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502 PIR troopers, Bastogne '44

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Pete_H, Apr 10, 2004.

  1. Pete_H New Member

    Hi there! Well, I thought it about time I post something in my "vBench" so as to give you guys a reason for having fun at my sake (hey New Jersey! Did you hear that? :) ).

    I picked up a couple of 1/35 US Army GI's by Warriors - their "infantryman" and "BAR gunner" (which has been re-released. Yeeeehaaaaaw!). As for the infantryman (the one on the left), I decided to take the liberty of taking upon a minor conversion - to turn him into a paratrooper from the 502 PIR. I added cargo pockets on the trousers, resculpted the right shin so as to accomodate a combat knife (not attached in this picture), and shaved down the suspenders so as to accomodate a smoke grenade and a frag grenade (again, not attached to the figure as of yet).

    As for the BAR gunner (the one on the right), I chose not to convert him into a paratrooper for two reasons:
    1. I'd have to completely resculpt both legs in order to get the folds right after attaching cargo pockets.
    2. the 101st. Airborne was not the only fighting unit in Bastogne. Combat Command B of the 10th. Armored was there with the Screaming Eagles and were mainly responsible for driving off most German armor forces. Unfortunately, they have been grossly overlooked in many history books.
    Because of this, I've chosen to depict the BAR gunner as an infantryman attached to the 10th. Armored. I'll be adding a different head (courtesy of Hornet) and a new helmet (by Royal Models). The neck will be resculpted so as to have the head looking slightly up alongside the paratrooper.

    Any and all comments and constructive critiques are warmly welcomed.

    Attached Files:

  2. RobH Active Member

    Hi Pete

    Good to see something more from you over here (seen one of these on TNT?).
    Looks good so far; will they be together in a vignette?

    inspiring me to do something US WW2; keep seeing pics of GIs crouching in Hedgerows..........


  3. Guy A Fixture

    They are looking good so far Pete........Keep up the great work
  4. garyjd Well-Known Member

    Pete, Good job. I've seen the BAR guy and he looks really nice. Who sculpted him?~Gary
  5. Anders Heintz Well-Known Member

    Hey Pete!

    About time you post something that you're working on! Looking really good, keep it up!
  6. Roc Active Member

    So far so good,I like the boots.

    Roc :)
  7. slaj Well-Known Member

    Fun of you Pete? No way mate .They are looking good .Keep it up

    Stephen Mallia :)
  8. Pete_H New Member

    Thanks for the encouragement, guys. There's still lots of work to be done on them, particularly taking care of that nasty glossiness. I've noticed that every time I mix my own green I get too much of a sheen on the finish.

    Gary: both figures were sculpted by Rendall Patton.

    Anders: yes, they're both going to be in a vignette.

    Rob: the first one is the very same one I had posted in-progress pics of on TnT.

  9. Roc Active Member

    To get rid of the sheen stick the figure in the oven at the warm temperature of 140 degrees ror a few days.

  10. Pete_H New Member

    Thanks, Roc. I'm hesitant to use heat to dull the oils since it's a 1/35 resin figure. I hit it with some Vallejo matte finish and it worked quite well. Again, thanks for the advice.
  11. Pete_H New Member

    Well guys, I hit my first snag. I was about to start painting the boots on the BAR gunner, but something struck me as "wrong" about the piece. I couldn't place my finger on it, but I had a feeling that something was wrong with it. After looking through some books, I noticed something - if the figure is supposed to be a generic US Army BAR gunner in late '44/early '45, why is he wearing jump boots? Although I could argue that it's a "paratrooper," the uniform would be missing some details - cargo pockets, knee & elbow reinforcements, combat knife strapped to the shin.

    So what am I going to do? Take the easier route and sculpt on some leather gaiters onto the jump boots, thus turning them into M43 combat "buckle" boots. If I'm careful, I shouldn't mess up the painted trousers.
  12. Jim Patrick Active Member

    Couldn't you just remove the boots? Add another set from Warriors (keeping scale and everything in mind). Any marring of the paint could be easily fixed. If you have any color distortion between your first attempt and your second, simply work dirt/stains into that area. It should all work out in the end. Shouldn't it?

    Jim Patrick
  13. Pete_H New Member

    Yes, it should. However, the last thing I want to do is take a dremel tool to the figure since it would undoubtedly screw up the paint job (besides being more trouble than it need be). I also don't have another Warriors set to swap boots with. Bummer.
  14. Jim Patrick Active Member

    Pete, if the paint is dry and cured, you could put masking tape around the pants leg. This could go a long ways to preventing the dredded dremel disaster. I used it before on something else. Anyway, if it works great, if you prefer not to try it, then that's OK too ;) . After all, it's your figure. Let us know how it turns out.

    Jim Patrick
  15. rafaelega Active Member


    I am not sure if I will say something wrong but I think that all the soldiers don't follow the ordenances in the same way. I saw different photos with people using unnoficial uniforms in Europe front. Perhaps you can consider this possibility, add leggings or something like it.

    Also it would be very usefull to see a close photo of the boots you are talking about.


  16. Pete_H New Member

    That's quite true. However, paratroopers were rather protective of what distinguished them from all others. I do know that trading jump boots with Army Air Corps personnel was common - they loved those A-2 flight jackets ;)

    To all,
    I've gone ahead and sculpted on leather gaiters to the boots. All I had to do was:
    1. roll out a very thin sheet of apoxie sculp and cut out two rectangular stripps (approx. 4mm x 20mm) and wrap it around each angle, cutting & triming where necessary.
    2 from the same sheet, cut out one long ribbon, which I cut into 4 equal segments (approx. 4 mm. each) and attach two to to each ankle. Once cured, I sculpted over them a square buckle with a "bump" in its center to represent the leather belt going through it.

    Presto! Instant M43 buckle boots! I"ll paint them tonight and post pics then.
  17. Pete_H New Member

    Here's an update on my project. First, the attached picture shows what I've managed to get done on the 5-oh-deuce para since the last posting. As you can see, there really isn't much to update you on. I've painted the arms and started work on the elbow reinforcements. By the way, these reinforcements - as well as the knee reinforcements - are painted on instead of "sculpted on and painted over." I know the figure is glossy, but I tend not to hit the figure with any form of flat finish (in my case, I lean towards Vallejo's "matte finish") once it's complete. I also temporarily attached the arms and head with blue-tac. As you can see, lots to do on this little fella.

    As for the BAR gunner, I've been trying to catch "him" up to the para. I need to outline the body (torso & legs are cast as one piece) and then paint the arms. Only then will I be caught up with the para.

    More pics to follow ...

    P.S - all constructive criticism is welcome. If I post pics of my work here, then I expect to get honest criticisms. So please, sock it to me.

    Attached Files:

  18. yeo_64 Active Member

    Looks good,so far,Pete (y) ;keep up the excellent work ! Cheers.
    Kenneth :lol:
  19. Joe Hudson Well-Known Member

    Hey Pete,

    It looking good so far. If you can post a few close ups. Here is a suggestion, ;) Give this dude a sniper rifle! He looks like the guy from Private Ryan.

  20. Pete_H New Member

    Ken - thanks, dude. I finished the M1 last night (right after I took this picture), so I'll be assembling the arms with the rifle next.

    Joe - hey, I never noticed that! He really does look like Pvt.Jackson. I'll try some close-ups in a little while.

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