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Old 10-06-2019, 07:18 AM   #1
SteveKrieg
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Project - "CURRAHEE" - Pathfinders

G'day all,


Well, with the series drawing to an end (wow, has it really been almost a year since I started this venture?) and not too long now 'til the annual model show gets a bad case of 'vertical envelopment' 101st-style, it's finally good to finish a scene that I've been keen on doing since the inception and features as No.3 in the series simply titled 'Pathfinders'.


These guys were found to be essential by both the Brits and the U.S. in providing the guidance to ensure the paratroopers following arrived on the right drop/landing zones though at first the U.S. saw this kind of role as a suicide mission given they'd be small in number and if there's any enemy on the ground at the time then they're sure to cop it which is why the first 'volunteers' were merely soldiers that commanding officers merely wanted out of their unit.


Captain Frank Lillyman would have none of it and it was not long, after reasoning with those high in command - particularly Gen. 'Bill' Lee himself, that to ensure the best chance of success for any airborne op that the pathfinders needed to be of the highest rather than the lowest calibre. Suffice to say, the attitude changed and more abled men got the job.


It's well known that the Normandy drops did not go as planned - far from it - however the 11 pathfinder teams of the 101st that went in were just as impacted by the hazards as the division following. The cloud bank, enemy flak disrupting the drop in the right areas, lost and broken gear, missing personnel and the presence of the German patrols ensured that many teams were not ready by the time the first serials arrived and the nature of the terrain (the infamous bocage) also concealed many of the lights until it was too late and the planes had flown over (which entailed many to turn around and make another run thus doubling the chance of getting hit by flak).


Added to this the intricacies of the ' Eureka' homing beacon with many of the C-47s in the main switching on their 'Rebecca' receivers in order to find their way out of the cloud bank which impacted on the lead aircraft whose job it was to act as the guide for the serials.


The British-designed AN/PPN-1 'Eureka' was an ingenious device and I just had to replicate one (out of plastic card) along with its antenna for this particular scene. The M-227 Signal Lamp was also scratch-built using the same plastic albeit in differing shapes. Time permitting, I'll make a few Delta Lanterns however I'm hoping to get the parts required to finish off the Sherman tank this week and, therefore; the last scene of the Series - 'Relief at Carentan'.


TIl then, enjoy
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Old 10-06-2019, 07:25 AM   #2
SteveKrieg
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Re: Project - "CURRAHEE" - Pathfinders

Additionally, I painted the uniforms based off references of surviving examples found in some of the books I've managed to obtain specifically for this project (suffice to say my collection of books on the 101st and indeed that of the U.S. airborne during the War has tripled).










The M42 was not ideally suitable in terms of base colour for the French countryside hence many chose to dabble (so to speak) in painting their uniforms and one of the unique aspects of the pathfinder teams for the Normandy drop is that all had their pics taken prior to boarding making the need to be exacting to detail for the figures all the more easier despite being in B&W (the painted uniforms standout nicely). This also made things easier with regards to load-carrying equipment. Steve
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:19 PM   #3
Hammer's Africaners
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Re: Project - "CURRAHEE" - Pathfinders

Fantastic work equipment and figures
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:03 PM   #4
Ortona
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Re: Project - "CURRAHEE" - Pathfinders

I really like your camouflaged uniforms. I wonder how many pathfinder units actually had to fight off Germans troops while they were setting their beacons and markers.
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Old 10-07-2019, 02:40 AM   #5
Panzercommander HOH
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Re: Project - "CURRAHEE" - Pathfinders

Nicely done, Steve!

Love the scratchbuilt bits, particularly the rigger-made pouch for the Eureka, et al.!

Fred
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Old 10-07-2019, 11:15 AM   #6
SteveKrieg
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Re: Project - "CURRAHEE" - Pathfinders

Cheers lads,


In answer to the questions, Steve...the pathfinders, due to the nature of their work, were ordered to avoid contact with the enemy as best as possible. Naturally, when landing in enemy occupied territory, that is easier said than done and the three sticks of pathfinders that landed on DZ 'C' happened to land in an area the Germans had prepared as part of their anti-airborne invasion measures by having the area pre-registered for mortar/MG fire and nearby buildings soaked in oil to be set ablaze in order to light up the area; nearly half of the team assigned to prep DZ 'C' were killed as a result. Some teams had overshot their intended areas by up to several kilometres negating any chance of doing their job (some chose to set-up equipment on areas thinking it was their DZ but was actually not which also led to confusion for the main force. Overall though, only two of the six incoming PIRs landed where they largely should've and this was due to several key factors, the least of which was the lack of effort by the pathfinders, they did a very brave job considering.


As for the Eureka bag Fred, I had to cut-up two of the radio bags that came with the DML 'Windtalker' radioman (which were pretty ordinary) in order to have the two halves required...various lengths of web strapping were used to replicate the rigger-made support bands as well as buckles and clips (which came from a spare DML T5 main chute harness. Cheers for the kind comments all, Steve
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Old Today, 04:04 AM   #7
Panzercommander HOH
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Re: Project - "CURRAHEE" - Pathfinders

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveKrieg View Post
As for the Eureka bag Fred, I had to cut-up two of the radio bags that came with the DML 'Windtalker' radioman (which were pretty ordinary) in order to have the two halves required...various lengths of web strapping were used to replicate the rigger-made support bands as well as buckles and clips (which came from a spare DML T5 main chute harness.
Thanks for the info on how you made the Eureka bag, Steve!

Will have to try my hand at one of those sometime!

Fred
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