I am currently painting up some 15mm Peter Laing WW2 German Infantry into dual 1940/41 use as German paratroops.
The beauty of these first 15mm figures is that Peter Laing deliberately made them with slight and muted detail so that they could be easily converted by paint or file to other figures. These will be gloss paint or gloss varnish when finished.
These 15mm WW2 German rifleman infantry figures have a bagginess of trouser about them that suits paratroop jump suits. Rifles were also quite widespread issue to paratroops, not all were carrying submachine guns.
A quick uniform check out of the ‘best’ uniform book of my childhood (Preben Kannik’s Military Uniforms of the World in Colour) shows that such grey dual use figures are possible.
The Andrew Mollo Uniforms of WW2 book (1970s Blandford), familiar from the childhood branch library, had these slightly grainier, grittier, more photo-realist illustrations.
Home Guard manuals of the time in my collection had interesting uniform plates – this book by John Brophy 1940.
My previous paratroop camo painting experience was on a much bigger scale, about thirty plus years ago, tackling the camo from the Airfix packaging onto their then-newish 54mm German paratroop figures.
I have recently rebased, renovated and gloss varnished these 1980s Airfix paint jobs for new use.
I first painted these German Airfix Paratrooper figures in the early 1980s and they have hung around since then, getting increasingly bashed. I kept them as I quite liked the camouflage effects I achieved then with Airfix / Humbrol enamels.
I must have been following the Airfix painting guide on the box backs or catalogues a5 the time, so checked this online.
As originally painted (in Matt?) I wanted to get a little of the old gloss toy soldier style at a time when I had no lead hollowcast painted 54mm figures to base them on. I must have been reading old toy soldier books in the library.
Three things were needed to refresh them for modern 54mm Skirmish gaming use.
1. A quick spruce up of the faces in old toy soldier style (pink cheek dots, the lot) matches the original old toy soldier style paint from the 1980s.
2. I have rebased them on tuppenny bases to add some weight.
3. A coat of (gloss acrylic) spray varnish to seal them for play.
I have a few more unpainted ones lying around from job lots that I hope to paint in a similar toy soldier gloss style to match these figures. Then off to the “Operation Back Garden or Garten” this summer using Don’s parachute “confetti” paper shapes tipped out of a box or toy plane method of simulating airdrops?
In gaming, if you’re not sure what to do, it’s generally wise to make a rule and roll a dice.
Equally some wise advice I remember from someone’s ‘black dog’ post – if you’re not sure what to do next, undercoat stuff.
I’m busy undercoating Peter Laing 15mms today. I was reminded that I had not painted or posted about Peter Laing figures for a while by the imminent closing of the Peter Laing Community pages on Google Plus and many people’s migration to the social media platform Me We. You can find like-minded Laing enthusiasts on the Peter Laing section set up by Ian Dury: https://mewe.com/join/peterlaingfigures
Eagle eyed readers can spot about 30 WW2 German infantry that I intend to have use as paratroops, along with about the same number of WW2 British Infantry riflemen to double up as Home Guards.
A cluster of backwoodsmen and settlers in buckskins will double up as Confederates and Boers, useful from French Indian Wars through the war of Independence, Civil War and beyond. Versatile figures! Likewise there are a small number of very useful Native Americans with bows and arrows.