08 - Hans Ulrich Rudel and his Stuka

The Explosion

To build the explosion, I create a skeleton

of metal mesh.

I then drill holes in the top of the tank so I

can fasten the wires to the tank.


I then take pure cotton and put in the

metal mesh while I make sure that there

are a large cavity as possible inside


This is both for the light effect, but also

for hot air to escape.



And then it’s time for

the airbrush.

First yellow, then a

little red and finally a

dash of black on the


And suddenly, the

whole turns into an

explosive cloud.

The lower tank frame

is screwed into the

diorama board and

the LED is tested.


The upper part of the

tank is loose so it can

easily be removed if I

have to arrange

something with LED

light, or if it gets too hot


I'd like to have some Russian soldiers in the diorama to literally give it some life.

Of course the soldiers use all their weapons against the Stuka when it passes over.

A few blasted tree trunks and a couple of dead soldiers are also included.

The diorama happened in the fall of 1944 and the trees have green- yellow autumn leaves.


Much of the leaves are however blown away by explosions nearby.

I attach leaves by spraying the trees with hairspray and then sprinkle some Woodland

Scenics "grass" over the trees. This adheres to the hairspray and gives an illusion of leaves.



Then I glued the tank tower on to the wires inside the cotton.

It will now look like it blasted away from the tank.

The text of the tower means "fatherland".


The tank is basically painted

green and then applied dents

and "weathered" with sand,

soil, dirt and rust as it probably

was in reality


I have installed two power

switches, one for the Stuka

and one for the tank.


The current to the electric

motor in the Stuka is 1.5V

from a couple AA batteries.


The LED is connected to 220V. I've put a dimmer on LED light so I can reduce the brightness

(and heat) if desired.


I fixed blocks of wood in each corner under the base so I can place the wires and batteries in

a safe manner.



I am planning a diorama where Hans Ulrich Rudel in his Stuka just has blown up a Russian tank. He flies so low that he is flying through the explosion and touches the top of a nearby tree. This is not a entirely unknown maneuver of a "Kanonenvoegel" on the Eastern Front. These

machines had to fly low. Each of the two aircraft cannons hold only six grenades and every

shot had to count. Rudel managed once to destroy six Russian tanks in one raid. It was not

unusual that he flew ten or fifteen raids per day.

His record was 17 destroyed Russian tanks in a day.

Sometimes the Stukas landed with scorched fuselages with a lot of splinters after flying

through exploding tanks. Just as often, they came home with branches stuck in the

undercarriage and wings. Such events were called "a pilot's birthday" by the German pilots.

I also want to have some Russian soldiers in the diorama. They will fire at the Stuka with

everything they have as the aircraft passes over them.


The first thing to do is find a suitable base

for the diorama. A plate from an old kitchen drawer (40 x 50cm) will do nicely. A little joint

compound helps me forming the landscape. A couple of brass tubes drilled down and glued

to the baseplate are good starting points for the trees. I also make a number of tank tracks in

the wet filler (it is always difficult to make these tracks later)

I will install an electric motor in the Stuka so the propeller can spin. I thought first to put the

electrical cables through the brass tube, but the rod that holds the plane is going in there, so I

have to place the wires up along the trunk. The wires go through the bottom of the base.


The next task is to make the brass tubes become trees.

The inside of an ordinary lamp cord is ideal for making a tree. By twisting the thin brass wires

and split them up into smaller "branches" can I make the tree exactly the way I want. It is

advisable to fasten the brass threads with CA glue when they are laid on the stem. The

brass tubes are bent slightly to make trees more realistic.

Finally, I use Elmer's Clear Glue, to which I have added sawdust, on the tree trunks. In this

way the trunks will be roughly like a real tree with bark.

Then, the trees need to be painted. The best way to add color to all the little brass threads

that make up the branches, is to use an airbrush.


Then there is the ground.

It should be part sand, soil and mud where tanks have run. I paint soil color directly on the

filler. In addition, I sprinkle a little sand to create a bit more "life" into the ground. Using

artificial grass from Woodland Scenics I create grass and bushes around the trees.

This is a battlefield, so I also make a couple carters after grenades or bombs, and place

some burnt and bent parts around to illustrate exploded vehicles.

For longer grass, I cut some of the bristles from a paintbrush and paste the "straws" on

the ground.



It's time for the Stuka

To make the diorama as realistic as possible I will place an electric motor in the Stuka so

the propeller can run. I plan to attach the Stuka I to the treetop so it looks like it flies very low.

I have decided to make the diorama in 1:48 scale.

To find a model of the Stuka in 1:48 is not difficult. I chose to use the Hasegawa Ju78G-2.

