Diorama by from BritModeler Forum

Models, in and of themselves, are interesting in their own right, as we modelers know. Sometimes there is more to a model than is possible to show without changing the accepted or well-known appearance of it. Many of the subjects we model are composed of far more than what we are able to represent and show from the outside. Aircraft, ships, cars, armor… all of these have far more parts and interest than what we normally can observe from without, and what we normally represent with our “standard” models.

A few years ago Eduard produced a model of the tank hunter Hetzer in 1:35 scale that was supplied with a full interior. Some of the detail bits were not there ofcourse, just like all of the cockpit detail is not present even on a Tamiya 1:32nd airplane. But, with a bit of ingenuity and spare parts, styrene and wire, the interior could be made to look even more realistic. I have one of these kits, completed, and it remains in my memory as one of my most favorite builds. I’ve looked for another, since they are long out of production, and although I found one or two, the prices they now command are too much for me. Modeling has moved on, especially in armor with the appearance of companies like Meng in Hong Kong, and Tamiya which still produces some of the best engineered and detailed model kits you can get.

Having a soft spot for WWI subjects I was initially enthused by the Tamiya British Mark V that was released last year.

Tamiya’s 1:35 British Mk V motorized model

Unfortunately, it is a motorized version, and I want my models to be detailed and sit in one place. I also don’t want to pay for motors and necessary transmission parts that I’m not going to need in the first place. So, I waited. Then, I found out recently that Meng has released this tank in 1:35 scale with a full interior. Brilliant. But, how can this be built and displayed so that the interior details are visible without cutting up or damaging the model?

One answer is a diorama, such as the one by ____ at the beginning of this piece. I like the general idea of building it so that it is obvious what it is, but not completed so that the insides are on view. But, I don’t like not being able to display it as a fully functioning tank, as in the photo above.

I suspect, from looking at the instructions, that the top can be left unglued to the main body and lifted off to display the inside. I’m not at all certain that with the top in place it will not have gaps, etc. that detract from the model over all.

Another solution is to build the thing in essentially two models by constructing the internal structures and components as a separate model and displaying that alongside the completed and closed model. This is well illustrated using the plastic parts only – no paint or weathering – on the Perth Military Modeling site.

Meng British Mk V with internal components displayed separately

I’d like to build one of these since I’m in my WWI modeling phase right not but these considerations have given me plenty of reason and pause to continue to research and decide what I want to end up with.

I have finished the Jagdpanzer IV/Lang, except for the tools and spare track, and am beginning the initial phase of building Meng’s Renault FT-17 tank, which I’m looking forward to. Future posts will include progress on this build as well.