In the past few months Jökull Gíslason and seven of his friends have worked hard on preparing a presentation and staging of the Battle of Minsk during Operation Bagration in World War II. They have made a model of the city and all necessary props: jets, tanks and soldiers.
Some of the models. Source: Facebook.
The presentation will take place at the facilities of MÍR, the Icelandic-Russian culture association, on Hvefisgata 105 in Reykjavík tonight at 8 pm and the demonstration at the same location tomorrow at 11 am, Morgunbladid reports.
“In 1944 the latter battle of Minsk was waged. The first took place in 1941 when the Germans conquered the city and the latter when the Russians reclaimed it. The reason why we picked the latter is that we already had the things we needed,” Gíslason explained.
“We are a group who stages battles from World War II,” he added. Last year they staged the Battle of El Alamein in Africa at Reykjavík City Museum which was so successful that they decided to repeat it this year.
They will all play at tomorrow’s demonstration. “Because it is done by military organization we have many squads,” Gíslason said. “People can fight with us if they’re interested. It’s much more fun than to just stand and watch.
Gíslason and his partners make up one of many focus groups for which a New Zealand company produces models for this particular time period.
Significant research goes into staging such a battle, he said. However, they have the experience necessary as they have staged battles for a decade or so.
“The model work is extensive and looks really good […]. The platform we use is around six square meters, five times the regular dining room table,” Gíslason described, adding that much of the landscape props are homemade.
He enjoys the work, he said. “It’s a hobby,” he laughed. “I just finished the Russian army, which was one of the last tasks. It was a fairly easy one. But I have painted around 2,000 boots for people at the scale of 1:100. […] I guess it takes up to two working weeks, eight hours a day, to paint such an army.”