RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #1 by dcrfan
RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama was created by dcrfan
Not sure this should be in Diorama or Railway sections as its a cross over between the two. Anyway introducing my new work in progress. It will feature aircraft dispersals on the edge of a South West Pacific coral airstrip no specific time in WW2. The idea will be to display (not all at the same time) the range of 1/48th scale RNZAF aircraft that operated in the area obviously less flying boats. So Kittyhawk, Corsair, Avenger, Dauntless, Ventura, Lodestar, Dakota and possibly a Hudson if I can find that kit as it is long out of production and ridiculous prices asked on Ebay.

Also a range of vehicles operated by RNZAF including Jeep, CMP 15 cwt and 30 cwt, Ford bomb service truck, IH crane tractor and Minneapolis Moline tractor/truck. While Tamiya make a couple of very nice GMC 6x6 it appears most RNZAF trucks of that size were actually Internationals so will need slight conversion. Kit bashing to produce some of these vehicles has begun.

Around the outside will be a ex Japanese Imperial Navy 2ft gauge construction railway with a couple of Kato Works locomotives.
Below the bare bones baseboards. Sorry camera is on loan to inlaws so just cell phone photos.



All the railway track and under board electrical stuff.



Revell Ventura under construction along airfield control tower and first of about 70 coconut trees I estimate will be required.

Last edit: 1 year 4 months ago by dcrfan.
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1 year 4 months ago #2 by Bishop
Replied by Bishop on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Super idea for displaying different planes

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1 year 4 months ago #3 by Planecrazy
Replied by Planecrazy on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
This looks great so far. Where did you get the coconut trees?

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1 year 4 months ago #4 by Admoto
Replied by Admoto on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Watching ….. looks quite big ?

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1 year 4 months ago #5 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Two baseboards each 1.2m x 0.62m designed so they can be bolted face to face for transportation.

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1 year 4 months ago #6 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama

Planecrazy wrote: This looks great so far. Where did you get the coconut trees?


Building them myself based on Youtube how to video. Three Spotlight thick florists wires with rough string rapped around and painted with rough texture gel for the trunk and masking tape stuck face to face on itself with thin florists wire trapped between as the stalk then individual 'leaves' cut out with small scissors. I timed it last night, each frond takes about 7 minutes start to finish with about twelve fronds on each tree and I think I need 60-70 coconut trees. The commercial coconut trees on Trademe are all much too short for 1/48th scale.
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1 year 4 months ago #7 by Bishop
Replied by Bishop on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Good description of construction there. Yours will look better as they won’t be identical.

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1 year 4 months ago #8 by dcrfan
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Stages of making a coconut frond.



When attached to tree the frond is shaped with appropriate droop. The tree on the left needs a couple of more fronds to add more vertical height to the fronds while I have only just started on the tree on the right.

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1 year 4 months ago #9 by Planecrazy
Replied by Planecrazy on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Thanks for that, I'm going to play around with these...

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1 year 4 months ago #10 by Admoto
Replied by Admoto on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Palm trees look good. Thanks for the how to.

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1 year 4 months ago #11 by dcrfan
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Four new fronds each evening sooooooly getting there. Also progress on control tower.

File Attachment:
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1 year 4 months ago #12 by Bishop
Replied by Bishop on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
All looking good. I really like the tower.

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #13 by dcrfan
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I have camera back so a few photos on sequence of making the trunk. Three lengths of florists stem wire (from Spotlight) one longer as spike to mount tree. Rapped in florists tape. A circular piece of cardboard hot glued to base.



Place hotglue about 4-5 cm up trunk. Rap string around building up the base with several layers against the piece of card. This replicates the wider base on prototype trees.


At the top again build up with several layers of string. Again to replicate the prototype and it also gives a soft ball of string into which the wire of the fronds can be pushed (once a hole drilled or poked)



The base was built up a little more with hot glue.



Construction finished, the whole trunk is now covered with Reeves coarse texture gel (from Warehorse stationary). Initially I painted it on, now I just rub it on with my fingers ensuring the roughness of the rapped string is not filled in too much. The gel takes a few days to dry.

Last edit: 1 year 4 months ago by dcrfan.

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1 year 4 months ago #14 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
I ordered some 1/48th scale Marsden matting from Shapeways. They definitely look the part and are nicely detailed.

