Welcome To My Paratrooper Pathfinder Page.

This page was an idea I have had for some time but never got around to doing, because of the lack of reference pictures that I could use for it. So, it always got put back as one of those projects or kitbashes that I will get around to at sometime in the future. It was not until I saw the excellent figure done by JTFazz (Ty) on the Sixth Army Forum, that I realised just how good a US airborne figure looks with the SCR-300 radio.


The work done by JTFazz is here Radio Man Kitbash, and after seeing this excellent kitbash I am afraid that I just had to copy the idea. Mainly because it is a kitbash of a US airborne soldier, and because it is unusual in that did it happen or didn't it? Plus the fact that JTFazz has a figure like that and I don't.... Note: This kitbash is in no way meant to upstage the excellent work, it has just made me get my lazy backside in gear and make the kitbash that I kept putting off.

This is the basic figure as shown above the uniform is from Dragon, but I don't know what figure it came from as it has been in my spares box for some months now. The webbing straps and belt I think are also from DML, the boots are from Newline, the radio is from the bbi Sparky Parsons figure and the musette bag is also from bbi I think. The Thompson pouches are one's that I made up here on my Pouches page, and have been sitting around for ages just waiting for a kitbash like this. The radio unit is shown on my SCR-300 page, this particular project has been ongoing for about 4 months with detailing the radio, and it was only after seeing the kitbash by JTFazz that I got myself to actually finish it off.

The pictures below left and centre are from the book that came with the Sparky Parsons figure it shows the radio unit being used without the packboard, and it was this that got me thinking about how could I make this? The problem is that if I had the belt for the radio with the soldier's kit on it, then when he dropped the radio unit he was separate from his belt kit. So I looked closely at the picture below left and it looks like the shovel is not attached to the radio belt, so the soldier had to be wearing his belt kit separately.


Radio and Belt Fitting

With the picture on the right, it shows how I have attached a canvas ammo belt to the bottom of the radio unit. To do this I found some thin pieces of wire and bent them so that the belt can thread through them and they can be hooked onto the Belt Carrier Brackets on the radio. In the picture above right this was copied from a manual on the SCR-300 radio and this shows the belt attached as I have done here.

Radio Manual Page - http://www.scr300.org/index-tifs.html From this site the pages I found useful are Sections 15 to 18, 55 & 61 to 65.


Two things that I have not included when I fitted the radio to the belt are the fabric pads as shown above right. The reason for this is that at the moment I don't have the material to make them, unless I take material from the packboard itself and cut this up to make these pads, but looking at the radio on the figure these cannot be seen so I may not even bother making them.


The two pictures below left are of the basic figure with the belt kit on as I wanted to see what pieces would foul where the radio sits on the figure's back.

In the two pictures above right I have found that with some re-arranging and moving of the kit I can get all of the belt equipment on the figure and the radio fitted as well, in that the belt for the radio has to go under the water bottle and .45 pistol, above the shovel, under the bayonet and over the clasp for the gas mask bag. And now by looking at it I have one very loaded up Pathfinder paratrooper, in fact making this figure is almost as bad as the Corbin figure.


And now that I know that it all goes together, I have to totally strip it all back down to a pile of bits so I can repaint all of the buckles matt black, the belts and webbing a green colour and maybe add some extra camouflage paint on the uniform, plus add some of the same on the musette bag and the thompson pouches and pastel wash the headsculpt.

Uniform Camouflage

This is the uniform after I have stripped the figure back down, and while it was like this I began to think that the camouflage on the uniform needed a little bit adding to it. So I painted some green stripes and brown patches with Vallejo acrylic paint. The colours I used were 70823 Luftwaffe Cam Green + some Matt Black added in to darken it slightly, the brown was 70983 Flat Earth. The paint was just put on in a random fashion to try to break up the outline of the figure.

Kit Colours

On the right is some of the kit that I am fitting to the figure, this has been repainted with various shades of dark green acrylic paint to represent the various different colours that the cloth equipment were made from. And I started to think of all the different shades for the cloth material there are.


So to add some variety to my figure I got my saucer I use and to the water I added a mixture of various shades of green, black and brown acrylic paint, painted one piece one colour then weakened the mixture with more water and painted another. Then I mucked about with the colour again and repainted some other parts a lighter colour.


One thing I did make sure of is that the ammunition belt is a different shade to the shoulder webbing, because those being the same colour from the boxed figures has been annoying me for some time. Plus the colour for the musette bag as it was I felt was the wrong colour, so once again I mucked about with the shades and dipped/painted that a green colour.  I also repainted the straps and belt on the radio because again I wanted them to look different to the belt kit.


Note: Another item that I have made for this figure are the felt shoulder pads, as I did have only one set that had these on it and I can't remember ever seeing any of these for sale anywhere. So I had no alternative but to make them for myself, and they were easier than I thought they would be.

All I did was I laid the webbing on some brown felt and made two small cuts in it for the length of the strap as shown above, then I cut out two rectangles slightly wider than the webbing strap. Once I had those I cut two slots in each of the pads to thread the webbing through, when I had done both of them I laid it all flat and trimmed off the ends of the pads to make sure they looked even.

The pictures above show the pose that I want to get the figure into, where is supposed to be taking a call on the radio whilst reading the map, which is being held open on one edge by his elbow. Also shown is the different shades of the webbing, straps, packs and equipment on this figure, plus the bbi musette bag which has also been repainted a green colour. The musette bag has been moved from the back of the radio, as I have some very excellent help from a fellow modeller by e-mail called Paul. And he suggested the new positioning it as it is above, in that the front strap is connected to the front shoulder webbing ring. With the other strap connected to the webbing clip that connects to the ammo belt, so that the musette bag now hangs down on the figures side. And I think that this is an immense improvement on the way I had it before.


On the right is the DML despatch bag I have used with my figure, because I thought that a radio operator would have had to have some maps at least in the bag. It was during this search for the map images on the internet, I got distracted with some comic book covers that had come up on of the links. So after doing another search for those I found some from the 1940's - Pin Up Magazines and Comics. So to make some magazines up I shrunk down the image in Microsoft Word and then cut it out twice the width of the cover, folded it over so it became a book. I did it like this because once the cover is in the pouch the back and inside won't be seen.


I also did the same for the US Army manual covers that I found as well, it was then that it dawned on me that the best thing that the radio operator could have in the pouch, is the manual for the SCR-300 radio itself. So I went to the page about the radio here, and saved off some of the pages to my computer which I again shrunk down to make the pages of the book. I then cut them out and glued them back to back to make a book up, and then used some glue on the folded edges to hold them together. I also used some of the written pages inside the other manuals to fill them out.


I have just received the two excellent pictures below from Mike (kirk1168) of these jackets that are in the Airborne museum in Fayetteville, USA. The information that was also very kindly supplied for them is as follows:


The text on the plates describing them said that they were both painted by the owners, so I'm taking that as meaning that these jackets are in the condition that they were in when actually used. Sadly, there were no matching trousers on display.
This one below left was used by trooper of the 509th PIR at Anzio, and the one on the right was used by a trooper of the 509th PIR for Operation DRAGOON, the invasion of southern France. The plate stated that the troopers of the 509th commonly applied paint to camo their uniforms.



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