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"Progress on Telefonica diorama" Topic

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Makhno191804 Jul 2020 12:52 p.m. PST

Hi all,
Im almost done with this diorama. Theres a million little things i could fix, improve, or change but its time to move on to the next project! Id love to hear your impressions, suggestions, constructive criticisms, etc. I appreciate all the input and help for this project I've recieved on this board in the last couple years.

Full Post:

Some photos:







Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Jul 2020 1:26 p.m. PST

The Wikipedia article – link – mentions that the building was targeted with bombs during the Spanish Civil War.

It is interesting to see miniatures used to memorialize history in this way, though I am not sure exactly which event is being depicted. Why did you choose to depict this historical event?

What scale are the figures? Are the figures attached in place, or can they be removed?

Makhno191804 Jul 2020 3:57 p.m. PST

Hi Bill, thanks for the comments. Yes of course, i should have included some info. I plan to work up a statement for when i officially call it finished but for now:

The Spanish Civil War truly began on July 17th, when fascist generals in the Army of Africa, stationed in Morocco, launched a coup against the democratically-elected, left-wing Republican government. For most of Spain, the following days were full of confusion and disinformation. The government refused the offer of help from the mass anarchist union CNT, who in turn called a general strike and prepared to fight the army in the streets. Seditious military leaders launched rising attempts in much of the rest of Spain on July 19th.

In the early hours of July 19, 1936, factory sirens called workers out to the streets of Barcelona. The CNT had learned from anarchist soldiers in the army about the fascist military coup. While the Republic had recently shut down all of the CNT's public centers across the country, the workers decided to oppose the generals. With the officers' plans in hand, the anarchists cooked up their own plan: to wait until the soldiers left their barracks, and then ambush them in the streets. At strategic intersections across the city, workers feverishly built barricades, distributed what few weapons they had, and gathered to demand more from the authorities.

One of the most important targets of the military coup in Barcelona was the Telefonica company building, the communications nerve center for the city. In the early hours, the 13th Regiment of the 7th Infantry Brigade marched toward the Telefonica, standing on one end of the grand Plaça de Catalunya. The soldiers encountered Assault Guards (urban police), who were of mixed and questionable loyalty, and were soon fraternizing with the soldiers.

Inside the Telefonica, workers and assault guards loyal to the Republic prepared a defense. They refused Comandante Lopez Amor's order to surrender, so the soldiers fired on the Telefonica with 75mm cannons and then charged the building. The Assault Guards and workers inside resisted, and held on to the upper floors of the building all morning.

Meanwhile, soldiers set up machine guns in the corners of the Plaça, and loyal Assault Gaurds used the subway system to enter the area at strategic points. Crowds of workers barricaded the side streets. The Civil Guard, also of uncertain loyalty at that point, also arrived in the Plaça.

After defeating the army at other points along the Ramblas, a large group of CNT workers, led by Durruti himself, appeared, brave the mg kill zone the soldiers had established, and charged the front doors. This is the moment depicted in my diorama.

The anarchists succeed in taking the building, while across the Plaça POUMistas capture the famous Hotel Colon and the Assault Guards, whom until that point had accompanied and cooperated with Comandante Amor, decided it was a good time to express their loyalty to the Republic and arrested Amor.

I chose this event because the Telefonica was a symbol of the power of the organized working class in Barcelona until it was captured by the police the following May, and one of my heros, Durruti, personally led the charge.

Ill write a little more soon about scale and process, but my kid wants to play Stratego

Makhno191804 Jul 2020 6:02 p.m. PST

Phew, kid almost beat me there…

So the building is made of plywood with MH putty for the face. The figures are 1/72 scale and the building half that (1/144 i guess). Figures are from a whole lot of different sources, some metal some plastic. They are removable, theres magnetic sheet under everything and theyre based on metal washers. Happy to answer any other questions.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian04 Jul 2020 8:05 p.m. PST

Quite a project! thumbs up

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP05 Jul 2020 4:17 p.m. PST

Impressive – thanks for the background!

Personal logo PaulCollins Supporting Member of TMP06 Jul 2020 10:52 a.m. PST

Very interesting, and an impressive project. I think the Spanish Civil War is a very interesting period, but getting my head around who's who has made my head spin.

Personal logo Legion 4 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2020 3:53 p.m. PST

Looks pretty darn good !

Makhno191810 Jul 2020 6:16 a.m. PST

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the feedback. My next step is to print a description of the event and glue it to the exposed wood on the back between the floors of the building. Im also still trying to see if i can learn what weapon(s) Durruti was carrying that day.

Im also thinking about what my next big diorama may be (perhaps the Durruti Column in University City during the battle of Madrid). If folks have any suggestions of what i could do differently to improve on my next attempt, or other suggestions, id appreciate hearing them.

Also, I put up all the photos I found of the Barcelona Telefonica building (Bill's reference in the 2nd post on this thread is actually the Madrid Telefonica building). I thought it might be interesting to see what i was working from:

Mike O30 Jul 2020 2:26 a.m. PST

Absolutely amazing! Really good design with the use of scales and figures with magnetised bases that can be moved around in different configurations. Love all the interior detail in the Telefonica. I guess you could even use this diorama as a module piece for a wargame scenario involving the wider plaza battle on that day or even the May 1937 events.

I recognise a lot of the figures such as the Barcelona Universal Models (BUM) militia and the Caesar partisans /resistance. Also I think some conversions of those really useful recent Strelets Boer infantry? link

I have the first 3 full figure sets from BUM – La Legion, Popular Army and Militia – but they seemed to be getting worse in quality and more expensive as time went on.

I was tempted by their "Spanish Security Forces" set which is really well sculpted but the PSR review says it's made with a strange plastic that falls to pieces at the slightest touch and often arrives broken in the box.


Some of your figures look like they are from this but perhaps from their later big play-sets? If so how did you find the plastic quality?

Also wondering where you got the Bilbao armoured car from? I have the excellent Minairons model but comparing with yours there are small differences so perhaps yours is from one of those intriguing BUM play-sets?:


Makhno191830 Jul 2020 12:48 p.m. PST

Hi Mike, thanks for the feedback! Great eye, correct on all accounts. I have thought about using this in a game for a larger plaça de catalunya (and had with my kid for our first game when the building was in its early stages) for 36, and also considered 37. Im so attached to where minis are now though that I'll have to number each one if I'm gonna move them, which will make me think twice.

The BUM Bilbao came in a set with the assault and civil guards (most of which I used above), and I think the figures were the same as in the security forces set. The review is correct, the plastic was terrible. I think it was advertised as resin. It's really soft and falls apart easily when you try to clean up the mold lines. And some did arrive broken. I can't find a description of the set now, but it gave me a bad taste for BUM and I haven't bought anything from them since. Ealier i had bought a bunch of the miliciam army sets to fill out my columns, and many of my assault guards came from there too. Most of my assault guards for games consist of multiples of the officer with the pistol, as well as the one firing a rifle from the photo with the dead artillery horses, though I carved off the military helmets at their hips.

I'm really interested in the old BUM sets you have. I searched for them for a while and it seems not much is left floating around. Company doesn't seem active either. Thanks again for your thoughts!

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