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Review Rats 'n Rum - Accessories from Jon Smith Modellbau

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hi to one & all

    Following on from my previous review of Jon Smith Accessory items here:


    and here:



    Its my pleasure to share the latest accessory additions in 1/16th scale namely Rats and Rum Jars

    Lets have some information on the chosen subject ...firstly the rats!!

    The rat species Jon has chosen to depict is the RATTUS NORVEGIUS or brown rat

    zzzz.jpg zzzzz.jpg z.jpg zz.jpg zzz.jpg

    One of the most abundant and widespread of all mammals , the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is a highly successful and adaptable rodent that has colonised nearly every part of the world. A relatively large and stocky species, the brown rat has a long, scaly, almost naked tail which is slightly shorter than the head and body . This species’ snout is pointed , while its ears are relatively short and have thin fur on the back .

    As its common name suggests, the brown rat typically has brown to brownish-grey fur , but it can vary in colour from white to pale reddish-brown or almost black The fur on the underside of the body and on the feet is slightly paler, and the tail is also lighter below than above .

    The male brown rat is usually slightly larger and heavier than the female . This species can be confused with the closely related black rat (Rattus rattus), but differs in its larger size, shorter ears, smaller eyes and proportionately shorter tail.

    Rats and the Trenches of WWI

    The trench soldier of World War I had to cope with millions of rats. The omnipresent rats were attracted by the human waste of war – not simply sewage waste but also the bodies of men long forgotten who had been buried in the trenches and often reappeared after heavy rain or shelling. Two or three rats would always be found on a dead body. They usually went for the eyes first and then they burrowed their way right into the corpse. Trench conditions were ideal for rats.

    Some of these rats grew extremely large. It was not uncommon for rats to start gnawing on the bodies of wounded men who couldn’t defend themselves. Many troops were awakened by rats crawling across their faces. These rats became very bold and would attempt to take food from the pockets of sleeping men.

    Disgusted and often feeling a horror of their presence, soldiers would devise various means of dealing with the rat problem. Although shooting at rats was strictly prohibited – it being regarded as a pointless waste of ammunition – many soldiers nevertheless took pot shots at nearby rats in this manner. Attacking rats with bayonets was also common.

    But efforts to eliminate them proved futile. A single rat couple could produce up to 900 offspring a year. Cats and terriers were kept by soldiers in the frontline trenches to help free them of disease-carrying rats. The terriers were actually very effective in killing rats.


    The plague of rats in the French trenches. An official rat-catcher, with his dog, and their bag. Illustration for The Illustrated War News, February 1916.


    A French soldier showing his “catch” to his comrade.

    Rats on German trenches.

    The rat problem remained for the duration of the war (although many veteran soldiers swore that rats sensed impending heavy enemy shellfire and consequently disappeared from view).


    Two German soldiers posing with rats caught in their trench.


    Three German soldiers display rats killed in their trench the previous night. 1916.


    A commercial card depicting German artillerymen preparing several dead rats and one hapless mouse (or a skittish rat) for their evening repast - and who said Germans don't have a sense of humor.
    “Large feast of rat goulash today”.


    Another commercial postcard depicting the end result of a few hours hunting rats in the trenches and dugouts. Some of the men are toting shovels and improvised clubs, undoubtedly the weapons of choice in this particular ‘Rattenjagd’.

    "No sign of lack of meat here"


    Robert Graves remarked in his book “Goodbye to All That“:

    “Rats came up from the canal, fed on the plentiful corpses, and multiplied exceedingly. While I stayed here with the Welch. a new officer joined the company and, in token of welcome, was given a dug-out containing a spring-bed. When he turned in that night he heard a scuffling, shone his torch on the bed, and found two rats on his blanket tussling for the possession of a severed hand.”

    Soldier George Coppard gave another reason why the rats were so large:

    “There was no proper system of waste disposal in trench life. Empty tins of all kinds were flung away over the top on both sides of the trench. Millions of tins were thus available for all the rats in France and Belgium in hundreds of miles of trenches. During brief moments of quiet at night, one could hear a continuous rattle of tins moving against each other. The rats were turning them over.”

    Soldier Richard Beasley, interviewed in 1993:

    “If you left your food the rats would soon grab it. Those rats were fearless. Sometimes we would shoot the filthy swines. But you would be put on a charge for wasting ammo, if the sergeant caught you”.

