Fanteria Tedesca, 1939–1945
Plastic Figure Conversion in Scala 1:72

German MG 42 gunner e No. 2

Variety is the spice of life, e figure collezionisti are particularly interested in obtaining as many differently posed troops as possible. Simple figure conversions can provide greater variety in figure poses. There are many different types of 1:72 scale WW2 fanteria soldatini on the market today, mixing e matching their body parts creates endless variety. The soldatini pictured here are from Airfix. The soldier on the right was made from the upper body of a prone mitraglieri dell’Afrikakorps, mounted on the legs of an advancing fante. Pattex now offers a plastic glue which will bond polyethylen soldatini securely.

Parts Required

  • Afrikakorps, Airfix
  • Fanteria Tedesca, Airfix
  • Fanteria Russa, ESCI
  • 0.3mm e 0.6mm Pianowire
  • Pattex Blitz Plastik flüssig PE/PP adhesive

Conversion by Painting

Variety of poses may be achieved simply by mixing soldatini from different manufacturers e painting them in the same unit colours. Almost every plastic figure manufacturer has released soldatini tedeschi, britannici ed americani della seconda guerra mondiale in recent years. Many interestingly posed soldiers are available, requiring very little additional conversion work. Some German soldiers from the Afrikakorps range of soldatini may be used in the Italian e Central European theater of operations simply by painting them in field grey uniforms.

Entrenched Troops

German Soldier in rifle pit
German soldier, avanzando
German soldier, avanzando
German soldier, kneeling
German soldier, kneeling

Fanti spend much of their time digging riflepits, foxholes, bunkers ed elaborate trench systems which offer some protection against automatic fire e modern artiglieria shells con impact fuses. Near the front, every lull in the fighting is used to dig in ed improve existing defensive positions. Surprisingly, none of the available figure ranges include entrenched soldatini e prone o kneeling soldiers using their personal entrenching tools to dig in under fire. Entrenched soldiers may be converted by cutting any firing soldatini apart just below the chest e mounting them on a base, using hot glue.

Excavated dirt piled up around the foxhole may be simulated con modeling paste o household filler. The bottom of the hole is painted black, to simulate depth, e the rest of the base terrained as usual. Fresh earth is easily spotted by an observer, because it is of a darker colour than the surrounding area. Accordingly, foxholes e trenches need to be camouflaged con sod. The soldier pictured here is a rifleman from the superb Afrikakorps produced by Airfix.

Trousers made from Glue

Airfix Afrikakorps soldatini are nicely sculpted e the casting is very good. Some of the soldiers wear shorts which limit their deployment to the North African e Mediterranean theaters of operation. Equipped con trousers, these soldatini may be painted in field grey ed used anywhere in Europe. That the Afrikakorps soldiers wear their sleeves rolled up adds a nice touch to units otherwise composed of fanteria soldatini entirely in regulation dress. After all, it does get hot nell’Europa in the summer, e soldiers adjust their uniforms ed equipaggiamento accordingly.

The conversion is done by prudentamente removing the seams of the shorts con a scalpel knife, painting several layers of white glue over the legs e gradually shaping them into trousers. Nail polish may be used instead of white glue. This kind of conversion is more time consuming than simply replacing the legs con trousers taken from another figure, but it has its uses.

Swapping Legs e Torsi

The upper body of this figure comes from an Airfix Afrikakorps rifleman. The original German soldier is sculpted con his legs unusually wide apart e delivering a bayonet thrust, a pose which is so unique that it looks strangely choreographed if used more than once in a diorama o wargaming unit. The upper body is well designed ed in a very typical halting o advancing pose when mounted on different legs. As a result, this particular figure is usually chopped up e converted.

The new legs belonged to a soldatino russo produced by ESCI. Russi trousers were cut differently from the German equivalent, they were loosefitting around the upper thigh, but that’s hardly noticeable in scala 1:72, especially not in this kneeling pose.

