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Completed John Frost bust. (Especially for you Nap.. ;-) )

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Henk, Feb 4, 2020.

  1. Henk Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Whilst I'm slowly plugging away at my Para conversion, I've started this little beauty. I bought it a few weeks ago from Mitch, as a quick (yeah, right...) paint project, to keep the brushes wet, so to speak. 20200204_164559.jpg
    Borek, KenBoyle, Grod and 1 other person like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    Hi Henk

    That's worrying my name on a thread title ...lol

    A Mitches release from a while ago , never painted it but it's a good subject

    Look forward to the "arc" shoulder badges

    If I may as far as I know he was never a Staff Officer at the time so would not have worn the tabs on his collar ...but I am very happy to be corrected by anyone

    Happy benchtime

    Nap
    Oda likes this.
  3. Henk Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Hi Nap. I blame this all on you....

    I've only just started doing a bit of research into this one, I think that Frost became a Staff Officer after the war, so this would not time this bust at Arnhem. I'm a bit puzzled by the jacket, it looks like a pattern 49, but with pleated pockets. I'm sure someone will give us chapter and verse soon.
    Oda likes this.
  4. Henk Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Just checked, his pips are for a lieutenant-colonel, so that's his rank commanding the 2nd Battalion with the Parachute Regiment. Still trying to find a reference with the blouse with the exposed buttons and jacket style collar.
  5. valiant A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    The tunic looks like a mixture of BD and SD. If it's meant to depict Battledress, then the collar would need modifying and the buttons removing - if its a tunic, then the pockets need modifying and brass buttons adding.... Just my two penn'th!(y)
    Nap likes this.
  6. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Hi Steve

    Any reference pics for what needed on either ?

    Nap
  7. SerjeantWildgoose Member

    Country:
    Ireland
    Sadly, no matter which way you look at this, the bust is wrong.

    The British Army stopped its staff officers (GSOs) wearing staff gorgets after the Great War (Where the distinction became to be viewed as toxic and counter to the cohesion of the Army). Thereafter and since, the staff gorget has been a badge of rank, worn by full colonels and above.

    The gorget is most often crimson, but there are some regimental variations. For colonels and brigadiers (Which stopped being 'generals' in the British Army after the Great War) the cords are the same colour as the gorget; for major generals and above the cords are gold. In short, lieutenant colonels in the British Army have not worn staff gorgets since the Great War.

    The bust could be corrected either by removing the gorget or adding one or more pips to make the figure a full colonel or a brigadier. If the latter then you would also need to alter the cap-badge, since full colonels and brigadiers wear the staff cap-badge and generals the generals' cap-badge.

    Johnny Frost was captured at Arnhem and it a a sad if understandable rule under the Military Secretariat that an officer cannot be promoted while in captivity. Frost was liberated in March 1945, and after the war commanded the Airborne Division's battle school, before returning to command 2 PARA during the Palestine emergency - still as an acting lieutenant colonel. He attended staff college, completed a tour as a GSO2 (Major) in Scotland before promoting to substantive lieutenant colonel and being assigned as GSO1 with a Gurkha brigade in Malaya. He wasn't promoted to full colonel until 1955, when he commanded the Infantry Support Weapons Wing, and to brigadier in 1957 when he assumed command of 44th Parachute Brigade. He was promoted only once more, to Major General, commanding the 52nd Division.

    Interestingly, and in my view, the bust shows a far closer likeness to 'Shan' Hackett, who commanded the 4th Parachute Brigade at Arnhem. Like Frost he was captured, but unlike Frost he was seriously wounded. One German doctor believed his wounds to be terminal and sought to administer a lethal dose of morphia to relieve his misery, while another believed he could be saved - in one of those odd twists of fortune, the second doctor prevailed and, largely due to the serious nature of his wounds and the apparent lack of need to guard him, Hackett was able to escape with the help of the Dutch underground. A superbly courageous family, the de Nooijis, helped him until the underground were able to assist him in making his way back to England.
    Nap, Old Pete and Henk like this.
  8. SerjeantWildgoose Member

    Country:
    Ireland
    The following shows Shan Hackett with staff officers' cap-badge, Roy Urquhart with general officers' cap-badge and Monty, ever the drama queen, wearing a PARA cap-badge. All wear gorgets by virtue of their rank.

    [IMG]
    Borek, KenBoyle and Nap like this.
  9. Henk Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thank you very much wild goose, much appreciated. Like I said, my knowledge of British ranks and insignia is very limited, and I could not find anything concrete online.
    I agree with your idea about the likeness to Hackett, whilst there is a fair resemblance to Frost, I did think the sculpt makes him look a bit 'thin in the face'. On reflection, there is indeed a strong likeness to Hacket.

    Changing the cap badge seems the best option then.
  10. NeilW A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Nice piece and shopuld paint up well.

    But: Hacket vs Frost... buttons & plain vs concealed & pleats... gorget & rank badge vs plain & reg't badge... (and to be pedantic, shouldn't the pocket flaps have a distinct V shape...sounds a minefield to me ;)

    Changing the cap badge is fine, but you'd also have to remove the pleats (although it's not impossible that as an officer he may have had a privately tailored BD with non-standard features).

    Interestingly the photo posted by Wildgoose shows the two BD Blouse versions and the video below explains more about WW2 BD from a re-enactors' perspective.




    BD.JPG
    Borek, KenBoyle, Henk and 1 other person like this.
  11. Henk Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thanks Neil, on reflection, I think I'll just remove the gorgets and pleats and run with it as is. I only bought this as a painting piece whilst I'm converting the Verlinden figures...
    NeilW and Nap like this.
  12. NeilW A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Good call: look fwd to seeing the completed piece,

    Neil
  13. SerjeantWildgoose Member

    Country:
    Ireland
    Important point, Neil. Far from impossible, I think it likely that senior officers would have their tailors run up their own, more comfortable, BD and these would tend to further compromise the standards of pattern that production scales would already have smashed. It is interesting that the only one of the three officers in the picture I posted who appears to be wearing the issued kit is Urquhart - a Scot.
  14. NeilW A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Isn't Hacket wearing the simplified 1942 'austerity' pattern blouse (post 1940: visible buttons/no pocket pleats) whereas Urquart and Monty are wearing an earlier (then later 1950s) version with concealed pockets and pleats?

    Men At Arms 354 says:
    BD3.JPG BD2.JPG
  15. Henk Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Thanks for that Neil. I'll go with removing the gorgets and pocket pleats. Removing stuff is easier than adding a cap badge and more rank stars...
    NeilW likes this.
  16. Henk Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Bugger, so much for a "quick painting project,"... looks like just removing the pleats leaves an unnatural gap below the flap. I'll probably add some putty around the pleats, smoothing the pocket front, giving the impression of a full pocket.
    I've also noticed, that the cap badge lacks detail/didnt get cast quite right....
    NeilW likes this.
  17. NeilW A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    ... maybe add more of a point to the flap at the same time?
    Nap and Henk like this.
  18. Nap A Fixture

    Country:
    England

    Hi Henk

    Did you finish this bust ...found mine in a packing box !

    Nap
  19. NeilW A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Caught up with an old B&W episode of Dad's Army (eg) the other day (got to do something in lockdown Britain).

    Saw that they were wearing 1942 style austerity BD: from memory Dad's Army was presented as an early unit and as the Home Guard started in 1940 I wondered if this style was in fact around pre 1940 (see the pics from 1940 and 41 on Wiki here and here) or whether I should email the BBC Complaints Dept?


    ... just watched a later colour one and they're now is standard BD with pleats, concealed buttons etc :confused:
  20. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Like this Nap, following.

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