Dioramas and Figures
by Mike Cooper

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Austrian Artillery

Three pieces from the Italian Front display done by Nigel Rayner, Richard Marks and myself. You may have gathered that I like building guns...especially big guns. Left to right: Skoda 42cm Autohaubitze M.16; Skoda 152mm Model 1915/16; Skoda 100mm Model 14. I'm not really happy withthe 42cm - it started life as the Xtratech kit, and then as I read up, it got modified from the kits Model 1917 to the M.16. Hmmm...not sure. The 152 is a Raventhorpe piece with a revised barrell, shield and new wheels. Crew are IT figures. The 100mm is resin by USCasts - very nice and all I had to do was change to spoked wheels. Figures are modified IT.

Divisional Ammo Column

This little diorama dragged on for a long time. Its set in August-Sept 1917 at 3rd Ypres. The men are part of the Divisional Ammunition Colun of 15th (Scottish) Divn. Although where possible wagons, light railways, truck and, for the first time, tanks, could be used to moved amunition, the 18pdr rounds here are being moved by horse over a "courderoy" road through the swamp. Horses are converted SHQ, men converted IT.

White Star on the Somme

Difficult choice this. Is "gas" as a subject for WW1 models in bad taste? I'm still not sure. This little piece is based on sme 1915 sketches by an RE Corporal in Special Brigade, who dealt with British gas attacks. Its set on the Somme in Summer 1916, and shows the moments before a release of "White Star" from cylinders. White Star wsa a 50-50 mix of Chlorine and Phosgene, and was the preferred british agent at the time. All terrain is scrtachbuilt, and the figures are modified IT. I've shown them in "PH" helmets, but there is a good chance that Special Brigade would have had the Large Box Respirator by this time.

Italian Artillery

Have a look at Nigel Rayner's pages and you'll see the Arditi and MG team he did as part of our display at Colours 2003. Theses two pieces were part of my contribution. Right is a Cannone da 75/27 modello 11, a french designed split trail piece that served into WW2. I think italy was unique in deploying a split trailed field gun in WW1. The piece use an IT trail with scratched barrell, shield and bits. Wheels are from the spares box - I know not whence! T'other is a Cannone da 149/35, a lovely antique looking thing that also served into WW2. This one is modified from a Bandera/Liberation Miniatures 155 De Bange. Crews in both cases are modified IT frenchmen.

Middle East 1914-18

Two mini-dioramas using IT Miniatures figures rather hacked around On the left - Bikaner Camel Corps in Palestine/Iraq c. 1916-18. Long ago I found a postcard of the Bikaner Camel Corps in their stunning white and red full dress. I modelled thi in 1/35th using Tamiya nad Heller bits, but I've had a yen to go back to the subject ever since. The "cameleer" is very hacked around, with the British officer pretty well straight out of the IT staff set Background: The Bikaner Camel Corps was raised by the Maharajah Ganga Singh of Bikaner outside the regular Indian Army. Bikaner, in Rajahstan, is still an important camel breeding centre and supplied camels in both World Wars. The The Bikaner Camel Corps served in Palestine and Mesopotamia, and is now part of the Indian Army's Border Security Force. On the left is a 2inch Trench howitzer - the "Toffee Apple" based on mesaurements taken at the School of Infantry, Warminster, and photos showing one in operation in Iraq. The weapon is a scrtachbuild, with heavily hacked IT figures. Sandbas are Miliput, and the corrugated iron is Peco (I think) perspex sheeting for model railways. Background: The 2inch "Toffee Apple" was one of the first purpose made mortars to see service with the British Army. Introduced in 1915, it threw a 60lb bomb to about 500yards, and was later used with gas or incendiary fillings. The weapons was heavy, and proved dangerous in use. During 1916 it was replaced by the 3 and 4 inch Stokes Mortars, its ammunition being used in 1918 as anti-tank mines Both these are going to feature in a growing display on the Middle East in WW1, but the Toffee Apple is also part of a collection of trench artillery

Trench Mortars

OK, so I like making models of mortars! The 3inch Stokes on the Left was a "model in a weekend" project, The gun is part scratchbuilt and part IT figures . The Portuguese crew is modified from IT Figures Brits - quite simply with a nice photo to work from, Portuguese figures not only acknowledged that they were there, but also gave me something that didn't look like a WW2 3inch! The 76mm Leichte Minenwerfer and crew are basically out of the packet IT with some tweaking. They're part of a Cambrai display we did a couple of years ago.

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