German Rail Diorama

This is my first attempt at a proper Diorama. First up is Sabre Models 80T Plattformwagen 6 Axle. We’ll see how it goes.

First up are the bogies. I ignored the assembly instructions as you would need at least three pairs of hands to assemble it the way Sabre want.

So the bogies were built up without the wheels to make painting etc. easier.

Next up was the flatbed.

Now ready for priming.

All the wood areas covered in a light brown and then “planks” masked off in stages and given various shades.


Awesome! I’ve got the two axel version.
You have to tell us more about the build.


Looking like it built up nicely and the planking looks great… great idea about the weathering and finish on different planks as well mate.


Wow looks great. I have a flat car from Sabre in my stash. I’ll be following this.


Next after a coat of matt acrylic varnish an oil wash was applied along with some pigments and panel liner run along the space between the planks.

Wood masked off, german grey applied,decals and finally weathered.

If anyone could suggest how I go about attaching the track to the diorama base please say.

  1. Paint it first before putting on base.
  2. Not paint any of it and do it once attached.
  3. What would you use for glue and what sort of substrate to put it on?

Thank you.
@Dan @metalhead85 @Johnnych01
Next part of the puzzle is this:

and lots more practice figure painting!


Great ! Those are nice . Can’t wait to see it done


If the base is made of some type of putty, just push it into the putty.
Paint before or after each has it’s advantages.


Nice build Cats, especially like the wooden decking, extremely well done, :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:.

As a matter of interest, does such decking get chewed up with an almost 70 ton tracked vehicle driving on it, or was the speed so slow, and the spread of weight through the wide tracks enough to prevent such wear-and-tear?

Again, lovely build.

Cheers, :beer:,



I would imagine there would be a bit of wear and tear on those… Most the images I have seen, they load the wagon on at an angle, so then need to steer turn gently or neutral turn gently to straighten up on the flatbed … add that it’s done with steel track, they are bound to dig in a bit and cause a bit of damage over time.

If you compare that to how we used load our chieftains on ; we would load from the rear of the train and either the first wagon would have to drive on, or reverse on the whole length of the train …which absolutely no one liked doing … So track movement on ours was fairly minimal with only gentle movement to keep it straight… Then you’d have to endure the 20 hour train ride to Hohne, where we were the lowest priority on the rail network… Farm livestock was higher than us lol

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Thank you, the kit came with wood grain decals but I thought they were too uniform so opted for “DIY”.

As @Johnnych01 says the wear on the wood must have been considerable but despite there being quite a lot of pictures online of German military equipment on railcars I have not found one yet that shows the decking in its worn/degraded state.
For my diorama my tank will be on the decking tied down something like this:
note that it was not always a requirement that transport tracks needed to be fitted!
My vehicle which will be a E-75 loaded on it will have gotten aboard using this which I have got:

the whole diorama is intended to be a " somewhere in Europe 1946" what-if scene so apart from the base Trumpeter E-75 it is going to have this turret:ätze-kits-1/liste/henschel-turm/#cc-m-product-11301301721


Nice work.

I suggest paint it first before putting on base.

What would you use for glue and what sort of substrate to put it on?
If you want to show it in a yard or a load/unload spur, you can get away with having the track on the ground with minimal subroadbed. The idea of pressing it into some putty is good, or fill in around the ties with dirt or fine sand - which can be black as many sidings and yards were ballasted with cinders.

If you want to show it on a mainline or branch line, to be authentic, it should be elevated above the ground on roadbed with sloping sides, with crushed stone ballast level with the top of the ties.

Depending on what material you will use for the diorama base, I would simply glue the track down with a bit of superglue, epoxy, or Liquid Nails.

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I’d agree with others the flat-bed would likely be scuffed/scraped, sandpaper(s) being the weapon of choice. Assuming the rolling stock had been used multiple times to transport tanks they would surely show signs of wear & tear beyond just stains.

Personally I’d paint the tracks/sleepers first. I might even ensure no movement by pinning a couple of sleepers through the base with wire or similar - then, pile the ballast up against the sleepers to further keep the track in place, rather than risk glue seeping out.

Excellent project :+1: :+1:


Freight trains hauling garbage had a higher priority than we did. At least you could get a good nap in.


This is incredible. Great work!

Just two questions:

Weren’t turrets rotated to the rear?

Why wouldn’t IR gear be stowed?


Thank you for the suggestions.
I have sheets of insulating foam in various thicknesses and that will be the base of the trackbed.
I have modelling compound that is mixed with water and that will be the base over the foam and form the shoulders.
I am going to paint the track first as you suggest and have real crushed granite on order for the ballast.


Thank you.

AFAIK they would have been especially driving up the ramp as I assume there was a chance that the barrel would “dig in”.
As you can see this has the turret facing forward.

The model that is going to be on the flatbed is a E-75 which I have not made yet. I just put the KT on the flatcar to make it a more interesting picture. I’m sure your right the IR gear would have been stowed before loading.

Not easy to see but all the Tiger 1’s are with turrest facing forward.


Yes I have seen some models where the flatcar has marks like the rungs of a ladder running down the platform, so I will try and at least give a hint of something similar.

Yes I think I am going to do exactly that.

Thank you, Long way to go yet and my nemesis may well be the figure painting.


D’OH! I realized that after I posted…Stupid me!

I am definitely not an expert on rail transportation for panzers.

I did read though that the striped MNH camo on Panther Gs is thought by some to not continue to horizontal portions in order to protect from air attack.


Super nice build you have going here. I have the Sabre model in my stash but am a little daunted bu all the detail.

I am highly impressed with your wood deck staining job. Doing it your way will make my build much easier. On my Dragon 4-axle flatcar I replaced the decking with individually stained & distressed plastic “boards.” Very labor intensive but produced a similarly good affect.