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'As Above, So Below' 2024

Prix régulier £0.00

 Cu Chi Tunnels Ho Chi Minh City - Vietnam
Vertical Diorama Display

This Display is created to not only showcase our Vietnam plastic miniatures but to also give a sense of the scale of the underground tunnels that the VC lived in during the Vietnam War. For over 20 years they had been dug during the French occupation and they were integral to the success the VC had with Guerilla tactics in the Jungle. The VC often chose their battles to suit themselves and would let the US pass by if conditions were not favourable for them. GI's could spend whole tours without hardly seeing a single VC soldier, yet their ranks were cut down by up to 50% by snipers, traps and ambush. 

Here I have used reference photos and videos to make my own trench system showing a few of the interesting design choices that made the tunnels viable even if not necessarily comfortable with disease, lack of sanitation and insect bites part of everyday life underground. This diorama has electric lights but in reality most were lit by candle light or lights powered by a bicycle. Therefore I have used a little creative freedom to light up most of the tunnels so that they are visible in the diorama. 

The shell is a glass display cabinet with glass and shelving removed. Grey High Density foam was added and the tunnels sculpted freehand. PVA was coated over the foam and then AK Mud effects and weathering powders stippled all over. The wooden planks and supports are all hand cut balsa wood individually placed with PVA. The water is clear Caulk with a little brown wash added and thinned with white spirit.

Above ground lots of diorama products are used from Model Scene matting to cheap Amazon palm trees painted up and Model Tree shop UK trees. The background is a photographic background again from Amazon. 

Lighting is provided by two Christmas decoration LED light sets.

Points of Interest:

Smoke Chamber: situated above the kitchen this large hole allows Smoke and steam to accumulate long enough for it to slowly seep into the soil above and out into the jungle over night. The GI's would be none the wiser.

Pit Trap: Sharpened bamboo steaks often soaked in urine and feces are hidden in pits to allow the enemy to fall into. GI's were either seriously injured or at least infected, either way they would be a man down.

Emergency Exit: Multiple entrances and exits were scattered about the maze like complexes, some were only accesable via underwater tunnels to keep them hidden.

False Tunnel: Often fake tunnels leading to traps or shooting zones would be added to confuse the enemy, snakes, traps and ambush could often be waiting the unwary GI.

Kill Zone: The kill zone has many advantage points for the VC to shoot from and by design they are cramped and difficult to navigate through quickly. A main entrance could often have kill zones as part of its defence besides traps and poisonous snakes tied to bamboo poles.  

Fuel Dump: The fuel dump lies deep beneath the complex well away from the range of US bombing runs. 

Food Storage: Food was stored below ground but not for long as it would spoil in half the time due to the stale air and damp conditions underground.

Air vents: Air in the tunnels was often stale and foul smelling. The VC would often hide air shafts among the  bamboo or out of sight in thick vegetation.

Other areas not shown in this display:

Morgue: As the US was using body count to measure its sucess in the war, the VC often retrieved their dead and buried them in pits among their underground tunnels. 

Bunks: Sleeping quarters were also provided with bunk beds and hamocks. 

Kits used:

281001 Viet Cong Fighters & command

281002 USMC & Command

283007 Domestic Furniture

283008 Market Produce Set 1

Steve Perry 2024




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