Afghanistan Northern Alliance Diorama Build in 1/72 Scale

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I wanted to display my MAZ-537 tank transporter on a diorama base, so I chose to depict the arrival of a Northern Alliance T-55 to support Afghani militia. First I would need a crew for the vehicles. These were a little hard to find, but finally I located a nice set from Paracel Miniatures in Viet Nam. Paracel website here: http://www.paracelminiatures.com/12-mini-seri-172
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These are the sculpts. They are beautifully done and well-cast. They come with some stowage for the tank, but none of the photographs of Afghani tanks I found had much in the way of stowage so I’ll save those bits for a future project.
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I still needed a driver for the MAZ so I used the Paracel tank driver bust and built up a figure with parts from the spares box. He should look the part in the cab!
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I also needed a crowd of militiamen to welcome the armor to town so I found some figures to convert. The white and light blue figures are from Preisser sets. The one on the lower left is from a Zvezda Soviet Motorized Infantry set which also provided many of the weapons.
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The robes and scarves common to the region made converting the figures a little easier. These were made using masking tape, secured and blended with superglue and Mr. Surfacer. Beards are Squadron Green Putty. The crouching figure on the left was a late addition, another from the Zvezda Soviet Motorized Infantry set.
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Here are the Paracel figures painted up and blended with oils. Figure painting is a skill I am still working to develop.
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This is the painted militia. Additional weapons are 3D prints, after some experimentation I realized that I was running into the same issue as injection kit designers – accurately scaled weapons are too small to print properly. After adding about 1/3 to the thickness they printed well. Weapon slings are lead foil.
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For the diorama’s vertical element I printed out an Afghan house intended for 28mm wargaming. This was scaled to 1/56, so I reduced it and angled it on the printing bed so only the front would be produced. It is called “Arabic Style Modular Village” and is on Thingiverse here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2379715
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Here is the base with the structure in the corner. The base is a 16 inch (40,6 cm) long strip of Oak trim, textured with wall repair compound. Rocks are kitty litter (clean), and everything was given a coat of tan acrylic paint.
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Here is part of the “cheering throng”, gathered to welcome their armor support.
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The finished diorama with the Tacom MAZ-537 transporter and Trumpeter T-55.