What in the Hell is That?

A diorama just for fun. I seldom build anything other than historical reality (at least that’s my intent.) But in this case…

In the last days of the war, an American patrol stumbles onto a well-hidden, German production facility housed in a disused railroad tunnel, deep in the Bavarian woods.

They’re astounded to find one of Hitler’s newest Wunderwaffe (wonder weapons), almost ready for deployment. It’s a frightening sight!

“What in the hell is that?” one of them asks, astounded.

“I don’t know, but I’m glad we didn’t have to fight one of them.” Replied the other.

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It’s a Sd. Kfz. 421, also known as the ‘EisenRitter’ (Iron Knight), also known as a ‘Kugelfest Landser’ (bullet-proof infantryman)

The Knights (3 of them) are from Hasegawa’s ‘Maschinen Krieger’ Sci-Fi product line. I stumbled across one of the kits at ModelZona, a few years ago, and it sat in my stash until I finally dreamed up a diorama concept where I could put it to use.

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What 2 B&W

I always like to PhotoShop-convert to Black and White images - close to real period photos to see how ‘real’ I can make my dioramas look.

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What 15 B&W

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What 10 B&W

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Constructing the railroad tunnel was a lot of fun. I followed the methods provided by the ‘Marklinofsweden’ on YouTube channel – those train guys have a lot of experience building groundwork!

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It’s all insulation foamboard, layered vertically front to back. The interior is ‘bricked’ using a Tamiya sheet. The crane base is more Lego blocks.

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As always, I wanted to keep the base to under 30cm in any dimension. I barely succeeded.

All of the manufacturing gear is from various MiniArt and Tamiya kits. (Bless the MiniArt guys, and their poor beleaguered country.)

The US figures are Alpine with Hornet heads used to provide that astounded (‘holy sh.t!’) look.

I use the excellent Hornet heads often. But this time I had a problem with them. I bought a set of faces with a frightened or surprised expression to use on the soldiers. They’re all bald – helmetless. When I searched through my collection of American helmets, from various manufactures, all of them looked too small to fit the heads – or the heads were too big for the helmets. They just didn’t look right, no matter how I cut, shaved or hollowed either the heads or the helmets.

Has anyone else had the same problem? Can you suggest a manufacturer who sells US or German helmets that fit the bald Hornet heads? I wonder if some of their head sets are better suited for 54mm figures, who are closer to 1/32 scale.

As a result, I’m not as pleased with the facial expressions on those two troopers looking back at the viewer, as I’d hoped to be.

In any case, I think it makes for an interesting and entertaining, ‘what-if’ story.

Thanks for your feedback, Ralph.


Can’t comment on the heads, but what a stunning diorama! I love it!

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Way cool idea for SF3D

The suits look like something out of the movie “Sucker Punch”. Well done.

Very clever, and great scratch building… Fantastic detailing as well… everything goes together perfectly :+1:

That’s a cracking dio you’ve dreamed up there- really nice elements that work well together. The workshop is nicely kitted out and the brick tunnel is a very realistic piece with the soot soiling around the top. The figures are great too- I like the way you have them spaced out so you can see all the elements.

Fantastic story telling here.

“Verrrry interesting!” :+1: :+1: :+1: :+1:
:grin: :canada:

Love it. Excellent diorama idea. Job well done. :clap:

Very cool concept; outstanding execution.

Innovative and very creative scenario, to say the least. Great story telling and great figure work, IMHO!

This is great and yes, they make the MaK SF3D armored suits in 1/35 scale now.

This is the first time I’ve seen anyone use those 1/35 Sci-Fi armored suits in such a setting. Nicely done!

Moved back to Armor/AFV, even though it doesn’t fit the category.

@ Bravo36 (Ralph).
They can move you all they want, but I will find you! Haha!

Your concept is very well thought out and I find it absolutely entertaining! I like it a lot! :smiley:

Yup. Some of the Hornet “Baldies” are real meat-heads! On the other hand, I’ve noticed some DML helmets seem too big. I have some helmets from ‘ShapeWays’ but they still didn’t look quite right. Ultimately, to fit a ‘ShapeWays’ helmet I took a “meat-head” to the barber where he went into the care of Dr. Franken-Figure. The cranium top was removed and around the ears was carved, then much material was removed on the bulbous back and down along the neck. … Seemed to work. HTH.

What comes outa’ the spares box is real hit or miss… or sometimes I just get down-right lucky!

Cheers! :military_helmet:

I think you did a wonderful job.The helmets look good to me and the back story is excellent!. Well done.


Thanks. I’ll have to look at those shape ways helmets

I gave upon those oversized heads and used others that came helmeted. They’re not what I wanted, but close

Now you just need to put a Haunebu Saucer in the back of the tunnel!

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That’s really rather good!