login   |    register

Dromedary Dilemma

Conceiving the Story

After reading Marcus Nicholls’ article on an Italian Diorama in the April/May 2002 issue of TMMI, I knew I just had to build the little Fiat Topolino, produced in resin by Model Victoria. What to do about the diorama, though? As the tiny thing cost over $55 CDN, I wanted it to be the centerpiece of a small diorama, rather than having the Topolino secondary to a larger tank. Choosing a good story for the diorama was difficult, but then, as I scrolled through a list of their products, I noticed a pair of camels (or dromedaries) made by Verlinden Productions. As the Topolino came with a soldier exiting the car, the idea of him being stopped for a camel blocking the road naturally came to mind. A further search revealed an Italian tanker figure, also made by Model Victoria, squinting and with his hands on his hips. The seed, as they say, was sown.

In this article, besides a review of the kits used, I have included descriptions of the many new techniques I attempted during construction (with a lot of help from members of this site) in the hopes that the reader will find some of my experiences helpful. Hopefully, some of you will even be inspired to build an Italian subject, something that I have found particularly interesting to model.

Working With Resin

The Topolino was my first full resin kit and there were a number of new techniques that had to be learned for working with this different type of plastic. Resin dust is harmful to the lungs and it is important that proper protection be worn in the form of a dust mask when cutting and sanding resin pieces. The pour blocks have to be cut off using a razor saw. Inevitable air bubbles in the resin have to be filled with putty. Last, but not least, regular plastic model cement will not bond resin, so cyanoacrylate (CA or superglue) must be used.

Copyright ©2002 - Text and Photos by Nicolas Virtue (folgore). All Rights Reserved.

Project Photos


About the Author

About Nicolas Virtue (Folgore)

University student majoring in History


That's a great topolino ! Nice work.
AUG 05, 2002 - 05:42 AM
Hi Nic, Nice article and dio.
AUG 05, 2002 - 06:24 AM
Nicolas, Nice article and dio. I think you achieved the weathering on the Topolino the way you wanted it and I love the attention to detail (shadowing of the folds in the door panel). The figures look great. As someone who is just starting to attempt 1/35 scale figures (after seeing the lack of them with the tanks at IPMS Nationals). That leads me to another question though and perhaps Pipesmoker (or someone else) can answer it-I'll start a new thread in the General Modeling forum so as not to change the topic.
AUG 05, 2002 - 09:41 PM
What a great diorama! I have always been partial to things simply stated, and you told a great story with your diorama. Also, I envy your skill at painting animals. Something I have yet to try. Very nice.
AUG 05, 2002 - 10:17 PM
Bravo Nicolas! That is a great piece of work. It´s almost japanese simplicity what you have produced. There is nothing to see in the base for example but you did it very beautifully. It asks some balls to leave it like this and not add any unnecessary stuff. Sunlight really adds the realism in this scene. I would like to point out many things but I just simply like it! Looking forward to your next project(s)! Toni
AUG 07, 2002 - 04:38 AM
Thanks guys, I couldn't answer sooner because I was on holidays, but I'm back now. One thing I forgot to put in the article was a little touch I was quite proud of at the time. On the driver's side sun visor I attached a photograph of, presumably, the driver's wife or girlfriend. On the internet, I found a suitable picture. I then sized it down to a very small size and printed it out. I just had a Deskjet printer, but the results were all right. I used a thin strip of lead foil for the clamp. Here's a picture: Nic
AUG 10, 2002 - 12:03 AM
Nice touch, Nic. It's those little details that separate the modellers from the builders.
AUG 10, 2002 - 12:09 AM