community forever earlier in the year. May his positive spirit live on here and elsewhere. Blue skies to you Bernie...

The build report to this entry can be found here:

Some history:
The German perfected the military doctrine of "Verbundene Waffen", or "Combined Arms" in preparation for WWII. This required all branches of the armed forces to communicate efficiently so to identify, locate and destroy enemy strongpoints by all means (land, sea and air) as soon as possible. On the battlefield, this shift in paradigm required fast communication between units, both over short and long distances. The means thereto were field telephones and wireless communication.

I picked up this kit earlier in the year and researched it in between the building stages for the Reichsluftfahrtministeruim (RLM). The kit perfectly summarizes the various communication means the Wehrmacht had to its disposal in the earlier stages of the war. As with most ICM kits, this one was well researched with clean, crisp moldings and little warping even on flat surfaces. The one big drawback is that the kit as such does not feature extent antennae and the radio cabin is completely empty...

Luckily, I found a lot of resources in books and the internet to figure out how the interior of the cabin
looked like. I wanted to give it a "busy" appearance inside. Further to that, I found the next picture I wanted to mimic in this build:

The build (Chassis):
The chassis is very well detailed with detailed brake mechanism and fully detailed engine. The kit as such does not feature any photo etched parts but some of the plastic parts are so small that detail is of a high degree.

The build (Antenna and Radio Cabin):
I scratch built the antenna using brass tubing and steel wire. The most difficult part were the stringers on it, which I finally made out of paper. In this way, I could feature the antenna in "extended" position.

As mentioned, the cabin is completely empty. I drew plans based on several pictures and made the interior out of photo etch (spares box) and styrene sheet. I also installed a white LED light to lighten up the interior when the roof is attached.

I did not glue the roof on top as it is held strong enough by the cabin walls themselves.

Painting & weathering:
After construction, I gave the entire model of grey primer. There is a lot of wood to the cabin and drivers' compartment so I sprayed that in a light wood color. Then followed a generous layer of hairspray on wooden parts, after which I applied a uniform layer of German grey. I dissolved the hairspray with water here and there to expose the wood texture as a first weathering step. Next followed application of light dirt on the chassis and a wash of brown umber oil paint dissolved in mineral spirits. The radio crew at the time were regarded as highly skilled persons and therefore I assumed they would maintain their Kfz. 72 very well! Hence, weathering throughout is only very light.

The diorama:
I wanted to depict activity in and around the Radio Truck. I found a little Riich kit (#30014) for a German petrol genset and placed three ICM figures around it (#35211). The remaining figures are taken from a Dragon kit (#3826) depicting a German communication center with crew. I tried to feature "life-in-the-cab" as realistically as possible, with paper, coffee and radio sets around showing busy times at the command post.

The nature around the vehicle was made of natural materials (tree and bush), static grass, cocktail pics, acrylic paint, PVA glue and earth.

I am pleased with the result of this effort, which took me about 5 months, also because my bench time was limited lately because of other workload in scale 1-1.

I hope these 100 hours of hard labor can go as a fitting tribute to Bernie...
What do you think of it?

Happy modelling!


Reader reactions:
17  Awesome

18 responses

  1. Bernie would be awe struck. Well done Michel, love the overall presentation, especially the little added touch of a curious goat. Quite impressive, and well executed.

  2. Michel, it’s a super diorama, full of interesting and eye catching subjects. Of course the truck is the centerpiece (and what a center piece if I may add), but the outside surrounding scenes are equally appealing. The led light is a great addition as the “night”photo proves. Not an everyday subject indeed, I can only imagine the research work needed to produce this level of detail. Thumbs up!

  3. Outstanding dio Michel, it is like a living work or art. Tom mentioned that Bernie would love this, we all do actually. Model of the year in my opinion and there are some amazing works presented this year. Just pops, comes to life, the detail with in the radio truck is so realistic, the weathering technique on the wooden sections of the cabin and radio station is one I will try and took note how you applied it. Not only a model but also provides a bit of learning in your WIP in how to use certain techniques to achieve the results presented in this dio, bravo!

  4. I only have one minor suggestion... this would really improve it, as far as I'm concerned.

    You could move it over to my house ! Then it would be absolutely perfect... 🙂

    This build is amazing in all aspects. Each time I look at it something new captures my eye. You sir are a master builder in all areas. My favorite is how the inside of the truck lights up. The figures look very realistic. The vegetation and even the goat are remarkable.

    I seriously think this diorama has the chance to become the pick for Model of the Month.

    Bernie would be very proud.

    and so should you... it's amazing in all aspects. Thanks for sharing this masterpiece with us.

    "liked" and a great big "Well Done" my friend.

  5. Thanks guys, I appreciate your feedback!

  6. Very nicely realised, Michel.

  7. A well-thought-through project with an excellent result! Even the "background" was creative and adds to the slice of life feel. Well done!

  8. I agree with the others, very nicely done!

  9. An outstanding build, Michel!

  10. “What do you think?” Well, I love this, Michel.

    The build is exquisite, the detail amazing, and the painting, weathering, and base are all gorgeous. A real labour of love and I can see every one of those 100 hours.

    If I could ‘like’ this ten times over, I would.

    Bravo, Michel. I love seeing a project that someone has put something of themselves into; this certainly fits that and more.

  11. Beautifully done Michel. Well Done!

  12. The detail, Michel! Just wonderful. And the photography! The way you have set it in the diffuse sunlight and against natural backgrounds. Just lovely!

  13. Great diorama Michel. I particularly like the internal detail in the truck.

  14. Wow, Michel, this is really impressive! Excellent work throughout, all elements of the diorama of equal quality - vehicle, figures, background. I like this a lot!

  15. Great looking diorama ;
    Its a cool looking truck and the interior work you did on it brings it to life. There is alot work in these ICM kits; both they and MiniArt are becoming really good at producing complex kits.

    Nice work

  16. Beautiful and effective, Michel. I have most of the ICM truck and auto kits, but nowhere near your skill and artistry to turn those plastic bits into such an outstanding objet d'art. Glad you could find ways to reveal the detail you have put into this outstanding build.

  17. Thanks @brummbaer for your words! It's been a while since this build but it came out well, I still look at it from time to time!

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