Welcome To My Bayonet Duel Page One.



This diorama came about, after seeing one made by tiger calico on the Sixth Army Group forum. And it got me thinking about can I make something similar?  Diorama link - Close combat in Arnhem So rather than try to copy the excellent work, I decided to have the two figures in a bayonet duel instead.

I have had a lot of help with the posing for these figures from the Sixth Army forum Duel

Because as I am a civilian, and I have never served in any of the forces, I had no idea about the use or defence against bayonets. And a lot of the pose that I was after, came about after using the advice given to me.

The first problem I had with trying to get the poses correct, was that the US para would not 'bend' into the position I wanted it in. So to get around this, I used the page I made of Ed Robinson's excellent body alterations Body Modifications For this I had to use my 'Dremel' type of drill to remove some of the body around the hip, shoulder and neck joints. This was done in small stages, as I did not want to destroy the figure.

So, I removed some of the body, set the figure, removed some more, set again until I could get the pose. As the position I wanted for the para is for him to look like he has blocked the bayonet thrust, and had then rolled to the right pulling the German off balance. And has now raised his leg to push the German further away from him. What I am trying to capture here, is a sort of moment in time, with the German off balance and being also pushed back.

Figures Used for this diorama

German Soldier

The German soldier is a boxed DiD Kurt Dorr, the uniform etc and parts are from the figure. The only things I have added to it, are an 'A' frame on his back, onto this I have added a cloth bag, a cut down rolled zeltbahn and a mess tin. Plus, a pair of DML laced boots from the Dietrich Koppe figure, as this was to me the only thing that was missing. At the moment all I have done to change anything, is to repaint the headsculpt to a slightly lighter shade of flesh. As to me the colour seemed a little too dark. The eyes have also been repainted, but I have to get some gloss varnish to finish them off. Also, I sewed the gaiter ends together to get them tight enough around the boots, which allowed me to tighten up the straps, but not put them under any stress so they would break.

US Soldier

The US para is based on the DML Bobby Dalton figure. I was going to use a Sepp Kiefer head, but I preferred the determined look of the Bobby head. As to me it has a look of " I am winning!" This again was repainted including the eyes, which also need work done on them with some gloss varnish. The uniform is I think a Frank Laird one, and the rest of the parts are from my spares box, and a real mix of parts from both DML and the recent DiD releases. Such as an ammo belt with pouches, shoulder holster, webbing and musette bag are from DML. The shovel & cover, water bottle and gas mask bag came from DiD. The boots I used for this figure are the Newline Miniatures double buckle one's.

The base for the diorama

This is a 12" x 9" pine base and was made for me to a special order by S &J Woodcraft . The base had to be this size, mainly because of the lying down position of the US para, with trying to keep the overhang of the para's rifle and bayonet to a minimum off the base. Coupled with the standing pose of the German soldier as well.

All of the pictures so far, are of my attempts to get the positions right, and finding out exactly how the equipment on the US para will affect his pose. Because, I have found that I can get the German positioned exactly as I want him, but the para will not link in to make the setup right for me. One benefit I have found after all of the help I have been given, is that the German can be positioned off centre (almost falling over). But he is held up by the metal DiD bayonet, which I have got placed onto the base. Another thing that I have had to do to set the poses, is tape up the joints, and this is a real pain to do.

As I can get the poses right with the nude figures, but you just try to get it dressed from the positions above! So, I have had to dress the figures, partially un-dress them and then tape up the joints, re-position, adjust, re-tape and even walk away... Because at one point the whole lot was going to go out the window... And that is before I even mention the weak/loose hip joints on the Kurt Dorr figure... And all of this is because I want, the raised leg on the US para, as to me it adds to the effect of the moment.


I finally got myself some spare time, so I wanted to try to work out what the base would look like with the figures on it. With some of the groundwork laid out, basically because I was getting a bit bored just looking at the bare wood. And if I did not do something with it, it may sit here forever like that.

In the pictures above I have laid some of the stones I had, to see how the US figure would lay on them. And to see how I can place the German figure with them as well. One thing I did find out now, is that the raised leg looked sort of out of position, so I have changed it to the pictures above right and below. Another idea I am toying with at the moment, is when I make plaster mix up for the bulk of the groundwork. Is to mix in some grout with it to add a dusty look to it, maybe also adding some ground down pastel chalks as well to break up the same colour of the grout.