    Another soldier described finding a group of dead bodies while on patrol:

    “I saw some rats running from under the dead men’s greatcoats, enormous rats, fat with human flesh. My heart pounded as we edged towards one of the bodies. His helmet had rolled off. The man displayed a grimacing face, stripped of flesh; the skull bare, the eyes devoured and from the yawning mouth leapt a rat.”

    This image shows Canadian troops engaged in a rat hunt at Ploegsteert Wood near Ypres during March 1916.

    Well that's the info on the horror of rats!!

    Continued in next post

    anstontyke, yeo_64 and swralph like this.
  2. Nap A Fixture

    Now to the Rum !!!

    What was the S.R.D. jar?

    The rum ration was introduced in the winter of 1914, as a remedy for the consequences of the bad weather conditions and cold.
    Strange is that alcohol is not a good remedy against cold

    The S.R.D. JAR for rum is 1 (UK) gallon (4,546 litres). One jar for 64 men.

    In 1918 1/3 pint (0.16 litre) appears to have been the average consumption per soldier per week. Some books say: 1 spoon each. Some people say this made soldiers willing to fight. That is almost impossible, drunk soldiers were heavily punished even behind the front. So why should they make the frontline soldiers drunk then?

    Having been utilized by the tens of thousands, these jugs littered the western front during the post war years.
    They still turn up at flea markets and junk shops in North-west France and Belgium. It is also a typical WW1 relic in the Salient.

    There are a lot of stories about the meaning of S.R.D.

    The most possible meaning of S.R.D. is Service Ration Depot some say it is:Supply Reserve Depot.There is still doubt about it.
    That is so because the same letters where also found on other supplies as soda and food. A collector told me he has even a wooden box of chocolate with S.R.D. on it!

    other possible meanings are:

    ·Services Rum Diluted
    ·Service Reserve Depot
    ·Special Red Demerara
    ·Standard Rum; Diluted
    ·Service Rum Distribution
    ·Service Ration Department
    ·Service Rum Department

    Soldiers slang for S.R.D.:

    ·"Seldom or Rarely Delivered
    ·"Soldiers Run Dry"
    ·"Soon Runs Dry"
    ·"Seldom Reaches Destination"

    R000.jpg R00.jpg R0.jpg
    R0000.jpg R00A.jpg

    Continued in next post

    anstontyke, yeo_64 and swralph like this.
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Lets have the resin

    Starting with the Rats

    There are a total of 15 options in the various scale packs amongst them are these

    • Rat 1 – Standing Low – Head held low
    • Rat 2 – Standing Middle – Head in middle position
    • Rat 3 – Standing High No. 1 – Standing higher on hind legs
    • Rat 4 – Looking Down Straight – Head held straight
    • Rat 5 – Looking Down Left – Head held left
    • Rat 6 – Dead – Hanging from tail (similar to photos of dead rats in WW1 trenches)
    • Rat 7 – Sitting Eating
    • Rat 8 – Dead Side – Lying dead on side
    • Rat 9 – Standing High No. 2 – Standing on hind legs
    • Rat 10 – Standing Low – Head held to right
    • Rat 11 – Looking Down – (from SRD or other object)
    • Rat 12 – Standing – (with SRD or against other object)
    • Rat 13 – Standing – (in German Helmet)
    • Rat 14 – Sleeping – (in German Helmet)
    • Rat 15 – Inside – (inside SRD or any other curved object i.e. pipe)
    In 1/16th scale there are 3 packs available these being RAT01 ,02 AND 3 ( Jon could not send me #3 for review but I will show details from site)
    All release are held safely in fold over plastic containers with a picture on front and an excellent information sheet also included .
    One thing to note the information sheets are full of information from safety advice when working with resin , info on items and painting suggestions ...all carefully researched and well written.
    Reference : RAT01
    JSM Rats 024.jpg

    Scale : 1:16 / 120mm
    Material: Gray Resin
    No of items : 15
    Infosheet language : English

