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Walter Hendriksma - Part One

Presentation of Diorama's built and painted by Walter Hendriksma from the Netherlands

In three pages we shows 10 of his very nice diorama's.
Comments from Walter Hendriksma

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Diorama 1 - "Early work"

Diorama 1 - Early work: This diorama contains the ESCI kits: King Tiger; Panther ausf A and Stug III ausf F& Stuh III (Storm Howitzer). The figures are ESCI Italian mountain troops; German infantry and Paratroops. This diorama shows the advantages of building in 1:72 scale, due to limited space I used to cramp my dioramaís with as many tanks and soldiers as I could. This is the main reason that Iíve recently changed it into diorama 9 on the next page.

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Diorama 2 - "Bosnia Rescue"

Bosnia Rescue: This diorama contains the Hasegewa Pave Hawk search and rescue helicopter and ESCI Modern US troops. Inspired by a story about a downed US Hornet pilot in Bosnia, I decided to take a step off the beaten path of building AFVís, and built this diorama, depicting the search for and rescue of the American pilot.

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Diorama 3 - "German horse drawn artillery on the Eastern Front"

German horse drawn artillery (Revell); ESCI Sdkfz 250 3, 7 and 10 of the Gross Deutschland division on the Eastern Front; Hasegewa Kubelwagen and BMW side span, plus various Airfix, Preiser and ESCI figures. Although the German army was considered to be the most modern army of its time, a very large part of its divisions supported cavalry and horse drawn artillery. Although outdated, these units were of great service to the German army on the Eastern Front because of the heavy mud on the roads in the East. Normal trucks often got stuck in the mud and supplies were short, the good old army horse, however, did well in this environment. These conditions were also the main reason for the use of half tracks, an idea stolen from the French who invented the half track (the French actually have some brilliant ideas, sometimes). These half tracks came in all sort of varieties, factory build, as depicted by these ESCI models; radio, armoured gun carrier and anti tank vehicle, but also improvised by their crews in the field with almost anything they could put on it.

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Diorama 4 - "A Tiger in Russia"

A Tiger I in Russia. This wonderful Revell model depicts a Tiger I of the infamous sPzAbt 506 battalion, who fought at Arnhem during operation Market Garden and the Ardennes offensive. This Tiger company had strange markings which did not use three-digit codes. They used a one or two-digit code ranging from 1 to 14 in each company. This particular Tiger I has a red number 2 painted on the turret side, indicating that this is the tank of the person second in command of the company. Revell indicates that this late, or steel wheel model of the Tiger I should be painted in yellow, with light green overspray. This places the Tiger in the period of August 1943, because at the time they fought in Krivoi-Rog, they certainly had red brown overspray, so keep this in mind when you paint your Tiger.

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Diorama 5 - "German Airfield"

German Airfield with Stork and Pigeon airplanes by Heller. This is just a fun project - a trip down memory lane, because I started out building airplanes as a little kid. The little shed is scratch-built and made of toothpicks and matches.

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Diorama 6 - "Panzer Lehr troops; German Western Front 1945"

Panzer Lehr troops on the German Western Front 1945. This diorama contains Preiser figures, an Italeri Opel Blitz and Dragon Panther ausf F. The Panzer Lehr division was formed in France out of several units that fought at Normandy and is considered to be one of the last German elite fighting forces. I wanted to build a urban defence pocket in 1945 and used an old Matchbox Postambt (postal office), an Airfix farm ruin and scratch-built shed made out of clay. I added a lot of accessories for realism, and the result pleased me very much. I put the Opel and the Panther together because they portray the Germansí strange painting practice at the end of the war. Some vehicles only used the panzer yellow, due to shortages of paint, others had the vibrant ambush scheme of yellow, dark green and brown with added dots as can be seen on the Panther. The stripes on the gun barrel of the Panther are victory markings, indicating the number of destroyed enemy tanks in this case. The crew of this Panther is either grossly exaggerating, or the markings depict the number of kills the entire company did. Mind the lazy German resting against the tank. His brother can be found on diorama number 10, sleeping on top of a bunker.

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Diorama 7 - "Winter Diorama: German Eastern Front 1945"

Winter Diorama German Eastern Front 1944-45: This diorama is a little landscaping project of mine. I saw a picture of a mountainous winter scene and wanted to build a diorama with the same frosty feel to it. I used a lot of earth brown, bronze green and matted white on it, finishing it with glossy white, until I had the result I wanted. I added a Revell Stug IV, with markings of the 25th Panzer Division. I have no idea if they actually had any Stug IVís, all I know is that they fought on the Eastern Front, but as you already have to suspend belief to see the Revell kit as a accurate Stug IV, I thought the accuracy of the markings wouldnít matter either. The other Tank is a ESCI Panther Ausf A, and this isnít an accurate model either. In fact, there are all sorts of things wrong with it and the Revell Panthers are better models, but I donít care; I love the ESCI (Italeri) model. The tank crews are Preiser figures in summer dress, probably feeling nippy, the marching soldiers are from Fine Cast Models in Germany.

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Diorama 8 - "Panther Column; German Western Front 1945"

Panther Column: This diorama depicts the Panther Ausf A and G from Revell in the final stages of the war on the Western Front. I damaged the G severely and added chipped zimmerit using putty, after that I tried out various weathering techniques as the tank repair and carwash was out of business at the end of the war. I mutilated an American half track and added some ESCI figures and another diorama was born.

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Diorama 9 - "Tribute to a Friend"

My best friend is a lady called Kate. Iíve known her for more than 20 years. Kate likes Vietnam movies and is a big fan of the TV series M.A.S.H. One day, she asked me when I was going to build her a diorama, so I asked her what she would like. It was no surprise that she said that it should be a Vietnam diorama and that it should have Rambo on it. The Esci Vietnam figures set has a figure in it just like Rambo and if I do my painting right, it should be no problem to spot him. The jungle outpost is a kit by Airfix, with a complete scratch built interior.

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