Welcome To My German Equipment Alterations Page Seven

Rolled Up Sleeves  Tony Barton resin arms  Shoulder boards  German Rank Shoulder Boards  Shovel & Rifle Support  Sniper Face Mask


 

Rolled Up Sleeves

Shirts

1. 2. 3. 4.  

This section was made to show how I have made some rolled up sleeves for my Gebirgsjager radioman figure. To get the sleeves as I want I have had to cut them down, because the tunic sleeves bulked out too much and made them too tight around the arms. Plus I also wanted the shirt sleeves rolled up under the jacket as well. Picture 1. shows the shirt sleeves that I have on the figure, with the rolled up jacket sleeves over them. To get the shirt sleeves to look right in Picture 2. I have marked them with a pencil, I then cut them just below the mark.

 

In Picture 3. I placed some double sided tape on the sleeve, once in place I removed the backing paper so that in Picture 4. I can fold up the material and keep it in place. With the sleeves now shortened there is less material to bulk out under the jacket arms, plus my reason for measuring the shirt sleeves first is that hopefully when the jacket arms are rolled up. I can have the thin folded edge of the shirt sleeves showing out under the jacket. Note: For my figure I have stuck the material edge down on the outside of the shirt, as it will not be seen under the jacket. But if you want a neater edge for the shirt, it can be turned inside out, and the edge stuck down as above so it is inside the shirt.

Tunic

5. 6. 7.  8.

With the tunic I wanted to use with my figure, I tried to roll up the sleeves as it is with the full arm length. I found that this does work, but it makes the material very bulky, as well as being tight on the top of the arms it also looks out of scale. In the picture on the right I have a comparison with rolling up the sleeves, A is the full length sleeve with the material very tight around the arm. B is the same sleeve after I have cut off some of the material and then rolled it up, the result with having less material to use is that as shown the tunic is a lot looser than before. Plus I also get a better effect of a rolled up sleeve.

 

Picture 5. above is the original sleeve and Picture 6. is where I have cut off some of the material. Note: Be careful after the sleeve has been cut as the seam may come apart and start to unravel, so it may need a couple of stitches to hold it together. Also try not to pull or trim too many loose threads until the sleeves have been rolled up.

 

Picture 7. is where I have rolled the sleeve up and Picture 8. shows the tunic on the figure, with the shirt showing underneath it. Which I have also pulled down with my tweezers, so that each one just shows.

Tony Barton Resin Arms

9.  10.  11.  12. 

I noticed one common thing with all of my figures is that they all have the arms covered up, so for something different I bought a set of the arms made by Tony Barton. As shown above in Picture 9. they are well detailed and only need a minimum of work to remove some mould lines and excess resin. Note: As with most resin items they have to be washed in soapy water first, to remove any mould release agent before painting.

 

Picture 10. is of the Dragon Neo 2 body that I am using to convert the arms on, the hardest part I have found with doing this is working out where to make the cut to fit the new arms.  It also shows how I have marked the arms where the sleeves come to in Blue, that way I can cut through the arms on the second mark above it in Red, so that the join will be hidden by the sleeves.


In italics below are Tony's instructions on how to fit the arms:

I recommend fitting them to the figure by :~
1) saw through the bicep.
2) fill the hole with epoxy.
3) once hard, file that flat, then drill.
4)drill the arm to the same diameter, and fit a pin.
I use 3/32 brass rod.

So now the arm can be rotated or changed at will.


Picture 11. shows the body after I have committed myself and made the cuts to the arms. Picture 12. shows where I am test fitting one of the arms, to see what the it would look like after I have fixed it to the body.

13.  14.  15. 

As shown in Picture 13. the arm is supposed to rotate at the joint in Green, and I found that when I filled the holes with Milliput I started to lose that movement. Picture 14. shows the arms after I have added some putty to fill the gap in them, making sure that I fill the gap completely, plus as it dried I twisted the arms to keep the movement. Picture 15. is after I have sanded the resin arms flat, so that it matches as near as possible the arms on the body so the gap is as small as possible. I have also drilled the arms and inserted some copper pins which are a very tight fit into the holes.

16. 17.  18.  19.

In Picture 16. after sanding each of the arms flat, I have used my model knife to make a pilot hole in each arm, this is to make the drilling of the holes easier as I know that they are centred. Picture 17. shows how the right arm has been fitted by pushing the arm and pin into the body, again this is a tight fit to make sure that the arm stays in place.

 

Picture 18. shows how I have posed the left arm so that with my radio man kitbash, it can hold the microphone. Picture 19. shows what both arms look like on the body, plus I also found that the arms can be rotated to enable me to pose the arms. The picture on the right shows how I have now fitted the shortened shirt and tunic back onto the body, and by planning where the arm has to be cut in Picture 10. The gap between the body and resin arms has been covered up, so once the arms have been painted hopefully they will match the headsculpt.

20. 21. 22. 23. 24.

In these pictures I have painted the arms with an experiment of artists acrylic Flesh colour, Model Color Transparent Red, Yellow and Burnt Umber acrylic paints. To try to get the arms to match the colour of the headsculpt, I mixed them together various times to get different Flesh shades until I found one I was happy with. Pictures 20. 21. & 22. show how I got the Flesh colour slightly too light, so I repainted the arms again and in Picture 23. A is the lighter arms and B is them again with a slightly darker shade of paint on them. Picture 24. is after I have given the arms and head a light wash of Brown pastel chalk and when dry a drybrush of some Flesh pastel chalks.

Shoulder Boards

I found a post on the Sixth Army Group forum by T.H.A.W about how he has used some small Brads (Split Pins) to make a cord on a German cap, in the same post he mentions about using the brads on shoulder boards.

25.  26.  27. 28.

So I experimented with the 3mm one's I bought on eBay from Fred Aldous, the packaging is above in Picture 25. As a comparison I have placed one of the brads on the left in Picture 26. next to a Dragon nut and bolt to show the sizes. Picture 27. shows one of the brads on a Dragon uniform holding a shoulder board in place.

Picture 28. shows the Dragon nut and bolt in place inside the tunic, with the problem I have always have of the bolt making the tunic stand up too high on the shoulder.

 

But on the right is the inside of the tunic again, this time with the pins of the brad spread out which lays flatter on the figure's shoulder. This then makes the whole uniform lay better without the lump that the nut and bolt had. Note: I am not worried about the colour of the brads, as I will most likely repaint them before fitting them with either Field Grey or Aluminium enamel paint depending on the rank of the German uniform.

German Rank Shoulder Boards

Another experiment I have made is regarding combining some Dragon shoulder boards, with the rank insignia from a Toys City set. My reason for doing this, is that I have found that Dragon makes the best basic shoulder board. And Toys City makes the best mass produced woven rank for an officer.

29. 30. 31.

Picture 29. shows the plain Dragon shoulder board, with the edge of it I have re-painted Green for the Gebirgsjager regiment. Picture 30. is the removed woven insignia part of the Toys City shoulder board, which I have carefully peeled off of the shoulder board.

 

Picture 31. is the Toys City rank placed on some double sided tape, which I very carefully cut around so that I can stick it onto the Dragon shoulder board once I have removed the backing paper. In the picture on the right I have fitted the adapted shoulder board to a tunic, held in place with one of the brads which needs to be re-painted Aluminium.

Shovel & Rifle Support

This item came about after I saw a German sniper training film, in which a soldier has adapted a folding shovel so that he could use it as a support for his sniper's rifle. I have taken two screenshots from the film below, Picture 32. shows the wire hook that has been added to the handle, and in Picture 33. how the rifle is supported once the shovel end is in the ground.

32. 33.

To replicate this I have used a DiD folding shovel, with a hole drilled through the wooden handle so I can put some brass wire through it. I first cut a length of the wire which I then folded it in half, the rounded end was then squashed flat together then wrapped around a paintbrush to make the loop. The wire was twisted around itself to strengthen the loop, I then put the other two ends of the wire through the hole in the shovel handle, and bent them back around the handle. The ends were again twisted around the wire in front of the loop to make it all tight on the handle, with the excess wire cut off.

34.  35.  36.  37.

Once I was happy with the shape I wanted, I wrapped the loop in thin strips of masking tape in Pictures 34. & 35. to get the look as shown in Picture 32. I then painted the wire with enamel Gunmetal paint, and the loop with some Brown acrylic paint. Pictures 36. & 37. show how the rifle is supported on the wire loop.

Sniper Face Mask

This is another item that I have made. based on another screenshot I have taken from the German sniper training film. In the picture on the right, it looks like the soldier has obtained a camouflaged piece of material, which he has adapted to fit over his head to conceal his face.

 

I liked the look of this so I just had to make something similar for my sniper figure. I first cut out a large square shape from a tissue to get the rough size for the face veil. Making sure that it would wrap around the face and cover the ears, as well as the collar of the tunic. The purpose of this is to break up the shape of the head. I then laid this onto a spare Wehrmacht zeltbahn I have, marked it and then cut out the shape.

 

Note: I only have a Heer Splinter camouflage zeltbahn here at the moment, but this method should also work with any SS camouflage zeltbahn material as well. As this would be a 'home made' or 'field' item, so as I see it there is a lot of leeway allowed in what it would look like.

New Material

I then sewed two lengths of thin elastic to each side of the material, so that they will hold the mask over the face of the figure. Once I had centred the mask so that both ears are covered, I marked where the eyeholes need to go. I made two small holes with my model knife, and then with a piece of rolled up sandpaper I enlarged the holes to look like the ragged shapes as shown on the right.

Note: This took a bit of trial and error to get right. As several times I had to I enlarge the holes slightly, put the mask on the figure to check if I could see the eyes, took it back off, enlarged the holes a bit more, put it back on the figure. Before I was finally happy that both ears were covered, plus I could also see the eyes through the holes.

 38.  39.  40.  41.

Picture 38. shows the front of the mask on a figure, along with a similarly camouflaged M43 cap. Picture 39. shows the back of the mask, with the unpainted elastic straps. Pictures 40. & 41. show the sides of the mask and how it blends into the cap, covering the ears and the neck and the profile of the head.

Weathered Material

Update: See Heer Winter Suit Weathering about the chalk pastel colours I use for getting the result below.

 

42 43 44. 45

Chalk Pastels

The pictures above 42. & 43. are of how I have tried to get away from the new look for the mask and cap, so I have ground up some Brown pastel chalks using my sanding pad. Similar to the way I did it for my headsculpt pastel washes. Then after applying some water to the pad, I applied the pastel/water mix to the items, varying the mixture between some thick pastel mix into the stitching, and some diluted pastel mix to discolour the rest of the items.

 

As the items were drying, I gently wiped over each item with a tissue to remove the colour from the raised areas. Once all of the items were dry, I then gave each of them a drybrush of some Light Sand weathering powders as in pictures 44. & 45. So that the raised areas were highlighted, with the darker colour left in the recesses.

Oil Pastels

46 47.

Like I have done with both my SS & Heer smock weathering, I have applied the oil pastel to the bottom edge of the face mask in Picture 46. I also did it in Picture 47. to the bottom edge of the cap and centre of the peak, to add extra weathering to simulate ground in dirt.

I then rubbed along the edges between my fingers, to push the pastel chalks into the cloth material, which at the same time gives it a shiny look.

A reference picture is on the right I found in a book I have of an SS soldier using a 'field modified' mask.

This section is continued on Page Eight

Many thanks to Tony Barton at Antheads for his permission to use the pictures on this page.

Many thanks to T.H.A.W for his idea about using brads for German shoulder boards.

 

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