By Mark Frauenfelder at 8:51 am Mon, May 18, 2009
Mike says: "A disturbingly detailed model of the Battle of Stalingrad."
And every girlfriend I’ve ever had used to laugh at me when I told them the truth about why I said I preferred to stay in a couple nights a week and “work on things around the house” or something; I was working on my models.
Or the one’s who’d tease me about my giant shelf of meticulously detailed model tanks and figures in the bedroom.
For once, daylight has shown in on the reclusive few hunched over their benches, addled by paint fumes and retina scarring work lights, hands dried and cracked from mineral spirits and cyano acrylate….
These few desperately trying to get that zimmerit just right on their early Panther G, or tediously taking notes as they struggle to find that perfect mix of OD #4 to paint the straps on that M1936 musette bag which were so carefully cut from lead foil, or putting the final brush strokes and dustings of crushed pastel to complete the absurdly detailed M8 Greyhound interior that no one will ever see…
Light has shown on these secret greats who ardently dedicate themselves to pedantically recreating the past in exact 1:35 scale; those who face the eye rolls and jeers of friends, family, wives and girlfriends.
And this light shows them for the artists they, we, truly are.
Artists whose work is only shown in basements, bedrooms, studies, dingy shops and esoteric websites; and whose fruits, that they so carefully labor over for hundreds of hours always manage to get fucking smashed when they move… I don’t know how, but every damn time something gets destroyed no matter how well I pack it or even carry it on my friggin lap the entire way…
Anyway, about this light…
For once these geeks have had the shadows washed away and are getting the widespread due as the master builders and historians and experts they are.
I’m NOT the biggest nerd on the planet!
All I have in that big shelf on the wall!
This guy built friggin Stalingrad!
I’m just the biggest nerd you ever slept with, Luz Aurora!
I hate to say, but there were no Tiger tanks in the battle for stalingrad.. Nice Dio thought.
This must have taken years. When I was a kid, a friend and I made our own WWII city battlefield on a 4x* sheet of plywood, complete with homemade houses that we burned in the backyard for realism.
We used Britains Ltd. soldiers.
here’s how the pros do it: http://www.changeofcommand.com/
They’re my friends, and they are a business, but you can admire the work on their site for free.
This is awe inspiringly amazing. When I was a kid growing up in the Long Beach area in the 70’s and early 80’s, one of the places I used to buy my Dungeons & Dragons books at was called The Military Shop in Lakewood Center. They had role playing books en mass but what they really specialized in was military models. What they used to have though that many didn’t know about was downstairs in the basement. They had actual WWII memorabilia and WWII dioramas like in the pictures above. More museum than anything else. They closed the basement museum after awhile but I used to love going down there with my uncle who was a WWII veteran B-29 crew member who had many horror stories to tell.
I think these pics are awesome. Thank you for the link.
A panzerfaust? In Stalingrad??
The SS troops are fishy. No large units of SS were engaged in the city. I don’t think any large units of Fallschirmjaegers were engaged either.
The sniperess should be better concealed.
The Panzerfaust and Tiger are both anachronistic. The Tiger was first used in combat in the attempt to relieve Stalingrad. The Panzer IV is shown with Schurzen. The T-34 looks like a T-34/85.
If you like EBM you might enjoy the video linked above.
EWF, It is likely met your friends at “the Toy Soldier” some years back. Small world.
“Not one step back”. . . because with a diorama this big you will need several steps back to take it all in.
is that a disturbingly detailed diorama of a battle, or a detailed diorama of a disturbing battle?
The former makes for a good headlines, the latter makes for a good history lesson.
I’d go for the former, MDH. The history seems a bit loose. The captions reference SS troops, and some of the images show a Tiger tank, neither of which were present at the battle of Stalingrad.
I rather wish there were at least a couple shots from a greater distance to see the size of the whole thing, instead of purely closeups.
Very nice! Us Warhammer 40K guys would LOVE to be this good!
Nice poem Mastercontroller!
If there’s anything to be said about this disturbing detail, it’s that it’s disturbingly dense. You gotta let dioramas breathe. But I do like the cumulative effect of seeing all the pictures at once. They have a sort of sameness which brings a semblance of order to all that chaos.
How is it possible that nobody has noticed that he also did…..
…..The Battle of Helm’s Deep?
#5: I agree, though I think it’s partly the photography. They really need to tilt/shift, or at least reduce the depth of field by a significant amount. That would provide a sense of depth (obviously), and allow the eye to focus on the most impartant parts of the diorama.
I immediately thought of Hell and Fucking Hell by the Chapman Brothers.
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