With all available resources dedicated to the war effort, there was a relative dearth of heavy equipment for cleanup during the Blitz. Always at their best in the face of adversity, the enterprising British enrolled the services of an unlikely ally — the circus elephant — to help them dig out of the rubble, harnessing the immense strength of these beasts in lieu of cranes or tow trucks. The photo below perfectly illustrates the point.
Here’s the recreation.
Here is a photo in full color.
Here’s a close-up photo with lots of light to show more detail, including the burnt tree and the jagged edge glass on the window.
- Elephant: PaleoSculpt Realistic 3D Models, printed in 1/72 scale with a 3D printer;
- Elephant Harness: Made from scratch with thin aluminum and staples;
- Chain: A-Line 29217 Brass Chain, HO scale (27 links per inch);
- Vehicle: Classix EM76622 Ford E83W Thames Van;
- Figure: Dapol C002 Railway Workmen;
- Building (Left): Matchbox PK85 Sd.Kfz 232 Armoured Radio Car with Diorama Battle Display;
- Building (Center): Dragon 60347 Ferdinand with Diorama Buildings;
- Building (Right): Italeri 6087 Walls and Ruins;
- Cobblestone: Verlinden 2066 Cobblestone Street (made mold and cast pieces w/ hydrocal plaster);
- Tree: IMEX 533 Southwestern Alamo Accessories;
- Debris: Pegasus Hobbies Bricks 5199 (Red) and 5196 (Gray) crushed with a hammer;
- Other Debris: Broken matchsticks and dirt from my backyard sifted with my wife’s kitchen sieve.
Here’s the original notional photo. Note the 3D printer horizontal lines on the elephant, which had to be sanded.