This feature will be a Step By Step article on making a winter diorama. I hope everyone enjoys reading the article as much as I did making the diorama. To start with, this diorama is my entry for the "Ardennes Offensive" Campaign here on Armorama. So lets get down to it and start with how to decide what to build.
The Ardennes Offensive was the brain child of Adolph Hitler. Hitler sent the German forces through the Ardennes forest with his winter assault repeating history as it was done in his invasion in May of 1940. The only difference is that Hitler was now unsteady and clinging to the hope that his surprise attack could once again be repeated. It was a terrible gamble, as it hinged on being able to seize allied fuel supplies. This was critical because his army was low on fuel.
With this information I started working on what I wanted in my diorama. First I decided I wanted a knocked out allied tank or even just a disabled one. I'm making the setting based on the early days of the offensive. This was when the Allied troops were confused and retreating. I decided to use a Sherman tank for this.
Next I needed an Axis AFV. I had a good amount to choose from, but have always wanted to do a Hetzer. It seemed appropriate as the Hetzer really shined during this operation. I also wanted a third vehicle and decided on a Schwimmwagen. What type of scene do I want here? An urban dio? The campaign region dictated this. The Ardennes region is a mismatch of evergreen trees and farm lands with rolling hills. So a roadside scene with the tall evergreen trees is in order.