1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

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Warbird Kid
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1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

Post by Warbird Kid » Thu Sep 03, 2020 12:07 pm

I've been putting together this 1/144th scale diorama at the Connecticut Air & Space Center in honor of the 90th Bomb Group, better known as the "Jolly Rogers". It also is in honor of my grandfather: Peter J. Soltis, who was a Flight Engineer and Top Turret Gunner in the Jolly Rogers in the 320th. It depicts a typical air base for the 90th that could be either on Biak, New Guinea, etc.

I'll be continuing to add some other details like more Trucks, Jeeps, Crates, Tents, Trees, Foliage, etc. to the display. We still need a 400th B-24 (Black Tail) to represent a least one Liberator from each of the four squadrons. Most importantly, I'm working in Photoshop to create a realistic background mural to frame the entire diorama. That and doors of course! There will also be a second shelf for artifacts, as well as a second matching case with even more artifacts! Hope you enjoy the progress! I'll try and get some better quality pictures next time!

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Keep Em' Flying,
Christopher Soltis

Dedicated to the preservation and education of The Sikorsky Memorial Airport

CASC FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/ctairandspace
Warbird Wear: http://warbirdwear.com/

Chicks Dig Warbirds.......right?

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Axis Nightmare
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Re: 1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

Post by Axis Nightmare » Thu Sep 03, 2020 7:54 pm

Wow! outstanding. Excellent quonsets and palm trees. Dioramas really tell the story.
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What makes the P-51 Mustang so special?

"It would do for 8 hours what a Spitfire would do for 45 minutes."

Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager

Warbird Kid
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Re: 1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

Post by Warbird Kid » Thu Sep 10, 2020 1:24 pm

Little update. I've gotten the background mural to a place where I don't hate it. I sent it off to the "old man" for a review and see what he comes back with. Take a look for yourself!

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Note: Anyone who looks closely will see that all the B-24s are actually the Collings Foundation's "Witchcraft"! But hopefully that won't be too noticeable at that scaled down size.
Keep Em' Flying,
Christopher Soltis

Dedicated to the preservation and education of The Sikorsky Memorial Airport

CASC FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/ctairandspace
Warbird Wear: http://warbirdwear.com/

Chicks Dig Warbirds.......right?

Warbird Kid
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Re: 1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

Post by Warbird Kid » Sat Sep 12, 2020 7:50 am

For anyone interested in how my father made the extra bits of cargo for the diorama.

First he started with small cut off bits of plastic. In this case Raychem he "liberated" from work and glued it onto a thin sheet of styrene.

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I found out years ago that rolling paper can be a FANTASTIC paper / canvas / cloth material for models. It was a great excuse for when my dad caught me with them, and it actually worked! :lol:

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Then using a mixture of Elmer's Glue and Water you dip the cut piece of rolling paper into the tray until soaked. You dont want it to the point where its falling apart of course.

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You then begin to work the material onto the piece you wish to cover. Take some time doing this as the curing / hardening time is quite long. Use a hairdryer to speed up the process if you want to.

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Upon trimming and molding, it looks like we have a decent looking stack of boxes!

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Here is the completed example after paint and a little bit of weathering.

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And here are a few other bits of cargo to go along as well.

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The same process was used on some 21st Century 1/144 Trucks to give them canvas covered tops.

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I used this same method when building my "Bats Belfrey" diorama. It actually came out of necessity. I was REALLY happy with how I had painted the front windscreen / canopy on the B-25, only to have dropped it, and rolled over it with my chair. :evil: So I figured, I could salvage it, and put a tarp over part of it!

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My dad thought there should be a little more in the diorama. So he sacrificed one of my 21st Century Zeros. And I liked that one too! :lol:

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And the fabled "Jeep Project" He's recreating our 42 Willys that we operate out of the museum.

