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Ian Hill

The idea behind this Diorama was to show an "end of the war" scene in the streets of German city. I had seen a lot of shots of 251 half tracks in the countryside, but none set up for fire support in a street scenario.

I set about making a small vignette that I thought would be visually interesting around this vehicle in such a situation. The name "Dropshorts" comes from a tongue-in-cheek slang term for the Artillery given to them by the Infantry in the Australian Army and refers in this case to the fire support role of the 251/9 half-track.

The civilian man in black is an "only survivor "of a Volksturm unit, offering his sevices to the Half-Track Commander. The half-track has held this position for some time as there are a number barrels, boxes and even the battle damaged remains of a flag hanging from the telegraph wire, as well as it's pieces on the road. A telescope has also been set up for veiwing the distant action.

This diorama was done in conjunction with another piece (with the same backdrop) called "Cross of Iron" which depicted a group of stragglers defending a position further up the block from this scene. The 251 was giving this group Artillery support against attacking Russian Units.

The half-track is a Mt .SPW Sd.Kfz. 251/9 Ausf.D (7.5 kwk 37L/24 Kanonwagen). What a mouthful. I built this kit when it was released from Tamiya some 6 or 7 years ago.

The diorama used early Tamiya Barrels, Verlinden "Rathaus", cobblestone road and a German Tank Crew at rest, as well as various scratchbuilt items on the vehicle and building and a lot of rubble and small accessories.