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Road Column En Route to the Ardennes, December 1944
A 1:75 scale model of a German road column, including several different types of AFVs.
About this creation
This is my first attempt at building any LEGO AFVs (unless, of course, you count the Miniland-scale EM-50 Urban Assault Vehicle and Delta Tau Chi Deathmobile as AFVs). I decided that if I was going to build one, I might as well build several, and from there it turned into a large diorama. The AFVs are all built at a scale of approximately 1:75 (i.e. the "4-wide scale").

What I have tried to depict is a German road column moving slowly along a narrow rural road as it makes its way toward the launching point for the Ardennes Offensive (otherwise known as "Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein " or the "Battle of the Bulge"). The column is made up of a number of different types of vehicles. I'd expect that in reality, the road coulmns would have been more homogenous, but then I wouldn't get to build so many different vehicles. From the front of the column to the rear we have:

  • a Sdkfz 7 halftrack towing a Flak 37 88mm gun.
  • a pair of Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind self-propelled quad-AA guns.
  • a pair of Sdkfz 124 Wespe self-propelled artillery guns.
  • a Sdkfz 9 Famo halftrack towing a tank transporter with a Tiger I (PzKpfw VI Ausf. E) loaded onto it.
  • a pair of Opel Blitz 3-ton trucks.


I tried to make the scene a little more interesting by including a river and an old stone bridge (the Tiger transporter better hope that it holds up!). There are also an abandoned fishing cabin among a small stand of spruce trees and a few artillery impact craters scattered around the scene.

Here's a view of the entire column from a different angle:



A close-up of the rear section of the column:



Finally, a view from behind the trees, with the cabin in the foreground:



A close-up of the lead section of the column: (I'll have one or two more close-ups of the column soon, but the renders are taking an awfully long time):




And now, some vehicle close-ups. First the Sdkfz 7 halftrack towing the Flak 37 88mm dual-purpose gun.



Next, the FlakPanzer IV Wirbelwind self-propelled quad-AA platform, an Opel Blitz 3-ton truck, and a Sdkfz 124 Wespe self-propelled artillery platform.



Finally, we have the Sdkfz 9 Famo halftrack towing a tank transporter, with a Tiger I tank (i.e. PzPpfw VI Ausf. E) loaded on it:



As always, the resolution of the images here on MOCpages leaves something to be desired. If you'd like to see higher-resolution version of these images, you can visit my Flickr photostream.



