Wehrmacht figure and camouflage expert Jaume Ortiz Forns teams with conversion and sculpting pro Daniel Alfonsea Romero to bring us this visually appealing book. Within are 76 pages loaded with step by step photographs illustrating the techniques these modelers demonstrate. Included is a chart of Fallschirmjager model figures available, color charts and diagrams of Fallschirmjager splinter camouflage patterns, bibliography and further reading suggestions, plus recommendations websites. Enriching the pages are several illustrations from Osprey’s other Fallschirm offerings.
Painting techniques are the main focus, Vallejo acrylics used exclusively. The secondary focus is converting, modifying and scratch building figures and equipment. Used to demonstrate are models of plastic, resin and metal, in the common scales of 54mm, 1/35 and 1/16. Messer’s Forns and Romero encourage researching one’s project thoroughly so as to best meld the aspects of subject with proper details for authenticity. Each chapter begins with a marquee stating the subject, a project overview, skill level demonstrated, brand of figure, scale, extra materials used and paint colors. Though I have a fair library of Fallschirmjager subjects, throughout I learned from Mr. Forns interesting tidbits of trivia about these soldiers and their unique equipment:
- Fallschirmjager jump trousers were never made in Luftwaffe Feldblau.
- The solid green ’second-model’ smock had a prominent amount of yellow fibers woven in, giving a subtle buff hue.
- Luftwaffe 1941 jump smock was similar to the Heer splinter pattern but was less intricate, with larger blocks of color.
- The interesting splinter scheme variant known as the ‘marsh (or water) pattern’ had itself a variation with semi-blurred demarcations between colors.
Chapter one introduces us to the basic Fallschirmjager. A 120mm resin kit in the green ’second-model’ smock, a Fallschirmjager preparing for Operation Mekur, the legendary 1941 airborne conquest of the Isle of Crete. Here Mr. Forms demonstrates his ability to achieve near oil paint quality blending with acrylics. Dozens of layers of paint followed by washes and glazes leaves a smooth blending of colors in the flesh tones and clothes. The metallic parts are convincingly done without metallic paints!
Chapter two demonstrates creating a vignette. A Fallschirmjager Panzerjagern team in 1/35 using Alpine Miniatures. Here we are treated to the same blending techniques but now with camouflage clothing. Discussed is the mid to late war temperate uniform and splinter camouflage, including the marsh pattern. The difference between the Luftwaffe pattern and the army pattern was a reversal of the predominate block color, the Luftwaffe favoring brown with the green lodged inside the brown. Their marsh had more green and less brown than Heers’ version. Interservice rivalry?
A building is part of the diorama. Construction is unique to me, the masonry simulated with cork! Blending everything together is the use of the same colors used on both figures and structures.
Another vignette introduces us to converting and modifying figures, this time 54mm metal Elisena models. This chapter details scratchbuilding and repositioning limbs, modifying facial features, converting uniforms, and adding aftermarket pieces. We also enjoy the third color chart detailing the Luftwaffe’s reverse-splinter scheme colors. Set in Italy, we receive even more useful information, that the Luftwaffe did not produce any tropical garb for the Fallschirm, except for a small run of tan smocks intended for the cancelled invasion of Malta. Mediterranean Fallschirm basic wear was standard tropical Luftwaffe clothing.
Finally, the fourth chapter creates before you a winter Eastern Front scene. Winter clothing and muddy winter terrain are the components explored, as is the special paint techniques for white cloth. The DML 1/35 plastic figures are heavily modified, as is a draft horse. This includes moving beyond mere repositioning parts, to suggesting a feeling of physical exertion and motion. Scratchbuilding is further expanded to individual equipment components to replace the undersized Dragon gear. Creating believable slush, mud and snow is a major portion of the chapter.
Akin to a Fallschirm tour guide, this book takes us to each theater and era of the Fallschirmjager, reflecting their fortunes as the war turned against Germany. Fascinated with this part of the Wehrmacht, I am very enthusiastic about this book. Messer’s Forns and Romero have presented a highly useful, informative and inspirational volume for figure modelers of Fallschirmjager, indeed useful for any figure subject.
My thanks to the wonderful people at Osprey Publishing for providing this book.
Distinguished soldiers, considered elite by friend and foe, the WW2 German Fallschirmjager (paratrooper) is a favorite subject for modelers and historians alike. Unique equipment and camouflage enriches the appeal of modeling this subject. This book by award-winning modelers demonstrates how to build, convert and paint Fallschirmjager of various materials, and creating dioramas to display them for maximum impact.
About Frederick Boucher (JPTRR) FROM: TENNESSEE, UNITED STATES
I'm a professional pilot with a degree in art.
My first model was an AMT semi dump truck. Then Monogram's Lunar Lander right after the lunar landing. Next, Revell's 1/32 Bf-109G...cried havoc and released the dogs of modeling!
My interests--if built before 1900, or after 1955, then I proba...