Usually I don’t create dioramas for my models, because they already take up most of my time. In fact the attention I dedicate to each project ends with the simple building of the model. I find it difficult to dedicate additional time to a diorama with a model, especially when I feel the modeling stage is already part of the past (even if it was done the day before!). And I’m already starting to fantasize about the next project.



But this time, I made an exception.

One of the great advantages of globalization and the internet is that they allow to meet modelers from all over the world and to establish relationships, true friendship and mutual aid.
In December 2009, I visited Germany with my wife and my two children, and on this occasion I visited two friends, Frank Foster and Michael Molter and their families: two excellent and talentuous German modellers. From that trip, with the memories of Heidelberg Castle and other beautiful places on the Rhine, I brought home a natural wood base which consists of a simple “slice” of a tree trunk.


Who would have thought it would become the basis of a Tiger!

So with this basis as a support, and a tree reproduction for railway models received as gift from my friend Michael Molter, I had all the necessary elements for my diorama.


As a start, I slightly textured the surface of the wood with a Dremel. I painted everything with Tamiya Brown XF-72. On this surface, with the addition of black and gray, I created different hue and color intensities for a more attractive chromatic result. On the underside of the vehicle, I applied oil colors (umber and black), highly diluted with white spirit and with a little gloss paint to resume the effects of wet mud which is usually present in some parts of the ground (for example on vehicle traces).


Then I fixed the vehicle at the base to integrate the two of them. New finishes were applied to the ground, using the colors and materials that had been used previously.

At this point I used the artificial snow by Signifier to give the idea of ​​cold and frost that my Tigre needed. Areas of dirty snow were obtained with mixtures of oil color (umber) which had been highly diluted. The most luminous and snowy areas were treated with the addition of gloss paint.


Only a few additional treatments were applied to the tree. Airbrush spray was applied irregularly, with different shades of base colour to give a zenithal light effect. White paint was also sprayed on to give the idea of snow on branches.


I have to confess a great sin. I don’t like to paint figures so I have painted only a half dozen in my life. However a figure is undoubtedly the touch without which a diorama is empty and lifeless.


So, driven by necessity, I opted for an incredibly good figure by Evolution, with a level of detail that has nothing to envy to the best resin figures in 1/35 scale, with pose and dresses that suit perfectly the idea and the atmosphere of the diorama.

Using acrylic paint and the usual techniques in painting miniatures, I tried to paint the figure in the best possible way – and I think the end result is not too bad. Although I have to admit that this is the weakest part of the whole diorama.



I have to paint more figures I have to paint more figures, I have to paint more figures, ….!

Conclusions and thanks

I would not miss this opportunity to express my gratitude for the friendship of Luciano Rodriguez, the teachings and the example that he gave me over the years. An example of his teachings is the development of the dry-brush technique on gloss surfaces, which I explained in the article about the construction of the vehicle.


Also, thanks again to Michael Molter for his friendship, affection and the perfect tree for railway models and the basis on which I made the diorama.

And finally, of course, thanks to my family for tolerating a hobby that steals our free time together and that renders our house with a kitchen table full of cuts, paint stains everywhere and closets full of models.


Jose Luis Lopez Ruiz