Some of the most Captivating War Dioramas

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Invented in the 1820s by Louis Daguerre and Charles Marie Bouton, of daguerreotype photography fame, the diorama is a three-dimensional model of a realistic scene, frequently displayed against a painted background. Dioramas have been utilized to portray wildlife in natural habitats, historic events, famous battles, landscapes, or simply scenes of everyday life. The dioramas we will feature in this article were built by hobbyists who specialized themselves in military vehicle modeling, miniature figure modeling, or aircraft modeling.

These captivating exhibits of (miniature) war dioramas displaying military personnel, famous battles, aircraft and vehicles made in exquisite detail at a fraction of their original size were chosen from hundreds of great dioramas. Creating these amazing scenes took months, hundreds of working hours; planning and studying, in order to create the diorama as realistic and historical accurate as possible.

Our first featured diorama is “Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka” created by Bjørn Jacobsen, who prefers to make dioramas which tell a story and are documented by photographs and research. This way, he can create his dioramas as accurate as possible. When Bjørn learned about Hans Ulrich Rudel, he wanted to make a diorama of him and his Sturzkampfflugzeug (Stuka) in a combat situation. After one month the diorama was done, the result can be seen below. You can follow the build up from a – Z on his website.

"Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

Some other fascinating dioramas created by Bjørn Jacobsen are “Kurt Knispel – The Tank Legend” (Tribute to Kurt Knispel, the greatest tank ace of all time) and “Day of the Typhoon” (Hawker Typhoons from the 2nd TAF and the Battle of Mortain (Aug 1944)). Both of these can be seen below. If you have more time, you should definitely check out his other dioramas. Recommend are The attack on Taranto, Nov 1940Operation BodenplatteThe Cutlass Ramp Strike and Battle of Midway.

"Kurt Knispel - Tank Legend" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Kurt Knispel – Tank Legend” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Kurt Knispel - Tank Legend" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Kurt Knispel – Tank Legend” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Kurt Knispel - Tank Legend" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Kurt Knispel – Tank Legend” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Day of the Typhoon" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Day of the Typhoon” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

"Day of the Typhoon" diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

“Day of the Typhoon” diorama created by Bjørn Jacobsen

Second up is “Pzkw IV, Ausf G in Charkow, 1943” created by Andreas Coenen. The diorama was a customer order of a Pzkw IV, version G. Andreas gained the freedom to develop a little diorama around the attack of the german forces in Charkow in February 1943. He studied the city buildings around this time and many original photos made by the germans when they were driving into the inner city. It was a snow and rainy time, so all crew members and infantry were wearing winter clothing. Since the building wasn’t able on the market, Andreas decided to rebuilt it with scratch material of styrodene, plastic and wood pieces.

"Pzkw IV, Ausf G in Charkow, 1943" diorama created by Andreas Coenen

“Pzkw IV, Ausf G in Charkow, 1943” diorama created by Andreas Coenen

"Pzkw IV, Ausf G in Charkow, 1943" diorama created by Andreas Coenen

“Pzkw IV, Ausf G in Charkow, 1943” diorama created by Andreas Coenen

"Pzkw IV, Ausf G in Charkow, 1943" diorama created by Andreas Coenen

“Pzkw IV, Ausf G in Charkow, 1943” diorama created by Andreas Coenen

Andreas Coenen has more then 30 years experience in making dioramas. Here are a few more outstanding dioramas listed below made by Andreas: “P-61 “Black Widow” in Pacific Theater 1944“, “Vierlingsflak 38 in der Normandie 1944” and “Vosper MBT 74“. Feel free to check out more on his own website, be sure to see the following dioramas: WN 48 Batterie Longues sur Mer, Seenotrettung and Eben-Emael 1940.

Dioramas made by Andreas Coenen.

Dioramas made by Andreas Coenen.

The last diorama I want to show you for now is actually the creator’s first diorama! This 1:35 german motorcycle diorama was made by Bogdan Popescu, who just started making dioramas 3 – 4 months ago. It depicts the german 24. Panzer Division at Stalingrad (Russia) during autumn, 1942. The mud was created from real dirt mixed with white glue, the fence was made from wood (handcrafted) and the ice was made from Vallejo still Water. Bogdan used authentic photographs from that period as inspiration to create this diorama.

"24. Panzer Division at Stalingrad, 1942" diorama created by Bogdan Popescu

Noticed the dead horse? “24. Panzer Division at Stalingrad, 1942” diorama created by Bogdan Popescu.

"24. Panzer Division at Stalingrad, 1942" diorama created by Bogdan Popescu

“24. Panzer Division at Stalingrad, 1942” diorama created by Bogdan Popescu.

"24. Panzer Division at Stalingrad, 1942" diorama created by Bogdan Popescu

“24. Panzer Division at Stalingrad, 1942” diorama created by Bogdan Popescu.

Inspiration for Bogdan's diorama

Inspiration for Bogdan’s diorama

Thanks for reading our first article on the small creation wonders of the modeling world. Feel free to let me now what you thought of it or if you would like to see more modeling stories in Argunners Magazine. If enough interest, I will certainly create a second article with more captivating exhibitions. You can help! Do you know someone you can nominate for his amazing modeling skills and deserves to be in the spotlight? Contact me

People interested in Military Modelling can join the Historical War Militaria Forum here, where other Dioramas are shared and discussed.

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About Author

Argunners Magazine is an independent online historian and collector's magazine, dedicated to the militaria and history of both Axis and Allied powers during the World War 1 & 2. Argunners is a central resource offering the latest militaria and war history news, journals, articles and press releases related to these themes.

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