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Dioramas
Do you love dioramas & vignettes? We sure do.
Operation Anthropoid
Frenchy
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Posted: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 05:57 PM UTC
Looks like it could be a scenario for a CSI : Prague episode....

H.P.



maartenboersma
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 12:55 AM UTC
A Bloody Good Read this Thread !
kurnuy
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Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 11:08 PM UTC
Well Tim i'll say it shortly ,

wish you good luck and a lot of motivation to build this diorama .

Kurt
Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, March 30, 2018 - 06:33 PM UTC
Frenchy – yes my agent’s negotiating…

Maarten & Kurt - bedankt geachte heren, en bedankt voor het kijken.

So here’s the emerging half-scale (i.e. 1/70th) mock-up for the purpose of working out how backdrops will work best with camera angles. The base is 5cms short on the right edge but it’ll do for these tests…



This time the stand-in’s a Matchbox RR Silver Cloud, approximately in scale at 1:64th…



At this point the issue of contours already raises its ugly head. The reconstruction & 1936 photos shows that there’s hardly a level piece of ground in the entire area. The general topography is highest along the right side & sloping away down both roads leftwards. I’ll certainly reproduce that in the Big One, but for this trial omitting those gradients shouldn’t affect the backdrops too much…



…although I could always be wrong because in the image below it looks like the car’s on a rising gradient when in fact the opposite should be the case…



So much for 2D. Next step is to enter the 3rd dimension with dummy tram-cars, trees etc. in position. It’s becoming obvious I’ll have to plan every single final photographic image in terms of camera position & width/depth of field/frame, like a movie story-board. I keep thinking that the narrative of this dio covering the 10-15 seconds of action should be really, really simple, yet the moment I focus on one detail a small avalanche of difficulties ensues - all the more reason to resolve them now.
jrutman
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Posted: Friday, March 30, 2018 - 06:46 PM UTC
This gives me all the more reason to respect the geniuses of film like Spielberg,etc. You are making my head hurt man !
J
Stickframe
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Posted: Friday, March 30, 2018 - 11:39 PM UTC
Hey Tim - great project - after my recent debacle with backdrops....I appreciate your challenge. I tend to agree with your earlier assumption that the street has some slope - the photos suggest it, but I suppose that could be an optical illusion albeit unintended. Your mock up is sure a good idea - especially when considering the amount of work that will go into this - Enjoying the show!

Cheers
Nick
ayovtshev
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Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 10:26 AM UTC

Quoted Text

A Bloody Good Read this Thread !



Dito!
Watched the 1964 Czech movie, then the 2016 movie.
Read out the entire Czech Interior Ministry report.

Tim- thanks for creating this topic!
Your approach to this dio will one day be studied.
Following.

Sean50
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Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 08:08 PM UTC
This is some stunning preparatory work and promises to be an awesome model.

Keep it up, following with great interest :-)

Cheers

Sean
Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, April 01, 2018 - 05:00 PM UTC
Thanks guys for dropping by, sorry Jerry I’m just a generous guy who likes to share the pain around!

Nick – yes it was an optical skew in that photo, if I tried harder I could probably skew it the right way. Pity nobody makes a 1/35 Surveying team with PE theodolites, I’m not looking forward to messing with plaster over such a large area to get those gentle slopes, unless there’s a more manageable material? And then there’s all the tramlines…I have a feeling I’ll be chopping up a barrow-full of cobblestone pieces to lay on top of the plaster in a giant jigsaw pattern with a 1mm gap around each piece. Did I mention I wake up in a cold sweat some nights?

Angel - ah yes I’m still resisting watching any of the movies, but soon I must. Did either of those two versions show this alleged aspect?: “Precise details of what followed differ... Rela Fafek, Gabcik's girlfriend, who was to drive a car ahead of Heydrich: if he was coming along unescorted she would wear a hat. At 10:31, complete with hat, she drove round the corner.” If that is true my budget’s just gone up...if any manufacturer makes a pre-war Skoda...convertible??

Sean – well it’s sure stunning me...like a mullet. I might need you to send over some of your quality seedlings to plant in that piece of parkland - this dio will be nothing if not “cultivated”.

Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, April 02, 2018 - 01:30 PM UTC

Quoted Text

if any manufacturer makes a pre-war Skoda...convertible??



The one from Wespe Models is not convertible...

Skoda Popular 927 :



I'd bet this is the kit seen here (different brand though) :

http://www.webkits.com.br/news/templates/news.asp?articleid=390&zoneid=30

H.P.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Monday, April 02, 2018 - 03:00 PM UTC
Thanks Frenchy, and only 24.5 Euros from Wespe eh? Tempting – although THIS is what I really want, how cool…



Shame there’s no kit, this appears to be a model made by/for Skoda itself of unknown scale. If such an animal existed in 1/35 at reasonable cost I’d take it like a shot. With a pretty Czech girl in a wide-brimmed hat slewing it round the bend…who could ask for more? Otherwise, the Wespe kit looks a bit clunky & you wouldn’t be able to see the driver too well anyway, so I’ll pass but thanks again mon ami.
Frenchy
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Posted: Monday, April 02, 2018 - 04:04 PM UTC
I agree about the clunkiness of the Wespe Skoda...Maybe an open-top Fiat would fit the bill ?



or even an Opel ?



H.P.
cheyenne
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Posted: Monday, April 02, 2018 - 05:19 PM UTC
Tim , beauty research and layout work !!!

Real Model Czech Rep. makes a 4 door MB 320 [ rm36054 ] cabriolet and a MB 170 2 door cabriolet [ rm36062 ] , [ which looks like the car you need and both are 1/35th ] .
Kinda pricey though , Czech them out they look the part .
maartenboersma
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Posted: Monday, April 02, 2018 - 05:22 PM UTC

Here in the Netherlands we had a documentary about
Reinhard H and the assassination attempt,
They filmed on the original locations with the actor in full uniform.

Not sure if you can see the episodes on the other side of te world

https://www.vpro.nl/programmas/hhhh/kijk/afleveringen.html
Galwitz
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Posted: Monday, April 02, 2018 - 07:38 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Rela Fafek, Gabcik's girlfriend, who was to drive a car ahead of Heydrich...



Gabcik's girlfriend (one of few, it appears, and we only speculate about the particulars of these relationships) was actually Libena, Rela's younger sister.

For what it's worth, I am highly skeptical about the story. It is unlikely that both parachutists - secretive about the operation even among other SOE agents in present in Prague, not to mention domestic resistance members - would involve essentially a civilian and romantic companion. Also, Petr Fafek, girl's father, worked (unless I am mistaken) as an accountant. I do not believe that family with this background living in Prague would own a car.

Czech 1964 movie depicts a popular legend that the third man was actually Josef Valcik, member of the Silver A drop, who was signaling car's approach with a hand mirror. This is also believed false, although Valcik worked closely on the action preparations with the other two on daily basis. His face was already known to Gestapo at the time. Not to mention the mirror thingy (are you gonna risk a cloud in sky at a wrong moment?).

The fact is, it is not clear, and likely never will. Kubis and Gabcik could have been easily alone.

I do not want to throw any curve ball at you, but there is yet another theory out there based on the reconstruction I have mentioned above. They looked at the SOE documents with regards to the parachutists training. And it appears, that the bomb could have been the primary weapon (considered more reliable) with stengun moping up if needed (it still jammed nevertheless).

Other than that, great progress. Looks really impressive. Good luck.
strongarden
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Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - 07:48 AM UTC
WhOoah !
I drop out from the hobby a short while, naturally due to the fanfare of annoying real-life , only to find this beautiful wonderment in it's early stages.
Great idea Tim. I've seen the old "Hangmen Also Die" ('43-ish), but not the others. I"ll check them out now after reading thru this.

Bravo Tim, count me in for the ride as well, it's gonna be a stunner. Amazing research and backstory dude, love it!

Cheers
Dave
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, April 03, 2018 - 08:24 AM UTC
Good Grief Charlie Brown - what an amazing team is assembling to help with this project, thank you all so much!

About the lady in the hat in the car – I’m torn about this. Obviously the reason why there’s little consensus about the details of the event is that all the players bar Klein were dead within approx 3 weeks and none provided a witness statement, or at least one that survived. If the story of the lady was true, and whether or not she survived war, she would surely have been a celebrated heroine yet we’re not even sure of her identity. On the other hand why would anyone need to make up such a story?