Because with the leg in the lower position as above, it does make the figure look like he is pushing the German backwards off balance. Also with the stones in place like this I can finally get an idea, of how the belt equipment on the US figure sits on them. Which allows me to pose the figure better, and find out where the German figure will go.

To add some effect to the base, I have decided to have it as a slope, with the higher part on the right behind the US figure. At this moment, I am not sure how I can make this, maybe I could get a square piece of balsa wood stuck onto the base. Then build the groundwork over this sloping downwards. The only problem I can think of with doing this, is that the German figure would only be fixed to the base by one foot.

Other alterations that I want to do to the US figure is change the ammo belt for the new DiD Charles Winstone one, because of the better lift dot clips. Maybe change the webbing, and remove the gas mask bag from the leg as well.


While I was starting to get some other kit together for the US figure, I decided to use the ammo belt from the Winstone figure. And I had the bright idea for adding some ammo clips to the pouches, and in my usual ham fisted way I broke off three of the pips that hold the pouch flaps in place. So, I had to make a repair to them.

The picture on the right, shows one of the 'spikes' I have had to make to replace the lower pip part of the lift dot. And in the same picture far right you can see the 'spike' fitted and 'mushroomed' off to seal the pouch closed.

US Soldier

I again got myself some spare time, so I went to work on dirtying up the US figure for this diorama. The pictures below left and centre show the pre-dusting state.



The picture above right shows the Newline boots I used, with the left one as new and the right one with pastel and grout dust on it. These boots have amazed me, with the way that they have taken the dust onto them. The rough texture of the leather is perfect for adding both the pastels and grout. Also, in the picture it shows the colours of the chalk pastels that I used, to get the effect I did it was just a case of adding the colours, blending, scrubbing with the old paintbrush and a lot of trial and error.


Because the diorama I want to make will be in an urban environment, I wanted to make the figures look dusty. So with a little reluctance, I set about trying to 'dust up' the figure. Again I just used the same pastels and the grout, to get the look of the figure above. And it is only by looking back at the photos above of the new uniform, did I realise just how much it had changed. In all for this process, it took me about 5 hours to get the figure to look like this, and another understanding of the skill that tiger calico has with the dioramas that he has made. This to me makes this hobby more enjoyable, because I am looking at proof that I can make something other than boxed figures. So, if I can do it, I am certain that other modellers can do the same. And if goes wrong.... Wash the uniform and you will be back at square one.



These pictures show  how I have placed the US soldier back into the diorama. This was a bit of a problem, as I had changed the belt order on him, and I had to refer to these pictures to get the pose right again.


The pictures above show various shots, of how I have had to re-arrange the base material to get the US soldier to lay right. And then try to get the German soldier in the pose I want as well. Because, one of the main things I want with the whole diorama, is the leaning pose that can be seen with the German soldier in the picture on the right. Which is trying to get it into a pose that is over the centre of gravity.


As to me it seems to add to the effect of the German soldier, being pushed backwards. Especially as now I have dropped down the leg of the US soldier from my original pose that I wanted. So it looks like he is adding to the effect of the German that is about to fall backwards. Because to me I am thinking that the block that the has been put on the German's bayonet is at it's limit, because of it being pushed into the ground.

(Which incidentally is the only thing that is keeping the German figure from falling over...)

Many thanks to DiD for the Kurt Door rifle and bayonet, as they are both made of metal, and allow me to get my figure into this pose. Something that I feel would be impossible with normal plastic parts. And to DML for the gripping hands.


To help explain how I have set the pose with my German figure, I have made a page about how I changed the DiD hands for DML one's. This helped to make sure that the hands are kept in place on the rifle.

German Soldier

This update is about how I have set the pose for the German figure. To keep the pose I wanted for the figure, I have had to tape up the joints. This is done as shown below with strips of Duct Tape, as this gives me the stiffness in the joints of the figure, but it still allows me to pose it as I want.

In the picture above, I am forcing the tape into the joint with my tweezers, this helps to make the joint stiffer, I prefer to use this method. Because if I used something like Superglue, it would set the pose, but not allow me to re-position the figure if needed. I also found out after I had positioned the figure as above, that the shoulder joints allowed the rifle to slip downwards. So, I have had to do the same taping up of the shoulder joints to keep that position.

One final thing that I have done with the pose, is bend the figure backwards slightly more from the waist. As the taped joints have allowed me to pose the legs in a more straight position if that sounds right. And add the effect of him falling backwards from the waist upwards, because of the equipment on his back. Whilst, still being supported in that position with the help of the bayonet and rifle.


Continued on Page Two - Bayonet Two


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