Welcome To My 'The Old Man' Page.

This kitbash is another one based on an idea I had for another 'seasoned veteran', which I have based on a combination of Steiner as shown on the right from the film Cross of Iron, and the 'Old Un' from the various Sven Hassell books that I have read. In the books the 'The Old Man' is Willi Beier, who is 10 years older than the other soldier's, hence the name. More details about the character are found on the website Porta's Kitchen.

 

Beier is 10 years older than the others in the section so they call him The Old Un or Old Man or Alte. He is married (to Liselotte who drives a Number 12 tram in Berlin), has two children - his son is named Jochem - and suffers terribly from home-sickness. He is initially described as a joiner by trade, apprenticed to master joiner Radajsak in Bergstraße, Göttingen. But then, in March Battalion Chapter 4 he becomes 'a miller by profession'. He smokes a home-made pipe.

 

With this figure it was originally supposed be another seated one, but due to time limits and real life here at home I have had to leave him as another standing figure for the moment. And hopefully when I get some spare time I can continue with my original idea I had of him sitting and passing on some advice to some other soldier's.

 

Various reference pictures for the figure

These pictures above are screen shots that I have captured from the film Cross of Iron, to help me to get the tunic and the insignia in the right place. In the first and second pictures above Steiner is a corporal, but in the fourth picture above he has been promoted to Senior Sergeant. And it is from these picture's I have loosely based the rank of my figure.

Headsculpt

The headsculpt for this figure is the DiD T Becker one, as I do like the face as it has the older man look to it, plus for the figure that I wanted here it just seemed to me to slot into place. The first three pictures above show the standard DiD head, which is a superb piece of work and very well painted and detailed. The other three pictures show the head after I have given it a complete paint over with some Model Color 540 Matt Medium to lose the shine, a light wash over with some Brown pastel chalk and a light drybrush with some Flesh pastel chalk.

 

The cap I used for this figure is the one from the Dragon Alfons figure, as it is a bit of a tight fit on the head, and I have had to gently push down between the hat and the side flaps  with my tweezers to get it to fit. Note: Do not press down to hard as you might split the seam. As it is made of a thin material and does not look as bulky on the head as some of the other caps I have. The Jager metal insignia on the side of the cap is one that I bought from Nomad 65.

DiD Body Changes

With the DiD body that I have used for this figure I had to do some alterations to it, because when I put on the jumper, tunic and the coat the chest area stood out too far. And for the figure that I wanted it just did not look right at all. So in the pictures above I have used my model drill and a circular cutting attachment, to take out some of the bulky chest area, which has helped to get way from the 6 foot muscle bound body that I originally had here. As shown above from the left, the first picture is of the original DiD body, the second picture is after I have removed some of the chest area, the third picture shows how I have filled the cavity with cotton wool, and the fourth picture shows how I have put some tape over the chest area to keep it all in place.

 

Note: The fifth picture above shows how I have put a ruler against a normal DiD body, to show the measurement from the back of the figure to the front of the chest. And in the sixth picture above I have again placed the ruler against the DiD body, after I have removed the chest area. The purpose of these pictures are to show just how different the altered DiD body now looks, and that how the tunic also now hangs better on the figure. The last picture above right, shows some tips about being careful when carrying out these chest modifications.

Uniform

Tunic

The tunic is from the Dragon Hans Leiter figure that I managed to pick up loose, the main reason for using this tunic is that it has the green collar with the white edging tresse to it. Which helps with the rank of Feldwebel (staff sergeant) and the impression that because of long service he has kept the older tunic with the green collar. One thing I did add to the tunic was the Iron Cross 1st class medal ribbon, since the original tunic did not have one on it. To do this I just cut up a spare neck medal I had so that I had just the material, this was then put onto some double sided tape. A small 'V' shape was cut into one end of it, the backing was taken off the tape and then I placed it onto the tunic, making sure that I pressed the material down around the button. And the other end was just stuck in place inside the tunic edge.

 

The other medals such as the Close Combat badge, Infantry assault badge, the Iron Cross and the Wound badge. Were also put onto some double sided tape and I then rubbed over each of them with a pencil, which has the effect of darkening them slightly and when rubbed over with a tissue it helps to polish them slightly and leave the darker colour in the detail. I then carefully cut around the edges with my model knife, removed the backing and placed them onto the tunic.

 

The other uniform items are a Dragon roll neck jumper and Gebirgsjager trousers, the boots are again from Toys City as I do like the detail on these. Plus I have found that they can weather up very nicely, the gaiters are also from Toys City.

Boots

Regarding the boots for this figure I decided to see just what I can do with a pair of these, so after repainting the cleats on the boot soles with some Gunmetal paint. I used some sandpaper on the toes to add scuff marks, also on the eyelets for the laces as well and repainting the boots with the Model Color 540 Matt Medium paint to dull the shine.

 

I then held the bottom part of the boots flat and I squashed the upper parts of the boots down, plus also bending them at the bottom of the laces numerous times to soften up the material a bit. I then used a combination of some Brown and White pastel chalks to lighten the overall boot colour, after that I used some grout dust which I rubbed roughly into the 'pleather' material with my finger, I then rubbed most of it off with a tissue. As a result of this as shown above right, I have a very worn looking pair of Gebirgsjager boots, when compared to the new pair in the other picture above.

Trousers

With the trousers for this figure, I changed them from the Grey pair I was originally going to use to another Brown pair I had in my spares box. As I wanted something different for this figure, plus I have also distressed them as well on the knees. I did this the same way as I did it on my experiments with a worn US M42 uniform.

 

Note: I had to be very careful using the fine grade sandpaper on these Dragon trousers, because the material is a lot thinner than the DiD uniform, plus since I sanded the trousers on the fold seam on the front they split more than I wanted as I weathered the trousers. I also used some diluted PVA glue on the folds at the bottom of the trousers, the reason for this was to keep the creases in place, which helped me to add some weathering powders to the top of the creases

Coat

The coat is made by Newline Miniatures which has a very nice button detail on it, but I did find that the material is quite stiff and I had to hand wash it to soften it slightly, so that I could get it to hang on the figure better. The results of both the washing and my rubbing over it with some fine grade sandpaper are shown both on the right and in the other pictures below. The reasons for my doing this is, that although the jacket is very nice it looks far too new to me. So to make it look a bit aged and old, I went over it lightly with some sandpaper to look like the figure has had it for years.

 

Note: The outdoor lighting and the reduced size of the picture on the right, has made the jacket sleeve look slightly lighter than it actually is. And again as with the warning about the trousers above, if you do try this do be careful about getting carried away with using the sandpaper on any cloth materials.

Equipment and Weapons

With the equipment for this figure I have decided to just have a belt and a pistol, rather than load him out with other pieces. And as usual with the pistol holster and the belt, these were first painted with the Model Color 540 Matt Medium paint to lose the new glossy look, and then given a wipe over with some weathering powders. To help explain this method I have an Equipment Weathering section to show this.

 

An example of what the paint and a drybrush of some pastel chalks can do to the 'pleather' holster is shown on the right, as it does help to remove the shine from the new holster.

Various pictures of the figure

   

The bottom row of pictures show close up pictures, of how I have used some fine grade sandpaper on the anorak to make it look distressed.

Assembled Figure

This is the completed figure with all of the weathering finished, even down to the idea for some real tobacco in the pipe. Which I must say was not my idea but it was one that was given to me by another talented modeller, who's name I am ashamed to say I have forgotten.


I would like to thank RogueJK for his excellent help with my future German figures.

And a special thank you to Heeresbergführer for all of the superb pictures and the detailed help with my mountain figures.

 

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