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Project Notes

#644 Ukrainian Cossack

An heroic pose in a walnut with a figure from the Orion Ukrainian Mounted Cossacks set. No, this is not meant to be political - but if you come and try to steal my nuts, expect to fight this guy!

No electronics in this one.



When I heard about the the walnut group build, one of the first images that came to mind was of a horse leaping from the shell. From then on, I had my eye out for a suitable figure to use.

I finally found my subject when I stumbled across this old Orion/Haron set of “Ukrainian Mounted Cossacks” in one of our local model shops.

Pretty happy how this worked in the end, although the polythene molding of the figures is a nightmare and they are just a little too large in 1:72 to allow the walnut to close. I’d either need figures in a smaller scale or find some larger walnuts! NB: I did discover that Red Box had planned some new 2021 tool Cossack figures but the war appears to have understandably thrown those plans out the window.

This is the third walnut build I’ve completed. It’s a nutty concept, but having to model within such severe constraints is surprisingly liberating for one’s creativity!


The Walnut Challenge

The Walnut Challenge is organised by James and Malcolm of the Just Making Conversation podcast. Essentially:

Make a diorama entirely inside of your Walnut. Opening the walnut will reveal your work. Closing the walnut will hide what is inside.

It sounded like a very niche idea, but amazingly at the time of writing, there are 110 members of the facebook group and at least a dozen finished builds.

The Build

How it started..


trying to get the most out of these old (2007) figures that are cast that terrible polythene like old recycled plastic bags!


got my parts ready to assemble


the resin pour. I’ll do final touches on the figures after I’ve finished the water (even with primer and clear coat, paint just does not like to stay on these figures!)


WIP! just trying this idea, even though its looking like I’ll want to model this in a way where the nut won’t close hmm, how to make convincing splashes in water?


coming together (some gel still to cure)


The Ukrainian flag is cut out from the kit box, softened with glue and moulded into the upper shell. Some touch-ups painted later to make the colours pop.


OK, but not so happy with the water - looks more like a bowl of bee hoon.





Having another run at the water

Wasn’t happy with my first attempt at the water splashes so touched up with some fake ice and snow. Better … I think? Modelling water splashes is definitely a skill I need to work on.






Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.