I’m not sure we can decide its authenticity by deduction but here goes: The agents knew May 27 was their only chance to get Heydrich because a mole at his office had relayed diary entries to the Resistance and that showed he was leaving Prague later that very same day for permanent re-assignment. So it was irrelevant whether Heydrich had an armed escort or not, they had to hit him regardless...so they didn’t need hat-lady at all. Whether or not you think this exploit was misguided, just think about the courage that knowledge required. Perhaps it was part of an earlier plan (when maybe sister and/or girlfriend had volunteered) which a Resistance survivor mentioned after the war?

I agree the mirror ploy seems far-fetched relying on a sunny day, but the guys on the corner must have needed some kind of long-range signal from way down the road that the car was approaching. That look-out couldn’t have been on the other side of the road because the tram-traffic was liable to get in the way so they needed to be on the same side…and yet with the tram stop right there and passengers alighting, they too would have got in the way. So if there really were other accomplices it would make sense to position themselves at intervals & pass the signal up the road that way…like taking their hat off/on or similar, without needing a mirror.

As for who did what, there was a second grenade because the Germans found it in the briefcase abandoned most likely by Kubis who threw the first. Bringing to mind all my experience of masterminding hits & assassinations, I’d have made the sten primary and then the grenade(s) to make sure, lobbed into a likely stationary car from far enough away that neither agent got hit by shrapnel. As it turned out Kubis was too close & got wounded. If Heydrich’s car did have an escort, at least their plan allowed for one agent taking on the escort & the other Heydrich.

Bottom line – No hat-lady/car (alas!), no mirror, yes accomplices.

P.S. thanks for the new link Maarten, I’ll look at it when I look at all the other recreations. Some may think I’m nuts for avoiding them & maybe I am, but I just want to exhaust any kind of semi-primary sources & draw my own conclusions before seeing how others have interpreted them.

Nearly ready to show next steps of the mock-up…
Dioramartin
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Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 - 08:09 PM UTC
So here’s some experiments with opening frames, as Heydrich’s car overtakes the stopping #14 tram, with the other #14 approaching and #13 moving out from its stop…



Keeping an eye on the tram-car count in each frame…maybe I can get away with only building 3...



I’m an occasional landscape painter & for a less ambitious project I’d settle for this Impressionistic parkland, but they’ve really got to be 3D trees in the Big One…



Two problems arising: the stopping tram’s way too close to the start of the bend according to the reconstruction, and the approaching tram’s also too close. Looks like I’ll have to extend the northern and eastern borders…



…although that won’t altogether relieve the next headache in this north-west corner where the two backdrops converge - somehow I need to suggest the second carriage/trailer…



It’s a tight squeeze so maybe the 2nd tramcar can be remote/blurred enough to be just painted in…



Shuffling the backdrop sections – they’ll need to slide along depending on the camera position...



Those extra trams in the backdrop won’t be there of course, but the house is about the right size/perspective for this view. Around now you might be thinking what I’m thinking – shoot the whole thing in monochrome? Tempting because then I wouldn’t have to tint the backdrops…but I want those red trams.



Sharp-eyed lurkers will have already identified the 1/72 figures as my homage to Surrealist dioramas - NATO pilots & ground crew.



A comparison with the photo two up from here shows progress with some Derwent colo*red pencils…& the trams’ vanishing act.



This one gives me some confidence I’m on the right tramline…



Returning to the cramped north-west/north-east corners of the “red square” boundaries, I’m beginning to think the green square might be a better idea…



It would simplify the above issues & make little difference to the eastern edge. The west side is predominantly trees anyway (at least as far as photos are concerned) & the south-west corner backdrop might work OK on a curve. That leaves the south edge, and that building on the south-east corner which could be awkward although the non-verbal part of my mind (I’m left-handed) is working on the possibility it might be ideal to have it cutting across the corner in 3D.

