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Author Topic: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)  (Read 1818 times)

Offline Michi

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1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« on: May 26, 2024, 05:17:53 PM »
Here come parts of a West German rifle platoon from the Cold War:



The miniatures are 28mms (32mm total height) from Under Fire Miniatures. The gas mask bags are converted with Greenstuff to match 1980s models, because the miniatures are more 1960s (although advertised as being 1980s). Uniforms and webbings are made to look 1980s by the paintjobs. I decided for Heeresstruktur IV, which limits them to a period from 1980 to 1992. Some of the models' armament is not as it should (one soldier should be having a radio, the light Panzerfaust 44 should be Carl Gustav and there should be a second sniper per squad), but I can live with that.
I painted them as Jäger (with green piping for infantry), who were in the territorial army that consisted of 98% reservists at that time (in contrast to the field army of 3 corps/12 divisions/ 38 brigades of active soldiers).

Territorial army - "Territorialheer" - was made up of 15 homeland protection regiments - "Heimatschutzregimenter" - each one with 3 batallions - "Jägerbataillon C" - of 880 soldiers each. Each batallion had a staff company and four rifle companies, each rifle company consisted of one command and three rifle platoons (40 soldiers each).
The platoon had a command section and three squads of ten soldiers. Some of these are shown here (two squads and part of the command section).
Their task was to protect vital objects in the hinterland (bridges, industrial complexes, railway lines, etc.) from enemy and partizan activities. Usually the reservists came from the regions where they had to do their duty and were trained and familiar with the objects, region, infrastructure and local inhabitants.








« Last Edit: May 27, 2024, 08:41:47 AM by Michi »

Offline Ultravanillasmurf

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2024, 07:44:17 PM »
Excellent.

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2024, 12:15:36 AM »
Lovely work! :-* :-* :-*

Yes, the gasmak bags and kit are more '60s/70s. I must admit I didn't bother with mine, the Airfix 1/32 Bundeswehr look was good enough for me. I found the absence of camo netting on the helmets more annoying.

The absence of Carl Gustav instead of Pz44 is probably because these were intended to be HS 4 era panzergrenadiers. Underfire also do a range of Danes which are similarly dressed and they have a Carl Gustav in one pack. Uniforms are close enough that a bit of messing around with equipment should produce a good proxy. Handily, that pack also contains a prone MG3. The other packs are also good for providing a little variety. For some reason the Danes got the netted helmet treatment that the Bundeswehr didn't.

https://underfireminiatures.co.uk/product/28mm-cold-war-danish-2-light-support/

Em dezembro de '81
Botou os ingleses na roda
3 a 0 no Liverpool
Ficou marcado na história
E no Rio não tem outro igual
Só o Flamengo é campeão mundial
E agora seu povo
Pede o mundo de novo

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2024, 12:21:12 AM »
Oh and as for the second sniper, I snipped a plastic scope from an old Wargames Factory K98 and glued it on to the top of the G3. Not perfect but good enough.

Alas decent resin Marders were in short supply when I did mine so I used old 1/48 motorised plastic kits, which again do the job. Might replace them at some point but that's a long term project.

Offline majorsmith

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2024, 12:46:23 AM »
These are fantastic! I’ve just bought some myself, a few Russians as well, what color did you use for the uniforms? It’s a tricky one! Kind of annoying that the sculptor didn’t make an effort to sculpt on the national flags on the arms to aid painting! I love these!

Offline HESH

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2024, 12:47:50 AM »
 Terrific work on these. Lovely paint job.  .

I  remember seeing  these lads on exercise on Stapel training area near Detmold in Germany . I thought at the time that they looked really old fashioned.

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2024, 01:32:52 AM »
These are fantastic! I’ve just bought some myself, a few Russians as well, what color did you use for the uniforms? It’s a tricky one! Kind of annoying that the sculptor didn’t make an effort to sculpt on the national flags on the arms to aid painting! I love these!

The flags aren't all that tricky, just three coloured stripes and you can go back around them with the uniform colour to even them up.  That said, it is time consuming. Sculpting them on probably wouldn't have made it appreciably easier.

Offline Michi

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2024, 08:38:50 AM »
Thank you all for the kind comments!  :)

I  remember seeing  these lads on exercise on Stapel training area near Detmold in Germany . I thought at the time that they looked really old fashioned.

I was wearing this uniform and gear from the eighties until 1994! Some vehicles were also still in plain olive drab instead of camouflage pattern then.

what color did you use for the uniforms? It’s a tricky one! Kind of annoying that the sculptor didn’t make an effort to sculpt on the national flags on the arms to aid painting!