Comments

 I made it 
  August 1, 2014
Quoting superdreamkilla _ Nice trees
Thanks! They are a key feature of the landscape in the Ardennes, so I wanted to do a good job on them.
 I like it 
  August 1, 2014
Nice trees
 I made it 
  July 29, 2014
Quoting Tom Tschesche Nice Trees
Thanks! I knew the trees would be important to getting the right look for the Ardennes, so I spent some time trying out different options until I found something I liked.
 I like it 
  July 28, 2014
Nice Trees
 I made it 
  July 28, 2014
Quoting Jerry Temple Really great MOC, I especially love the shell holes! Please, do continue to make AFV's! In keeping with the Bulge theme, perhaps you could depict an armored battle in the snow?
Thanks! I am currently working on a diorama at this scale on a different subject, but I did have the idea to do something like you suggest. I was thinking, though, that I might try to cover something on the Eastern front, like Kursk or Kharkov. That would allow me to build some of the Russian tanks.
 I like it 
  July 28, 2014
Really great MOC, I especially love the shell holes! Please, do continue to make AFV's! In keeping with the Bulge theme, perhaps you could depict an armored battle in the snow?
 I made it 
  July 27, 2014
Quoting Green helmet spanish AFOL Wow!! Just incredible. The detail and quality are awesome. Congratulations.
Thanks! I appreciate the comment.
 I like it 
  July 27, 2014
Wow!! Just incredible. The detail and quality are awesome. Congratulations.
 I made it 
  July 24, 2014
Quoting Spencer D The vehicles are great and I love the snowed-over craters! Another great MOC!
Thanks! I like how the craters came out, too. They added some details in areas that would otherwise have been plenty bland.
 I like it 
  July 23, 2014
The vehicles are great and I love the snowed-over craters! Another great MOC!
 I made it 
  July 23, 2014
Quoting Harry Gravett That is unbelievably good, almost looks real!
Thanks! I try to put as much realism as possible into my builds, even at a relatively small scale, like the one used for this build.
 I like it 
  July 23, 2014
That is unbelievably good, almost looks real!
 I made it 
  July 22, 2014
Quoting Justin M Incredible work. It must've taken a while. :)
Thanks! I think it took me about a week to complete, including the vehicles. I took every opportunity to re-use sub-components as I built it to try to save effort.
 I like it 
  July 22, 2014
Incredible work. It must've taken a while. :)
 I made it 
  July 21, 2014
Quoting Mark McPeek Wow! Fantastic dio! I really like the bridge and the micro vehicles are amazing!
Thanks! I'm glad you like it. I'm already working on my next MOC, which will include more vehicles at this scale.
 I like it 
  July 21, 2014
Wow! Fantastic dio! I really like the bridge and the micro vehicles are amazing!
 I made it 
  July 21, 2014
Quoting Kurt's MOCs Nicely done! The diorama is great, especially the bomb craters. The detailing on the vehicles is perfect. You have a gift for creations at this scale!
Thanks! I definitely do like to work in this scale, and I am certain that I will have more similarly scaled builds in the near future. The craters were somewhat of a last-minute addition -- I figured that they would be an easy way to add some detail to an otherwise bland landscape.
 I like it 
  July 20, 2014
Nicely done! The diorama is great, especially the bomb craters. The detailing on the vehicles is perfect. You have a gift for creations at this scale!
 I made it 
  July 20, 2014
Quoting Nick Barrett Some of the finest micro vehicles I've seen, and some stunning scenery!
Thanks, Nick! As I noted, this is my first attempt building any type of AFV, and I definitely had to make a few compromises, but for the most part, I'm pretty happy with the way they came out, especially the Tiger and the towed 88.
 I made it 
  July 20, 2014
Quoting Mr. Atondo Man looking at this makes me want to play command and conquer,man this is really good.
Thanks! Wait until you see my update to this MOC -- then you'll definitely want to play.
 I like it 
  July 20, 2014
Some of the finest micro vehicles I've seen, and some stunning scenery!
 I like it 
  July 20, 2014
Man looking at this makes me want to play command and conquer,man this is really good.
 I made it 
  July 19, 2014
Quoting adam thelegofan rutland great job!:D
Thanks!
 I like it 
  July 19, 2014
great job!:D
 I like it 
  July 19, 2014
Thank you for your kind reply. I'm very happy about that you like my idea :) I think it would be perfect for the pre christmas season. :) Can't wait to see it.
 I made it 
  July 19, 2014
Quoting Gabor Horvath Beautiful, detailed diorama! The trees, the vehicles, everything is fantastic on it! :)
Thank you. I try to get in as much detail as I reasonably can, but I did have to make a few compromises with some of the components, especially the tracked vehicles, which are difficult to do at this scale.
 I made it 
  July 19, 2014
Quoting Matthew McCall This really is a well done diorama, one of the best I've seen in LDD. The pine trees are a technique I've never seen before, and the frozen river is very convincing in all aspects. Even the snow craters help liven up the otherwise flat snowy landscape. Oh, and I suppose there are some well done micro vehicles here as well, nice work!
