Just when you thought you had a “roadblock” in creating your West Wall diorama we give you a “concrete” review of the new Höckerhindernis set from AddOn Parts – Ohh and we build it and paint it as well...
Höckerhindernis Typ 38, Left Side Diorama Set
Kit ID: 35-0050-D
Dimensions: 24 x 10 cm
Box contains 9 ceramic parts.
When we think of the last obstacle in to Germany from the Western point of view in WWII we often think of the “Siegfried Line” or the west wall as we call it – an endless procession of rows of dragons' teeth anti-tank obstacles that resembled 3D a rhombus. (– actually it was a hexahedron)
These “Bump obstacles” – as directly translated from the German – along with the Rhine river - helped keep the allies out of Germany for as long as possible – and they would make an interesting diorama, I have seen some around but now AddOn Parts has created a full “Gate” section for armour and troops to pass through.
This base is the left hand side of the gate – there is a right hand, a zi-zag wall section as well as a barricade for the gate as well. All sold separately. The nine parts of plaster came in a cardboard box full of bubble wrap – the long flat base was undamaged and showing no signs of wear after a long trip around the world from their home base in Gent in Belgium.
The box holds a large rectangle base over a centimetre thick and 24cm(L) x 10 cm(W) – it is textured with a rough soil effect as well as a smooth concrete. These smooth parts are the foundations and the rough soil effect is uneven and sometimes sunken a little or raised a little over the foundation.
The eight six-sided tank traps are also well cast with no weaknesses and they have a nice texture about them. Whilst no instruction is given it is pretty obvious to most people buying this would know how it goes together.
There ARE however some instructions to make the plaster which joins the traps to the base. This I put together in a few minutes with a little water. Easy-peasy! They went on the base in a matter of minutes each and there was enough paste to adhere them all as well as using some to smooth off the base to make it look integrated rather than “sitting on” the base.
I used Vallejo paints exclusively for this kit. Fist I used their black undercoat over which I painted the concrete with Vallejo 71.049 Medium grey colour whilst the Olive green model colour did the soil.
To shade the grey concrete properly I started off darker then went light – using heavy drybrushes of 71.097 dark grey, then a lighter /barley grey 71.051, moving on to a very light blue-ish grey 71.046 to give it some variation on the surface before lastly painting the tops and the edges of the concrete which I wanted almost white to show variation and highlight of sunshine.
To further variate the earth surface I used 71.029 Dark Earth and 71.016 US Dark green, mottled into each other it made a muddy colour with a green base for the grass which was to follow.
To make the bottoms of the tank traps look a little mouldy I used some of Vallejo’s new 76.512 Dark green wash – I have been using his for a lot of grass stains recently and I like it a lot.
Some white to further highlight the edges of the blocks.
Then I used some of Vallejo’s 71.028 “Sand Yellow” for the dirt. I left the darker olive green for the spaces adjacent to the concrete “bumps”.
Then on to scenery – I used a little known company’s product called “natural forest cover” from War-World, which I think is a war gaming product – it would go under the grass. I was stuck down with diluted wood glue (with water)
I used more of their “Winter Grass” in 2mm to finish off the scene. Though I used my static grass machine to make it stand up a little it was hard to get to with the bumps of the “concrete”
It was one of those things that needn’t have any more added to it after that. I could add pigments for dust and so forth but I think for now – until I make it a part of a larger diorama it is great as it is.
As for the set – it arrived safely, went together really easily and as you can see a modeller with only a little skill can make it look very nice. I think it is a great diorama accessory.
Thanks to Add on Parts for sending this set for us to have a play with!