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Author Topic: US Airborne 28mm project - bazooka crew and medic added  (Read 1418 times)

Offline David H

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 32
US Airborne 28mm project - bazooka crew and medic added
« on: August 03, 2021, 09:45:06 AM »
I have been wanting to put together a US Airborne platoon for a while now with a view to creating a Brecourt Manor scenario for CoC. However, I have not been particularly taken by the figures available, Artizan, Crusader, and Warlord metals. From what I have seen and heard of the Warlord plastics they did not seem appropriate either.

So the project had been on hold until I acquired a box of the Warlord plastics for a bargain price  ;)

The main problem with the Warlord plastic US Airborne set is that they are modelled wearing the M43 uniform which was issued some time after the D-Day landings, and the weapons are later variants than those used for D-Day.

Upon closer inspection I did not see too much of an issue in converting these figures by cutting away the puttees to create the iconic Corcoran jump boots. The other main difference is the pocket flaps which I thought could mostly be disguised by judiscious placement of equipment, leaving a few requiring some additional putty work.

And so I set to work trimming the 30 sets of legs that come in the box, and then carefully cutting 'laces' into the bare plastic at the front of the boot with the edge of a very file.

« Last Edit: August 12, 2021, 07:52:14 AM by David H »

Offline David H

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 32
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 1
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2021, 10:52:42 AM »
I like my squads to have a common 'theme', if possible - eg advancing, firing, etc. Plastics are great for doing this as with a little surgery it is usually possible to create poses that are unique.

The problem with the later Warlord sets is that they appear to have moved away from lots of separate arms and weapons to just a few fixed arm positions with weapons already attached. This makes for a lot less variety, particularly when combined with the rather static bodies provided.

The Airborne sprue contains 6 bodies, of these one is running, one is kneeling, one is prone and three are standing/lunging/leaning which does not allow for a very dynamic group. This, combined with the available arms, becomes even more restrictive. Of the 10 arm sets available, only 4 carry the Garand M1, of which one is shooting, one is being carried across the body, one is shouldered, and the other is kind of tucked under the right arm in a very casual position. 3 carry the Thompson SMG, 2 carry the Carbine, and one is shooting the BAR LMG. There is also a set of arms for shooting the .30 cal machine gun and for the accompanying loader. Unfortunately this is the later model with a butt and bipod rather than the earlier model that commonly used a tripod and was buttless  8)

As the airborne troops pretty much all carried the M1 Garand using the available options does not allow for great variety or very dynamic poses, so even more surgery was going to be required for what I wanted to achieve.




Offline Poiter50

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 3385
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 1
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2021, 02:46:49 PM »
Having just assembled a number of Warlord USMC, it appears that they are using the same layout for all (at least) US sprues.
Cheers,
Poiter50

Offline David H

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 32
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 1
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2021, 04:37:13 PM »
Having just assembled a number of Warlord USMC, it appears that they are using the same layout for all (at least) US sprues.

You are right - the US Infantry and the Marines have the same format, and I believe the later war Germans are similar too. The Germans suffer a bad shortage of MG42's too.

Offline David H

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 32
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 2
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2021, 05:12:42 PM »
Before any major surgery I opted for something simple to start things off - a 30 cal. mg team.

I trimmed the stock from the gun arm and also cut and trimmed the gun hand to allow the gun to point straight forward, rather than the usual 45 degrees across the body. Why do all the firing poses have to be off to the left? Its OK for standing or kneeling figures, but not so useful for prone figures, and certainly not for an mg.

The barrel needed some trimming to get back to the earlier version - a fine needle drill was used to add the missing holes in the barrel.

The mg also needed a tripod, which was constructed from plastic card and some spare plastic spears. Its basic but acceptable.

Changing the angle at which the mg is being shot now meant the loader could not reach the gun at a sensible angle - he would be feeding the belt in at an angle guaranteed to result in a jam! I cut the ammo belt from one of the spare ammo boxes and glued it to the end of the belt being held by the loader.

The final team member is the ammo carrier. The ammo box previously relieved of its ammo belt also had the open lid removed. The top was filed flat and a 'handle' added from plastic card. I took one of the left arms supposed to be used for an officer and cut it at the wrist and elbow, re-positioned them, and then reattached them to give a more relaxed pose.

