Breaking the Ice

Following my earlier ‘Shadowing the Bear’ diorama,
here is another one, featuring HMS Revenge breaking
through the Arctic Ice.
Both this and the Soviet Victor III Class submarine are
included in Dragon’s 1/700-scale ‘Modern Sea Power’
kit (ref. 7007).



That’s a gem of a scene Paul! What did you make the huts and the flag out of?

Beautiful work!

…now why to I feel like it needs more zebras…

Karl187 & Mousemuffins,

Thanks for the compliments.
The prefabricated buildings in the background (based on photos of an Arctic scientific research station) were made from sections of a felt-tip marker pen, with scratch-built details added for the windows and doors. The flag was simply a rectangle cut from a Rizla cigarette paper (perfect for this scale), with the design drawn on using red and blue ballpoint pens, and attached to a pole made from a cut-down sewing needle.

Yes, vaguely reminiscent of the film ‘Ice Station Zebra’, but much later.


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This is awesome. Just finished reading Ice Station Zebra, actually.

How did you make the ice? It looks quite realistic.



Many thanks.
This is my method for recreating the Arctic ice:

  1. Take a picture frame, with the glass left in place.

  2. Apply a bead of CA superglue around the edge of the glass, and allow to dry.
    (This is important for step 4).

  3. Tape a sheet of blue/green translucent plastic to the underside of the glass.

  4. Heat a quantity of wax granules (obtained from a craft store) in a pan until they become liquid.
    (Alternatively, a large white candle can be broken up into small pieces).

  5. Having decanted the liquid into a jug, carefully pour this over the entire surface of the glass.
    (By this time, the liquid is cool enough so as not to crack the glass).

  6. Allow the wax to return to its solid state
    (During this time, do not move the frame, as this may cause the liquid to spill over the edges).

  7. Place the completed waterline model of the submarine on the ‘ice’ surface, draw a line around
    it, and cut away the shape with a hobby knife.
    (Do not discard the pieces, as these will be needed later).

  8. Fix the submarine in place using CA superglue, and position the pieces of wax around the hull to
    give the impression of chunks of broken ice.

  9. Apply a liberal coat of PVA white glue to the ‘ice’ surface, and follow with an overall layer of white
    ‘silica sand’.
    (I found this product in a shop that provides products for aquariums).

  10. Once the surface is completely dry, carefully brush away the excess silica sand, and
    remove selected portions around the submarine to show the exposed ice.

I hope that helps.



Yes, Paul, that helps a lot. Thanks! Now I just need a submarine. :joy:



If you are looking for something in 1/700 scale, I can recommend the Dragon set, ‘Modern Sea Power’ (ref. 7007). As mentioned earlier, the set includes two submarines: HMS Revenge & Soviet Victor III Class (both with the option of full-hull or waterline); and two each of the Sea Sprite and Lynx helicopters. Actually, I used neither of these in this scene; the helicopter here is a Royal Navy Sea King.


Thanks. Yes, I’d be looking for something in 1/700 scale, but I’m not sure exactly what. Maybe a Los Angeles-class. Who knows. Wouldn’t want to replicate your scene exactly.



Evidently, Hobby Boss have a 1/700-scale Los Angeles Class in their list. I’m not sure whether it’s still in production, but there appear to be several available on e-bay. If you were looking for something in 1/350-scale, Riich Models also have the Los Angeles Class in their list.



Lovely Dio Mate…CHeers mark


Many thanks … much appreciated!


Probably would not want to use an early 688 class for an artic ice scene. The sail planes don’t go vertical and they would bend or break off if they were forced through the ice. Pretty sure early 688’s didn’t/don’t go “under the ice”. Can’t tell you how I know this, cuz, you know….reasons. The later version (688i) has bow planes which would work. Definitely use something with bow planes


Thanks for that information. I guess that is knowledge from experience.

So, jimb, forget my idea of the Los Angeles sub.


I did spend quite a bit of my enlistment under water onboard USS Baton Rouge (SSN689) back in the eighties. We were quite shocked at many of the details narrated in”The Hunt for Red October” at the time. Wikipedia will tell you things I won’t. 637 class went up there and newer boats probably do.