Tuesday, June 25

Read n' reviewed: Dioramag Vol.15 – "Atlantic Wolf" by Pla Editions

New issues of DioraMag are always a pleasure to see - and volume fifteen has just been released to the public. We have read the magazine, see what we thought about it in our review...

Read n' reviewed: Dioramag Vol.15 – Atlantic Wolf
Published by Pla Editions
96 pages
Soft Bound
English language
ISBN: 978-84-124788-7-7
Price: 17€
Product Link on the Pla Editions Website
A bi-monthly magazine that features the very best in modelling and the masters of the craft's works in showcases, how-to's and galleries with some amazing scenic works, figures vehicles and subjects from every genre and time frame of the modelling world. The DioraMag series is now up to volume fifteen, and we have it in our hands to review for you today.

For those not familiar with this magazine series, they are unlike other modelling magazines. They focus just on the love of dioramas, past and present, and the whole magazine has not particular genre, the scenes are the king. It is why most of their readers keep on coming back. This series has a dedicated support base, and I can understand why. We always judge each entry on its own merits, so let's see if this one matches up with its comrades.

The book in its physical form:
The look and feel of this magazine is of a thick, softcover with page count of ninety-six page, glossy softcover of roughly an A4 Portrait format (297mm x 210mm) filled throughout with colour photos and English text. The layout is smart, intuitive and schmick looking. There are ten articles with eight modelling showcases/step by step (SBS) articles as guides.
We have a round-up of the contents of issue #15 and some of the images of the models and the pages from this issue...

Dioramag Vol.15 – Atlantic Wolf - contents:
“The Calm Before the Storm" by Thomas Birzer shows the build up of the super weapons of Nazi Germany before the so-called largest tank battle in history (the jury is out on that one). Two Tiger I's & plenty of figures combined with groundwork make this a scene of the calm before the storm.
I am glad to see a little of the construction and paint of this kit and the scene. with not only the tank in bare plastic, first coat, camouflage and then wethering and dirt grime and grease, but the grundwork under the tank are also shown.The figures, whih are a mystery to many modellers are also shwon in the painting process ina teo page spread - very nice!
Next the news section - The team often bring us news of new enhancements to our dioramas and modelling tools and helpful new materials to hit the market place. This time we see some nice building accessroeis and nice period building fascades from VG Diorama and diopark. Some great produts I didn't even know about are here...
A peaceful (and beautiful looking) scene can still be a great diorama, as we see in the next scene from Kostas Georgiu. "Old Greek Faccade" is next, where over nine pages we see this scen built, literally from the ground up in step by step fashion...
Not only thebuiliding and groundwork, but the plants and accessories that fill the scene are shown in detail whilst in build paint and construction. Roofs gutters, 3D printed vases and furniture, barrels, doors, window frames and the building is shown from start to finish. This would be a great exercise to follow if you wanted to improve your own model building skills.
A scene of a mother and child finding solace in among the ruins of war is next, with “Light in the Darkness” by Boris Bakker. These elements combine to make a lot to look at in a small footprint of diorama. We don't see any of this being built, but we do get the modeller's point of view and thoughts and some better looks at these two vehicles and the human scen nestled inbetween them in this article.
A classic of it's time and still worth a look now - Diorama Classics section this episode shows us “Operation Cedar Falls” by Uwe Kern. Six apges of this meeting int he jungle show the scene from all angles and reveal some of the great detail Uwe includes in his works.
"If you have poop… " by Dirk Vangeel Somethiing about the Dutch saying he word PooP amuses us, but this diorama is inspiring. Setting the scene of an emergency pitstop where the term any port in a storm comes to mind.
Not only the modelling, but a tip of th ehat to the editors whos excellent graphic artist skills are ondisplay here and throughout this issue. Dirk shows us the tractor, the toilet, the tree, the groundwork and the base frame and even a low down ont he faunan models that he used in the making of this kit.
Fulfilling a lot of people's fantasies now is the diorama "U-201 Schneemann" U-Boat from Toshihiro Kugimiya. A lot of modellers would like to make this Border Model U-Boat - but not many have, and nearly no-one to this standard. This is what this magazine is all about.
Toshihiro takes us through the building of the boat, where he shows the extras and corrections added ot the kit (great for the rest of us to copy) and the base with the waves which can make or break a scene like this. The wash of water on the desck and the figures added to this kit a re a really great thing to have shown and explained to you in the article. 
In a dynamic scene we next sample "Counter Attack in Normandy" by Jiasheng Wu. A Panther navigating the tight streets in northern France engaging the enemy with the tank's main gun whilst infantry are in support. The figures add to the scene with their shooting and running poses.
This article takes up fourteen pages, where we see a lot of the base Panther kit in build & painting and weathering. The groundwork of tiles and pavers is shown, with the figures from Rado's miniatures, the walls and building furniture being constructed, with this mostly coming from MiniArt sets, it shows how much can be done from your own hand and with simple, plastic assesories now days.
Greek modeller Nikolas Triantafillou's The "Ave Maria' vignette, made from a custom-3D designed & printed kit shows a moment of quiet contemplation with plenty of hidden detail in his 2021 piece...
The statue of the Madonna, and the Bronco figure kneeling at the base is surrounded with that great MiniArt ruined church set what is used a lot in these circles. The groundwork of the ruin adds to the scene with mounds of rubble and debris, making this quite a beleivable scene.
Showcase Dioramag: Christian Bruer - known especially for his smaller scale masterpieces - Christians work is still making people notice. A tour of some of his works is included in this issue. I am sorry, but my photo of his aircraft was a bit blurred, so I have left it out here.

A busy crossroad somewhere in Europe during world War Two is the scene for "A Cat and a Ketten" -  a scene by Johan Augustson. Soldiers at a roadside shrine crossing, a Kettenkrad and the recently released Tamiya Hellcat. 
He shows us how he lays out the scene, adds the figures from The Bodi & alpine Miniatures to his Hellcat and Kettnkrad. These are shown in detail in a few stages of build, paint and weathering. The groundwork and the thoughts behind this scene epressed in this article make for some great reading.
88.- A grim scene of remembrance from by Michael Schneider which could be anywhere in Europe (this one says in 2021) is called "Dear but not forgotten". Showing four dead comrades buried next to each other. 
The elements of the scene are shown in detail, with the tools and containers for gathering, the groundworrk and figures and the small exscavator. This is an evocative diorama that gives the reader pause and thought...
Another issue of DioraMag finished - what do we think?

Some amazing works in here, with a varied collage of scenes and genres from some really talented modellers that can communicate well to the reader their own thoughts and actions, and so we learn from them how we can improve our own scens in turn.

I love this series, and I think you will like this issue as much as I did...

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Pla Editions for sending this book to us to read and review.
This latest issue is ready to order from the Pla Editions website...