My Little Tank Factory

As modellers, we enjoy sharing photos of kits throughout their construction. Many modellers, however, don’t take any special care displaying their craftsmanship to its best advantage. Usually, we only see photos taken on someone’s workbench, or inside a spray booth. If the modeller thinks of it, to eliminate a cluttered background, he may use a blank piece of paper to form a small seamless backdrop. I sought a better solution, and came up with this:

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This factory scene was created using nothing more than a couple of pieces of foam board, a single piece of ceramic floor tile, and some odds and ends from a junk drawer. As shown, the scene is still very much in the early stages of development. As I work on more kits, and develop better modelling techniques, I can apply them to my factory scene as well.

The following images, from contemporary Ukrainian or Russian tank factories show the look I’m aiming for:

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So far, I think I’ve made a decent start on recreating the grimy conditions and the awful paint schemes. I used a home brewed oil wash, left over from a recently completed model, to add the initial layers of grubbiness. Both the foam board and the floor tile accepted the wash beautifully.

I’ve fashioned together a few scaled down pallets, shipping crates, I-beam stands, and other items you’d likely encounter in such an environment. I hope to also add things like parts racking, workbenches, shop machines, and even propaganda posters.

As the following image shows, there’s absolutely no concern about getting too heavy-handed with the weathering:

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I think of my scene as a sort of diorama that can be reused for any kit I build. I only build armour, but something like this could benefit an aircraft modeller just as easily. As time goes by, my factory scene will grow and evolve, never looking quite the same way twice.

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I’ve never seen anyone else use a backdrop like this, but I hope this sort of thing catches on, and the idea spreads.