figures are a mix of mostly resin and some plastic. This was the perfect project
to use a box of the old Airfix Multipose GIs I'd had sitting for years in the
back of the top shelf of kits. They're all in the M1943 OD coats, which are appropriate
for the time and setting. It takes a bit of surgery to make them useful - I corrected
the paratrooper style boot by using lead foil and Aber buckles to create the M1943
combat service boot with leather gaiter. I shortened some legs by 1/8" and
used Warriors heads. Though not as crisply sculpted, they work well with Verlinden
and Warriors figures. I converted several figures, including a medic and wounded
soldier. However, I left the paratroop style boots on the medic; these boots did
make their way to regular infantry soldiers, through barter or other means, and
medics particularly prized them for the ankle support they gave.
the contrasting size of equipment from the different sets was problematic (see
my article "A Matter of Scale"). The M1 Garand from Airfix may scale
correctly for 1/32, but it is 7" too long in 1/35 - you'll want to use recent
Tamiya Garands for better accuracy. Likewise with the M1 carbine, and I suspect
the M3 grease gun and bazooka are also too large for true 1/35.
GI figures are really helped by the insignia patches from Archers Dry Transfers.
Since I worked with Woody Vondracek to develop them, I can't say I'm impartial.
In spite of military regulations, they were worn haphazardly: some were seen on
helmets, some on shoulders of shirts or coats, or not used at all. They offer
another way to differentiate your figures and lend much more realism.
is one of the few battles where you can intermingle Wehrmacht and Waffen SS soldiers
with reliable historical accuracy. Consequently, I was able to use a number of
good "action" figures and a nice variety of uniforms in this dio. The
Germans figures are almost all resin (Warriors, Verlinden, Jaguar) with the exception
of the excellent standing rifleman in the splintered shelter quarter from DML's
Aachen figure set.
had used one of Jaguar's German soldiers rolling fuel drums in my Stalingrad diorama,
leaning out over a window. I wasn't quite sure to do with his companion until
this project, when I was looking through my shelves for surrendering Germans.
I realized I could pair him with an Airfix marching GI modified with a right arm
from a Verlinden figure and repositioned left hand. The result: the captor pushing
a disarmed prisoner from his lair.
The Battle for Aachen
of the Diorama