I remember coming across David Levinthal's work with miniatures when I was at University. He is most famous for his fine art photographs exploring the themes of voyeurism, pop culture and media in America with the use of miniatures. However, it was only recently that I discovered his collaborative book Hitler Moves East: A Graphic Chronicle, 1941-43 (with Garry Trudeau) on the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
I would like to think I am fairy familiar with photographs of miniatures, but it took me a moment to clock that the Wehrmacht soldiers in this book are all tiny models. The authors studied archival material from the period in order to capture the look of vintage photographs. They cleverly hide their subjects' scale by playing with blurring, exposure and cropping. Their images have the look of the hurried snaps taken by a twitchy combat photographer from the German press corps.
I was struck by the similarities between Hitler Moves East, and the Chapman Brothers' Hell sculpture. It seems war (and in particular the atrocities of the Second World War) hold a fasination for artists working in miniature. The very male interests of conflict, collection and cataloguing are able to explored very satisfyingly through military miniatures.