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1 year 4 months ago - 1 year 4 months ago #15 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
The construction of the ground has begun so I grabbed a few bits to show what I aiming at. This will eventually be the fighter end as I want to replicate this scene with a Corsair with wings folded pushed back between large trees.

File Attachment:
4937337990_01f6cfe914_b by tankienz , on Flickr

The loco shed will be placed on the siding.

File Attachment:
IMG_1686 by tankienz , on Flickr

I did learn the expanded foam is not strong enough to hold the coconut trees upright with the short wire spigot I'm using so this was a worthwhile learning activity. I have a couple of fixes in mind.

File Attachment:
IMG_1687 by tankienz , on Flickr
Last edit: 1 year 4 months ago by dcrfan.
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1 year 3 months ago #16 by Bishop
Replied by Bishop on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Shows how good an idea this is for a rotating model display. Enjoying this

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1 year 3 months ago - 1 year 3 months ago #17 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Time to season the trees;) Well sort of, I'm trying pepper corns painted brown to represent coconuts. To speed the process up I'm trying to make clumps of coconuts to glue to the trees in bulk.

Last edit: 1 year 3 months ago by dcrfan.

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1 year 3 months ago #18 by dcrfan
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Sorry for the flash photo but I'm pleased with the way the peppercorn coconuts turned out.

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1 year 3 months ago #19 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
I have sorted out the mounting of the trees in the expanded foam.



The ground work to cover the railway curving around the end of the baseboard and the line running back along the back of the board have been started. More height still to be added at the end.

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1 year 3 months ago #20 by Planecrazy
Replied by Planecrazy on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
That's very good, wanting to do something like this myself. Thanks for the how-to,,,,,

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1 year 3 months ago #21 by Sparky
Replied by Sparky on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Really great to watch this come together, Thanks for the tips.
Good to see you using your imagination.
Read not long ago that the mark of true intelligence is not by your knowledge but by your imagination.

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1 year 3 months ago #22 by Maarten
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'' I could sense things were about to kick off, so I got out of there !''


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1 year 3 months ago #23 by Bishop
Replied by Bishop on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Love the coconuts!! Watching watching...

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1 year 3 months ago #24 by dcrfan
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Bishop wrote: Love the coconuts!! Watching watching...


New saying in the household. No longer 'pass the pepper', now its 'pass the coconuts' :lol:

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1 year 3 months ago #25 by dcrfan
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The chippies were back on the job last night and a rather colourless boss arrived to check on progress still wearing his Afrika Korps hat he acquired during service in the Middle East. Must change that to one of those floppy USMC hats:dry:

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1 year 3 months ago - 1 year 3 months ago #26 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Amazing what you can find with Google. The US Navy also had a 2ft gauge railway on Guadalcanal built by the Seabees construction units. The loco is US made Plymouth, the same loco the Japanese copied and built by Kato Works for IJN. I wonder what the censor whited out on both pictures showing the loco - I'm assuming the unit title. Should model it in censored form :P





I hope that officer swinging the sledge hammer knows what he's doing.



Anyway more options of rolling stock to run on my wee railway :cheer:
Last edit: 1 year 3 months ago by dcrfan.

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1 year 3 months ago - 1 year 3 months ago #27 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
I've started on the ground work on the second baseboard. First a depression was cut out that will become a trashed aircraft dump.

File Attachment:


Second a rather messy job gouging out the cork baseboard top so I can fit two sections of marston matting reasonably flush with the airstrip surface.



Then I need to finish laying the track and wiring it up.
Last edit: 1 year 3 months ago by dcrfan.

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1 year 3 months ago #28 by dcrfan
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Ground around the matting has been surfaced and painted. The tree line is slowly growing and a start has been made on painting the Jeep.

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1 year 3 months ago - 1 year 3 months ago #29 by dcrfan
Replied by dcrfan on topic RNZAF in The Pacific Diorama
Minneapolis Moline NTX aircraft tractor kit taking shape with addition of brass rod seat rails. Steering wheel and tow hook from Tamiya 1/48th GMC truck. It will be finished in light grey to represent vehicle taken over from US Navy. Roundels will confirm new RNZAF ownership.



Last edit: 1 year 3 months ago by dcrfan.

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1 year 3 months ago #30 by Bishop
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Getting better and better

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