Welcome To My British Paratrooper Page Two.

Figure and webbing assembly

With the webbing for this figure I have had to really think about how it all goes together. So the first items of webbing that I assembled on the figure are the shoulder cross straps which link into the front ammo pouches. Note: Because I am using a combination of both DiD and Dragon webbing, the shoulder straps that were made by Dragon are just too wide to fit through the DiD buckles. So I have had to carefully remove the strap ends off of the shoulder straps, so that I can thread the material through the buckles. These will be refitted later.

    

In the pictures above I have threaded the shoulder straps through the back of the waist belt as shown below, these then go over the shoulders and then come down through the buckles on the front ammunition pouches A. The strap then is fed through the back of the ammunition pouch B, The 'C' clips on the back of the pouches then has the waist belt threaded through them, and the belt is fastened with the main front buckle. Some adjustment may be needed to get the pouches to sit right, and to have the wide part of the shoulder straps sitting centrally over the shoulders.

 

The entrenching tool cover is attached onto the rear straps as shown above left, on the right hand side rear shoulder strap. I have attached one of the buckles for the water bottle C, and then below this I have attached the other side of the entrenching tool cover as shown above right. Also in the picture above right, I have the other water bottle strap connected to the shoulder strap which has come down through the front ammunition pouch, this is again adjusted so that it sits level on the back of the figure.

 

The pictures above show the front ammunition pouches in place, which I filled with some balsa wood to keep the square bulky shape. The other pictures show the rear entrenching tool cover in place on the back of the figure. Note: I have kept the top of the buckle free as in the second picture above, as this is where the back pack front buckle connects to.

Weapons and equipment

With the backpack that came with the figure which was repainted at the same time as the webbing, I have placed a mortar under the flap along with the gas cape. Below that I have fitted a gas mask case which I have clipped to the belt, I removed the strap for the case as I have a reference picture which shows it worn in this position.

 

The mortar is I believe from Dragon, which was repainted to lose the plastic look to it, this was then drybrushed with some of the Tamiya Gunmetal powder to add some wear to it. I also gave it a very slight drybrush of the Silver powder onto the edges around the base plate.

While I was waiting for some paint to dry, I was reading my reference book I have about British paratroopers. And I came across some pictures of the kit they used, and one of the entrenching tool. In particular the handle for it, and it said that the late war handles had an attachment on the end for a bayonet (for either mine probing or close quarter action).

So in the pictures above, I have sanded the end down slightly so that the spike bayonet will fit it, I then repainted the end with some Gunmetal paint.

 

This is the rifle that I am going to use for this kitbash which is a Dragon Lee Enfield No 4 rifle. With this I have repainted the wooden parts with a combination of Daler Rowney 247 Raw Umber and 223 Burnt Umber acrylic paints. Both of these were painted and drybrushed on to give me a dark wooden effect. The metal parts were repainted with some Gunmetal acrylic paint, and when it was dry I gave them a wash of some diluted black acrylic paint to add some depth. The sling was painted in the same way as the webbing.

Radio set Assembly

The picture on the right shows the components for the bbi Roger Cooke radio set that I wanted to use with my figure. Part A is the connection box for the wiring, B is the battery box which fits into the bag marked C. The other parts shown are the headphones and the main chest mounted control unit.

 

What is not shown is the throat microphone, which I have had to scratch build because in the set I bought it was not included. That will teach me to pay more attention when buying separate parts from eBay.

 

But when I test fitted the radio parts together on the figure, I then found that the wiring not only looked overscale to me. It also would not reach around the shoulder of the figure, to allow me to fit the wiring connection box in the backpack. So I have had to take all of the plastic wiring pieces apart, drill out the holes that it fitted into, and then make a new wiring setup which is longer so that I can fit the equipment where I want.

 

The pictures above show how I have had to adapt some parts of the radio setup for my figure. The first and second one's just about show the thinner wire I have used, which I have to paint black to represent the radio cables. In the last picture above I have had to scratchbuild the strap that goes over the beret, as the one that came with the radio was too short. Once I have the throat microphone made and fitted, I will cut off the long straps.

 

The throat microphone has had to be scratchbuilt and this is shown on the right, this is made from a thin webbing strap, a buckle, 2 small pieces of balsa wood, plastic sprue and some thin wiring I had spare. The balsa wood was cut and shaped and then glued to the strap, I then made a tube from some plastic sprue to thread the wires through, which were then glued into the balsa wood. This still has to be painted to suit the colours of the microphone below. Note: Below are some pictures that have been very kindly supplied to me by both Tony Barton (the document showing how the radio was worn), plus also some photos supplied by Andy (fallingplate) showing some re-enactors wearing the radio set.

Finished Figure

These pictures show the finished figure, with some brass etched tab ends from Richie Elborne applied to the webbing straps, the paratrooper wings are only temporary until I can get to print off some others.

 

 

Note: I have been made aware of a mistake I have made regarding the insignia. The Pegasus patches are not worn on the Denision smock, and the parachute wings are only worn on the top of the right arm. (Many thanks Chris)


Links to Tony Barton items

Tony Barton Website - https://sites.google.com/site/antheadssite/home
Tony's Catalogue - https://sites.google.com/site/antheadssite/catguide

Howard's berets

This is a link to the excellent berets and hats - Banjoman's Berets

For my reference pictures on British re-enactors please see these other pages:

http://www.johkaz.co.uk/detling.html#brit

http://www.johkaz.co.uk/detling08.html#british

Many thanks to Tony Barton for his tutorial on re-colouring the webbing kit and the help with the radio set

Rob for all of his help with the colours for the Denision smock.

Andy (fallingplate) for the help with the radio and Kim (kimbo21) for the rifle.

 

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