1⁄35A Hell of a Way To Die
The scene: FiguresI used the 2nd Division USMC Tarawa 1943 (DML kit # 6272) in Dragon’s Gen 2 line of figures which need no introduction at this stage. Much talked about and they do live up to their reputation in my opinion. Some have said they have too many parts for a single figure and there will be gaps when joining the parts. As these are the only Gen 2 figures I’ve built so far, I believe they are excellent and the quality easily makes up for the part count. Cementing both pieces to be fixed and pressing them together allows a little soft plastic to nicely fill any resulting gaps. A touch of Mr. Surfacer should take care of the rest. The two-piece heads were replaced with hornet heads (#HUH) and the figures were then painted with Humbrol enamels.
The Scene: Base and GroundworkThe base was a simple construction using a photo frame for the bottom and building up the sides with 2mm balsa sheet. The inside was filled with expanded polystyrene and this was also used to create the ground profile. As palm trees were so predominant in reference photographs, I made some of these by rolling wool around some base-wood pins. They were then covered with napkins dampened with diluted white-glue. As so many of the Shermans fell into craters, or fuel dumps busted by the naval bombing, I also added some 200 litre barrels. I made one from stiff foil by embossing it on a plastic version and then squeezed it to simulate a damaged barrel. These items were then fixed to the base and the final surface was made using wall-spackle. Fine sand was sprinkled on top to give texture and also some spackle powder as the sand was not fine enough for scale. The Sherman and the figures were placed on the base at this time to make sure there was a positive fit. Lastly, an ammo box was fixed in for the laying Marine to lean on. All details were painted with Humbrol enamels and oil paints and the sand painted with pastels diluted with Humbrol enamel thinner. To finish off the scene, a palm branch was made from stiff foil leaves with a sprue piece as the main branch. Each leaf had a smaller branch made from solder wire that was inserted in pre-drilled holes in the sprue. This allowed for easy positioning of each leaf to the base later. A thrown tarp was also fashioned from some napkin dampened with diluted white glue and the scene was complete.
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