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Dragon's 1/35 scale IS-2 diorama

by Steve Budd




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I have never had a quick turn around in kit completion. In fact I’m not so much a slow finisher as someone who’s better off measuring the period taken in nailing a model together in geological time – this effort’s from my plasticeous period when numerous techniques gleaned from various magazines and books converged in an evolutionary soup of ‘let’s give it a try and see how it goes…’

It was this willingness to suck ‘n see that nearly resulted in the almost completed diorama flying against a wall. The thing was just about as you see it in the shots – virtually there and seeing the end in sight I found myself in a dangerously confident mood.

I figured all it needed was a liberal dusting of pastel chalks to bind the groundwork together. So I got busy with the stuff until, utterly sated from an orgy of weathering, I sat back for the final, decisive act – fixing the chalk.


I remembered some modelling sage reporting in the plastic press that 3M Photo Mount was the ideal weapon of choice for this task and as I had a can handy reached for it while continuing to leave my conscious brain idling in neutral. Oh dear.

The can was shaken (but not stirred) and in one fluid movement I hit the button, the cross hairs set for a firing pass over the base in a full deflection shot. Expecting a fine, gossamer spray, the remarkable thing (to me) was the unexpectedly astonishing quantity of viscous liquid that flooded towards and over the carefully manicured components. If you had walked in immediately following this fatal act (with your hands clamped over your ears) you’d be forgiven for believing that Toby Maguire himself had loosed off a double dose of Spiderman web at my latest effort.

I simply couldn’t believe that I could navigate through what was for me, a real modelling odyssey only to wrench defeat from the slavering jaws of plastic victory. It was a mess. A really, really big mess. I sat just staring at it, suddenly able to see every minute of the many hours nudging the thing closer to the moment I’d be able to sit back and appreciate the results.

I was overwhelmed by a powerful urge to trash it and try to forget I ever started it. I went outside my modelling shed and picked an appropriate wall. A little plastic voice inside said that I was actually about to pursue a cop out, adding hopefully that every problem has a solution. Mine was white spirit (a solution indeed) brushed over the gunk. Brush, clean, brush, clean, brush, clean. It was laborious but heartening as it all returned to a pre-apocalyptic state with a light (!) spray of matt varnish.



I’m truly glad I didn’t lunch it after all and ironically the episode taught me a great deal about things I should have worked out before hand. These days I test something new on a bit of scrap first!


The Diorama

The scene depicts a IS-2 in central Germany having apparently fought its way up to the street corner (an emergency, hastily constructed firing position).

Unbeknown to the crew Hans has hidden out of sight and fancies doing the anti social thing of lobbing a Panzer Faust into the engine deck of Ivan’s IS-2 once it’s fired and begun moving off to a (safer) distance.

The cobbles are mung beans (never eaten them) and the pavement is ubiquitous plastic card and foam board.

The house is a £3 Italeri cheapie skinned with card and fitted with scratched floors and sundry fittings. Likewise the wooden door was scratched with plastic, brass sheet and wire.

The figure is from the Dragon Volksturm set and the IS-2 is from the same manufacturer wearing an unusual camo of sand and earth brown.



The Dragon decals had fractured terminally in the box before I built it so I got hold of an Eduard mask set for alternate IS-2s and was smitten by the camo – I even did some research on the web and found artwork supporting its existence.

All told, this was an interesting build and having now got my second HyperScale submission in (hoooeee!) will probably notch up a hat trick soon with an aeroplane. Kit-tastic mate (not ‘alf!).


Additional Images


Click on the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Modelling the IS Heavy Tank
(Osprey Modelling 9)
Author: Nicola Cortese
US Price: $17.95
UK Price: £12.99
Publisher: Osprey Publishing
Publish Date: June 25, 2004
Details: 80 pages; ISBN: 1-84176-757-3
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Buy it from Osprey Publishing

Model, Images and Text Copyright © 2004 by Steve Budd
Page Created 10 November, 2004
Last Updated 10 November, 2004

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