Koktebel diorama blog

More model making (the T-26)

Well, the internet is a great place to find reference -especially on Russian stuff. So between walkarounds and online books I finally foudn out how was done most of the interior for that T-26 tank, plenty of plasticard. I still have to do all the cases and stuff on each side of the direction bar.

T-26 russian tank interior modelling

So here is another view of the inside with the opening for the rear wheel.

here is the front and top of the T-26, lots of  Scale Hardware rivets added as well as a few PE details (that were left from the King Child diorama)

T-26 russian tank interior and exterior

Some modeler cliché perhaps? okay, "PE hell", accurate for those Aber fenders, the are really hard to solder 

T-26 russian tank Aber fenders






Fitting yes. I think that's one of the thing that lack the most in diorama making. You've got some terrain, some guys standing, some vehicles.. But the only real attempt at making the whole fit is to make some foot or tracks traces on the floor.

I try to go a bit beyond that lately, first by completely integrating the ice in my Pam Azova, this time by integrating *people* on the vehicle. But then it's fig sculpting and this is not my strong point.

Anyway, here's a close to slip guy as integrated on the rear of the T-26

dead of T-26 tank


More figure sculpting (there is 4 on the workbench right now)

dead man in 1:35

More Diorama pleasures

Friul T-26 tracks are really very small, you need a lot to do the whole of the tank. I still have 10 cms to do.

Very expensive to buy, Very tedious to build but they really look awesome in the end.

Friul T-26 tracks


.. So when I get bored with those I keep on sculpting my figures. One tank pilot and 3 soldiers.

Magic Sculp and Duro green stuff as usual.

russian soldiers sculpting in progress

Yamato -The Golden surfer


A few short weeks ago, someone in a Francophone forum (might be Canadian) gave some links to both my site and some Per Olav Lund dioramas -do you think I got a positive mention? nope I didn't! I guess that by seeing the first page of my site with all those dead guys,  people passed to something else. Oh never mind.
Truth is i suspended the work on that T-26 till the end of september. The reason? I am invited to Model in Action in Einhoven Nederlands so I thought I would bring something special.
That's it, a brand new waterlogged diorama with demented sea. The nicest thing is what i used as a base for that diorama. As I didin't want to use some unknown ship, I settled for maybe the best known and biggest battleship ever built -that is the Yamato.
Work in progress of course, I just began to detail the sea.

?? - ????? ?????

So "you can't model the smoke, you can't model the spray, you can't model the smell" -or can you?.. at least the spray :)

This time the water is 95% done and there will be no more in progress shots of this diorama before I fire it up. There are still some parts behind the flower which look  a bit unconvincing. Otherwise I managed to make the flying foam with some special wool which is not cotton, but that's something I will explain later as it's my own version on a trick first given by modeleur extraordinaire Jim Baumann.

And thanks to MAK star Lincoln Wright for translating me the title of this diorama in Japanese!

IJN Yamato 1/35 sea

IJN Yamato 1/35 sea

IJN Yamato 1/35 sea

Last update before SMC

So the week-end after next one I am going at SMC Eindhoven to show those dioramas. I will bring each I did since 2008 -starting with Sokol -all except Galilée which is too fragile.
This will be the first time they move out of my house so that's quite an event as far as I am concerned really -also because I don't intend to renew the experience before quite a bit of time. Now I think that one (the T-26 diorama) should be ready -and even if it isn't I will still bring it.

In the meantime here a few views of some details of the diorama, of course the ground is not yet burnt and there lacks quite  a few stones and sand and grass bits etc..

Of course, even the very light green and light sand tones are defined; there is still  a lot of colour correction that must be done!

Diorama T-26

diorama T-26

diorama T-26

SMC Eindhoven, best show in the world

So I walked out of SMC last sunday, a bit dazed by the whole day, and went to sit alone near the big pond near the venue. Then some majectic heron took out, the loop was looped. That was a great omen. Back to my bubble.
What can I say about SMC? The best modeling show in the world? best organisation I ever see? best friendship I ever came through? so many things really.., I truy to sum up..

Best thing : the overall friendship
Biggest surprise: A/ nobody talked models before the actual show, B there was actually quite a few people attending my own demo!
Biggest lesson taught: never get yourself photographed near german or Dutch model makers (Canadian and British ones as well I should add)  because they're mostly two times bigger than you are.
Best quote : "you should change nationality, as long as you stay French you won't be reckoned as a truly great modeller"
Best advice: from Mig really. And mr Van Gills as well, I will give it a thought..
Best thanks: to Everybody really, but especially to Robert and SMC who took an enormous risk in inviting somebody who never goes out of his house for such things
What I got out of it : A clearer view of what I like and don't like in model making, a truer view of what a model maker is like, and of the whole "scene". Truly great support from great modelers. Finally I got the confirmation of something I only guessed: fewer and fewer diorama makers these days, all the best then it's time to get new things, new ideas, a new vision of diorama making!


