Sera's Tank Blog 2016

You can now follow the latest news from Staples & Vine with Sera's Blog.
Updates from the workbench with news on the latest tank being sculpted.
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Sera Staples. sculptor.

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Previous years blog are accessible here 2018  2017  2016

September 16th 2016

I have managed to create, with the 3d design software, the base on which the Tiger will be displayed. The surface will be sculpted to replicate snow as per the classic photos of Michael Wittmann with his Tiger, and will be mounted on the standard base which we use for our aircraft. The overall base size for the Tiger will be Base size 7.71" (196 mm) square. This is our number 5 size base.


This base will allow room for the tank crew figures which I will be sculpting specifically for the Tiger as an option.


These render views give an idea of the concept I am aiming for. When I produce the base it will have a lot more character and detail than you see here giving plenty of atmosphere to the composition.


September 10th 2016

I have reached a significant stage in the design of the new Tiger I tank. I have just completed the computer modelling stage of the Tiger. This means I can now print all the parts on the 3D printer although I am well advanced with this stage as well. The images below are computer generated images based on my computer model and are known as 'renders'. I thought you would like to see the level of detail I am aiming for and how well the character of the Tiger has been captured. The Tiger is a complex subject as the tank evolved throughout its production. Fortunately Wittmann's Tiger is well enough documented to ensure I can sculpt it accurately.
In the first overall image you can see the character of the Tiger and how detailed the upper hull and track units are modelled.


The second render shows the rear 3/4 and gives a good sense of the bulk of the Tiger. Of course the rear of the Tiger is also well detailed with the toolbox exhausts and jack.


The final render really captures the Tiger and shows what a formidable weapon this tank was in its day, feared by the allies until it eventually became outgunned.


I now have to complete the printing of the parts on the 3D printer before reworking them for mouldmaking.

August 22nd 2016

Design and origination of our first pewter tank has been going very well over the past few months. As you will have seen from our production section the Tiger I has been designed using Computer Aided Design (CAD) software, and is being 3D printed. The image bellow is of the upper hull with the machine gun position and driver's view port on the left hand side. This part is exactly how the part comes off the printer with no cleaning up. The honeycomb areas at the base are created to allow the printer to create the overhangs required and will be removed as will the flat base section. This part of the upper hull took about 9 hours to print and is the 4th attempt.


One of the key parts of a tank that I was most concerned about printing was the wheel and track unit. After many experimental prints this is the final result. Each of these parts took 39 hours to print, but the result was well worth the wait. The level of detail is fantastic. Each track link is finely detailed as are the road wheels and idler. These parts still have to be remover from their base and support material and cleaned up by hand. The outer road wheels and drive sprocket are separate and yet to be printed.


I mentioned that the upper hull was the 4th attempt, well I have learnt a few things chiefly regarding the feed of the plastic into he 3D printer which will cause the print to fail if it is restricted in any way. The temperature surrounding the priter is also important as any drafts can cause the part to come away from the platform. Unfortunately we have also had 2 power cuts, causing the printer to shut down, thankfully not during the track prints. I will be investing in an Uninterupable Power Supply (UPS) shortly to allow the printer to continue if we loose power again.

August 16th 2016

Firstly welcome to our new website. Some of you will be familiar with our pewter aircraft website, a link to which you can see in the navigation column. For those of you new to Diverse Images we have been producing pewter aircraft for almost twenty years and have gained a worldwide reputation for producing aircraft unrivaled for their technical and historical accuracy.
For some time now we have been looking at techniques that would allow us to produce similarly accurate tank models, Until recently all our aicraft had been exclusively sculpted by hand. With the development of Computer Aided Design and 3D printing we are able to produce high quality masters that after careful hand finishing and mouldmaking result in excellent collectables.
We carefully considered what sacle to produce our tanks in and determined that 1:48 scale would be perfect as it would give us the best level of detail and would compliment our pewter aircraft range. Like our aircraft range our tanks will come mounted on a base replicating the theatre of operations. However our tank bases will have much more relief as they will be sculpted and cast in resin. Collectors will also have the option of adding figures, specific to each tank, as with our aircraft.
Below you can see our concept profile for the new Tiger I. The profile is a working drawing and as such the production model may vary from the drawing as the subject is explored in greater detail. We chose the Tiger I as our launch model as it will be the best tank for the collector to judge the quality of our new range. Those of you that know our aircaft range will be aware that we not only produce the classics but have a reputation for producing subjects other manufacturers will not touch. So you can expect to see a very wide variety of tank releases over the next few years.
If there is a tank you think we should add to the range please email me personally at

Tiger I profile.

We always work from source photographs and in choosing the most famous Tiger I of them all we can be sure to produce an accurate model. This photograph is one of a sequence taken of the famous ace Michael Wittmann and his crew in front of his Tiger I 'S04' in the winter of 1944.

Tiger I S04 and crew

At Sera's Blog I will keep you as up to date as possible with tank progress. Many enjoy reading my pewter aircraft blog and this will be in the same vein.
Below is a computer generated image (render) of a Tiger I track and wheel unit which I have created ready for 3D printing. This is the most complicated part on any tank and only after successfully 3D printing it could we greenlight the whole tank project.
You can imagine it was a massive relief to achieve a print of sufficient quality (pictures to follow). Of course I still have a lot more to do - more on that next time. You can see more of our design and manufacturing techniques in the 'Production' section of the website.

Tiger I wheel and track unit render.