Guest article by Louis Carabott
This magnificent 1/72 scale diorama features the Airfix Short Sunderland Mk.III
(Click on the pictures to see the full size image)
diorama was actually modeled from a crude photograph
taken at the time of this incident….with a story to it….
This particular aircraft arrived from
it had engine failure on take off from the Kalafrana sea base, Malta and
it subsequently needed an engine change. The engine change was made in the
open on the slipway - which still stands to this very day - to get the
aircraft out of Malta as soon as possible, as air raids were becoming
deadlier and more frequent. Malta was really taking a pounding around this
time and we had it very bad. The attacks were originating from the island
of Sicily, which had been invaded and made part of Axis territory, only 60
This is the very old Airfix Sunderland Mk.III kit which was extensively detailed using bits and bobs from the scrap box. I scribed all the panel lines and vac-formed the canopy and all the turrets using clear acetate sheeting. This model was finished in 1998 and not a lot of resin accessories and photo etch parts were available at that time, so I had to make do with bits and bobs from the scrap box.
detailed engines were scratch built. I was lucky enough to be in
It was airbrushed in Humbrol enamels and shadowed and highlighted with lighter colours of the basic hues. It was weathered in oils.
FIGURES AND VEHICLES
Figures were modified from stock Matchbox and Airfix 1/72 scale polyurethane
figures which were altered to the required poses. The vehicles were again
available kits modified and altered to represent the propped up vehicles
They were painted in any sandy or stony coloured hue available… one can notice the crane mounted on a Matador truck and fuel was just tapped off from a normal bowser to 45 gallon oil drums and later fuelled manually by hand using 10 gallon tanks! Equipment was very limited in wartime Malta
The groundwork was fashioned out of balsa wood covered with a clay compound and later scribed when dry. Small pebbles and cat litter was used to make the seashore.
There is also a Maltese touch in the diorama in the form of a colourful Maltese fishing boat on the left hand side.This diorama was displayed at the UK IPMS Nationals in 1998.