I'm leaving the area for a few months for work, and so the loose gear tap is turned off and the nudes and headsculpts are all packed away. Before I disappear, however, I want to share with you all my latest large scale project.
First Army, 4th Cavalry Regiment, Spring 1945: Reconnaissance "Peep" 21
The Fourth Cavalry Regiment had a storied career during the second world war. They were still training on horseback in the 1930s, and like other cavalry and reconnaissance regiments had to shift to mechanized warfare quickly. Their first real combat, in some respect was their divided role in the Normandy Invasion; Some clearing a heavily fortified but unmanned series of islands (and becoming the first US troops to come ashore on D-Day) and some joining with the 82nd at Utah Beach.
The Fourth provided flanking and screening roles across the Cotentin Peninsula before moving into Belgium. They crossed the Siegfried Line in September of 1944 and all seemed like smooth sailing for the boys of the Fourth. Throughout the winter, however, in the midst of the Battle of the Bulge the men of the Fourth Cavalry Regiment were involved in fierce and heavy fighting against German resistance. They lost many of their squad leaders during a push to capture the town of Bogheim.
This jeep represents a cavalry reconnaissance vehicle of the Fourth Cavalry and its driver near the Belgium/German border. The crew has just finished clearing a town on the way to the border, and the rest of the crew is out "shopping" while the driver has a coffee and a cracker. There's a lot more to take in from the photos, and I welcome you to look closely. I've included a lot of details to create what I think is a good representation of a recon jeep at rest.
This was one of two kits I purchased last summer and built from more-or-less scratch. The MG pedestal mount, dash mount, and antennae are from East Coast Armory and the fire extinguisher is Armorpax. I believe the MG mount on top of the pedestal is from Armorpax. Please correct me if I'm wrong! I can't recommend the pieces from both Armorpax and East Coast Armory enough. The rest of the mods are my own, including the functioning glovebox lid. The dinner unit, armor piercing ammo boxes and manual were printed by OneSixthScaleKing and they're just fantastic additions to a kit. I printed the map myself.
I'd like to thank the inspiration of ArmorGuy's build linked here. I got a tremendous amount of ideas and inspiration by finding that build, and I took some similar paths. Then there was Serang Kim's build from which again I borrowed some ideas. My second jeep, not featured here yet, takes more from the latter.
These kits are a LOT of fun. This was the rerelease, and had some improvements: namely the rubber tires already attached to the hubs and the metal connectors for the front wheels as opposed to the plastic ones in the original. The kit has some challenges, but I had a blast.
My great uncle was in the Fourth Cavalry, but spent his time in an M8 Greyhound. He didn't speak much about the war, but I like to think he would have gotten a kick out of this. He brought home quite a bit of Luftwaffe gear from his time in France and Belgium. There's a nod or two to that part of his service in the jeep.
Enjoy and thanks for looking. Comments and criticisms welcome!
A real unlucky German helmet. This shot doesn't show, but there's a shrapnel entry hole in the top.
This small pile of personal gear serves a purpose. The dashboard MG mount wouldn't likely have been attached to a jeep with the windscreen still attached. It's possible, and I'm sure there are pictures out there of both used simultaneously, but I don't think it would have happened much. I wanted to have a little versatility with this build, and so I needed a way to disguise the dash mount when it wasn't being used. I think the gear does a great job.
Personal gear removed showing the dash mount with the windshield removed. This is more of how the jeep may have looked during the Battle of the Bulge and the push into Germany.
The signs are loosely based on period photos of actual road signs. I didn't want to recreate them directly, as they were all from separate regions of the European campaign. I took a little creative license as well.
I wish I had a great never-before-seen sculpt to show you all, but this was the perfect sculpt for the time period I'm looking at and he's just worn out enough to represent a G.I. after a firefight. Also his big head was the only one to fit in the even bigger early-DiD helmet.
Top down end of the movie "Fury" style shot. It helps to see a lot of the little details. I had to take apart a lot of ammo belts and cut the tips off of a lot of bullets. I made the NSDAP flag myself. It can't be unfolded but I think using three pieces of fabric makes it look more real.
We'll miss you Mull.
It's anecdotal, but I have heard that first aid kits were tied to the steering column because Germans thought they might be booby traps.