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“Stealing Time”

This feature will be a Step By Step article on making a winter diorama. I hope everyone enjoys reading the article as much as I did making the diorama. To start with, this diorama is my entry for the "Ardennes Offensive" Campaign here on Armorama. So lets get down to it and start with how to decide what to build.

The Background
The Ardennes Offensive was the brain child of Adolph Hitler. Hitler sent the German forces through the Ardennes forest with his winter assault repeating history as it was done in his invasion in May of 1940. The only difference is that Hitler was now unsteady and clinging to the hope that his surprise attack could once again be repeated. It was a terrible gamble, as it hinged on being able to seize allied fuel supplies. This was critical because his army was low on fuel.

The Scene
With this information I started working on what I wanted in my diorama. First I decided I wanted a knocked out allied tank or even just a disabled one. I'm making the setting based on the early days of the offensive. This was when the Allied troops were confused and retreating. I decided to use a Sherman tank for this.

Next I needed an Axis AFV. I had a good amount to choose from, but have always wanted to do a Hetzer. It seemed appropriate as the Hetzer really shined during this operation. I also wanted a third vehicle and decided on a Schwimmwagen. What type of scene do I want here? An urban dio? The campaign region dictated this. The Ardennes region is a mismatch of evergreen trees and farm lands with rolling hills. So a roadside scene with the tall evergreen trees is in order.
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About the Author

About Kevin Gardner (jackhammer81)

When I was a kid I built my first tank at around 10 years old it was a 1/48 scale tamiya m60 motorized. I did a few 1/48 bandai kits as well. then I jumped to model cars for the next few years, around the age of 15 I started back into armor and mostly did the 1/32 monogram stuff. I quit modeling whe...


Fantastic dio and great article...congrats bro. The final is perfect as always.
JUL 10, 2005 - 08:22 PM
Super work. The trees look great, along with the rest of the groundwork. The Wolf figures add to the cold look of things! Cheers Andy
JUL 12, 2005 - 11:28 AM
Thats a very fine piece of work. Its always nice to see b/w photos of dios. They seem more realistic and fantastic than they already are. Thanks for sharing Simon
JUL 12, 2005 - 09:12 PM
Jackhammer, Outstanding work! The pines and ground cover are excellent! Good to see someone else who is espousing model railroad supplies. Last week I was at the NMRA 2005 Nat Con and watched Mr. Bragdon demonstrate some of his products. Bought a bag of the pine boughs. I was considering doing a review of them, would you consider it, as you already have the pix and "how-to"? I'll be viewing more of this diorama. Appears that your figures are more in natural posture than usual. Great job!
JUL 15, 2005 - 11:52 AM
It's an awesome dio! Lots of realism and action going on in small groups that draw the attention of the viewer! Very well built! Very well painted and weathered! what can one say more! A marvel! Congratulations! Cheers and happy modelling! Prato
JUL 16, 2005 - 05:50 AM
Hi Everyone, I am really glad you like the article. I am glad it came out easy to read and follow. Fred, as far as the bragdon branches go...I'm out of them I would have loved to do a review on them but I am busy working on a couple more grass reviews and some other items I have seen in railroad sections of the hobby shops and having been brain storming with my lhs owner, so there are going to be some more coming from me in this area. I would love to see you do the bragdon review. If there are any questions I can help with please let me know. Cheers Kevin
JUL 16, 2005 - 08:47 AM
I'm amazed! I've printed this off and am using it as guidance for my first dio ever, which will be of the Battle of the Bulge.
MAY 29, 2007 - 09:10 PM
Sam, it's nice to see you going through the feature section, and finding useful, and helpful articles.
MAY 29, 2007 - 11:09 PM
Very encouraging. Thanks. Could you give any advice here? LINK
MAY 29, 2007 - 11:25 PM
Sam, just checked, seems you already got some great and simple suggestions. Good luck, and hopefully you'll post some photos of those trees after you make them.
MAY 30, 2007 - 04:49 AM