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135
M-18 Hellcat in Germany 1945

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Steve built this diorama for his college roommate and long-time friend whose dad served in the 809th Tank Destroyer (TD) Battalion in Europe during WWII. The diorama is intended to depict an M-18 Hellcat “B-14” from the 809th in the Ruhr area of Germany in mid-April 1945, just prior to the battalion converting to the M-36 “Jackson”.

After doing research on how the M-18s were used tactically, I found that many TD units were employed in the infantry support versus true “anti-tank” role in Europe as the M-18, while fast, used the 76mm gun which still had issues penetrating the frontal armor of Panzer Vs and VIs… hence the “sand armor” on the front slope.

The M-18 is from Academy, the buildings are from Mini-Art, the figures are a mix of Dragon, Alpine, and the “woman in despair” is from Stalingrad. Black Dog was the primary source for the considerable amount of canvas stowage, crew’s gear, and such on the exterior racks.
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About the Author

About Steve Hightower (GreenBooRay)
FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES

I'm a retired US Army Special Forces ("Green Beret") officer and I've been a model builder since the mid-1950's. Think my first kit was an Aurora FW-190! Today, I'm retired and have more time to pursue modeling, particularly armor in 1/35. Like many, I enjoy building WWII German armor and wheeled...


Comments

The wall crack are too bold and too neat. The ruined buildings are also still too clean. The ruins should be more scattered along the width of the street, since it seems to be concentrated along the edge of street where the building stands for. In the other side, I really love the idea and lots of broken windows. Great tanks (should be more dirt and dust on it), nice figures' face expression and positioning. Very good job overall! One more thing, I think Miniart may get frustrated since you broke their 'Apotheke' house in half. Kind regards from Indonesia Garry
JUN 10, 2018 - 02:41 AM
Neat trick cutting the Apotheke building in half -will we see the other half in a different dio? Otherwise I agree with the other comment in that the ruins are too clean and don't look dirty and dismal enough. Beyond that I really like the M-18 and figures -nicely done! I've always liked it when builders pose numerous figures on a vehicle as this was more reflective of what really happened. Why walk when you can ride?
JUN 11, 2018 - 04:57 AM
Thanks for the constructive criticisms and comments on my dio gentlemen. Taking the photos and submitting them was an "after thought" and, if I were to do this one again ... it would be a bit more "grungy" overall. On the MiniArt bldgs used.... I didn't slice up the Apothecary shop. It's their kit #36038 "Ruined German Houses with Base" as is.
JUN 12, 2018 - 06:58 AM
Looks pretty good. In my opinion, the starkness is not due to how you weathered it, but your lighting in the pics. Your pics are either too dark (which makes darker lines and shadows more prominent) or too bright (which washes out details). I use daylight LED bulbs from at least 3 different angles to illuminate my pics. They throw natural light and shadows. Also, don't use the camera's flash. It is too bright for close pics and will wash them out. Once you get your light setup squared away, your dio will look much better.
JUN 13, 2018 - 02:17 AM
Very nicely done! I especially like the figure composition. One can almost sense the GI’s regaining their balance as the M-18 lurches to navigate through the narrow village street. Cheers!🍺 —mike
JUN 13, 2018 - 04:22 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.