Thank you for that high praise!
 I like it 
  July 19, 2014
Beautiful, detailed diorama! The trees, the vehicles, everything is fantastic on it! :)
 I like it 
  July 18, 2014
This really is a well done diorama, one of the best I've seen in LDD. The pine trees are a technique I've never seen before, and the frozen river is very convincing in all aspects. Even the snow craters help liven up the otherwise flat snowy landscape. Oh, and I suppose there are some well done micro vehicles here as well, nice work!
 I made it 
  July 18, 2014
Quoting Connor Lucero I love the bridge, color scheme, and the curves of the trees! Great job!
Thanks! As Henrik noted, I probably could have done with a little more color on the landscaping, but I think I at least succeeded in conveying a cold, wintry feeling.
 I made it 
  July 18, 2014
Quoting Henrik Jensen Excellent reproduction of the WWII scenery. Nice detailing of the small mini-vehicles. Especially the 88mm flak cannon is my favourite, and it´s spot on. The landscape seems a bit dead with all that white. Particular the River edges could be softened with some earthy colors. The scale really appeals to me. I have previously build LDD train models in HO scale (1/87), and at the moment I collect bricks for a steamengine in this scale. Great Work!
Thanks! And I agree with you about adding a little more color. I have to admit to getting a little bit lazy there. When I originally conceived of the project, I had intended to build a slope on the opposite side of the road on one side of the river. That slope would have included some rocky outcroppings in brown/gray. Maybe I'll add on to this build in the future.
 I like it 
  July 18, 2014
Excellent reproduction of the WWII scenery. Nice detailing of the small mini-vehicles. Especially the 88mm flak cannon is my favourite, and it´s spot on. The landscape seems a bit dead with all that white. Particular the River edges could be softened with some earthy colors. The scale really appeals to me. I have previously build LDD train models in HO scale (1/87), and at the moment I collect bricks for a steamengine in this scale. Great Work!
 I like it 
  July 18, 2014
I love the bridge, color scheme, and the curves of the trees! Great job!
 I made it 
  July 18, 2014
Quoting Asad . Very good micro, but the trees are immensly tall. As tall as red wood trees.
Thanks! Regarding the trees: If anything, they are undersized somewhat. A mature spruce (which is one of the most common species in the Ardennes) averages about 30-40 meters in height, with some being as tall as 60 meters. At the 1:75 scale I've used here, the trees are a little over 20 meters tall.
 I made it 
  July 18, 2014
Quoting Nick White Super sweet!
Thanks!
 I like it 
  July 18, 2014
Very good micro, but the trees are immensly tall. As tall as red wood trees.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Super sweet!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting A Taylor Brilliant execution.
Thanks!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Tom Simon This is impeccable. I'm enjoying the vehicles (the Wirbelwind is my favorite), but I'm also noticing the bridge and landscaping. I'm loving those snow covered trees.
Thanks! The Wirbelwind is pretty unique -- only about 100 were ever built, and you don't often see a LEGO version of one, so I figured it would be a good addition (especially since they did actually make an appearance in the Ardennes). The snow-covered trees were a pretty key part of the landscape during the Battle of Bulge, so I had to figure out a way to get them in. Watch some of the later episodes of "Band of Brothers" and you'll see what I mean.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Brilliant execution.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Loki The All Powerfull (Sean-Thomas) Fantastic
Thanks! Glad you like it.
  July 17, 2014
Fantastic
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
This is impeccable. I'm enjoying the vehicles (the Wirbelwind is my favorite), but I'm also noticing the bridge and landscaping. I'm loving those snow covered trees.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting J D Great job, incredible!
Thanks!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Allan Hall a stunning micro build, I'm yet to try this build style, but I am always blown away by the level of detail achieved. the trees are excellent.
Thanks! I like what the trees add to the scene, too. This is definitely a good scale to build in -- it lets you capture a pretty large scene with a reasonable number of bricks (this scene did use over 5K parts, but it probably would have been 3 or 4 times that many at minifig scale").
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Yann (XY EZ) The realism is, according to the scale, is mindblowing! And the details are fantastic ! Well done! 5/5
Thanks! No matter what the scale is, I always try to push the level of detail and realism as far as I can go. I'm happy that folks appreciate it.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Elk Guard Brilliant micro trucks and tanks!
