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Hi, Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Will and if you have questions
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The Iwo Jima Diorama (Black Sand Hell)

Here is a wonderful little diorama made by John. It is of a battle in Iwo Jima and I wanted to point out one particularly stunning part of this diorama. It is the wonderful attention to detail that John has paid to the painting of the miniature figures.

He also uses that technique I love so much of making use of found materials. Read on to learn more. And remember that sometimes the materials you don't buy are actually the best!

My thanks to John for submitting this great tutorial with pictures!

He has a business called Hobbies in a Barn and you can check out the facebook page to see more pics and get more info: Hobbies in a Barn on Facebook or his website: Hobbies in a Barn

Oh and be sure to check out the spectacular Tank Building and weathering tutorial that he has also sent in to us.

Want to see some large pictures of this diorama completed? Right here


John Tells us a little bit about the making of this diorama:

The volcanic rock is a feature and curse of the New Mexico desert, known as crumbled granite, colichi is the bane of ranchers and landscapers alike. It takes on a stain first from my craft type acrylic paint as you see and glues down to the diorama base. The beauty of the stuff is that is it makes perfect rubble, rock and even sand! I'll sell you a ton of it (lol) just to clear a garden!

Lastly, no flag in this diorama, Marines getting ambushed is the requested theme.


Ambush on Iwo Jima


The base

The diorama base is one of those recycled rubber garden stepping stones that I have used in the past with the best results for dioramas ever!


Volcanic rock on the diorama

No bending, cracking, warping, nothing and this one is no exception even with the volcanic rock scenery glued on.


Bazooka Figure

By finishing a figure with the Bazooka mounted on the shoulder instead of carrying it on the back as shown in the diagram the amount of realism was increased by 100 per cent. I doubt that DML designed the figure to actually have the Bazooka on the shoulder as it is a two piece accessory with no visible way to shoulder mount the weapon.

Flamethrower Figure

The flamethrower figure is a bit confusing as well as I researched many sites of the weapon in use and found many configurations and I came up with what I could tell was as close to accuracy as possible using a flamethrower from an old Tamiya set with DML attached parts.

Here is one more look at that fantastic Volcanic Rock:

The volcanic rubble and terrain

Thanks again for looking, and all the best,

John Staehle/

Check out more of John's Dioramas on my page here


Grizzly Bear Model Tank

Building and Weathering a Tank

Here is another tutorial by John. He makes a German Brummbar (Grizzly Bear) step by step and shows us some fantastic weathering techniques. If you like military models you should check this one out. Building and Weathering a model tank



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