Bolt Action - German, Painting & Modelling, Showcase

Spotlight: Dimitri’s STuG III Diorama

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This week, we got the opportunity to sit down with the winner of the Summer Offensive: Painting Competition Diorama category, Dimitri Verna, to discuss all the hard work that went into producing his fantastic entry. Take it away Dimitri!

Dimitri's Diorama banner

“The idea for the diorama was to create a meeting between the STuG-mounted Panzergrenadiers and a reconnaissance patrol in the Schwimwagen, at some point towards the end of winter. We can imagine the patrol passing information to help set up an ambush, or of enemy forces coming down the road towards the bridge.”

“I chose the winter theme partly as a painting challenge, making a winter diorama base is quite difficult, especially with realistic looking mud and the wet forest ground. It was also the opportunity to try out some different camouflage schemes and techniques.”


“I picked the STuG III as it’s my favourite tank of the war, and was the opportunity to go to town by building my own custom stowage and decorating vehicles, which is one of the fun parts of the hobby for me. I added the Schwimwagen to give me the opportunity to try out some different techniques.”

“I created the mud with a simple mix of PVA glue and gloss varnish. I built up the ruts using gesso plaster, adding a mixture of brown paint and sand to further define the terrain. Then I filled the ruts with a lot of PVA glue and painted it with a sand colour. Then I covered the area with gloss varnish. After the varnish had dried, I drybrushed the areas of dry mud with matte brown.”

“The trees are made out of chopsticks and some old plastic trees I had in my bits box. I cut the chopsticks to size and then glued bits of the plastic trees to the trunk and added some foliage and the snow effect.”

“The bridge took four days to build and was entirely scratch-built from balsa wood. I spent a day just studying reference images to get the look right, then I had to make plans and blueprints and cut all the wood to fit. All the parts have been pegged and glued, and then painted with browns and greys.”

We’d like to thank Dimitri for submitting his fantastic entry and taking the time to speak to us and provide all these fantastic photos.

If you’ve been inspired to make your own diorama or want to show off your painting skills, keep an eye on our website and newsletter for upcoming opportunities!

Tom Mecredy
Tom spends most of his time buying books and painting miniatures. He enjoys putting animals on the bases of his miniatures and half-finishing side projects. Some say that he lives in a tower on top of some windswept northern hill with his wife and cow-patterned cat, Spaghetti.