It's a mix of black, ochre and white. For the plastic and tin equipment it's a mix of black, warm yellow and withe though (becomes more greenish).
The flags are easy to paint: Red horizontal stripe, a black one above and a yellow one below. Narrow the red one down as slim as possible with the black and finally trim around with the uniform colour. You'll be able to receive really small flags that way (glad that I hadn't to paint star spangled banners...)

The absence of Carl Gustav instead of Pz44 is probably because these were intended to be HS 4 era panzergrenadiers. Underfire also do a range of Danes which are similarly dressed and they have a Carl Gustav in one pack. Uniforms are close enough that a bit of messing around with equipment should produce a good proxy. Handily, that pack also contains a prone MG3. The other packs are also good for providing a little variety.

You are right, I think. The light Panzerfaust 44 was standard for all other kind of troops, but Jäger. I was maintenance and we also used them. I noticed the Danish packs and was tempted to buy some for conversions, but still I would have had to buy more Bundeswehr to have a proper rifle platoon anyway. My budget was limited...

Offline Daeothar

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2024, 03:34:00 PM »
Wow, those are just wonderful 8)

Will you be doing any vehicles to go with them?

I'd really love to make a Dutch unit or two like that, but the amount of conversions required has put me off so far.
Interesting (annoying?) that there are Danes available (not to rag on the Danes, obviously), but no Dutch in 28mm that I'm aware of. At the time, the Netherlands contributed rather a lot to NORTHAG; in some regions Dutch troops were more prevalent than German ones ::) Long hair and beards are just not very sexy to sculptors I suppose... lol

And that's early eighties. 'My' time, early nineties, with the change in kit and gear would be a lot more niche even!
Miniatures you say? Well I too, like to live dangerously...
Find a Way, or make one!

Offline Westy38

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2024, 06:30:01 PM »
That's excellent work there Michi. As owner/operator of Under Fire Miniatures I very definitely approve this post.

The RTO is the guy peering around the corner at the front left of the second photo & I'm sure a Charlie G plus second marksman can be organized in the future.

Bill Weston.
www.underfireminiatures.com
« Last Edit: May 28, 2024, 06:32:24 PM by Westy38 »

Offline Michi

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2024, 06:40:28 PM »
Will you be doing any vehicles to go with them?

Oh yes!

I already owned half a dozen Leopards in 1/60th scale from Del Prado (I think, I posted them ten or more years ago):



However, I do prepare a couple of other vehicles too. I ordered a M113 APC plastic kit from Rubicon in 1/56th scale, which arrived today.

Also the first ones are finished. These are cheap Matchbox models from the supermarket toy shelf. They are labeled as being 1/59th scale, but I checked the measurements and calculated the scale from the prototype and found out that they actually are 1/56th scale. This means that they match the "official" scale for 28mm wargaming vehicles and I'm really happy with them.
The only thing I had to do was a minor conversion: The models had the "elephant foot" tail lights of the 1303 Beetle, which identifies them as late Mexican makes. I ground them away and painted the original oval tail lights (same as those of the late T1 and early T2 transporters). The repaint is in the original RAL 6014 yellow olive (Revell No. 46). Tactical markings are Jägerbataillon 56 and license plates are Truckline decals in 1/72nd scale.

Rifle squads used to be equipped with light 2 ton trucks (Mercedes Benz L508 D), but I haven't found an appropriate model for a conversion yet. The VW 181 "Kurierwagen" was widely used by almost every troop type in the Bundeswehr of the 1970s and 1980s. The American name "THING" was never known or used in Germany, but it was commonly called "Kübel(wagen)" by soldiers and civilians alike (although never by Volkswagen) like the Wehrmacht predecessor.

The cars may look small, but keep in mind that they are based on the Beetle chassis:












Offline Freddy

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2024, 09:26:30 PM »
Great looking cars and soldiers!

Offline trev

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2024, 10:53:47 PM »
Lovely painting!   :o

Offline carlos marighela

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2024, 11:05:57 PM »
Ooh! Many thanks for the heads up on the Matchbox VW 181s, I've been looking for a suitable kubels for my Bundeswehr. I have some rather large DKW Mungas for my 1960s Brits in Berlin. I also knew that there ws a rather expensive diecast Iltis in 1/43 out there but wasn't sure on the size of those Matchbox vehicles. I do try for larger 1/50 and above scale vehicles with the Underfire and Empress ranges because of their height but hey those look the part.

Offline Tom Dulski

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Re: 1980s Bundeswehr Jägerzug (rifle platoon)
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2024, 12:21:02 PM »

 This is a great thread, I think you really nailed the uniform color.

 

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