Welcome To My Frank Laird Parachute Page.

DML Laird Parachute Lock Repair  Mae West Vest Update  DiD Lock Instructions  DML Parachute Assembly Instructions

This is how I fitted the Dragon Frank Laird parachute to my figure, I made this page after I could not find out anywhere any information on how it is worn. So hopefully this information may help someone with their models. What confused me about the assembly of this parachute, was that I thought that it fitted the same as the Jeb one. But this is a totally different parachute, with how it is worn. Because this parachute is put on by placing the arms through the loops, and then done up with the centre lock, not placed over the head.

Note: This tutorial also works with the Ricky Foster Major Richard parachutes from DiD.

DML Laird Parachute Lock Repair

This section came about after I had bought the Soldat 3 DML figure, and I tried to fit the centre lock for the parachute together. As I had put a lot of the equipment on the figure under the oversmock, I found that the little pips inside the parachute centre lock would not hold the strap ends in place. Also as I had tried to tighten up the top part of the lock, the metal screw tore out the thread inside the lower part.

To say this annoyed me is an understatement, as I now had an expensive model that I could not use the parachute with. As the lock would not hold the straps in place, even if I tried to use it off the figure. So after leaving the figure for a few days, I decided to have a look at altering the base of the lock, so that it could hold the parachute end straps in place.


What I had to do was firstly cut off the little pips, and then drill 4 small holes in their place. I the got some plastic rod I had and cut off a small length of it to make the four pegs as shown below. Once I had these I applied some heat to one end of the rod with a lighter, and when it was soft I pushed it onto my workbench. This gave me a flattened end as shown on the right, which I did for all four of the pegs.

Update: To make the plastic pegs I used some plastic sprue which I stretched over a flame. This is explained better with my Lift Dots Repair page.

One they had cooled down, I then pushed them carefully through the holes I had made in the bottom part of the parachute lock, as shown on the right. I then pushed the peg back through a little bit, and placed some superglue on the flattened ends, and pushed the end back against the lock to dry. Again I did this for all four of the pegs, so that they are set in position to hold the parachute ends in place.

When I was certain that the pegs and glue had dried, I cut them down so that I could still close the top part of the lock onto the bottom half.
Note: This is shown in the picture below left, be careful cutting them down to size. Because if you go too far down, you will not be able get it to hold the strap in place. The second picture below centre shows the parachute end straps placed onto the pegs, to test that the straps fit onto the pegs. The final picture below right shows the top screwed onto the bottom half of the lock, trapping the strap ends in place.

This picture right shows the reverse of the assembled lock, with the flattened ends of the pegs glued in place. I am going to sand this down a bit, so the lock sits flatter against the uniform.

Note: But be careful doing this, as it can weaken the pegs if they are sanded down too much.

I have had to do this to two of my DML parachutes now (Soldat 3 and Frank Laird), and I am not very impressed with the way that these are made. Considering that these locks are made in metal by bbi. I have both the German and RAF parachutes, and I have never had this problem with those parts. So I cannot understand why DML cannot make them the same way?


Note: Be careful of handling the outer or front part of the lock too much, as the wording can be rubbed off.

DiD Lock Instructions

1. 2. 3. 4.

This is the centre lock for the DiD parachutes which I think are made from metal and spring loaded, plus just like the bbi parachute locks they are a lot stronger than the plastic Dragon locks as shown above. Picture 1. shows the lock and the straps assembled in place, Picture 2. shows how by gently squeezing it together and by turning the top part of the lock to the left, the straps can now be removed from the centre lock.


Picture 3. shows the undone lock from the side, with the metal ends of the straps hooked over the pins inside the centre lock. In picture 4. the lock has been squeezed together, and the top part has been turned to the right to lock the straps in place.

Mae West Vest Update

Note: If you are using a Mae West vest with the paratrooper figure, this goes on before the parachute and the parachute harness straps go over the top of the Mae West vest.


I apologise for not adding this section before, but I was informed incorrectly that the vest went over the parachute. And after it was explained to me how the equipment was worn, I have had to change my figure around. So that the Mae West vest is now under the parachute harness.


Plus I have also learnt from fellow modellers, that the straps did indeed go over the vest. Because thinking of it after it had been explained to me, you would want to ditch the rapidly waterlogging parachute as fast as you can before it dragged you underwater. And at the same time you would also have to try to inflate the vest as well to try to keep you afloat, plus try to ditch all the heavy equipment that you were carrying.


DML Parachute Assembly Instructions


The pictures above the first stages of the assembly of the parachute on to the figure. Step 1 is the figure without the parachute, the Step 2 shows the arm placed through the right hand side loop, so it is just hanging on the shoulder, the Step 3 shows the other arm placed through the other loop.

