of my goals with this diorama was to create strong sense of the human scale of
warfare. To do this, I needed to build plenty of figures. And with the significant
presence of the aid station, I had to do a considerable amount of research on
the roles and equipment of combat medics.
diorama features figures from Tamiya, Dragon, Warriors, Nemrod, MK35, Jaguar,
Belgo, Royal, Verlinden and Yanks. There are few medic figures in the market,
but by using soldiers who didn't have web gear (generally tankers) I was able
to expand the aid station team simply by adding armbands. The red crosses on the
helmets are from Verlinden and a special set printed for me by Woody Vondracek
at Archer Fine Transfers. There was a variety of ways the red crosses, in circles
and squares, were displayed even within the same unit. The red keystone and rank
insignia on the uniforms are also from Archer, from our collaboration on Woody's
first sets of uniform patches.
old Tamiya figures from the halftrack got Hornet heads, new gear from Tamiya's
recent U.S. equipment set, and were reconfigured to varying degrees. I used Apoxi-Sculpt
to make a melton overcoat for one, and a mackinaw for another. Many
modelers usually dismiss these old figures, and they certainly aren't on par with
resin products. But they can come to life with new heads, gear and careful painting.
Be mindful, again, of the sense of scale, and use appropriate heads. On the marching
figures, Warriors heads and helmets looked better than their smaller Hornet counterparts.
of the infantry figures were built with few modifications. I used a realistic
variety of gear and uniform colors and shadings to give each figure some individuality.
Even though the M1 helmet only came in one size in real life, there are differences
in sizes between model manufacturers. To minimize the appearance of this inaccuracy,
I took care to group helmets of the same size together.
inclusion of the graves registration team presented the perfect opportunity to
use Warrior's chaplain set. Registration teams were part of the quartermaster
organization, and black Americans often served in these, and other, segregated
units. The heads of the black soldiers came from the old Airfix set and one of
Verlinden's tank crews. (Note that since the U.S. Army wasn't truly desgregated
until 1948, mixing black soldiers with whites in WWII infantry and tank units
is a significant faux pas.)
Life and Death..."
Battle of the Hürtgen Forest
of the Diorama
Ambulance and Beep
Jeep, 2.5 Ton Cargo Truck, Trailers