This scene is, in my opinion, the natural progression of where I want to take the “real world” side of my modeling (I also do sci-fi subjects, which are a lot more flexible). Some modelers strive for their models to be the most realistic, they try to fool the observer into thinking that what they are seeing is indeed the real thing, but magically shrunk. There are very good modelers out there that definitely achieve that effect. But after modeling for a while I decided to go in a different direction, although I try to make realistic looking models I don’t push full force for that (I don’t add a lot of PE or do a lot of scratchbuilding), I want to strive to make thought provoking models, the ones that make the viewer go ‘hmmmm’. This came about because I started to think about the kind of models and dioramas that are created out there. They have never made me go hmmmmm, maybe because they depict scenes that are somewhat removed from reality. We see tons of models and dioramas related to war, but very few show wounded soldiers, even less show dead soldiers and almost none go the extra step and show dead civilians. So it seems we leave out the unpleasant aspect of a war and model the somewhat pleasant. With this in mind I decided to try to model unusual things, things that are not the norm. The first attempt was my AH Hellhound in Colombian Air Force markings, which is a statement against the War on Drugs. A bit subtle and abstract. Then came the Freedom Fighter, in honor of the Animal Liberation Front. This was a lot less abstract, although it had the advantage of the written word. Finally this scene, Liebe Mutter. The idea behind this scene came from thinking about why I did not model any vehicles belonging to SS units. I didn’t do it because the SS and specifically the Waffen-SS were “the real nazis” those that committed atrocities against civilians. Or so that’s how history has been written. Then I stopped to ask, what was really inside the mind of the men that did this? So this scene was born out of asking myself the question, what did these men do when they were not committing atrocities against humanity? Would a “real nazi” SS soldier find a moment of solitude in the forest to write his mom a letter and let her know he is ok? I don’t know, that’s where the viewer has to ask the question and answer it.
As with the Hellhound, this model is flawed, because it needs some sort of written statement to be made to get the “thought provoking” effect. The very subtle indicators require previous knowledge of history, what I mean here is that the viewer would have to know the vehicle belongs to an SS unit – almost impossible since it has no divisonal markings and the license plates are partially covered – and the other indicator is probably as bad, the camouflaged uniform was worn by the Waffen-SS.
Some other details about the model itself. Depicts an SdKfz 251/1 Ausf C from the 1st SS Panzerdivision in Kharkov, 1943. The driver figure is from a Tamiya set, heavily modified (it’s more putty now than plastic), all painted with Vallejo acrylics. The groundwork is a mix of plaster, static grass, dry kitchen herbs, tea leaves and the excellent paper leaves by Model Scene (glued down one by one).