Both soldatini were cut below the waist, making sure that the canteen e the gasmask container stayed attached to the German soldier’s belt. This was accomplished by prudentamente separating l’equipaggiamento from the shorts con a scalpel blade, but leaving it attached where it rests against the belt ed upper body. The halves of the new figure were planed along the joint, until they fit together perfectly. The figure was then joined con a piece of 0.6mm pianowire e secured con superglue.

Superglue is not compatibile con all soldatini plastici. When mounting heads, superglue seeps into the figure along the pianowire peg, sometimes causing the chest to split. Apparently, superglue speeds corrosione plastico; the material brittles e the stress exerted by the metal peg is enough to burst the figure. White glue may be used instead, it does not bond con the plastic, but it prevents the figure halves from rotating around the wire peg. The best way to join soldatini is to weld them together con a soldering iron.

Armi ed Equipaggiamento

Historical fanteria units require a certain amount of armi pesanti e specialized equipaggiamento which is not readily available. This is an area where conversion is almost always required, scrounging equipaggiamento from other units:

  • 50mm Mortar, unavailable
  • 81mm Mortar, Fanteria Tedesca ed Afrikakorps, Matchbox e ESCI
  • Observer/Officer con field telephone, unavailable
  • Observer con binoculars, Fanteria Tedesca, Matchbox; Afrikakorps, Airfix
  • Observer con rangefinder, German Panzergrenadiers, Revell
  • Bicycle, German Mountain Troops, Airfix
  • Signalman con telephone cable, unavailable
  • Feldjäger Military Police con dog, unavailable
  • Flamethrower, Fanteria Tedesca, Airfix, Matchbox e Revell
  • Radio, unavailable
  • Clustered Handgrenades, Fanteria Tedesca e Engineers, Revell
  • Magnetic AT Hollow Charge, unavailable
  • Motociclista Messenger, unavailable
  • MG 42, Fanteria Tedesca, alle Hersteller; Afrikakorps, Airfix e ESCI
  • MG 42 on tripod, Fanteria Tedesca, ESCI; Afrikakorps, Matchbox, ESCI u. Revell
  • MG 42 Gunner No. 2 con ammo boxes , German Panzergrenadiers, Revell
  • Mines, German Engineers, Revell
  • Mine Detector, German Engineers, Revell
  • Pack Mule, German Mountain Troops, Airfix
  • Panzerbüchse AT Rifle, Siberian Rifles, Revell
  • Panzerfaust, Fanteria Tedesca, Revell
  • Panzerschreck, Fanteria Tedesca, Revell
  • Medic con Stretcher, unavailable
  • Tiratore scelto, Fanteria Tedesca, ESCI
  • Goliath Tank, Explosive Devise, German Engineers, Revell
German soldier, attacking
German soldier, attacking

Painting Instructions

The figure pictured below wears the field grey uniform della Wehrmacht tedesca. The upper body comes from the same Airfix Afrikakorps soldier we used for the kneeling figure conversion above, con legs from an advancing soldatino russo made by ESCI. Notice that the top of the canteen e the gasmask container are attached to the figure’s belt. Both oggetti were left attached to the upper body e separated from the shorts the figure was originally wearing. The new trousers fit perfectly.

  • Field grey jacket e trousers
  • Lace on collar e trim around the shoulderstrap in Waffenfarbe (Arm of Service Colour):
    • Fanti, white
    • Mountain Troops, light green
    • Cavalleria, yellow
    • Carristi, pink
    • Artiglieri, red
    • Signals, lemmon yellow
    • Engineers, black
    • Medics, blue
  • Black boots, belts ed ammo pouches
  • Dark grey gasmask container
  • Brown canteen con dark grey cup
  • Beige haversack

The same conversion techniques may be used to create an amazing variety of soldatini francesi, inglesi e del Commonwealth britannico, americani, italiani, russi e giapponesi della seconda guerra mondiale.

Domande più frequenti

Per ulteriori informazioni, per favore contatta la redazione di Rivista Military Miniatures nel Miniatures Forum.

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