Fallschirmjagers of the 2nd division by Luke Hayes
I wanted to depict a group of Fallschirmjagers of the 2nd division in the Ukraine set in 1943. I was inspired to make this model by the quote “He that would rather die than lay down his arms cannot be defeated”, Dragon’s 2nd Fallschirmjager division Kirovograd winter 42-43 kit (ref – 6157) suited the bill perfectly !
The idea was to create a model with intense drama from any angle, so for that reason I made the base only large enough to hold the figures and a bit of scenery as this would focus the viewers interest on the figures and not by lose it in vast amounts of landscape.
The ground work: The base was made of pine baton cut to 45º angles as so to make a frame. To this was joined a floor of hard board which was secured with tacks and a bead of PVA sealing the base. The corners were filled with polystyrene “the type used in box packing”. This again was again glued with PVA. Once dry it was cut to form a dug out trench with a firing parapet. Plaster was then mixed with sand and tiny grit and layered over the polystyrene. When this was dry, small mounds of “soil” were placed around the trench to represent dug out earth and to raise the sides of the trench.
The top of the base was then applied, static grass to the four corners, the areas of grass were sprayed a more life like colour using shades of green. The bare earth areas were then sprayed a earth tone, for this I used Tamiya khaki, letting a small amount of overspray to creep on to the grass. The inside of the trench was lined with more plaster and the figures were placed in their positions, this was done to imprint their feet into the ground work which was important as the ground was to be very wet and sludgy. Without this step they would look like they were floating on the mud. The ground work was left to set once done. The top of the base was over sprayed with Halfords white primer to give a frosted look to the ground, then baking soda was sprinkled on some of the grass areas and held in place with hairspray. The finished figures were put in their places and a mix of acrylic varnish and Tamiya karki was applied to the ground work and figures feet to merge them to the ground work
The men of the 2nd division: The figures are from the excellent Dragon range kit (ref-6157) with only some minor bits of equipment from the spares box. The figures were made as the instructions dictate apart from the left arm on the MG42 gunner as this did not seem to hold the bullets in a natural pose. The inside of the elbow was cut out and reshaped with filler. The only other change was to the MP43 gunner on which the left wrist was moved to accommodate the MP43 instead of the MP40. The figures were then painted wearing a mix of uniforms to break up the monotone of the scene. White camouflage was applied to the top halves of two figures and to the bottom of one figure. The other camouflage I applied was a water tan splinter pattern. This was achieved with a base coat of Tamiya khaki with a bit of dark yellow mixed in, over this NATO brown was sprayed in some areas and to finish a little JA green was applied. The equipment on the men and on the base was painted using references, trying to mix the colours as best I could. Gun slings were made using lead foil and empty magazines were made from plastic strips and laid around the trench to show these men were fighting for there lives to hold back the red tide wave that had engulfed them
Note : Fallschirmjager translated means Paratrooper Hunter. They were the elite airborne and ground units of the Luftwaffe.