1998 USSR Recycling

Sovremenny Destroyer Wreck

Text and Image: Jonas Dalberg
Translation: Lars Befring



Do you remember those images from the Murmansk harbour where the whole russian fleet lay half sunk and rusting after the disintegration of the Soviet Union? It must have been during the 90s that the images was shown on TV. Inspired by those images, and others found on the net, I created this diorama.


Original inspirational image for feeling and color


The starting point was Broncos Sovremmeny destroyer in 1/200 scale that was given to me, this is a gigantic kit that has to be cut down to fit normal bookshelf! it is over 1 meter long. I added some trucks, figures and a harbor crane from Kibiri in Z-scale( 1/220). Some Railway tracks in 1/450 gives the impression of a narrow gauge industrial railway. And of I Went…


The objective is to create a scene with a russian destroyer sunken by the Murmansk dock. It is winter and the ship is icebound. To get some life in the scene some local rouges will dismantle her to sell the scrap. Spontaneous Russian Recycling!


Composition 1



Composition 2


IMG_2269_zps1595d540              IMG_2352_zps1682bc38              IMG_2273_zps2e23d39a

Lots of photoetch, plastic parts and a whole LOT of sawing



Basic painting with shades of gray and hairspray for chipping


IMG_2369_zps3f8f82d8              IMG_2375_zps078dec5d              IMG_2380_zps968ab122

edbf0504-1853-4ee7-8c4d-edbccfb2967f_zpsacc3db9d              IMG_2372_zps2f2f2091              IMG_2389_zpse4ab6d04


Painting, rust and detailing. The fresh rust is painted with artist oils (Burnt sienna and burnt umber). A small blob is put in place and carefully blended with a solvent moist brush. Whenever it gets to much I remove it with a cotton swab and start over.

IMG_2394_zpsea12543b              IMG_2387_zpsa41877dd              IMG_2390_zps96c7fdf2


The most difficult part of the build so far turned out to be to get a tidy edge on the cut of ship and the landscape. In the end I just built the edge around the ship and then adjusted the base to fit.

IMG_2421_zps8c1de1b9 IMG_2428_zps466d73d3



In some of the most hard to reach places I used a thin mix of plaster to get the ship to blend into the ice


IMG_2463_zps0ee9d76e              IMG_2461_zps291e78c5             IMG_2458_zps5929d3a5

IMG_2462_zps5dd2c47c             IMG_2460_zps48345d81             IMG_2464_zpsb424b2b7


The next steps where to:

  • Dry rust treatment with pigments
  • Snow on the ship, crane, trucks and building
  • Details like lamps, pollards etc.
  • Snow painting and powder snow


IMG_2467_zps9ce3b3d5 IMG_2465_zpsae73d71a

The sides of the diorama carefully masked to get a perfect edge between snow and black


And then its done! After adding antennas, tackling, icicles, snow and local recycling experts.

The icicles were done by painting Woodland Scenic water effect on super thin fish line and then letting it dry in tension. Surface frost was done by Tamiya flat base. Figures from Preiser, crane from Kibiri and Ship from Bronco:


IMG_2482_zpsf587d3e1              IMG_2483_zps2deaf021             IMG_2484_zps9020bc4c

IMG_2485_zpsedf627f4             IMG_2486_zps5be61a4a             IMG_2494_zpsf08e1cc8

IMG_2477_zpse622f78f             IMG_2493_zps91821eb7             IMG_2489_zps0f84e34c

67f80461-450c-4087-864c-2d0aed3ae5ca_zps47ffc1df              IMG_2488_zps86f79f18              IMG_2503_zpsc95189b8

That last image is of course the mandatory scale comparison to a Swedish box of matches

All in all a really fun build!