Thankyou first of all to all your very encouraging replys to the first part of this exploration of the development of the german uniform during the battle of Verdun.
One of my main objectives with this action figure project was to show a German soldier at various stages of the battle. I’ve always enjoyed making models from when I was a child and I like combining the versatility of the posing one can do with an action figure and the building of scenic bases to set the figure on and depict the battlefield in which the soldier fought.
By May 1916 the battle had taken a staggering toll on both sides. It was at this time the Stahlhelm was introduced, making the final transition of the image of the German soldier that would last up until the end of the conflict.
The Sideshow helmet is very good; the only improvement made was to eradicate the mould lines running across the top and sides. I repainted it and then weathered the helmet using a German green Tamyia spray paint.
The Stahlhelm though a vast improvement on the picklehaub was not without drawbacks, it impeded hearing a little, was heavy and slid on the head but it offered better protection from the debris of shell bursts.
The Landser has covered his helmet with mud to reduce the shine and reflection of the sunlight on it. Already lightly wounded in the hand he risks infection from the disease-ridden water all around. The broken skeleton of a French soldier lies in a bombed out trench that is now practically filled in after months of continual bombardment.
The summer months are approaching and in the heat the stench of death makes environment unbearable. It truly is a vision of hell on earth.
I'd have liked to have made a deeper trench but this was a first attempt and to minimise the size and bulk of the base I opted for a filled in trench.
A dead sheep was the reference for the skeleton on the base.
At first I was going to make a skeleton from epoxy putty but I found an old 1/6th air fix model skeleton on the Internet. The human skull comes from a set made recently by a Chinese company. The sculpture is excellent. Apart from a repaint it fitted perfectly with the rest of the skeleton.
I preferred a round base so it could be looked at from all angles and I used a wall clock frame glued onto a round kitchen cutting board. Polystyrene packaging cut in to shape making the relief. For the remains of the trench I used a garden border made from intertwined twigs. The Barbed wire poles are made of twigs and the wire hand made.
As I wanted to show the remains of a quickly constructed front line trench the only element used were wooden. The polystyrene was covered in wall plaster and left to dry overnight with the skeleton and wooden pieces stuck into it. The masking tape held everything together overnight as it dried. The base is protected from the painting process by masking tape.
Once the plaster is dry a sand mix was sprinkled over white wood glue.
A black games workshop undercoat sealed everything in before painting.
Thanks for Looking in.