Reserve Parachute Attachment Update

After adding the updates for the Jeb and Corbin parachutes, I was wondering about an update for this figure's parachute. Although with this figure I have not shown a reserve parachute fitted, I did actually use one but I had not yet got around to updating these pictures.


The reserve parachute clips fit the same as the other chutes onto the harness loops as shown on the right A, and the belly band goes through the back of the reserve parachute to hold it in place. Then it goes across as shown in the rest of the tutorial, and then connects up with the buckle on the other side. In the same picture I have marked B, this is to show that the rear reserve parachute loops have to go either side of the centre lock. The information as supplied in this topic on the Sixth Army Forum about how to connect a reserve parachute to a harness - Hooking up a parachute Made me look at the errors in my tutorial here, and it was in that topic, that I got to thinking about this type of parachute with a reserve fitted to it.


A very helpful piece of information in that post came from USMCPrice, and I have copied it below. As I feel it explains this much better than I ever could, about the reasons for connecting the reserve chute to the belly band.


The pictures above show the belly band going through the spare parachute loops and what it looks like finished.

He also explained in detail about why the reserve chute is connected to the belly band.

I've never jumped a T5 but I have jumped a T7, T10 and MC1-1 and they are all rigged with the belly band through loops on the back of the reserve. I am sure the T5 would have had to be rigged this way also because the two hooks connecting the reserve to the main parachute harness would not be sufficiently strong to support the weight of the jumper and his equipment. When the reserve is deployed it suspends the jumper from his abdomen, belly up with his body parallel to the deck, without the belly band that's a lot of weight and force placed upon two small hooks.


The pictures above show Step 4, this is where the parachute has been pulled up onto the shoulders, so the whole parachute hangs down the back including the seat strap. Step 5 shows the belly band pulled around so that it traps the straps underneath it. Note: make sure the loop hangs down, as the leg straps go through this. Step 6 shows the belly band brought over and threaded through the buckle, again trapping the straps underneath on this side. Note: See the update about the fitting of the reserve chute above, as the strap has to go through the loops on the back of the reserve.


Step 7 shows the belly band done up and the top pair of straps brought forward, the next picture just shows the parachute as it looks from behind. Step 8 shows the rear leg straps brought through between the legs, then threaded through the loops I mentioned earlier. Step 9 shows the straps connected and adjusted to fit on the shoulders, with that the parachute is fitted to the figure. The picture right, shows a close up of the lock assembly, plus the buckle for the straps adjustment.


Note: I had a problem with this parachute and the centre lock as made by DML, because when I assembled my British para figure, it uses the same plastic lock for the straps. And as soon as you put any of the straps under pressure, they keep coming undone. Which will gradually wear out the little pips that are supposed to hold the metal ends in place. Plus the top part of the lock with the metal thread, will also eventually strip out the plastic thread in the hole on the bottom half of the lock. Which will leave you the only choices of either glueing the parts together, or doing as I did with my parachute lock at the top of the page.

Parachute Usage and Fitting Update

I have just received the following information by e-mail from Joshua about the WW2 US T-5 and T-7 parachute and harness, and because I feel that it is so informative. I have posted it here on this page to hopefully help my fellow modellers. Plus, I would like to thank Joshua for taking the time to share this detailed information with me.


I have studied the T-5/T-7 parachute for years and just thought I would give you a little information. The belly band isn't there to support weight. It's purpose was for keeping the reserve from flapping around, and also worked great to secure equipment. Its attaching seams will not hold very much weight-its sewn with the regular parachute pack thread, about 8 lb. tensile strength. The two reserve hooks/d-rings are plenty strong. They were rated at 5000 pounds. (the original ones were the reg. harness hooks, rated at 2500, but by D-day just about all were the 5000 type).


The hooks will go 8420 pounds to the maximum bend. That's when the hooks would bend far enough for them to come off the ring. The rings have a much high bending strength. That means it can safely take an opening shock of 10,000 lbs, or approx 40 opening g's (at about 40 g's your probably dead). Even in the worst conditions - the reserve opening at 250 feet, 300 lb weight, 1.5 second inflation time, and at terminal velocity the opening shock would only be about 2400 lbs. Normal opening shock would be in the vicinity of 1300 lbs for the reserve, and that's probably a slightly high number. Some troopers on combat jumps cut off the belly band to be able to shed the harness faster.


Also, when the reserve opens, it doesn't suspend the jumper at that much of an angle. Though he isn't suspended vertically like when the main is open, he is still close to vertical, though it isn't very comfortable. This is especially true when there is a heavy load of combat equipment; it pulls the jumper slightly more vertical with all the weight at the bottom. Hope this helps.


Note: Realize though that the opening shock forces have so many variables, so the numbers are not extremely accurate.

Many thanks to both USMCPrice and Joshua for the detailed help and information.


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