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Operation Deadstick – a school project

Operation Deadstick – a school project

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Project Blog by jodain Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

My son was set a project to produce a diorama for a famous battle where Britain was fighting to protect the nation in some way.

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Preparing the ground

Tutoring 8
Skill 8
Idea 8
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So my son’s choice for the famous battle was the Normandy Landings, not something you can do a whole diorama of, we I suggested we want a little smaller and looked at Operation Deadstick, the capture of what became known as Pegasus Bridge.

I’ve looked over many different sources to try and get somewhere in my mind that is achievable and looks good.  We are limited to a shoebox size diorama and thankfully I had a some blue modelling foam available.  I started by cutting the foam piece down to a size that would fit in the shoebox.  Then set about laying out the diorama, I wanted to make sure we could put at least two of the gliders into position along with the bridge.  I planned roughly to try and do this in 1:200 scale but that leaves the bridge at 15cm length (from 46m), which is a bit big, so I’ve abadoned an exact scale.  I draw out the bridge and road on the foam block and then cut the canal out entirely.  The next job was my son’s green paint and pva, it came out a bit bright, so a second coat was applied with a tiny amount of black in it.

Roads and Gliders

Tutoring 7
Skill 7
Idea 7
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I got the boy to paint his roads on yesterday, the oneside of the canal I put masking tape on, hence the lovely straight lines, the other side I didn’t.  The gliders also arrived this week, purchase in 6mm scale from

The little pewter kits (the smallest scale I’ve ever bothered with) needed a little bit of work to remove flash before the wings and tailplane would fit nicely, even then the tailplane was a bit wobbley.  Still they look nice.

I tried to print Pegasus bridge out, the one I have on order hadn’t arrived so I used works FDM printer to produce a version, that when I downloaded it claimed to be in 6mm.  I doubled the size as it was only 6cm long, which brought it up to 12cm long probably a little short.  Unfortunately I managed to snap one of the uprights off whilst removing the supports.  Here’s hoping the bridge arrives in the next couple of days.

Horsa Gilders

Tutoring 6
Skill 6
Idea 6

A more bit work by the boy on the gliders.  I gave him a lesson in spray cans – didn’t go badly, but perhaps a little heavy.  I used the Plastic Soldier Company British Armour Green, it doesn’t spray well to be honest even given a good couple of minutes of rattling.  He then sat down with AP Monster Brown to put the brown slodges on, we looked at some reference material (here) and he then nearly covered all the green, lesson learnt – pay more attention to what he is doing.  I then used some modelling masking tape to prepare the allied recognition stripes myself.

Pegasus Bridge

Tutoring 1
Skill 2
Idea 2
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So I had ordered up the 6mm resin cast Pegasus Bridge at the same time as the glliders, unfortunately I forgot to read the details that stated that it was cast to order and they ask you to allow 28 days – whoops it needed to be in this week!  Thankfully Stephan who runs The Baggage Train was nice enough to respond to my email and cast the bridge on Sunday afternoon.  The bridge arrived yesterday (Wednesday), but I only got round to assembling it today.  The kit is a nice resin cast and it is obviously Pegasus Bridge.  Unfortunately for me I hadn’t got the measurements for the kit when I cut the foam to make the canal, so out came the knife again and I hacked large chunks of foam off.

On his return from school today the boy was taken to practice his spray painting once more and then given the black paint to repaint the sides of the canal.  All of which he got on with, without issue.  Whilst we were at it, we decided to turn the layout run 180 degrees in the box so the gliders are at the back of the box not the front.

So here are a couple of pictures of the current state without the gliders on.

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