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UDT Boat Diorama
(Underwater Demolitions Team)

Here is another Spectacular diorama made by John S. He also has another great tutorial on how to paint and weather a military tank.

My thanks to him 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



The diorama

1.) The kit; Revell re issued the kit last year or so and I found it available at Hobbylinc. The original issue date of 1967 is stamped on the hull of this kit. (Revell 1/32 UDT Boats W/Frogmen )

The rescue figure

2.) The build; I built the basic kit straight out of the box adding many details as I went along, major modifications inclued swapping the heads and helmets
of the two crewmen with ones from DML. The one UDT member that I used in the rubber raft is straight from the kit.

I also used two.30cal machine guns from Academy models with scratch build splinter shields.

An engine throttle was added to the side of the coxswain's control station by using a shovel handle for the throttle control, these boats used such a control along with the reversing lever (kit issue) for the engine as far as I know.

CLoseup of the boat

Several other details include the small box mounted to the right forward bulkhead, this would be called a "ready service locker" on real ship or boat
that would contain extra ammunition, in this case .30 cal ammo.

Any extra detailing was to the cleats and other hardware found on naval vessels to bring out the features of the equipment.

3.) Painting and weathering; I use all acrylic craft paints for all of my hobbies and spray painted the basic Sea Grey onto all of the kit with a Badger airbrush with a 50/50 mix of the paints used with blue tinted windshield wiper fluid. Weathing was done with a
thinned wash of black over the entire boat and the figures which were hand painted to represent U.S.  Navy uniforms of World War Two for enlisted members as wearing the cotton working uniform as well as the Kapoc life vest.

4.) The "Ocean Effects" were simply done by cutting out a space for the boat in 3/4" thick styrofoam and placing the completed model into the cut out area. The styrofoam was covered with household repair acrylic caulk to make the waves and swells aroud the boat. The water
effects were then painted again with acrylic craft paint, Glossy Sea Blue or Navy Blue. The waves and foam was the plain white caulk.

All the "water" surface and "wet" sections of the boat and crew was done with acrylic glossy clear coat.

5.) The black base is left over shelving from an old cabinet that I thought might really set up the whole ocean effect.

The water trails

I hope this simple and inexpensive diorama technique adds to the appeal of building watery dioramas. I had used the same technique for my river on my HO layout. (photos of that included here as well)

All the best,

John Staehle, Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer with a few years on small boats.


Water in a diorama


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



Revell 1/32 UDT Boats W/Frogmen

1/35 Scale. Length: 11" Width: 5-1/4" Height: 3-1/8" Parts: 63. Underwater Demolition Teams were established by the U.S. Navy in 1942 to seek and destroy obstacles left behind by enemy troops. U.D.T. troops were specially trained combat swimmers who could perform tasks like breaching cables and planting limpet mines on enemy boats. Many methods used to train these "Frogmen" are now used to train today's U.S Navy SEALs! Kit features a full-hull Underwater Demolition Team boat with a side raft pick-up unit and display stand, five "Frogmen" figures with air tanks, two sailor crew figures and decals with authentic U.S. Navy graphics. Skill level 2.


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