The heads are rather nicely done, quite realistic in fact, but the cavity the head sits in is really deep and they just look like turtles withdrawing into their shell. I cut a couple of mm off a thin round sprue, rounded one end off and stuck it in the cavity to create a bit of a neck. If you slice the rounded end of the bulge on the heads neck off you then have two flat surfaces to glue. By angling this slicing you can also change the angle of the head for a bit of variety.

The only items remaining were the back pack and other bits and pieces as required. However, the packs do not fit on a prone figure, in fact, as I was to discover, the packs are a pretty awful fit on all the figures. I have attached the individual packs that come on the sprue, but there are no water canteens so I will have to get them elsewhere.

Offline Tommy20

  • Scientist
  • Posts: 381
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 1
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2021, 05:35:42 PM »
My biggest gripe with Warlord’s plastics is the lack of sufficient rifle options.  Three rifles on a six figure sprue is three rifles too few!
-Tommy

Offline David H

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 32
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 1
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2021, 05:45:08 PM »
My biggest gripe with Warlord’s plastics is the lack of sufficient rifle options.  Three rifles on a six figure sprue is three rifles too few!
Agreed, especially when they are already moulded to arms. The separate US weapons sprue has 8 rifles on it. The problem is that 4 of them are Springfields!
These had been pretty much phased out by the time the US army got into the war although it was still in some use early on, but not enough to warrant 50% of the total rifles on a weapons sprue.

Offline Tom Dulski

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 24
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 1
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2021, 01:10:32 AM »
I for one would LOVE if Warlord re-did the US Airborne plastic sprue like they did with the US Infantry. I think sculpting them all with the early war airborne uniform would be a much needed improvement.

Offline voltan

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 947
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 1
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2021, 06:54:13 AM »
Some lovely work you've done on the kits, I also agree about the weapon choices in the newer kits being a bit annoying at times, it's why I prefer the original ones for my commonwealth.
'I came, I saw, and I couldn't believe my eyes.' -Julius Caesar.

Offline David H

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 32
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 2
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2021, 10:06:49 AM »
Now the test figures were done I started work on the remainder.

Apart from a single running figure, the remaining poses are very static. With only 5 sprues in the box it meant I would have just 5 running figures against the 25 static figures. I like my squads to look like they are engaged in the same activity so I would need to do some conversion work if I was to have a squad advancing or charging into action.

The great thing about plastics is that conversion work is easier then with metals. You can chop off a whole leg and swap it with another figure. You can cut legs at the knee and ankle joints to create bends in the legs and have whole new poses.

Knee and ankle cuts are the easiest. To create a bended knee or ankle just cut out a 'V' at the joint and then re-attach the limb at the new angle.

To straighten a knee or ankle joint make a straight cut and gently straighten the leg to the position required. You should now have a 'V' shaped gap. I then cut a wedge of the required size from some old sprue and glue that into the joint. Once this has set it is as solid as any joint and can be carved to shape without the need for any wire or filler - see the photos below.

After a few hours work I had created a selection of running figures all in different positions.


Offline David H

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 32
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - part 3: first squad completed
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2021, 04:52:58 PM »
With a lot more cutting, chopping and bending, borrowing bits from the US Infantry and Marines sprues, the first squad is pretty much complete. There is still a bit of filling and tidying up to be done, but I hope to start getting paint on them this weekend.

This is the rifle section and MG team, there is another squad to do, and a bazooka team, leaving 4 figures for the Platoon HQ and optional teams yet to be decided on.



Offline FreakyFenton

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 796
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - parts 1 and 2
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2021, 05:29:20 PM »
Cracking work and I particularly like the last conversion with the blokes carrying the tripod and equipment on their shoulders!
I will follow this with interest, and will try the V cuts on some of my minis. So thanks for sharing your thought process!

Offline Tom Dulski

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 24
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - parts 1 and 2
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2021, 10:51:57 AM »
That is some fantastic work, keep the pics coming.

Offline Digits

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2462
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - parts 1 and 2
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2021, 06:31:26 PM »
Man after my own heart!  I spent years doing exactly this to GW imperial guard.  The ability to make unique looking poses, including prone ones enables you to put lots of personality into them.  Keep it coming, these are great!
Join the BEST regiment in the army of Parliament and fight the length and breadth of these fair isles!

http://www.earlofmanchesters.co.uk

Offline ARKOUDAKI

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 752
Re: US Airborne 28mm project - parts 1 and 2
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2021, 11:35:57 PM »
The joy of plastics...conversions are just so easy...and with a little putty here and there, convincing! Keep cutting it up!

 

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