Thanks! I really do enjoy building in that scale.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting clayton Marchetti You sir are a master of micro! I just love the scenery, it's magnificent . The snow coverd trees and snow covered craters are brilliant touches. The vehicles are fantastic. I love the tiger tank, unbelievable detail and I also love the halftrack hauling a flak gun. Most impressive!
Thanks, Clayton. Micro definitely appears to be my "wheelhouse", and I already have the seed of an idea for another micro build. The Tiger is probably my favorite part of the build as well, but I am pretty satisfied with how some of the other components -- the halftracks, the 88, and even the trees -- came out.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Stephan N This scene looks so impressive. Wow, at the sight I have even a wintry feel. The vehicles, especially the tigers are .... how shall I say .... Absolutely incredible. For me, this is once again a evidence that is just micro-style special.
Thanks! The "wintry feel" is definitely what I was aiming for, so I'm glad it had that effect.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Great job, incredible!
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
a stunning micro build, I'm yet to try this build style, but I am always blown away by the level of detail achieved. the trees are excellent.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
The realism is, according to the scale, is mindblowing! And the details are fantastic ! Well done! 5/5
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Brilliant micro trucks and tanks!
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
You sir are a master of micro! I just love the scenery, it's magnificent . The snow coverd trees and snow covered craters are brilliant touches. The vehicles are fantastic. I love the tiger tank, unbelievable detail and I also love the halftrack hauling a flak gun. Most impressive!
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
This scene looks so impressive. Wow, at the sight I have even a wintry feel. The vehicles, especially the tigers are .... how shall I say .... Absolutely incredible. For me, this is once again a evidence that is just micro-style special.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Sven Jagdmann And now replace the military vehicles with a christmas parade, LOL :) A beautiful scenery with all the snow, the river and the nice trees. I like this much more than the military stuff. But the vehicles are also spot on :) Great work!
Thanks! A Christmas parade.... Hmmm, that's not a bad idea. I might let that one "bake" in my head for a while and then give it a try.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
And now replace the military vehicles with a christmas parade, LOL :) A beautiful scenery with all the snow, the river and the nice trees. I like this much more than the military stuff. But the vehicles are also spot on :) Great work!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Dennis B Awesome, the vehicles as well as the landscape!
Thanks! Both the vehicles and the landscape features (i.e. the trees, cabin, bridge) were fun to build. The river was somewhat tedious but I had a feeling that the overall effect would be worth the effort.
  July 17, 2014
Awesome, the vehicles as well as the landscape!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting cyberfrank 2010 very cool scene, it s not often we get to see those!
Thanks! I have seen quite a few Tigers, even some at this scale, but the Wirbelwinds and Wespes are definitely less common. I wanted to include them to get some variety in the builds.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Gabor Pauler Hey, that pine trees are so cool!
Thanks! I knew that I definitely had to include some snow-covered pine trees to get right feel for the Battle of Bulge. They pretty much defined the landscape in the Ardennes.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
very cool scene, it s not often we get to see those!
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Hey, that pine trees are so cool!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting jim mcdonough this is pure class,this is a nice original classic scene(battle of the bulge),the fact you have done it in mini mini scale and detailed it so perfectly,love the trees,well donei would like to see display added on and on as you have time,
Thanks, Jim. I appreciate your comments. I wasn't planning on "letting the cat out of the bag", but I do have an expansion of this scene planned -- If I can get it to look right, I'd like to include a pair of Jabos strafing the column. I don't know how much larger I'd have to make the scene, though, and that could be an obstacle.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
this is pure class,this is a nice original classic scene(battle of the bulge),the fact you have done it in mini mini scale and detailed it so perfectly,love the trees,well donei would like to see display added on and on as you have time,
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Alex Rode Wow - It's all quite fantastic.
Thanks, Alex!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting matt rowntRee The dio is quite beautiful and really gives a sense of the cold, love the river banks and spruces. But that half track with the 88 in tow has blown my mind. I love the implied details of 4-wides but when you can add actual detail, it's a whole new level. The tiger looks properly intimidating as well. Outstanding! In regards to your question about the pic, I always figured that it shuffles them around a bit as mocs get posted; or it's gremlins.