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Keep Em' Flying,
Christopher Soltis

Dedicated to the preservation and education of The Sikorsky Memorial Airport

CASC FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/ctairandspace
Warbird Wear: http://warbirdwear.com/

Chicks Dig Warbirds.......right?

Warbird Kid
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Re: 1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

Post by Warbird Kid » Mon Sep 14, 2020 5:40 am

Thanks Scott! For those that don't know, my father and I are volunteers and board members for the Connecticut Air & Space Center in Stratford, Connecticut.
https://www.ctairandspace.org

It's a smaller museum, with about 17 different aircraft and helicopters, but we also operate our 1942 Willys Jeep out of there so is reaches a wider audience (much like he diorama). We've owned the Jeep since 2013 and have had to do a fair amount to get her to where she is today (both cosmetically and internally).

Here's a shot of "For Pete's Sake" from a few years ago before we acquired the top, and few other additions.
https://www.ctairandspace.org/copy-of-1 ... flying-c-1
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And here are a few more recent shots taken at a local school in Stratford during Memorial Day.

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The 1942 Willys Jeep Project was devised as a way to also honor my Grandfather, Peter J Soltis from the Jolly Rogers. We figured, why not create a Jeep that "Pete" could have been driving around in, on one of the airfields during the war? So without skipping a beat, why father decided to recreate our Jeep in 1/144th scale.

First he started with ordering a few sets from Brengun. From looking at all the different 1/144th Jeeps, Brendan seemed like the highest quality and most detail.

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Here is the bike receiving the messenger bag,
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And here is the finished result! Needless to say Im impressed!
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We'll be adding this to the diorama as well! Thanks for looking!
Keep Em' Flying,
Christopher Soltis

Dedicated to the preservation and education of The Sikorsky Memorial Airport

CASC FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/ctairandspace
Warbird Wear: http://warbirdwear.com/

Chicks Dig Warbirds.......right?

Warbird Kid
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Re: 1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

Post by Warbird Kid » Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:25 am

Small update:

The crashed Zero (along with a mostly unscathed Tony) have been added into the display along with the Jeep.
I'm going to update / modify the backdrop mural a little bit, before sending it out to a printer.

(Note: These shots were taken on my Dad's new phone and appear to have been scale down)

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And lastly, here a few shots of the overall display. Still a ways to go. Most of the artifacts have just been placed in the case without any rhyme or reason.
We also need to locate the shorter glass shelves for the diorama case, so we can create a level shelf above it, instead of two uneven shelfs.

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Keep Em' Flying,
Christopher Soltis

Dedicated to the preservation and education of The Sikorsky Memorial Airport

CASC FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/ctairandspace
Warbird Wear: http://warbirdwear.com/

Chicks Dig Warbirds.......right?

Warbird Kid
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Re: 1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

Post by Warbird Kid » Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:04 am

We put the extra Jeeps and Bikes into the diorama tonight, along with the first print version of the backdrop mural!

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The backdrop mural is just temporarily placed in with magnets. It was intentionally made longer since it was originally to be cut in the middle and glued to the two backing doors. But we think it may look better this way since the metal brackets are behind the print. We still need to trim it, but its not bad for a first print version. The thing is, you just never know what it's going to look like until you place in place. Now looking at it, I'd adjust more than a few things. But I'm happy with it for now.

The only other thing that we'll probably do with the diorama at this time will be to change or add more aircraft. We have a couple of B-24s planned, and maybe some P-38s instead of Corsairs. (I have plans for the Corsairs for another Diorama). 8-)
Keep Em' Flying,
Christopher Soltis

Dedicated to the preservation and education of The Sikorsky Memorial Airport

CASC FB Page: http://www.facebook.com/ctairandspace
Warbird Wear: http://warbirdwear.com/

Chicks Dig Warbirds.......right?

bobb428
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Re: 1/144 Jolly Rogers Airfield Diorama

Post by bobb428 » Tue Apr 13, 2021 11:12 am

That's really awesome looking!

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