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Old 04-13-2010, 01:49 AM   #1
Squidley
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My Glider Pilot

First off, I want to thank arbmambo for the inspiration for this figure. I saw his, and could not resist trying my hand at my own. I’ve got quite a few Paras, but no glider pilots. He’s a welcome addition to the crew.

I was not able to get my hands on a c-type fighter pilot helmet, so I bashed something that looked close. It’s made from a German pilot leather shell (Johannes Patzer, K-33 Winter Flying Helmet), and British Pilot cloth helmet (Donald Moore). Both of these were easy to come by, if not cheap.

Starting with the Patzer helmet, if first shaved the interior with a razor (very furry) to try to thin it down. After a bit of that I painted the parts that I thought might be visible (basically around the edges) with some tan paint. Next, I removed the hardware and tabs that held it on from both sides of the helmet. One side of the chin-strap was removed as well. The other straps were left on, as they corresponded roughly to the position of similar straps on the Type C.

I took the chin-strap, goggles holder strap, and ear-pieces and snaps for attachment of the mask off of the Moore Helmet. The chin-straps and goggles strap were then sewn onto the Patzer shell. Next, I had to remove a good bit of the lining so that I could attach the ear-pieces from the Moore helmet. These had both interior and exterior components, so, after removing the lining and making a hole, I was able to glue them back together. Finally, the studs were glued on in the appropriate place. The air-tube was cut off the mask, and the resulting stalk hollowed out a bit.

The shell is a TUS para helmet, with the rim cut off. I gave it a few coats of gloss black, with one sanding in-between, to get rid of most of the roughness the original had. I was worried it came out too shiny, but lots of handling got rid of that problem. The rim is simply a bit of duct (or is it duck?) tape painted brown. It sits pretty well, and hides most of the “flaws” in the base Patzer helmet from scrutiny. I decide to give him goggles (also Moore) as well, as they provide added color, as well as added obfuscation from flaws in the overall setup.

I needed a fairly wide looking face, otherwise the helmet just overpowered the poor chap. Our man paid a fairly steep price for becoming a glider pilot; specifically, the top of his head and his ears had to be removed. Without that, the fit would have been impossible.

As for gear, I went for some oddities form the parts box. The holster is (I think) from BBIs Neil Williams, my first Para. The Sten is from a TUS Sten set I got a long time ago. The sling is of my own manufacture. The web gear is Bob Richardson. I tried dyeing it, and finally got it to be a reasonable color by using permanent marker. GP insignia is CVI. Don’t know where the ranks came from. I’m not convinced I like them, but I wanted something that looked a bit different from the CVI ranks my other Para have. The "Beret" stuffed in his pocket is a bit of red felt, with a badge from a dragon beret gluded onto it. The rest is pretty generic stuff.

He’s intended to represent a recently landed pilot; he’s got his Sten and steel pot, but the excitement has yet to get rid of the flight helmet. Or something like that…

I hope you like him, and welcome any comments. I do wonder if the Sten in that configuration is accurate, or a post-war piece. I just like the look of it for my “badder” guys.









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Old 04-13-2010, 03:14 AM   #2
pomz99
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Your GP looks pretty good.
Its probably ok to just give him the pistol belt w/o the shoulder belt.
As I recall the Richardson belt should be a generic pistol belt but DML forgot to add the 2 buckles (for x braces) at the back of the belt.
You could reuse the shoulder webbing and add a couple of square buckles to complete the change.
I think that sten is a commando/ab variant, its supposed to represent a interchangable pistol grip instead of the regular butt stock. I think it looks cool.

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Old 04-13-2010, 12:01 PM   #3
Squidley
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re-posted with bigger pics....
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:20 PM   #4
johnro6659
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He looks great! Nate needs to see this. I actually thought of building a glider a while back after seeing one Brandon had in his garage. I just have no room so I kind of dropped the idea.
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Old 04-13-2010, 01:17 PM   #5
Glidah Drivah
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Great looking Glider Pilot!! There's a good chance he will need that Sten. The major difference between American and British/Commonwealth Glider Pilots is that whereas US pilots were simply to transport Glider Infantry to the battlefield and then be evacuated to the rear; (though some did take part in combat) British/Commonwealth pilots were to join the glider infantry in battle.

What Denison Smock did you use?
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:22 PM   #6
jbcat
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Great looking figure.

Nice custom work
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