Diorama build review
Part I: Introduction Hi everyone and welcome to my new build review series. The first part of this series serves you as an introduction, so you get an overview over the project, and i also want to provide some technical background information here. I think this might be of some interest for some of you out there. So, what are we going to build? A while ago i found this very interesting photo somewhere in the internet, which apparently shows a crash between a Sturmgeschütz and a T-34 tank. Thats what i want to build, at least something that somewhat resembles this scene. During my following research i found a few more photos of this incident, taken from different angles, which are very useful for this project. However, i was not able to find out anything about the circumstances that led to this incident, not even the location or when it happened exactly. Thats not a big issue though, because we can find out a lot by having a closer look at the photos, at least the stuff we need to know for this project. I put the photos in a possible chronologic order and we have a closer look at that now. In the first photo we can not really see anything significant, but at least we have a good view on the T-34 and a German NCO, who interestingly carries a captured Soviet submachine gun. The next picture shows a group of soldiers, who are trying to pry open the turret hatch of the T-34, in order to capture the crew inside. The two lads with the bandages around their heads might be part of the Sturmgeschütz crew. I can well imagine how easily you get injured in such a crash. It is probably not pleasant at all. Anyway, these two guys are seem to be pretty angry, because one keeps his pistol in readiness, the other one brought along an ax, just in case the Russians inside the tank turn out to be troublesome. However, the other soldiers appear to be fairly relaxed, nobody keeps any weapons ready. I think this picture also gives us an idea how this crash has actually happened. The Sturmgeschütz crashed into the T-34 head-on and is sitting on top of it, so i assume the StuG crew performed a deliberate ramming manoeuvre in order to knock out the T-34. When the T-34 was first encountered on the Eastern Front it was quite difficult to penetrate its armor effectively, the short 7,5-cm-StuK 37 L/24 of the early StuGs was not really suitable for combat against tanks. Anyway, such ramming manoeuvres were an absolute rarity, because they are very risky for everyone involved. I heard that such things happened on other fronts as well, the British claim to have done that in order to knock out a Tiger for example, but very few incidents seem to be actually authentic. Here you can see a picture of such an incident, where we can assume it was a ramming manoeuvre. In the next photo we can see that the turret hatch has been opened and one of the crew members gets pulled out of the tank by his collar. He keeps his hands raised, so all of it might come to a peaceful end. In the meantime a group of curious German soldiers has gathered on the left side. The captured Soviet tanker appears to be very frightened of the sight, a very strong allegory for the prisoners of war at this time and what they had to endure. A mixture of fear and relief. Next he is searched for weapons and other things, before he gets sent off to the rear with his comrades. The following picture is a bit blurry, but it finally shows us the complete scene. The tension of the last few minutes has dropped. We can see many soldiers, who are talking to each other or have a closer look at the two tank wrecks. The Sturmgeschütz is a vehicle of the Ausführung A batch, one can tell that by the narrow 36cm tracks and the equal spacing between the return rollers. To be precise it is actually an Ausführung A1 vehicle, because it lacks the escapement hatches on the lower hull sides. These were a feature of the Ausführung A2 version. A motorcyclist has parked his motorbike next to the tanks and is talking to a group of soldiers. Unfortunately i can not be certain about the exact type of motorbike here. In the ditch next to the road a wounded soldier gets treated. We can also see that the area next to the road is a bit snowy. Because of that i would date this incident around October or November 1941. Here we finally have a picture of the scene from a different angle, which shows us a few more details. The Sturmgeschütz lost its left track during the impact, which is a proof of a very violent crash. Behind the T-34 we can see a parked Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250, which is towing a little trailer. The landscape in the background looks very winterly, but the soldiers are not wearing their long coats for the most part. It is probably just the onset of winter. Finally i have a very good photo of the T-34. It appears to be a T-34/76 model 1941. However, the tracks on the tank are a bit unusual. The track link with the guide horn features a V shaped cleat, which was fairly rare. Unfortunately i do not know more details about this. Thats it for the source of inspiration for this project, i think this is actually fairly easy to do. The vehicles are more or less the standard ones and the figures should not cause much troubles as well. Which kits am i going to use for this? My choices are the the T-34/76 Model 1941 by Dragon, kit number 6205, and the StuG III Ausführung A by Dragon-Cyberhobby, kit number 9143, both in 1/35 scale. Both kits are a bit dated, but i personally really like them. The experience i had with these in the past was nothing but good. I can build both kits out of the box without many changes, but the T-34 requires this special track i mentioned before. Luckily i was able to source this track from Friul, and because it is so nice the StuG III also gets some Fruil tracks. The plastic tracks of the StuG III would have been alright, but i think it is easier to depict the thrown track on the vehicle with Friul tracks. I think i will depict the scene as can be seen in this photo here. When it comes to the figures this is the easiest option, because it does not require complicated conversions. The poses of the soldiers are the standard ones, which are readily available. Only a few little tweaks here and there are necessary. I also like to include the motorbike in the scene, for that i have chosen the the BMW R12 with sidecar by IBG Models. Apart from the vehicles and the figures the diorama will be a simple one, we just build a road and a ditch with mud, a bit of grass and snow. Because of that i will focus on the realistic damages of both vehicles to make it interesting. This is the current state of affairs when it comes to this project, of course there might be some changes to it in the course of time. For example, i could also include the Sonderkraftfahrzeug 250, but i think this might just overload the scene. We will see how it all goes. So, the project is on now! The next part of this series deals with the assembly of the two tank models. Thank you very much for watching, see you again in the next video, your Hamilkar Barkas.