For the past 3 months my brother and I have been building a diorama to take to the IPMS National Meet in Omaha, NE. The theme of the meet is Arsenal of Democracy. You don't have to build a model for the theme, but I think it makes it more fun. After some discussion we decided on a diorama of part of the vast Chrysler Detroit Arsenal.
They made about 25,000 tanks during WW2 in the city block-sized building. The factory kept working until about 1997. I have two personal connections to this factory. One I worked for Chrysler in 1978 right about when they sold their tank division to General Dynamics. Later, I worked on the operational testing of the Abrams tank. I think I may have been in this building during one of my many meetings at Tank and Automotive Command in Warren, MI.
This structure was perhaps the most difficult model I have ever built. The biggest challenges were the size of the model and the totally exposed nature of the structure. I could not hide anything inside. I used my laser cutter and 3D printer extensively. In retrospect, I think this would have been better as a photo etched model. But it's too late for that.
Dioramas must tell a story. We wanted to convey the total dedication of the USA to the war effort. So we included a vignette of Hollywood movies stars that toured the plant to raise money for War Bonds. So while the actors and actress ham it up for a photo. the workers keep plugging along. The title of the diorama is "Star Power." Can you figure out the triple entendre built into the title?
I head to Omaha tomorrow.. If you are around this weekend, stop by the meet and check it out.