To make the distances between the aircraft more believable, I choose to make a “forced perception” by using a 1/72 model of the Messerschmitt.
The Hurricane is a 1/48 scale, and by using a 1/72 scale Bf 109, it would look like the smaller plane was farther away, even if it was placed quite near the bigger Hurricane in the diorama.
The Bf 109 should only be a background prop and was not the most important piece in this diorama.
It was painted the standard Luftwaffe colours with splinter camouflage on upper wings and fuselage and light grey underneath. Mottling with grey and green on the fuselage sides and a yellow panel under the engine department.
I choose to leave the propeller blades out when building the 109.
The reason is that the fighter should only be photographed in flight and in the background of the Hurricane.
Without the propeller blades, it would look like the engine of the Messerschmitt was running.
A transparent 4 mm acrylic rod was glued to the aircraft’s underside in a way that the plane seems to be in a tight turn to the right.
The other end of the acrylic rod was fixed in a hole drilled in the base.
I made several holes for the Bf 109-rod and could, if wanted, move the German fighter around on the base.
This might come handy when photographing the aircraft from different angles.
The Base and Background
The base is an OSB board 85 x 55 cm (33 x 22 in), covered with a thin layer of Papier Mache and painted in different green/blue/yellow colours to let it (hopefully) look like a landscape seen from above.
The background is painted cardboard 90 x 60 cm (35 x 23 in). The painting of the background is made with an airbrush. All the paint is acrylic.
During World War 2, in Europe (and the Soviet Union), there were shot down, in air-to-air battle, between 70 and 90.000 aeroplanes (nobody knows exactly how many).
Regardless of the exact number, it sure was a lot of aircraft that fell from the sky.
I have crashed several aircraft in my dioramas over the years, and for some strange reason, most of them were German.
That is a little unfair because only each 4th plane that was shut down were a German plane.
The numbers were actually 16-17.000 German planes against 50-75.000 allied planes, of which most were Russian.
The AAA and Flak casualties are not included in these numbers.
You have to add another 15-20.000 aircraft if you include the anti-aircraft-artillery in the calculation.
The above numbers are the only reason I let a German Bf 109 shoot down a British Hurricane. Except, I happened to have a half-built Hawker Hurricane kit which I had not decided for any use yet. but now it will become useful!
Building the Hawker Hurricane Mk.IIC
Hurricane Mk.IIC was a fighter-bomber and ground-attack variant armed with four 20-mm cannon and powered by a Rolls Royce 1.260hp engine which gave a max speed of 529 km/h (328 mi/h).
The Mark IIC entered service in 1941. By then, Mk.II’s performance was inferior to the latest German fighters, and the Hurricane changed to the ground-attack role.
The kit is a 1/48 scale from Hasegawa which is easy to build and looked very nice when painted in the British camouflage: Grey and dark green on top and light grey below.
The propeller spinner, the tail band and the markings were all painted in Duck Egg Green.
I built the Hurricane with the wheels extended because I wanted pictures of the plane on the ground and at take-off.
I wanted the propeller to spin and lubricated the propeller shaft with dry graphite.
When blowing on the propeller (with a hairdryer),
it would easily spin and look like the engine is running.
In this diorama, the Hurricane was shot down, and I needed to make fire and smoke!
The fire needs light, and I used some small 9V LED lamps which did not get warm and therefore ideal for use in this kind of diorama.
Holes were made on both sides of the engine department and the LED lamps placed inside the fuselage.
Only the lamps were visible.
Inside the fuselage, all the electrical wires from the LEDs were connected to two thin wires which went down through the clear acrylic tube and ended up under the base, connected to a 9V battery.
The clear tube was glued to the Hurricane in a way which gave the plane a nose-down dive when it was placed on the diorama base.
The pilot was unhurt and bailed out of the aircraft.
The cockpit canopy was opened, and the pilot figure was changed with a figure jumping from the doomed aircraft.
To create the smoke from the fire, I used a strip of chicken wire, which was fixed on both sides of the fuselage and stretched out behind the aircraft.
I needed some colour on the fire and added some red cellophane.
The smoke was made of cotton which was painted (airbrushed) with yellow colour at a small part of the front. All the rest was painted black.
Cotton can easily look very dense, which is not good, so I stretched it to make it thinner before, I wrapped it around the chicken wire.
To make the cotton easier to handle, it was sprayed with hairspray.
The 9V LED lamps is ideal for use in a confined area.
The small lamps do not emit heat, and there is no threat of fire.
Nevertheless, be careful when using lights in a diorama and never leave the lights on unattended.
Building the Messerschmitt Bf 109
The “Hurricane Down” Diorama:
Take-Off for another mission against the enemy.
Watch out!! Enemy fighters!!
This is how some of the pictures were made:
The Hurricane take-off:
This picture was made by placing the model on a transparent stand with the runway and sky as a background.
Then the almost invisible plastic stand was “removed” by using a photo editing program.
The two smaller aircraft in the background is a picture of the model which are pasted into the main picture
to look like two other aircraft are taking off at the same time.
The hurricane in flight.
A picture of the model (picture B) is pasted into a suitable background picture (A).
Two smaller pictures of the Hurricane model is also pasted to give the impression of the aircraft in a formation.
The result of this is picture C
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