It’s also becoming obvious how much the backdrops will need to be moved from side to side AND towards & away from the edge of the base, depending on the relative positions of camera and action. Otherwise, for example the house on the north edge will look too big/close or too small/far away from one photo to another. Add to that equation the fact it’s 2-dimensional so there’s only a narrow range of angles it can seen from. And then when it comes to the Big One everything has to be doubled in size…

Talking of headaches, if anyone sees a spare ICM Type 320 kit collecting dust on a real or virtual shop shelf please let me know - my supplier/distributor are reluctant to predict when they’ll ever get hold of any & patience is wearing thin. Meanwhile I’m going dark for a hopefully short time while my steam-powered Dell desktop’s being upgraded.

Frenchy
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Posted: Friday, April 06, 2018 - 10:52 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Talking of headaches, if anyone sees a spare ICM Type 320 kit collecting dust on a real or virtual shop shelf please let me know - my supplier/distributor are reluctant to predict when they’ll ever get hold of any & patience is wearing thin.



The ICM kit is on eBay...

As a plan B you can also find the one from Real Model on eBay as well :





Even though the quality appears to be not as good as the ICM one... (maybe some kitbashing to add on your to-do list ?)

H.P.
Tankerman
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Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 02:05 AM UTC
The "V for victory" symbol came from Churchill's famous hand sign and was adopted by various Resistance or Underground organizations. Painting "V" on walls or posting printed posters with the "V" became a common activity of such groups to show defiance of the Nazis. The Nazis couldn't keep up with the removal of the V;s that appeared all over the place so they came up with the notion of co-opting the symbol. Their campaign claimed the V to mean "Viktoria" as a Germanic take on the Latin Victoria; victory for Germany.
justsendit
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Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 08:24 PM UTC
Hi Tim,
I’ve only been lurking around your progress thus far and my reason for not commenting until now is: The size of this project, your research, planning, mock-up, and attention to detail have left me speechless.

I’m really enjoying this drama as it unfolds before me.🍿
—mike
Stickframe
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Posted: Saturday, April 07, 2018 - 11:41 PM UTC
Hi Tim,

Certainly an interesting collection of model building challenges you've got here. I think, the topo might work to your advantage when taking pictures "up" the hill. Looking back at the B/w photos, it sure appears that the road surface has a discernible grade change, the lone house site "pretty high" on the land, and you have an ovious background ridgeline.

Maybe yes, you build the slope of the streets into the dio, build an accurately scaled facade or two (the side facing us, and the "right" side when viewed from the street) of the house, then paint the landscape up to and including, but not over the ridge, and let the real sky be the sky? Keep the backdrop detachable from the base and maybe the house (at least separate the building from the backdrop) - but always keep it proximate to some "base" location - so it always appears to be contextually accurate - simple!! Haha -

Keep up the good work!
Nick



Dioramartin
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Posted: Sunday, April 08, 2018 - 12:51 PM UTC
Thanks gents,

Henri-Pierre – yes I’m going Ebay for the ICM, & my thoughts exactly about the Real Model kit – they sure know how to take unappealing box-art. I don’t like (a) the way the body in the rear-door area just goes straight back, my impression is it gently slopes down…and didn’t have door-handles (b) the windscreen frame...enough said (c) the folded tilt reminds me of the dreaded Masterbox Type 170 effort – makes an excellent door-stop.

Laramie – indeed this was discussed earlier in the thread, it’s certainly an interesting subject the tram windows make reference to.

Mike – hey long time, didn’t see you skulking up the back there! It leaves me speechless too when I tot up the shopping list – approaching 4 figs. US if I go all out. Someone should start a thread about most-expensive-dio.

Nick – yes I think I’ll trust to luck the slopes on the Big One take care of themselves as they’re relatively shallow. But with this north side I wasn’t actually planning on building anything past the sidewalk wall i.e. the power/telegraph poles & maybe that hedge too. When it’s @ 1/35 I’m banking on the largely 2-D backdrop being obscured enough by foreground action to pass muster. It’s not just laziness, those non-verbal grey cells are semaphoring that I’m likely to have terminal problems with shadows in 3D...maybe even with the pole shadows…?

The other consideration’s already visible – the car’s decelerating fast as it takes the bend but a perfectly-focused photo will make it look utterly stationary. That’s why I posted the 3 similar photos (just above the map) – it seems to me something nearest the middle one is the best option to suggest movement and that in turn sends the backdrop into deep blur.

