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Normandie 1944: Paris or Bust!
A diorama in a very small scale...

n by Anders Isaksson

A number of years ago I stumbled on the range of small armor and figure miniatures manufactured by GHQ. Being in in tiny 1/285th scale and mainly used by wargamers, I was very impressed with the level of detail and decided to try making a diorama. My scene is set in the French countryside a few days after the allied invasion in June 1944.

The diorama

For my diorama I used two M4 Shermans, an M3 Halftrack and a Tiger I. To represent GI's I used a set of figures that actually are modern Russian infantry, but in this scale - who can tell the difference?

The German Tiger tank was supposed to be knocked out so I drilled tiny holes in the hull and turret to represent open hatches. The hatches themselves are made from small pieces of paper.

The American vehicles were built "out of the box" (well, they consist of only two pieces each). However small packs and tent rolls made of Milliput were added along with simple boxes made of tiny pieces of styrene. Antennas were cut from paint brush bristles and superglued in place.

All vehicles were hand painted using Humbrol acrylics. I found a few US star insignias in my decal spares box. The vehicles received a final dusting with sand colored pastel powder.

The figures were painted in appropriate shades of Humbrol acrylics. I tried to pick out individual details the best I could.

The damaged building was loosely based on design of the Verlinden 1/35th scale Ruined Barn and was fabricated from paper stock with short strips of bass wood. It was painted with Humbrol acrylics.

The groundwork was made from household filler applied on a simple photo frame. Static grass and small stones were used to detail the scene along with trees made of Woodland Scenics turf glued to small natural twigs.

The telegraph poles are simply pieces of plastic rod. I made a few small road signs from paper. The completed groundwork was again painted using Humbrol acrylics and finished off with a final application of sand colored pastel powder.

The finished diorama measures only 13 x 9 cm. Considering the little amount of work I put into this project I am very pleased with how it turned out. The small size and its possibilities makes a nice change from my more usual scales. 


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