A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

March 11, 2024

Phase 1 D-Day Diorama Is Complete

German View of the Invasion. This is opposite the view that most visitors to the
diorama will see.

We wrapped up work on the D-Day diorama today. Keith arrived today with the shipping crate in his van. He had about 30 figures to install according to the narrative he has designed for the diorama. Most of the other work was done earlier in the week. 

Jeff Hammer and John Drye stopped by Wednesday night to work on punch list items. JD installed most of the German infantry and remaining weapons. Jeff worked on scenic details such as barbed wire and log piles. The fences really added a nice touch to the diorama.

I worked on the remaining punch list items such as installing boats, painting fascia and adding flickering LEDs to the burning LCM. 

Mike and Linda Pierce arrived on Sunday morning for a visit. Kieth put them to work prepping and touch up painting figures. I didn't have much to do today, so I got the camera ready for a photo session and waited to load it all.

Keith and Ted, a friend of Keith's that is a woodworker, built the carrying cases that will also serve as a table for the diorama. The diorama comes apart in 2 sections. Each section slides into the case.

The case is quite heavy. Keith says it weighs about 100 pounds, though it didn't feel that heavy to me when I was helping move it.  The case has it space for the legs. The saw horses in the picture are only to help load it. 

Here are some final photos of the finished diorama.  Keith has a bit more work to do for his part, such as the backdrop and information plaque.  We'll start work on Phase 2 in a few weeks. 

One aspect I like about this diorama is its broad scope. Many folks have built dioramas with a this theme before, but I don't know too many that show the actions with this scope. Keith has woven in numerous historically accurate vignettes and story elements in the diorama. But I think it is the overall spectacle that makes this one work. 

Thanks again to everyone that helped.


  1. Fantastic! Great joint effort. Planning and execution.

  2. Unrelated to this post - great cover shot on RMC!

  3. Nice work! Very impressive. Tom P.