Friday, July 14, 2017

More #5681 Paratrooper Conversions

The troops I painted previously in the “chocolate chip” camouflage illustrate just how creative one can be with this set of figures. They were cast from the Rapaport /Castings / REB mold # 5681 “Air Commandos.”  My intention with this set was to paint them in the style of Vietnam-era US soldiers.

The trick to painting these figures is simple. Their uniforms and field gear are almost generic, insofar as soldiers from the 1940s to recent years. They wear a jacket similar in cut to a field jacket or tunic. Their boots are meant to be the British type worn with a cuff-like legging. These can easily be painted as a one-piece combat boot. The belts and shoulder straps are cut like many used by US, UK, German, and other armies. The most that might be necessary is a little filing on the back of the man with rifle and bayonet. Using thick paint can simulate a Y or H harness. Ther ammo pouches are of the British type. Scoring two grooves on each would make them similar to the German ammo pouch for the submachine gun. One can also file them shorter to resemble the ammo pouches used by the US Army from 1957 to the present.

Then again, one might not bother filing the pouches and still get a fine finished product.
One trick to develop is filing a bowl or M1 Hadfield helmet into other types. With many homecast GIs, it is possible to carefully file the helmet to resemble a stalhelm. One can also file them to replicate a Fallschirmjager helmet. For longer barrels on firearms, wire brads or very small finishing nails can be used. At this size, the head of a finishing nail looks like a flash suppressor.

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