Battle Of Britain Diorama Present

My best mate Warren (Big Waz) and I share the same birthday. January the 11th 1979. He was born in Australia and I was born in England.

We’ve been best mates since we were fifteen years old and have seen a few lows and many, many highs together. It’s been an absolute trip.

Im lucky enough to have two older sisters, by blood, but also lucky enough to have Warren and also Keith and Glenn (two other best mates) as my brothers.

I wanted to give/do something special for Warrens 41st birthday and pondered for quite a while on what it should be.

I considered doing a miniature in his likeness. Then I started thing of doing a Predator diorama because he loves the movie.

Then it hit me…

His favourite war movie, battle and time period for WW2 is The Battle Of Britain.

At first I thought I’d do an airfield diorama with, maybe, a crashed or destroyed plane and a anti-aircraft gun position but I didn’t feel excited  by the idea. Then, while at the the local hardware store buying bits and bobs for my work, I spotted a wooden box/crate and a lightbulb went off. I could stand the box up on its side and do a dogfight diorama.

Originally I was going to paint the box like an old ammo crate. Green with some stencilling but in the end I went for navy blue, a Union Jack on the outside and clouds, for effect, on the inside.

The planes I chose are in 1/72 scale because I was conscious of how big, in its entirety, the diorama would be. I went with the classic and well known Supermarine Spitfire and the, infamous, Messerschmitt.

What I’ll say next might be a bit controversial but I discovered that I don’t like oil paints at all! The dude at the hobby shop, where I bought the planes, recommended them and said they’d be a Matt finish. Well they were goopy and glossy. Maybe I did something wrong, I don’t know. Anyway I went back to my acrylics and was much happier with the end results.

I also discovered that I’m not a big fan of decals but I persisted because they were a vital part of the finished look.

My wife helped me with painting the clouds as she is quite “arty” which turned out so well.

Attaching the planes was a little tricky especially  to get the angle right but kind of fun to do as well.

Anyway enough of my jabbering, onto the pix.


I can see a lot of faults and how I could have done things a bit better but, overall, I am happy with it. 


I set the box diorama up in my studio and then when Warren came round for a bit of a get together at my place I made him close his eyes. Then I put on the Battle Of Britain Movie theme music. I then lead warren down into the studio and SURPRISE!!! He seemed to really like it.

Later I got this text from him…

“Thanks for my awesome gift bro. I love it. You’ve done an amazing job with it. I keep looking at it and appreciating all the details. :)“

Mission accomplished



33 thoughts on “Battle Of Britain Diorama Present”

  1. That’s cracking mate, you’ve done an excellent job (and your wife’s clouds are spot on too). Can’t believe you had the self-control not to kitbash everything! 😉 Waz must be over the moon with it.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Excellent mate as previously mentioned and delighted but not surprised that Big Waz loved it. I think your only problem now is he will expect something bigger and better this time next year. Happy Birthday to you too for the 11th. As for oils, it’s a technique. A bit like women you need to know the finer points which explains why you struggled! 😉

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Just brilliant mate, the whole thing of putting in the crate was clever ! and like Wuda said your wife painting is so good ! I just showed mine and she with me and I can tell you mate she has seen a few dio’s and not just mine.
    Just one tip if you do planes again ,you may want to take of the propellers as you can’t see them when the planes flying .

    Liked by 3 people

  4. That’s beautiful, great job and a lovely idea! And those clouds look amazing – while I love the entirety of it, that was the first thing that caught my eye.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers man. I started the clouds but they were too two dimensional so I asked my wife to lend a hand and she added some different shades of light blue then I added some grey to make it look a bit more ominous. Much like the English skies are haha

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Love it! I have a similar diorama in the works! Only it’s eat over Dover cliffs with the superior 109E chasing the Spitfire Mk 1a. I was planning smoke, but have decided to keep the planes “clean”.
    I think the creat is a great idea!
    And I feel the same way about enamel paints, they bring back really bad memories from my youth.

    Liked by 2 people

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