Diorama : Lake Tanganyika 1915
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 02:09 AM GMT
My latest diorama will showcase the little known Battle of Lake Tanganyika in December 1915. In April 1915, a scheme was devised by the British Admiralty to deprive the Germans of the command of the lake. The plan was to send two motor boats of a speed and armament that would outclass those of the German vessels currently operating on the lake.
Two such boats later named HMS Mimi and HMS TouTou were launched on the lake in December 1915, under the command of Commander Spicer-Simson.
HMS Mimi in the shallows...
More to follow..
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 03:18 AM GMT
My diorama will likely include a representation of either HMS Mimi, TouTou or a captured German gunboat, Kingani. I started work on a basic hull:
The hull was cut from layered expanded polystyrene and shaped with a sharp knife. The hull was then coated in a layer of CGC drywall / sheetrock paste and allowed to dry thoroughly.
This product is extremely fine and can be sanded to smooth glassy finish.
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 06:29 AM GMT
Interesting,I have never seen it done this way before.
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 07:54 AM GMT
Thanks for taking the time to comment. Boats can be tricky and are an art form in thier own. I am hoping to obtain a reasonable result. Will keep updates coming as she moves along.
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 08:03 AM GMT
Images of Mimi and TouTou and even Kingani, are rather obscure and difficult to find. So, I decided to produce a "hybrid" motor boat, based on all 3 craft. The story would tell of either Mimi or TouTou undergoing re-fitting, or perhaps of a captured German gunboat being repaired. Kingani was captured in late December 1915 and Spicer-Simson had her re-fitted for British service.
Various reports and images show that many of these boats had shade tarps fitted for the very hot weather :
Here is an update on the boat, the hull has been carefully sanded down and finished with Tamiya Putty. It was then sanded again and then sealed with PVA adhesive. Further construction on the hull includes balsa wood, bits of scrap photo-etch and the obvious supports for a canopy.
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 08:43 AM GMT
I'm impressed with the bead-board hull - every time I use this stuff I wind up covered in little white beads...
(I don't suppose Bogie and Kate Hepburn are somewhere nearby?)
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 09:41 AM GMT
I usually get my wife to standby with the vacuumn-cleaner...
Works a treat.
Thanks for looking in...
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 11:10 AM GMT
From a historical point of view, some extra interesting facts about HMS Mimi and HMS TouTou. Both were shipped out to Cape Town by the Royal Navy. From there they travelled 2,300 miles by train via Bulawayo (now Harare) to the railhead at Elizabethville (now Lubumbashi). After hauling the boats for another 150 miles by road and 400 miles down the Lualaba river, the final stage was by rail to the small Belgian harbour at Lukuga. Incredible!. Much of the land haulage was by ox-cart or steam tractor:
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 11:19 AM GMT
Some updates on plants and foliage:
I used my usual technique of plastic coated paper to produce some foliage and plants, including a fan palm:
These are hand-cut from paper, coated with liquid plastic and primed, ready for painting. I also did some work on the base and ground work. Two river banks with space for the moored motor-boat:
Basework is expanded poly-foam, groundwork is Polyfilla with some added texture. I airbrushed the base with Tamiya colours.
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 06:21 PM GMT
Excellent work. I have recently read Mi-Mi and Tou-tou Go Forth and was amazed by their efforts to take the war to a remote land locked lake.
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 07:25 PM GMT
I also read the book - can't wait to see this one.
Looking good so far.
Posted: Monday, June 11, 2012 - 07:58 PM GMT
Will follow this
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 04:37 AM GMT
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 08:59 AM GMT
Excellent not seen at all subject !
I love the way you crafted the boat.
Keep it coming !
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 09:00 AM GMT
Thank you for taking the time to look at my work. I hope to get some updates up soon. Its been a bit busy at work. Will keep you posted..
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 09:10 AM GMT
Here is an update on Mimi / TouTou:
This picture shows the position of the boat relative to the banks of the lake. I have added a housing and exhaust for the diesel engine. Folded loose tarps are tissue paper set with PVA adhesive.
All comments and critique most welcome.
Posted: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 12:15 PM GMT
This is fascinating, a wealth of new techniques to marvel at and enjoy. Thanks for sharing!
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 02:14 AM GMT
Working very interesting.
I really want to build a diorama of WWI.
One question: What is the material that you used to fabricate the hull? I will monitor this work ....
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 08:59 AM GMT
Jim - thanks for taking a look, appreciated!
Rodrigo - the hull is made from expanded polyfoam, cut to shape with a sharp knife, then covered with drywall paste (gypsum plaster I suppose) then sanded smooth.
More pics to come...
Posted: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 09:01 AM GMT
More foliage added, oils washes and drybrushing of terrain started. Mimi / TouTou in place for fit..
I am starting the final detailing of the motor boat, then the canvas cover to come...
Posted: Sunday, June 24, 2012 - 02:16 AM GMT
Here are a few more pictures of Mimi / Tou Tou, with canvas tarp cover, made from fine tissue paper and set with PVA adhesive:
An update on the base will follow soon!
Thanks for looking
Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 - 01:37 PM GMT
Here is an update on the diorama base:
The base is framed in and edges added. Some additional shading for the under water section has also been added. It will soon be time for water...
Posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 04:14 PM GMT
I'm watching this closely. I love the boat!
Posted: Wednesday, June 27, 2012 - 05:13 AM GMT
Your diorama is coming along nicely. One question, where are the gun mounts?
Posted: Thursday, June 28, 2012 - 12:18 AM GMT
Thanks for tkaing the time to look. The Hotchkiss 3-pdr and maxim gun are my last target. I have the drawings ready and will posting progress on them soon. I was initially thinking of showing them actually being fitted, but I have not quite decided yet.
More to follow...