"They just flew them, we just fixed them" Diorama by Rene Hieronymus
Brand: Hasegawa, Italeri, and misc others
 Scale: 1/72
Modeler: Rene Hieronymus
 AddOns: Aires, Eduard, Scratch



This diorama, in the scale of 1:72 was build by me, more than 20 years ago. It all started when I had the wish to modify an F6F Hellcat, with open cowling and other service panels open, to show the interior of the engine bay, the cockpit and some other small details. Today this is nothing so unusual, but remember back, when I started this diorama, there were absolutely no aftermarket items available for this kind of detail-job. So I had to build all those tiny details by myself. So I used the original engine of the Hasegawa kit and modified it extensively most of all by adding all those tiny details. The oil reservoir as well as all the other tiny bits were built by using small plastic blocks which were carved and sanded to the appropriate shape.
The gun bay and the machine guns itself were done the same way. Even the cockpit received a lot of details, unfortunately most of them cannot be seen anymore.

Click on the images to enlarge!



The original diorama had a somewhat other layout, but about 6 years ago it was extensively damaged in an accident and at the end I had no other choice then to rebuild the whole Diorama again. In this layout the Corsair was standing beside the Hellcat but it received heavy damage in the accident and the landing gear was truly destroyed, so it went directly to the scrap yard, together with the Japanese Fighter which was already there. Due to that I had to build another Aircraft and my choice was a Navy B-25 (PBJ-1D). This time I was able to buy some aftermarket parts and modify this aircraft somewhat easier, than the Hellcat. New engines from Aires and some PE parts from Eduard were used to detail the Mitchell. Nevertheless I wanted to show some heavy damage to the wing, so I had to build the entire wing structure of the port wing. This was done by using small plastic stripes which were cut to the desired length and shape and glued together. I used some slightly thicker Aluminium foil to copy the original wing by simply wrapping it around the removed wing section. After that the this hollow aluminium structure was simply slipped over the inner structure. The aluminium was then “damaged” to show the inner structure. Sounds not only pretty simple it was that way, only a lot of work. The large workshop was entirely scratch built, all those tiny tools and parts inside came from various kits and some of them like the workbenches were scratch built too. Same is for the scrap yard, where leftover parts from kits were used as well.

Click on the images to enlarge!

The diorama base is a simply wooden structure which was coloured. The white coral sand is ordinary cat litter which was “crunched “ a little bit. The palm trees are partly self-made and some came from Preiser. The figures are from various sources, like Airfix, Preiser and so on.
All aircraft kits came from Hasegawa, with the sole exception of the Mitchell which is from Italeri. All trucks are from Hasegawa as well.


Building Dioramas of this size (about 45 x 90 cm) is a very interesting thing for me, first I have the chance of not only showing a single model but quite a few of them and by combining them with a lot of scratch built items it is a good way to create something very unique.
Any questions about this Diorama are welcome and I really would like to hear from fellow modelbuilders about their ideas.


Click on the images to enlarge!

Keep on modelling!

Photos and text © 2005 by Rene Hieronymus

May 5, 2005