It is not only the correct model, but it also has the correct decals to create a good replica

of Rudel's "Kanonenvoegel»

The first to be made is the cockpit, where both Hans Ulrich Rudel and his gunner are to be

placed.The cockpit is painted in a dark gray color (RLM 66)

The electric motor (from Airfix) is fitted in the

nose. It requires some changes in the kit to

adapt the engine, but finally it's glued on with

CA-glue. To attach the plane to the tree, I am

using a brass rod that fits into the brass tube

that has been used as a tree. Thus, I can

stick the plane into the top of the tree.

The brass rod is glued firmly to the inside of

the plane.The wires from the electric motor

are moved backwards and will become part

of the branches.


Having glued the wings and ailerons and put

together both cannons and wheels, the plane

begins to take shape..

A part the Stuka legacy is the infamous sirens

which was used during dive bombing.

The sirens were driven by propeller attached

to the wheels.

The G model, however, was no dive-bomber

and needed neither siren or air brakes.

The sirens had therefore to be removed.

After finished the wheels and cannons, the

model ready for priming.


















After each layer of paint, I apply a coat of Johnson Future. This makes it easier to work with the different colors.

Before the camouflage is painted, I trace the all panel lines (preshading) with black paint. The aim is that these lines should be visible through the camouflage paint if it is not put on too thick.

Then camouflage is laid on with airbrush. The Stuka was painted with so-called splinter camouflage with dark green (RLM 70) and gray-green (RLM 71), while the underside was painted light blue (RLM 65). Wingtips and a band on the tail were painted yellow.

The yellow sections on the wings made it easier for the German anti-aircraft crews to recognize their own aircraft.


















The next step is decals. To prevent silvering, I applied Future to the whole aircraft before decals. I use MicroSOL when I put the decals on and Micro Sol when decals are dry. Then a new coat of Future before the model is covered in a semi-gloss finish.

































Now the plane ready for weathering, ie making the Stuka so tired, dusty, dirty and dented as it was in reality.

The antenna wire is an elastic strap attached with CA-glue

A diorama dedicated to the best combat pilot ever!

Stuka Pilot Hans Ulrich Rudel

a diorama by Bjørn Jacobsen

Many believe that Hans Ulrich Rudel was the best combat pilot - ever!

What few disagree on, however, is that no one will ever repeat his amazing achievements as a battlefield pilot.

You probably think I am talking about one of the great fighter pilots - but no. Hans Ulrich Rudel flew a slow dive-

bombing Junkers Ju87. A plane that normally either had to have escorts to avoid being shot down by enemy

fighters, or only operates safely in areas with own air supremacy.


It should not be possible to become Germany's most decorated soldier in WWII in the cockpit of a Stuka, but Rudel

became a living legend for the German soldiers on the Eastern Front. His courage and incredible performances

was simply unparalleled in the history of warfare.

Son of a clergyman in Silesia (now Poland), Hans Ulrich

was born in 1916 and received his baptism of fire as Stuka

pilot during the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 41

American aircraft crews over Europe were sent home after

25 bombing raids.

Hans Ulrich Rudel conducted 2519 raids against the Red

Army, and he obtained results which seem completely


In attacks at low altitude, often with fierce anti-aircraft fire

against him, he flew the slow and cumbersome Ju87G

" "Kanonenvoegel" against huge Russian armored forces.

When the war ended he had destroyed at least 519

Russian tanks, equivalent to between 5 and 6 Russian

tank divisions. He sunk the battleship "Marat", a destroyer

and a cruiser (at Kronstadt outside Stalingrad). He sunk at least 70 landing craft (in the Black Sea by the Crimean

Peninsula). He bombed and shot to pieces between 800 and 1,000 vehicles and at least 150 artillery and

antiaircraft cannons. He bombed and destroyed a large number of bridges and numerous enemy positions and

shot down at least nine enemy fighters (in a Fw190).


He saved 12 comrades (6 Stuka crews) who were shot

down over Russian territory by landing next to the crashed

Stuka, take on board the crew and take off before Russian

forces arrived.


When he tried to rescue a Stuka crew 50 km behind the

Russian front in March 1944, the Stuka was stuck in the

mud and unable to take off. All four had to run for their

lives, followed by Russian troops. They swam a 300m wide

icy river, was captured by the Russians, managed to

escape and with gunshot wound in the shoulder. Rudel, as

the only survivor of the crews arrived at the German lines,

more dead than alive. Two days later he was again in the

cockpit, fighting the Russian forces.

He was shot down a total of 32 times by Russian anti-aircraft guns and infantry weapons, but never by enemy

fighters. He never used his parashute. He was wounded five times. In February 1945, his Stuka his hit by a 40mm

Flak grenade and he suffered major damage to his right leg. He crashed and his gunner saved him from bleeding

to death. At the field hospital, they amputated the leg below the knee. Six weeks later, he was in the cockpit with a

bleeding stump, fighting the Russian Army.

Both Hitler and Rudel's CO's tried several times to ground

him, but with tremendous stubbornness and willpower, he

ignored all orders to take it easy and flew the Stuka till the

bitter end.

So fierce was Rudel's destruction of the Russian war

machine that Stalin personally offered a reward of 100,000

rubles for Rudel - dead or alive.


At the end of the war Rudel flew west and surrendered to

U.S. forces, which undoubtedly saved his life.


Hans Ulrich Rudel, was the most decorated German soldier

during WWII. After he received all possible awards and

medals, the German High Command had to inventing new

medals to reward his courage and achievements on the

battlefield. He was, for example, the only German soldier who received the Knight's Cross with oak leaves in gold,

swords and diamonds.


He ended his military career as a colonel in the Luftwaffe.


After the war, he went, as many other Nazi officers to Argentina. He died in Germany in 1982.

Junkers Ju 87G Kanonenvoegel

It was in February 1943 that the first Ju87G (Gustav) was delivered. .

The "Cannon Bird" was constructed for one singel purpose: To destroy enemy tanks, and it became an extremely effective weapon against the Russian armor

It was equipped with two 37mm Flak 18 guns (actually AA cannons). Each cannon had a magazine on six special armor-piercing tungsten grenades. The muzzle velocity was 850m/sek and one hit with a grenade was enough to destroy a tank. At 100m distance and at an angle of 60 degrees the grenades would penetrate 36mm armor steel. No Russian tanks were safe for the Kanonenvoegel

The downside was that the guns weighed more than 800 kg in total. The weight of the guns and the increased drag made the G model slow (260-270 km/h) and with less maneuverability than the other Stuka models, Especially in turns, it was almost impossible to prevent the plane wobbeling from side to side. Only the most experienced pilots managed to master the Cannon Bird.

The first day Hans Ulrich Rudel flew the G model with 37mm cannons against the Red Army, he destroyed between 10 and 12 Russian tanks.

The building of the diorama:

The Russian tank


I have choosen a KV-1 which was a heavy Russian tank at 44 tons and with a crew of 4-5.

The model I am building is from Tamyia (1/48)

The model is straightforward to put together, and that is good because I am going to blow it to

pieces. It will be hit armor-piercing shells in the tank's weak point: The engine compartment

behind the tower.

This is where Rudel always try to hit because the armor thickness is at its minimum here.

If possible, Rudel always attacked the tanks from the rear.


In the diorama, the tank ammunition explodes after been hit by the Stuka and the tower is

thrown away.


The inner hull of the model is made of metal, which is good because I want to mount a

3W 220VLED light inside the tank. This will impose as explosion light.

I could have chosen a low power LED, but I want a strong light as possible and I think that a

3W is what I need.

The LED lamp is connected directly to the 220V mains and even if the LED light is not

particularly hot, the circuits on the LED board produces heat. I therefore drill a series of holes

in the bottom of the tank’s metal case to obtain a better cooling.


The tower will be blown away, which means the hot air can escape more easily. However, it is

important that the LED light is not on for too long (preferably no more than a minute at a time).


The wires are led out through the bottom of the tank and through the diorama base. Just to be sure, I also drill a number of holes in the board under the tank to increase the air flow.

The Stuka in the treetop

It was easy to place the Stuka at the top of the tree.


The brass rod from the a/c went nicely into the

brass tube in the tree and a little glue sealed

everything in place.

The wires from the engine were connected to the

wires coming out of the tree and everything was

twisted like branches.


A few leafs was added to make it all look part of

the tree.

And then the best of it all: Pressing the switch and

the Stuka was “flying”

I have given the Stuka some dents after scratches

after collision with trees.

It is important to remember that Stuka was a large

and robust machine that could take a lot of beating

without hitting the ground. It was almost 11m long,

had a 1.300hk engine and weighed 17 tons.

The Background

For the diorama to be as realistic and natural as possible it needs a background to the models.

I have therefore cut a cardboard plate and painted a war scenario that I think fits the diorama.


The battle takes place somewhere in the flat landscape of the Eastern Front in fall1944. Burning tanks, Stukas and explosions everywere.

The Diorama:



I hope you enjoyed this website! Thank you for visiting!


Please do not hesitate to ask if you have questions









Bjørn Jacobsen

May 2014