Dioramas in Film – 633 Squadron

With superb aerial photography and a rousing score by Ron Goodwin, 633 Squadron (1964) is one of the great WWII aviation flicks. The titular squadron consists of De Havilland Mosquitoes tasked with destroying a heavily guarded rocket fuel plant in a Norwegian fjord. 

About two-thirds of the way through the film, a briefing is given to the squadron crews in preparation for the mission. It is here that we see a large diorama of the target, which is used to explain the mission objective. The camera tracks along the length of the diorama as it takes centre stage and the pilots huddle around. 

Fans of the Mosquito will delight at the opportunity to see several examples of this magnificent aircraft in action. Five airworthy Mosquitoes were featured in the movie, along with a few more that were seen taxiing or stationary. At the time of filming, the Mosquito was no longer in use by the RAF, so the aircraft were sourced from civilian operators and repainted in wartime colours. Miniatures were used only for the battle scenes involving pyrotechnics. 

I had the opportunity to see an airworthy Mosquito at an airshow in Canada a few years ago and it was a marvellous sight. It’s a classic design that is equal parts power and grace. 

The Wooden Wonder is a diorama celebrating the Mosquito that I built several years ago. It was inspired by 633 Squadron. The diorama was later destroyed by MaltaPost during shipping but I was able to salvage the aircraft itself.