28mm WW1 Diorama – Communications Team – Part 1

The weather in England, as pointed out by Just Needs Varnish in his most recent post, remains unsettled.  I beleive the technical term given out on the SouthWest Weather report referred to it as “f’ing awful” but I may have miss heard.  However, for every ying there is a yang and the good news is that the full on winter modelling season has been extended into spring.  Hooray!  As a consequence work has begun and is well underway on this the penultimate model in my WW1 Timeline sequence.

One of the things I wanted to avoid with the various WW1 stuff I have done to date were stereotypical trench scenes and tank dioramas and so far I think I have achieved this.  Not that I have anything against trenches or tanks but there were many other stories to be told I wanted to try to tell those.  Nevertheless trenches are hard to avoid completely and so this diorama does have a trench feel but I hopefully not a dominating one.

The emphasis on this little diorama is communications, a key component in any war but one which rarely gets highlighted.  How many WW2 action films have there been as a ratio to the film “The Imitation Game” for example?  To be fair communication as a subject probably doesn’t make for the best box office figures but you get my drift as to the importance of the subject I’m sure.

I’m not sure if the scene when complete will represent an accurate portrayal but it puts the subject out there and gave me an opportunity to paint a pigeon, surprisingly something I’ve never done before (I have however been “shat” upon by many a pigeon in Trafalgar Square!).

Progress so far consists of figures in various states of painting and ground work almost complete.  Construction of the base enabled me to recycle what I can only describe as various bits of “rubbish” which would otherwise have ended up in a land fill site somewhere so I’m feeling good knowing that modelling can be good for the environment too.

Progress pictures below.



17 thoughts on “28mm WW1 Diorama – Communications Team – Part 1

  1. Well said , my father was a artillery signaller in WW11 in the fight against the Japanese and said the same thing ,scary crawling around in the dark looking for a broken communication line while shells soared overhead . He always said there were a lot of aspects of war that where essential but not so glamorous as you have pointed out ,so well done for covering these mate , looking forward to seeing the finished result .

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    1. Cheers Pat. Well your dad was certainly right, very little has been done since the end of the war to give some of these people and what they did the recognition they deserve. If it doesn’t make good TV or have a chance of being Hollywood box office then it remains in the dark. Not sure the finished diorama will be the best I’ve ever produced but the aim was to cover something relevant and important and if I achieve that then so well and good.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right , it won’t be your best ,because if you are like me you keep learning new tricks ( god I miss that show ) ,like the trees you have shown us ,after the regulation Easter activity organized by the three that have to succumb to , picnic in the hills, I was able to try your tree making post , ok ,a little big first off but after a couple of tries I feel more confident , sorry mate the painting bit , can you explain that a bit more for a simple Aussie ( we can’t even tamper a bloody cricket ball properly ) so what hope have I . I use the sandpaper , sorry the static grass and it seemed to work well , I only had 5mm left , would you have used a lesser mill to get in amongst the fibres . Now as about the string I feel you are right ,experimentation !

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      2. Great to hear you’ve had a go at the trees. It does take practice and having the right materials helps. To be honest I got lucky with the string, I just happend to have something that worked a treat out in the garage. The string I had was a good brown branch kind of colour so all I did was apply the static grass. Some strings are very white in colour, ideal for the job but not the right colour for branches. This is where you might want to paint before applying the static grass. I would suggest either spraying (aerosol or airbrush) or perhaps simply dipping which might be good if you have few to do. As for the static grass mine was 2mm. Hope this makes sense!

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      3. Heh mate ! I have had the prefect day in regards to my quest to emulate you fir trees ,first I found some sisal string which is a little bit coarser than the brown furry stuff I started out with and after an afternoon off experimenter I found out by mixing a bit of each I can up with a suitable material , the end result was great ,knocked up a dozen in two hours ,a little spray paint here and there and the 2mm static grass sprinkled on and they came up so well . So good a method that I can see how I can use this to knock up some hawthorn bushes for my next diorama on the English civil war . I used most of your suggestions and with a lot of fun messing around in the shed away from you know who I came up with some really good specimens , I found the 2mm static grass was the way to go as it did get right into the gaps the 5mm was to long and only stuck to the outsides . I also like the colour variants you advised , that worked really well . Thanks ,you have made an old guy really happy .

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      4. So glad you got there. Like most things there is a trial and error element to it but once you crack it I think this method is really great. Easy once you know and have the materials which best work for you. I just can’t get over the fact that they can be made without glue. I shall expect to see a post or two in the not to distant future! I’d also be pleased to hear and see some pictures on how your Hawthorne bushes work out, sounds very nice interesting.


      5. Sorry ,see I do need technical advise . I will try to put up some pictures soon when one of the technical advisers are free ,young people there always so busy , if this all fails you will see them on the next two dioramas . I’m nearly done painting all the troops for the retreat to Corunna diorama and today started on the base ,so hopefully the finished job won’t be to far away .

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As always, looking forward to seeing this finished! Good idea, theme on communications, but set against the trench backdrop that most people will be familiar with!
    And I have painted one pigeon! I used the old Airfix WW1 figure from the French infantry set to represent an artillery signaller for my late-war French army (unless I’ve misinterpreted the representation and it’s actually a lunch basket the guy’s getting the pigeon out of)!

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Curses, my secret’ s out! Back into the Witness Protection Scheme (again) for me then!
        I really do need to watch every Blackadder episode again, it’s been too long since I’ve seen them! I particularly liked the slug balancer!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks mate, I felt that the static grass I used was too long to get in amongst the string fibres , I will get some 2mm and try that before rushing out on a quest for the allusive string .

    Liked by 1 person

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