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Flight from Kharkiv 2022
A tough diorama to build but a very important one.
In a conflict awash with reports of military statistics and geopolitical turmoil, humourous pictures of Ukrainian tractors and legends of ghostly aces, it is easy to overlook the sheer scale of the humanitarian tragedy - the Red Cross reports over 5 million citizens have left the Ukraine to find safety and millions more have been displaced internally.
This would be the equivalent to the entire populations of Scotland leaving their country and the entire population of Wales forced to abandon their homes - to seek refuge with family, friends or just relying on the kindness of strangers - never knowing if there will be anything left to return to.
The aim of Flight from Kharkiv 2022 is to represent and remember this human tragedy. The figures are all based on photographs from the conflict - people forced to flee with their entire lives stuffed into a suitcase - from small children to the elderly.
The military aspects are deliberately pushed into the background - an abandoned, burnt truck, so iconic of the early weeks of the conflict, provides an ambiguous background, the fate of its occupants unknown. Those trundling past don't even turn a head, they have already seen much worse.
Yet there is defiance and perhaps hope in the spirit of a people seperated by conflict but refined by a new found national identity, epitomised on the global stage by the iconography of the sunflower.
It seems almost banal to discuss the technical aspects of the scene, but the figures are from Preiser 1/160 N scale unpainted selections, the shopping trolley is etched steel from an American model railroad selection, featuring a resin cat from Heroes Models of Italy.
The truck is a Kraz-258 from the Eastern Express 1/144 Airport Service collection. A very rough, short run type injection kit requiring a lot of fettling. The scene sits on a 10x10cm canvas with the roadway lines made using a Printscale decal lines set, appropriately a final touch that was made in the Ukraine.