2 x Pz.Kpfw.IV ausf. D #09
Building the base vol.II
Working without a set plan is never a good idea when you have an active imagination. Things tend to stray. Even though this was meant as a simple display for both panzer IVs, I wanted to give it more effect, so I added a split level to the groundwork. The walls are built at a slight angle from the base front to allow for a better view. To get the main shape, I built up the walls first using poster card and cork sheet, trimming it to fit as I went along.
When I was satisfied with the layout, I started fixing the Heki foam brickwork in place. As this foam will melt when using strong glues, I used a hot glue gun. This is an excellent tool for diorama work as it dries almost immediately and progress is swift. As the walls are built at a slight angle I decided to add a partial door on the short wall. This area was going to come into effect with the storyline that was almost sub-consciously coming about as the base was being built. The soft foam allows for easy cutting and placing items “in” the wall.
The fountain was added in much the same way. I traced the shape of the fountain wall onto the foam bricks and cut out the piece easily. The fountain wall was then replaced. Building it into the wall gives a more natural appearance and not as an after-thought. I used some Milliput to fill any gaps and this also secures it in place. As I paint with enamels, this is also important to close off an points where the foam is exposed.
The bricked ground was covered with cork. I cut it into long strips using a ruler and sharp knife. Then I use a cutter to make the individual bricks. As a block can be fixed to the cutter with tape, this means all the bricks can be cut to the same length. I added bricks conforming to all edges first and then placed them in a natural direction. White glue was used to fix them in place. Mr. Surfacer 500 was used to cover any exposed areas and also fill in small gaps.
The last stage was to grout between all the bricks. The bricks were grouted using spackle and diluted white glue. I add a little dish washing liquid to the diluted white glue to make it easier to spread by removing some of the surface tension. An artists trowel was used for spreading the grout. As soon as the bricks were “plastered”, I removed as much as possible in a scraping motion with the trowel. Then I removed the rest using a damp sponge. As well as removing the excess spackle the sponge, it also compacts the mixture into the gaps.