However I think everything you said in your 2nd para is probably spot-on for the south-east corner (the “Bauhaus” building), although it’s going to be some distance away from south-facing photos. I haven’t started looking at those sides/corner yet but a cursory look at the map now makes me wonder if the #3 tram will completely crowd out the background of those photos…maybe not all though.

We’ll see soon enough, meanwhile the PC upgrade’s postponed a day or two, it’s a beautiful sunset & balmy 27C so why not y’all join me for some delicious glasses of Schadenfreude
Dioramartin
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 06:43 PM UTC
Welcome to Mock-up v2, orientation altered for reasons as per my last post:



I’m taking an alternative approach in these trials because it seems far less of the background will be visible/in focus - I still need to do some but maybe not so detailed, experiments continue. These test-shots (a fraction of what may be 25 to 30 final photos in the Big One) are captioned with the results of latest research which has substantially altered my view of how the event unfolded, & further down I’ll explain how/why.

Kubis on the bend, Gabcik on the right looking way down the street (with an uninterrupted view) to the only other accomplice (Valcik) standing on the same side…with a mirror (!), signaling Heydrich’s approach…



Gabcik has run over to the bend having already assembled his Sten…



…and probably doesn’t actually step in front of the car…



The gun having jammed, driver Klein starts to accelerate away…



…but Heydrich orders him to stop, stands up in the car & is unholstering his pistol…



…when Kubis (unnoticed by Heydrich) tosses the grenade…



Klein stops the car (either tidily round the bend or it stalls across the kerbside tramline when the grenade explodes), jumps out and chases after Kubis who runs across the street to where Gabcik had been originally standing, jumps on his bike & pedals away down the street the car had just driven up. Meanwhile Heydrich gets out onto the sidewalk and starts shooting at Gabcik who runs past the front of Tram #3 and up the street in the opposite direction to Kubis…



Klein runs back towards Heydrich who orders him to chase after Gabcik, after which he collapses near the car…



I’ll save what happened next for when I’ve worked out how to depict it! Anyhow this is where all that came from, it finally arrived yesterday…



The author’s primary source for the assassination itself was SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Heinz von Pannwitz’s 1942 investigation report plus a post-war self-serving account of it - he was incidentally also instrumental in the reprisals yet died peacefully in his sleep in 1975. Secondly, Miroslav Ivanov’s book “Target:Heydrich” (publ 1974) gathered surviving witness statements which Macdonald also uses. In all the endlessly re-hashed crap I’ve seen on the internet neither of these sources came up, I’d never even heard of them before this book arrived, published in 1989! Now I remember what Libraries used to be used for.

There was no hat-lady or car. There was only one other accomplice at the scene. Gabcik & Kubic were packing Colt revolvers (not Brownings) and both fired them, no wonder they only found German shells on the ground. I could go on, so much detail and from what appear to be the most reliable available sources. I haven’t read the whole book yet but there are only two outstanding questions for my purposes – the colour of the Merc (yes it looks black except in a couple of close-ups…), and whether the Gestapo photographic reconstruction happened the same day or some days later. The sketch I posted a week or so ago was done same-day, but not necessarily the photographs.

Turns out I now need a Czech-looking Bread van and a “small furniture-polish van” (hey Frenchy got any free time…?!) plus yet more civilians, so that budget blow-out’s definitely sending me into US$1,000+ territory. However my preferred supplier looks like coming to the party, or at least for cocktails - more later.

Meanwhile something else pulled up outside yesterday…



Frenchy
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Posted: Thursday, April 12, 2018 - 07:33 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Turns out I now need a Czech-looking Bread van and a “small furniture-polish van” (hey Frenchy got any free time…?!)



Hi Tim
Maybe you could try to convert this one ? (you've asked for a "Polish" van )



S-Models range includes a few other Polski-Fiat and Ursus trucks that may be worth a look as well :

http://www.s-model.com.pl/english/modele1-35.html

Another option (not really Czech-looking though) :

[

On a side note, Wespe Model makes a bigger, 3-ton Skoda truck :



Regarding 1/35 civilians, you probably know already about those from Preiser...

H.P.