here I present my work. I create dioramas in the time period of World War II and everything only in the scale 1/144. My main focus are tanks but from time to time a take a look at submarines, interesting airplanes and small ships.
this summer we made a lot of bike tours around the area where we live.
As this is very close to the river Rhine, which is the
borderline between Germany and Switzerland, you can see a lot of Swiss Bunkers.
On one of these tours we found something very special.
In the middle of a small village I saw the rest of a tank wall to protect the
valley against German tanks. This wall, made from concrete is in between the
houses and not very easy to discover.
village Zeiningen is one of the entrances to go deeper into Switzerland. If you
take a look at Google maps, you can see it. The other entrance would be Magden,
and there you can find a tank wall to close to open area, several Bunkers on
the side of the valley and some really big dragon theeths.
Today I show a German Bunker with a 12 cm gun, somewhere in Europe. As always, I built everything in my favorite scale 1/144. The foundation is a piece of foam. The trees I bought some time ago. Everything was cut of from the bigger piece of foam and then covers with an layer of sand, glue and a nit of gypsum. The Bunker itself is cut off from a second piece of foam and then later I pained it several times with gray paint. The wall was done in the same technique. The wall and the stones on the front side are engraves with several tools and the rest was only paint. About the Bunker: The Bunker is similar to one I saw on an Italian forum. The Germans built in a lot of countries their Bunkers. In Italy the situation was a bit different. In France they had the Maginot line close to the German Borderline. On the coast, from Spain to the Nederlands, the Germans built their Atlantic Wall. In between there where a lot of gabs, so do not believe it was a closed line. In Norway and Denmark the Germans built the same types of Bunkers as in France and in the Nederlands. But why was Italy different? Italy was, at the beginning they were Allied. Italy started to build their one Bunkers, and like the Germans, most times they used standardized types. I remember that on some spots close to the coast, the Germans built their own Regelbauten on Italian ground. So we had here both, mixed together, German pillboxes, Italian pillboxes, bigger arrangements with heavy artillery against any landing trials. Further more the Italians built a lot of road blockades to close down important roads. So it is not that impossible, that my German Bunker could be close to the Italian coastline. I hope you like this small diorama.
As the numbers of my German swimming fleet is growing, I decided to hire some real German Marines. These volunteers I found in the Ukraine, yes that country about which we here at the moment only bad news about fighting and killing. The company is called "NorthStar" and they offer four sets of German marines. I bought several weeks ago, two sets. Besides the very long shipping time, there is nothing to say, the quality is outstanding and the material easy to handle. If you want to order your own sets: here is the link to their homepage. And here the German marines.
Thanks to a friend of us from France, we went yesterday to a very interesting location. The beginning of the front line in World war I between Germany and France. This so called Kilometer Zero is located close to the Swiss border and at the time the war started, it was a triangle between Germany, France and Switzerland. A French organization started to restore the old Bunkers and Fortifications from WWI and to present them to the public. Okay, at the moment it is hard to find them inside the Forrest, but you can see, that they work an better signs and a better guide. As the are all volunteers and do not have much money, you have to be patient. Here some impressions for our sightseeing tour.
Close to the small village Pfetterhouse you find the fortifications of France, Switzerland and Germany.
A picture from a recent event
At the entrance to the Forrest you can find this sign with the locations of all Bunkers and Fortifications
A German pillbox
a second pillbox, but in a much better condition
this is one of the best restored Bunkers, but the work hard to bring the others to the same state
a French pillbox, close to the Swiss Border
The Swiss Army restored this nice wooden pillbox, which protected the Swiss Borderline
Just cross the small fiver and you are in Switzerland. But you need valid papers!
Today I present my new diorama with something special in relation to the past D-Day celebrations.
This Bunker was a special version, remember, the Germans built all over Europe always standardized forms of Bunkers. But for some reasons, in France, close to the beaches they built several times this unusual Bunktertype.
The Opel Maultier I have now for many years in my collection. But just some weeks ago I came up with the idea to build the cabin for the ambulance version. As always the work was done on my computer with my 3D program. After printing I had to paint it and to add the ladder at the end of the cabin. In total not that much work, but I like it, as the range of ambulance vehicles in the scale 1/144 is not that big.
I plan to build something new, not in a relation to any tank, but at least in relation to Bunkers. To build some of the bigger Bunkers like the U-Boot-Bunkers (submarine Bunkers), the Germans used heavy equipment. Besides narrow gauge trains they used cranes and shovels. On old pictures you can see, they used what ever was available. So I designed everything from scratch with my 3D program.
The first look on the computer screen
the first prototype
after some painting
As you can see, still a lot to do, and maybe I have to change the arm, for me it looks too long.
When the Germans reached the channel, they wanted to Great Britain. But at that time neither the Wehrmacht nor the Kriegsmarine was ready for this jump. While the Luftwaffe started their fight for the power over Britain's skies, the Wehrmacht and Kriegsmarine tried every idea
So they came up with tons of ideas. The Siebel Ferry was developed, the Marinefährphrams came up and many more ideas. One of these Engineers was Hauptmann Siebel. As he was in service with the Luftwaffe, he knew, that there were a lot of no longer used engines from Messerschmitts.
A not so good idea was, to put some existing pontoons together to bring, in combination with a no longer used engine from a Messerschmidt Me 109, a tank to the British shores. These were called B-Fähre 40. I found no pictures and in the standard Book about German ships, Gröner I found in book #7 only one interesting fact. The Wehrmacht made trials with 3 engines form other boats while the Luftwaffe worked with the Messerschmitt engine.
While I used a French tank, the Germans planed to transport a Panzer II or Panzer 38 over the channel.
Some words about my model, the sea is made with silicone and white paint. The Ferry is a complete 3D design. Of course more details would have been possible but I stopped at one point. The good thing is, as there are not so much information or pictures, nobody can say, that detail is wrong.
The Famo in 1/144 is nothing new, but to use him on a Diorama the model looked a bit naked. With the big storage and nothing on it, no that does not looks good. As I already had built the spade for the Famo, I came up with a new project. the Famo with the Bilstein crane. I remember some years ago you could buy this model from a small company in Japan, but is was not that cheap. So I decided to build the crane by myself. First a short overview about the cranes in use with the German Panzerwaffe: The German Army had for their maintenance several types of cranes.
Büssing with an Bilstein 3 ton crane (a 4,5 ton truck)
sZgkw. 18t. with the Bilstein 6 ton crane.
Friescrane with 15, later 16 ton lifting capacity, often in combination with a Hanomag tractor
All other cranes do not belonged to the maintenance units. For my model I used the Famo from PanzerDepot. The model looks good and it is easy to put into his parts.
After some work with a screw driver I have disassembled everything I need. The most critical point is, not to damage the front wheels. I my case I made a perfect work, they broke both.
After some smaller work I could glue the new platform on the frame. The white part I designed some weeks ago and got it printed by Shapeways.
Further I plan to use my new Bergegeschirr, which I had designed in 3D as well. Here you can see it in an first attempt with a Bergepanther and a Panther
The Famo some time later. I have added some smaller parts to let the set look a bit more in constant use.
The Famo with the Bilstein crane after the first painting.
Next step I had to finalize the painting and to add a soft cover for the cabin.