Welcome to my page!


here I present my work. I create dioramas in the time period of World War II and everything only in the scale 1/144.
My main focus are tanks but from time to time a take a look at submarines, interesting airplanes and small ships.

Mittwoch, 21. Januar 2015

Last Tiger in Sicily II the Siebel Fähre

My diorama shows the moment when the tank comes to the shores ready to embark on the Siebel Fähre to return to the Italian main land.
To bring some action to the diorama, I opened the driver and commander cupolar and added the driver and the commandant to the tank. All staff are from Preiser and they are volunteers.
But first there was the problem how to make the water surface?
My first attempt with Silicon was a disaster. It looked not very realistic.
So I tried next way to make my own water. This time I built a frame with the dimensions of the water and closed the frame with thin aluminium foil on the bottom. After I had crumbled the foil and stretched again, I filled it up with gypsum. And yes that convinced me. After the Gypsum was tried, I started coloring it. After painting I added some waves with white paint. On top of it I painted it with colorless Acrylic paint.
On the banks of the sea, the German Engineers had built a small bridge with matches, so that the Tiger could drive onto the Siebel Fähre.
After paining the wooden platform I started with the cabin on the platform. All dimensions I had to take from the pictures I found on the web. Thanks good, on one picture I saw a soldier standing, what gave we a good scale.
On the landscape I added some small flowers to change the look from plain Dessert to Sicily. To get a better understanding how it looks like in Sicily, I checked the area with Google Earth. So no trees there but some green, actually the difference to the dessert was not that big.
Besides that I added a lot of details to the ferry like the name Tag "Hai" which was made with white paper from an old business card and a black pencil. I searched the Internet for the word "Hai" in old German letters, but nothing convinced me, why I wrote it later by hand.
Finally some oil drums, the position lights and the rescue boats and it was done.

The Pontoons and the end parts.

First test with the tank and the bridge on it.

Building the land part.

First test with landscape and ferry.

The first water surface made with Silicon.

Second try, this time with Gypsum.

Where is the ferry?

The bridge with some of the new details.

Some of the stuff I wanted to add.

The pontoons and the bridge.

The bridge and back end of the ferry.

The Bug of the ferry.

All Flowers are made with real moos. 

The tiger turret.

The commander checks if everything is ready?

Now with driver and painted cupolas.

Slowly as Tigers always had problems with the gear box.

The crew waits for the last Tiger.

Front view of the Siebel Fähre.

The final version of the "schwere Fähre".

This is the book which I used for the design of the ferry:
Peter Schenk, Karsten Klein „Deutsche Landungsfahrzeuge“ Edition Erich Gröner

Donnerstag, 8. Januar 2015

Last Tiger in Sicily, part one the history background

Last year I spent some days in Sardinia and while I enjoyed the sun at the beach I had the idea for a new diorama.
To build a Siebel ferry had a high priority on my to-do list, but so far I always had some problems with the design. Back from vacation I took the old files and decided to do everything fresh from the beginning. Together with a very good book I was able to finalize the design.
During this process I contacted the German Forum Marinearchiv, where I got the right help and a very important hint!
The ferry I was looking for, was not a Siebel ferry, it was a „Schwere Fähre 40 s.F.40“ and it had a name: „Hai“. The dimensions are different and with the name I found more about the life and destiny of my ferry. So here are two pages with more information about this type of ferry:

Shapeways was so friendly to print it in the first attempt without any problems.
From several books and Internet pages I knew, that the Germans had around 18 Tigers in Sicily.
First it was planed to ship them to Africa, where parts of their units were already fighting. But with the sudden end of the Germans in Africa, there was no longer a need for Tigers.
So the German decided to use them in Italy / Sicily.
When the Allied started operation Husky, the codename for the landing in Sicily, all Tigers saw action in heavy fighting. More and more of the Tigers got lost. One was blown off, as the crane needed for maintenance was no longer available. They had borrowed it to an other unit.
Finally there was only one Tiger left, the number "222". At the harbor one of the last Siebel ferry gave him a ride to the mainland. Remember the Tiger has a wight of ~ 57 tons, so this was a heavy job for the ferry.
Good for me, there are three pictures about this shipping to Italy.
One last comment about the History, some days later, even the last Tiger got lost, the transmission gave up.
An interesting movie (German Wochenschau) about the German evacuation from Sicily you can find here: 

2 of the pictures from the German ferry you can find here:
Note you have to scroll down for the second picture. The text for the first picture is wrong, as it shows the same ferry and not one from the Caucasus area.

The Tiger "222" is waiting for his transport back to to Italy.