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Captain Eyestrain
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1,196 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
British soldier early 1960s.

This is just a bit of fun ,outside my normal time period, that fell together from some spares I had collected, after a discussion with a friend about how one could remake the 1960s toy " Tommy Gunn "( a sort of British based version of GI Joe) as a more upmarket Action Figure, using parts already available. He conveniently adds a decade to my " History of the British Soldier in 1/6th " , so I shall keep him.



As a boy, the local soldiery who occasionally visited my school looked like this, and some of my older schoolmates actually joined up in the 1960s, and this is how they were equipped.



The outfit is the 1950s green combat suit, created in a hurry as a virtual copy of the US M43 suit, which to their embarassment the British forces rushed to Korea in 1950 had to beg from their Allies to cope with the vicious Korean winter. By 1951 these were in UK production, and remained, with a couple of minor adjustments, the usual combat dress well into the 1960s. The more familar DPM camouflaged dress started to replace them in about 1970.
The webbing is the 1958, with the 1944 pattern waterbottle. The helmet is still the MkIII or MkV, externally identical, and the rifle is the early pattern of the L1A1 SLR.



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Making the figure
The 1950s combats are retailored from the Soldier Story Korean War M43, with all the pockets moved or replaced, and the trousers widened.
The 1958 webbing is from Barrack Sergeant repainted, and with a scratchbuilt 1944 bottle carrier.



Rifle and bayonet from DML " Graham", with the rifle re-detailed and painted as the early type with the wooden furniture.
New webbing sling .



Boots Dragon DMS type, carefully tapered at the top by removing V slices to make the ankles narrow, then puttees to cover that from brushed cotton.
Helmets were issued, but it seems rarely worn.

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He might be serving either at home or in Germany. I've plumped for the Somerset & Cornwall Light Infantry, a recently amalgamated Regiment that served in Berlin from October 1963. As a cadet I briefly wore their cap badge.
They were stationed at Brooks Barracks in Berlin from Oct 1963 for two years, as one of the three Infantry Battalions of the Berlin Brigade.
I've found some pics of them online , and I have added the Berlin Brigade patch on the right arm.
 

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wave man TDY staff
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41,776 Posts
Wonderful stuff, Tony! I hold dear all of your figures, but I am glad that your friend's and your discussion led to a step forward from your normal time constraints. Skillful work on everything, with the uniform particularly impressive, especially to me, the stitching on the combat jacket's collar. The head immediately grabbed me, such an effective portrayal of a young soldier. Those lads, along with the other NATO troops in Berlin, would've seen grim urban combat, had the balloon gone up.
 

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AKA "ChiliDoug"
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7,541 Posts
Very nice indeed, Tony. The unique sculpt adds to the figure; making it a one of a kind for your collection.
 

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The Mighty Boosh
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8,425 Posts
Great figure, Tony, that's the image I have of the first soldiers I saw as a kid.

Ah, Tommy Gunn - I was in 7th heaven when we went to Scarborough on holiday and I found a shop in that sold him and his kit. All my pocket money and holiday money was spent in there and a Tommy Gunn figure, Grenadier Guardsman and RMP sets immediately joined the ranks of my Action Men.

Going slightly off topic (sorry Tony), I always liked the British Army Berlin camouflage scheme

BerlinCheiftan3.jpg
 

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Loser 6
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617 Posts
Tony, wonderfully done. So interesting to see this time period portrayed and I really appreciate where you had the figure stationed! Excellent head sculpt for this figure and I appreciate the details you out into the uniform and gear. Very simple, but so well executed........Jim
 

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Registered
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597 Posts
Splendid figure.
It's been overdone, but I'd love to see your version of a Para or a Soldier from another regiment during the "Troubles."
 
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