D-DAY DUDES

...WWII Germany with one foot in the grave, the other on a banana peel

01/25/98 This is as much Paul Walmsley's stuff as it is mine. He made the guy on the right (D-Day Landser), who's carrying my more-or-less finished Panzerschreck (the bazooka). The guy on the left is wearing Matthew Mehlich's Desert Forces Zeltbahn which I won as a prize for a contest held at Leo Sutedja's web site. It turns out that the Zelt was made by Paul Walmsley!

Anyway, the guy on the left is supposed to be a late war German. By then, the uniforms were pretty cheesy, as result of the need to be practical and economical. To make it more authentic, I used that cheesy Soldiers of the World uniform (awww... it ain't that bad).

Despite the belt-tightening, the quality of their weapons remained high and their designs innovative. I think the Stg-44 was the first assault rifle (it's not a machine-pistol), a concept which was copied again and again, bringing great joy to the plinkers of this world (in its civilian form). It was fairly quick & cheap to produce because it was made of stamped metal parts.

Cotswold's version (top) is a pretty good and detailed rendition, but of course I had to rework it a little bit.

Naturally, it needed special mag pouches. I sculpted four versions, hoping that this would be enough variety to make it so the required six didn't look like clones with exactly the same folds. Talk about a boring sculpt job!

There's a bunch of straps and buckles on this rig, too. The picture on the right shows the assault frame that I should have sewn before gluing over the brass strips which make it rigid. I suppose it doesn't matter, since when it's loaded with stuff, you won't be able to see any of it. But it was really cool figuring out what all the straps were for. There are a few that I still don't have a clue about.

Another thing that made the late war uniform cheesy was the footwear. The cool jackboots weren't being manufactured because leather was hard to come by. So some unfortunate soldiers were forced to wear this geekishly practical stuff. Again, for authenticity, I used Soldiers of the World footwear, which actually is pretty high quality. Some say they're too small, but I say that Joe has outlandishly huge feet. (We're just used to seeing 'em that way.) Oh shucks, I forgot to paint the straps...


Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM