Over the Hill? Only if it’s a Firebase!

Some people love to make a big deal out of their birthdays, and others don’t. I, personally, am  one of the former. I don’t mind getting older. As my grandfather  used to say: “Getting older isn’t really the problem. It’s when you STOP getting older that you’ve got an issue.”

I’m definitely on board with that statement, and never really get too wound up about “milestone” birthdays. This week sees such a milestone, as I am officially “Over the Hill”. Of course, we also hear that 50 is the new 30 (or 80 is the new 63 or whatever), so it seems that tradition and marketing have yet to co-ordinate their efforts!

To celebrate my birthday, my very talented brother and sister-in-law (both of whom also build models – as you will soon see) decided to make me a cake that was a different take on the “over the hill” mentality. When you talk to someone who loves military history about hills and the like, one of the first thing that comes to mind (at least mine) is a firebase! Clearly, my brother and I think far, far too much alike, and that was the idea he and his wife came up with as well.

Check out the awesome cake/diorama that awaited me to help me celebrate the next 40 years! If this isn’t a diorama that is literally a case of having your cake and eating it too, I don’t know what is!

Is it a cake, or do I enter it in this fall’s London Scale Model Show? This is the Firebase Diorama Cake that helped me “over the hill”. Is that awesome or what?

Looking at it from a bit more above, you can see all the detail that’s gone into this cake. The heavy earthen clods are Oreo Crumbs and the lighter dirt behind the gun is graham cracker crumbs. The trees are parsley fresh from the garden.

Yes, you’re seeing it correctly. The entire cake was a firebase, complete with a gun. However, it wasn’t just any dollar store cheapo howitzer, the cannon in this base is the Dinky #692 5.5 Medium Gun! How awesome is that, to get a vintage Dinky Army piece on your cake? The question answers itself.  It goes without saying that getting icing on a 60 year old toy is not so smart, so if you look carefully, you can see that the gun is sitting on a piece of Saran. THAT’S detail-oriented!

Here you can see that the hill has definitely taken some fire! The craters were detailed with various colours of green icing, likely gel icing, by the look of it. Little bits of the cake were chunked out to create the damage. The “sandbags” were some kind of baby snack, donated by my nephew for the project.


Clearly, the gunners have picked a good spot. It’s yet to be precisely found by enemy gunners but has a bit of shade from a local tree. The crater in front likely loosed a few teeth when it was made. In many ways, this cake is a very artistic expression of life. Some rattling near misses and a bit of comforting shade, and at the end of the day, the gun is still blasting away!

What’s a cake without candles? This top view shows where each of the “decade markers” was put around the rear periphery of the firebase. You can get a good sense of scale from this top shot, too. Notice the shiny Saran wrap?

Night Firing! With the lights out and the candles running, you get a very “flare-illuminated” feel to the entire scene. An awesome end to an awesome cake!

Underneath all the rubble, craters and the cannon itself was a multi-layered chocolate cake with chocolate and vanilla icing between the various layers. One of those interlayer junctions also sported a tangy layer of marmelade, to add a bit of extra kick to the flavour! It seemed like a shame to cut into it, but at the same time, it would have been a shame not to. Now, all that’s left of the firebase is the gun, on permanent display on my Dinky Army shelf.

I hope that you all get as big a kick out of this very inventive cake as I did. Of course, I got to eat it, and I have a cool souvenir 5.5 Medium Gun, so I probably enjoyed it more, but then again, I had to get older to get it. 🙂


  1. atcDave · · Reply

    Thanks for sharing!
    Years ago my wife did an airport diorama for one of my birthdays. Very fun. But yours wins the prize for realism!

    1. An airport diorama cake would be pretty awesome too, I must say.

      I was certainly impressed with the quality of the work on the firebase, though.

      I’m glad you liked it. It was too cool NOT to share it!

  2. What an amazing cake! Your brother and sister-in-law should be very proud of their edible art. Happy Birthday and keep up the great work on your models. I thoroughly enjoy browsing through your new posts.

    1. Hey Baumer!

      Yeah, I know, it was a pretty awesomely creative thing to do, eh? Thanks for the B’day wishes, too.

      Now you can see what keeps me sane after a day in the TFA pits! 🙂

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