Steven Spielberg’s 1941
By Mike Rieth
This diorama of Steven Spielberg’s 1941 movie was built for an online website iModeler at the Movies Group Build. It is 1/48 scale. Everything is scratch-built except for the Hasegawa P40E and the cab of the Wespe Model Ford 917, converted to a 1939 Ford Pick-up truck.
The scene was made from several screen grabs from the movie. Using known measurements like a door’s height, I was able to create scale CAD drawings, which were used to laser cut the buildings, gas pumps, signs, pick-up truck bed , reptile farm fence and cages, and the 1947 Aero Flite Falcon Travel Trailer. I made signage artwork using Photoshop Element.
The original explosion I made was huge, but it overpowered the scene and blocked the scratch-built building, gas pumps and island. I decided to go with the explosion when it first ignites. There are micro LED battery operated lights inside which doesn’t show up in bright light.
The P40 has a tiny motor to spin the prop scavenged from an old scanner/printer.
The photo with the real background was created using Photo Shop Elements of a screen grab from Google Maps of the exact location on the road where the movie was shot.
View of nighttime explosion: