Rommel's Rod

Built by: Tory Mucaro

I have never fully understood why poor Rommel and his driver were skeletons in this kit. So when I decided to build this model I needed a way to make it all make sense to me. I decided to create a diorama around the premise that while stationed in North Africa, Rommel discovered the Lost Ark of the Covenant. Knowing Hitler’s desire for this relic, he loaded it into his trailer aided by his driver. However the temptation proved to be too great for them both and they just had to peek inside. The next thing they know...ZAP! They are reduced to a couple of living skeletons! Anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I built the vehicle pretty much out of the box, and added a scratch built trailer (converted from a Revell '37 Ford pickup bed) and ark (using a screen capture from “Raiders of the Lost Ark” for reference). The tarp covering the ark is tissue and white glue. The poles used to carry the ark are styrene rod tapered at both ends with a file. I modified the skeletons by adding torsos from a couple of extra Monogram Mr. Bones I had lying around, one from the Li'l Coffin and the other from the Boothill Express.

If you look closely the car itself is popping a slight wheelie, due to the driver's desire to obey Rommel's command engraved on the base..."Fahr mich nach Berlin...schnell!" Translation..."Drive me to Berlin...quick!" Other details are the burnt hole in the spare caused by the Ark's need to obliterate the swastika in the Africa Corps insignia (similar to the scene from the movie where the swastika is burned off the crate containing the ark!). Also the map in front of Rommel is a real map of the Cairo area I got off the web.

The sand on the base is acrylic gel medium with pumice which was spread over the wood plank I used and while wet I pressed the tracks and tires to create the impressions. When dry it was painted with acrylics and given a burnt umber oil wash and then dry brushed to bring out the details

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