Thanks, matt! I also look forward to hearing your take on anything. The Tiger is probably my favorite of all of the vehicles. If it looks intimidating, then I guess I did a reasonably good job -- the Tiger was certainly a source of panic for Allied troops during the Battle of the Bulge. I think I am really starting to like doing winter dioramas -- both this one and the icebreaker dio I did a little while ago were satisfying building experiences.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Wow - It's all quite fantastic.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
The dio is quite beautiful and really gives a sense of the cold, love the river banks and spruces. But that half track with the 88 in tow has blown my mind. I love the implied details of 4-wides but when you can add actual detail, it's a whole new level. The tiger looks properly intimidating as well. Outstanding! In regards to your question about the pic, I always figured that it shuffles them around a bit as mocs get posted; or it's gremlins.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting BrickBuilder7622 . Excellent work! Every vehicle is perfectly built! I especially like the half-tread trucks that you have there! Such an awesome job! And to answer the question you asked I have no idea why this isn't on the front homepage; it certainly deserves to be on the front where everyone can see it! Awesomeness! 5/5! :-)
Thanks! The vehicles were certainly a lot fun to build. As always, at this scale I had to make a few compromises, but I have tried to capture the overall look of each vehicle as best I could.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Excellent work! Every vehicle is perfectly built! I especially like the half-tread trucks that you have there! Such an awesome job! And to answer the question you asked I have no idea why this isn't on the front homepage; it certainly deserves to be on the front where everyone can see it! Awesomeness! 5/5! :-)
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Just out of curiosity, does anyone know why this MOC is not appearing in "Everyone's LEGO creations" on the MP front page? This seems to happen to me about half the time.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Dr. Monster Fantastic scene. I love the snow laden trees, and the collection of vehicles is excellent.
Thanks! I had a feeling early on that making the trees look good would add a lot to the scene, so I spent quite a bit of time trying to get them right. Building the vehicles was pretty fun -- they are my first real AFV models. As I noted in the description, it is probably unlikely that you would have seen such a disparate collection of vehicles in a road column in real life, except perhaps as a group of reinforcements.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Captain Thomas Woah! Sweet! I love it all, Noice job Mr. Bace!
Thanks! The was a time early on when I considered making this build even bigger than it ended up, by building a slope on one side of the river, but I think it is already large enough. This is one small addition that I am toying with, though -- stay tuned.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Fantastic scene. I love the snow laden trees, and the collection of vehicles is excellent.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Starscream Soundwave Beautiful scenery with beautiful vehicles. Excellent!
Thanks! I think I like building winter scenes. On a relative scale, it is easier to make them look good.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Joe Ramlet Ooh, I think this is very nice... I really like how you did the trees, and that bridge is very realistic! I also really like that halftrack.
Thanks! The trees took a little consideration. I wanted to do something that was reasonably simple to build, but which also had the right look for a snow-covered pine tree.
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Alex Sonny That mini tiger steals the show! A wonderful display of your mini scale skills.
Thanks! I have seen some other pretty good Tigers at approximately this scale that served as inspiration. There are some defects in my Tiger (e.g. the plating over the treads doesn't extend to the front like it should), but I managed to capture some details that I hadn't seen done before at this scale, including a fairly accurate representation of the road wheels.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Woah! Sweet! I love it all, Noice job Mr. Bace!
 I made it 
  July 17, 2014
Quoting Mariner 1000 Great job, Matt!
Thanks!
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Beautiful scenery with beautiful vehicles. Excellent!
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Ooh, I think this is very nice... I really like how you did the trees, and that bridge is very realistic! I also really like that halftrack.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
That mini tiger steals the show! A wonderful display of your mini scale skills.
 I like it 
  July 17, 2014
Great job, Matt!
 
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