Enjoy the world in scale 1:72

Development Project 4: Desert Trap

Constructing a diorama consist of phases while painting of the various models and figures can proceed in parallel. There is no single path to follow. Creativity, improvisation and ingenuity come along your journey of modelling with joy. Attend to an original image is just a direction, but don’t fear to diverge. Neither did I. I would rather say that the results became even better than was planned.

Sometimes a goal can't be achieved because of missing the resources or it just doesn’t work out the way you want it and for the sack of time... Everything is adjustable afterwards at later point in time. Although after placing the plastic soldiers for instance it would be harsh to accomplish.


The first project took perhaps 2 months in total. Even shorter as the design is straightforward and board size small compared to Scenario 3. Wanted to start initially with another thema, but just had a vision and not to loose that. Almost all models were already present or a few extra to be created along building. The period of build took place during spring 2022. This project depicts a convoy pass through a valley, actually 2 rock formations, by the German Afrika Korps, flanked by the Royal Italian Army, awaiting a ancient desert fortress on the other side defended by British 8th Army. Board size is round 40 x 85 cm.



Having said that the steps are shown in a consecutive picture style to provide a clear idea of the development in different stages. Although this is the fourth diorama I'm still learning and using different techniques. This time foam which is also used for furniture fill purposes. The clay fortress wasn't that easy to complete to the level of my delight in mind. Had to use the dremel to scrape away a few layers to keep same thickness everywhere. Father-daughter not on same ferquency... First time working with clay (and tiny wood) on this scale, but turned out in better shaped than thought off. 



The build stage wasn’t taking a long time of thinking or finishing. As deserts have little to cover up, the sheer amount of time was sprinkling sand. I used 4 types of sand; from flat sand to sand with different types of stones. Multiple layers of sand required whilst drying the applied glue. A bit underestimated as this special granulated sand is very refined. A killer was painting all figures during build; Italians, Germans and the British during the build. Normally I have figures alraedy painted partly upfront.

Chicken or the egg story. What do you need first; all models and figures completed or start already with scenario. What wins is that in reality also the landscape is there before humans arrive.


Admitted, looking at the results, mixed feeling. Pretty occupied scenario with maybe to many army forces on a 40 x 85 cm map. Is it realistic? That is never my personal goal. Just like to combine the pieces rightfully. Of course some models or figures disappear, replaced with another, after shuffling around different sets. Along the execution, ideas come and go. That’s the fun. There is no max and limit other than the size. Therefore regrets as it is no real representation and, on the other hand, satisfied as resulted differently than anticipated from the beginning.