    JSM Rats 025.jpg JSM Rats 026.jpg JSM Rats 027.jpg

    JSM Rats 042.jpg JSM Rats 028.jpg JSM Rats 029.jpg JSM Rats 030.jpg JSM Rats 031.jpg JSM Rats 032.jpg JSM Rats 033.jpg JSM Rats 034.jpg JSM Rats 035.jpg JSM Rats 036.jpg JSM Rats 037.jpg JSM Rats 038.jpg JSM Rats 039.jpg JSM Rats 040.jpg JSM Rats 041.jpg

    Note: Rats are also available in single qtys

    References: SRAT01-015 ...see website for details

    Rat Special – Rats with German Steel Helmets

    Reference: RAT03
    Scale : 1:16 / 120mm
    Material: Gray Resin
    Parts : 4
    Infosheet language : English

    zoo.jpg zo.jpg

    Continued in next post

    anstontyke and swralph like this.
  4. Nap A Fixture

    On now to the Rum jar related releases

    Suffice to say we have a great selection of both jars with and without rats , broken parts , rats climbing over jars , looking out broken ones ...lots of variations !!!

    Rat Special – Rats with British SRD Jars

    Reference : RAT02
    JSM Rats 001.jpg
    Scale : 1:16 / 120mm
    Material : Gray Resin
    No of Parts : 6
    Infosheet : English

    JSM Rats 011.jpg JSM Rats 013.jpg JSM Rats 014.jpg JSM Rats 015.jpg JSM Rats 016.jpg JSM Rats 017.jpg JSM Rats 018.jpg JSM Rats 019.jpg JSM Rats 021.jpg JSM Rats 022.jpg JSM Rats 023.jpg JSM Rats 020.jpg

    British SRD Rum Jar Set

    Reference : SRD01

    JSM Rats 002.jpg
    Scale : 1:16 / 120mm
    Material ; GrayResin
    No of Parts : 10
    Infosheet : English

    JSM Rats 003.jpg JSM Rats 005.jpg JSM Rats 006.jpg JSM Rats 007.jpg JSM Rats 008.jpg JSM Rats 009.jpg JSM Rats 010.jpg JSM Rats 004.jpg

    Final thoughts

    JSM specialise in WW1 and have lovely sculpted and extremely well researched figures and accessories these included , both the rats and the jars have great potential to be added to many diorama's , both WW1 , pirates , and so many more .

    Sculpting is by 3D with casting is very good indeed and with minimal prep ( all details in the information sheets )

    The customer service and knowledge that JSM have is one of the best I have known and Jon is only too willing to advise and of course sell!!!

    I highly recommend all of Jon Smith Modellbau products

    For more information on this and all the releases both figures in 1/32nd and 1/16th from JSM contact details are here:

    e mail: Info@jonsmith-modellbau.com

    Website: www.jonsmith-modellbau.com

    Happy modelling
    anstontyke, yeo_64, Redcap and 2 others like this.
  5. swralph A Fixture

    Thanks for sharing these Nap:).
    anstontyke and napoleonpeart like this.
  6. mortier A Fixture

    Great reviev for such small animals
    anstontyke and napoleonpeart like this.
  7. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    They are brilliant and such a collection,
    Any chance of 54mm 1/32 for all these Nap?
    anstontyke and napoleonpeart like this.
  8. Ulrich A Fixture

    You can get all of them in 1:32 too. But not as single piece only as a group of 15. Have a look at my shop or visit Jon Smith
  9. Nap A Fixture


    Hi Tony

    Yes there is 1/32 ...I will be looking at these and other items in a separate review

    anstontyke and Mike - The Kiwi like this.
  10. chailey Active Member

    Baldrick would have a field day with this lot...Rat au van anyone?
  11. OSS Active Member

    Nap unbelievable amount of information !!! and the time you must have put into it............:cool:
    anstontyke and napoleonpeart like this.
  12. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Only you could pull together so much researched material on; Rum (Very good) and Rats (Very bad).
    Seriously, these are very interesting subjects when you have a WW1 trench piece in mind.
    Great review well up to your usual high standard Mate.
    anstontyke and napoleonpeart like this.
  13. Nap A Fixture

    Hi Guys

    Thanks for the comments ths was quite a dificult one to pull together but must say these accessory so often seen work well adding that extra realism .

    JSM have a great selection of items all very high quality and all well researched by Jon himself

    Thanks for looking in

    anstontyke likes this.

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