The picture is opne of the few I took: there is my dioramas near Mig's models, I was very happy about the amount of picture being taken of those! SMC my stand

Homemade Photoetch - Rhein Gold

When i changed my website earlier this year, all of my archives went down the drain. including everything related to Homemade Photoetch. So here is a bit of a reminder associated to my newest project.

Well first let's spend a bit of time on Inkscape or Illustrator (any vector graphic software) drawing this nice plan. Remember, there should be the less white possible because the white parts will be dissolved and you don't need to get your acid bath clogged too early.

Homemade PE -designing the fret with a vector graphic software

I use a regular HP desk lazer printer to printb this drwaing *4 times* on some transparent paper.

print the drawing for homemade photoetch

So why 4 times? that's because the drawing is not opaque enough with one print.

Do some sort of sandwich using some tape, 2 printings on the top of each other, because you're going to insert the brass sheet betwwen each of those 2 coats.

Cut the photoresist coated brass sheet at the right dimensions.

Cut the photreisit coated brass sheet

insert the photoresist coated brass sheet

Here is the sandwhich - Remove the tape protection on each side of the brass and insert the photoresist coated brass sheet betwwen the transparent printings like written a few lines up.

Place your sandwhich on your insulating machine (some special UV neons, plans are everywhere on the internet)

Insulating machine

Then place your brass sheet in the revelant bath (usually it's either sold in a dry form that you dilute in water, or as a concentrated liquid). You can buty this in most electronic shop as it's the same product that is being used to make some printed circuits.

Rememember that the temperature of the bath may be important too. Try not to touch the brass with your fingers and wear some gloves because this is acid and it actually may burn you.

revelant bath

And after a few minutes stirring (you must have a few minutes actually, if you develop the stuff too fast the print can me of a bad quality) you may have this which looks quite good indeed!

printed PE(to be followed..)


Homemade Photoetch - Rhein Gold part 2

Now the trick for etching brass is that the etching must be the fastest possible.

That means that the bath musn't be clogged, the Perchlorure de fer (okay, can't remind how to say that in English), it must also be stirred and heated

So in an old aquarium I put 2 liters of the acid, an aquarium heater and air pump and dipped the fret in it.

You can see pretty fast if things go well. look below the parts pop out of the metal


Then when the parts begin to fall apart, better clean everything and get the parts

Rhein gold! finished PE

Let's filter the water, dry the parts and clean them with Acetone so that every trace of the photoresist material can be wiped away.. and time to start the building of the diorama

A Russian PT Boat scratchbuilding (the start)

Hard to realize but I had some sort of diorama burnout right after SMC Eindhoven. I had to work way too much just prior to the event, and certainly needed the rest.

Whatever, after this kind of things I usually ned to get back to the basis. Why not scratchbuilding (again) a Russian 1900 ear PT boat?

So i found that very special one built in Finland (then a part of Russia) in order for the navy to place them on battleships like the Orel or the cruiser Retzivan (that I already modelled on the Tsushima diorama).

I needed as always a lot of reference to get started and I thank my friends Kronma and Cerberus JF to have filled me with great reference.

As alsways it started by drawing the cross sectiopns of the ship on a graphic software, printing them down to paper..

Russian PT Boat crossections printed

Then I glew those on some 1mm plastic card and proceeded to cut them, and assemble them like I show below.

assembly of the Russian 1900 PT boat

hey, notice something. i went a bit fast here! What about the turret on the lower left of the picture? now that was the difficul part..

first notice that i hollowed the top of the boat so that i can place that turret afterwards.

Then what I did is that I put a small sheet of paper in place and managed to draw the shape of the final turret that way :

the shape of the PT boat turret

Of course I neede tons of adjustements and tricly finger placing before getting that. Notice the crosses which are the position of the portholes.

Then  I glued that bit of paper on some plastic and cut the shape out, and used my (great) Czech punch and die to hollow the portholes

hollowing the portholes

Then I assembled everything, trying to leave the less gaps possible, glued everything in place with some Tenax like  glue, and added a roof with Magic Sculp covered plastic sheet.


Okay, I don't feel like I make it plain here; but such a work is twofolds -really it is ultra fast as all the plastic work was done in less than 2 hours, but then it was a really tricky work to do because what you must look after is leaving the less gap possible when you assemble the turret and you must get the shape right which I *mostly* did.

You still noticed that there is a big Tenax  trace on the turret with some embedded fingerprints that is going to be hard to correct with Mr Surfacer.

Oh well..