Berlin, May 1945 mini-diorama by BringupthePIAT

Calling almost finished on this small diorama I made for a Russian/Ukrainian mate of mine who is having an understandably tough time of things lately. His Ukrainian granddad was at the spearhead of Rokossovskiy’s Second (corrected, thanks Dan) Belorussian Army Front all through 1944 and 1945. He was from Nikopol apparently. He lived through the war and died in the 80s. Ive always been taken with the old black and white photos of the Battle of Berlin; the stark ruined buildings, the rubble, the dust and the huge great hulking shapes of Soviet assault guns carrying the shock troops into battle and demolishing whole buildings with huge HE shells.

This was a quite easy shake and bake sort of thing, 122 hours total. The SU152 is Trumpeter, (I added casting textures to the plating and especially front glacis, also redid the weld seams to make them look super rough) the figures are Tamiya and the building is a RT Dio plastercast effort. I wanted to capture the rubble, the dust etc and as of now it looks okay but I’m going to add some pigments and small stones to the cobbles as they look too clean, before i hand it over to my friend.

I’m still not happy with the way the figures look but they are okay for this and they do look good on the tank. I like the dynamic poses and the way they interact.

I am celebrating two years in military modeling as a hobby this month and this is only the second ever diorama Ive ever done. So more than anything I wanted to test myself with some new techniques and ways of doing things, chiefly rendering concrete using oil paints on top of acrylics, producing piles of rubble and debris that look even semi realistic and bringing everything together on a fairly small little base. All in all there are still some issues, but i’m reasonably happy with it as a good result for 122 hours work and it is a really nice gift which I know he will love so there’s that.

Before I hand it over i’m going to - as mentioned - add some dust pigments and tiny stones to the cobbles and the red sign, and also give it a thick matt coat as there are still some bits that are too shiny. I might also try to do something about the silvering on the decals. The headlight I left the clear part out as I wanted to paint it silver and then simulate broken glass around the base to look like it had been shattered by machine gun fire. I will do this before I hand it over. I also think the blue street sign needs a wash round the edges as it looks too stark as it is.

Does anyone have any comments or feedback for me on this?


Really nice work. I wish my second- or third or fourth- diorama looked that good. Love the SU-152.

Just FYI, 3rd Belorussian Front was never commanded by Rokossovskii. You may be thinking of the 2nd Belorussian Front, which he commanded from Nov 1944 till the end of the war.

Sorry, second yes you are right.

Thank you for your kind comments. Much appreciated, Dan cheers.

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Looks pretty awesome to me…good job!

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thanks mate.

I think it came excellent. The ISU-152 looks excellent with its missing fenders and all. The building and figs came great as well. I always wanted to do a diorama like this. I was always very interested by the pictures of the battle of Berlin as well. Really excellent job.

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Thanks metalhead - it has inspired me a bit to do a much bigger one in the future, same theme but a lot more going on. Such a cool subject.

Very cool! I think your friend will like it!

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Really nice Chris. Will be a special little reminder for the bloke who get sit. Whole thing looks cool from every angle and I like the black and white one … would be cool if you had a Berlin panorama image as the backdrop. Lovely work.


Very nice piece Chris. I like the size of it- the vertical bit always draws in the eye well and you’ve got the ISU positioned just right beside it- not a vehicle easily overshadowed by a building that’s for sure! I like the contrast painting you’ve achieved on it with the highlights and shadows- plus the wear and tear is added to all the right places. As for the building and base you’ve done grand job there too- the cobbles have a good bit of color and dirt plus the rubble is well shaded and detailed, mostly out of the roadway. Your work on the building is great too- really brings it to life nicely. Your figure work is first rate too, all the uniforms look correct and they are a nicely animated bunch.

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Thanks so much guys, much appreciated.