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Jon Smith Modellbau - Bavarian Infantryman 1915

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Product Description

Jon Smith Modellbau

120mm. Resin Cast.

Infantryman. 4th Bavarian Infantry Regiment. Western Front, Spring 1915 The figure depicts a member of an infantry platoon marching through a small Belgium town on their way to the trenches. A stocky, well-built character, he is marching in the middle of the first row, with two platoon NCOs and officer in front. These men are dressed for the wet, cold and muddy conditions of trench warfare. They all wear the cotton overall trousers, some tucked into the boots, others have them hanging loose around the ankles. Just before leaving the billets each man was issued a bandolier of extra ammunition to put around his neck. The sound of the men's boots on the cobbled road is quite considerable and people are standing watching as the platoon, which with the exception of the officer and but a few of the very younger members all have full beards, go marching by. Contents: Figure (7 parts) 2nd Head Water Bottle - Feldflasche M1907 Haversack - Brotbeutel M1887 2 x Bandoliers Ammunition Pouches M1895 - Patronentaschen M1895 Trench Periscope (4 parts) Bayonet M98/05 - Seitengewehr M98/05 Mauser Rifle 98 - Mausergewehr M1898 Spiked Helmet M1895 - Lederhelm mit Spitze M1895 - Pickelhaube (2 parts) Figure Base The figure depicts a member of an infantry platoon marching through a small Belgium town on their way to the trenches. A stocky, well-built character, he is marching in the middle of the first row, with two platoon NCOs and officer in front. These men are dressed for the wet, cold and muddy conditions of trench warfare. They all wear the cotton overall trousers, some tucked into the boots, others have them hanging loose around the ankles. Just before leaving the billets each man was issued a bandolier of extra ammunition to put around his neck. The sound of the men's boots on the cobbled road is quite considerable and people are standing watching as the platoon, which with the exception of the officer and but a few of the very younger members all have full beards, go marching by. The Heads Head 1: This head has more of the tradition look of a Bavarian soldier in his mid-twenties with the typical, fashionable full beard of the time. He wears his hair also somewhat longer than would normally of been allowed, but this was sometimes quite common, as units would spend ever-longer periods of time in the front line area. The figure depicts an infantryman in early spring 1915, only weeks before the first time gas was used in the war. He would later most certainly of had to shave off the beard in order that his gas mask fits probably. Bavaria is one of the southern Germen states, which over the centuries, was made up of many different peoples, for instance the Franks (Franco-German), Slavs (Central and Eastern Europe) and Italy. This means that on average the hair colour is either dark brown, or black. Head 2: This head belongs to Edmund Walle´, who came from the Pfalz area. His surname is French in origin, which was not too uncommon in this part of Germany and dates back to the time of Napoleon 1. The 4 Bayrischen Infantrieregiment was based in Metz before the war and in 1914 Edmund would have been about 20 years old. All the Walle´ men in the family had dark brown, or black hair and dark eyes. He survived both World Wars and died in the late forties. Note: in order that the spiked helmet sits at the correct height, it will be necessary to trim some of the hair. Uniform Field Cap: Feldmütze M1910. Made out of a field grey material. The band and piping were in red of the infantry. The two metal Kokarden badges at the front were - top: Die Reichsfarben: black, white and red (from outwards to the centre) and - bottom: represents the state were the unit was raised - e.g. Prussia - Preussen: black, white and black. Bavaria - Bayern: white, light blue and white. Brunswick - Braunschweig: blue, yellow and blue. Hessen - Hessen: white, red and white etc. Some units covered the red band with a strip of darker material. From 1917 a new field cap was introduced with a dark green band for all arms, but both types were worn along side each other during the rest of the war. The field cap was worn extensively throughout the war, both in the rear and front line areas. The troops would wear them in all different shapes and styles. In fact it was commented by the Officer Commanding the Sniper School in the British First Army area, how well the German field cap, with its floppy and uneven edges, blended in with its surroundings. (The British caps were far larger and flatter on top, reflecting the light and hence attracting attention) In the case of this Bavarian he has turned his field cap backwards, so that the Kokarden faces to the rear. Spiked Helmet M1895: Lederhelm mit Spitze M1895. Popularly known both in English and German as a `Pickelhaube´. The correct name is actually Leather Helmet with Spike. This type of headwear dates back to 1842 and was made out of leather, with the spike, emblem and rim edges in brass. They gave no protection what so ever during combat. At the front would be the state emblem and each side were the chin- strap is attached are the two Kokarden. Right side - Reichskokarden: Imperial cockade. Left side Landeskokarden: State cockade. The chin- strap on the helmet is underneath the cover - the outlines can just be made out on the figure's helmet. In the field these helmets were protected with a cotton cover, which was held in place by 5 metal hooks underneath the front and back helmet rims (peak). Bavarian units had black painted hooks, - all other units a silver/metal colour. Within the first few months of the static trench warfare, troops were removing the spikes and tucking the remaining excess cloth into the (ventilating) hole. From about mid 1915 helmet covers were issued without the spike material. With the figure the spike has been made separately, allowing the helmet to be shown, as it would have been in a front line area at the beginning of 1915. Alternatively, if the spike is to be used, then the excess cloth on top of the helmet cover will have to be cut down. The spike should be no higher than 5.7mm when sat on the helmet. With Line Regiments, (apart from Guards) the unit numbers were painted in red onto the front of helmet covers. Shortly after the out- brake of war a new directive (in Bavaria on 4.9.1914) was given that all numbers and letters "R" for Reserve and "L" for Landwehr regiments, be in a less conspicuous light green. Later, a green cloth was used. The number 4 on the helmet with the figure has been modelled slightly raised to enable an easier finish. Colour: helmet - black leather, with brass rim edges (were the cover has slipped up, especially around the middle). Cover - rush-green (In practice these covers would fade within a short time and the result was a light beige, or grey colour). Spike - brass (can be seen in and around the vent slits). Neck Cloth: The neck cloth, first issued in 1907 was made out of a square piece of cotton material and `rolled´ up several times like a scout's neckerchief. Colour: grey Field Service Dress Tunic M1907/10: Feldrock M1907/10. This was the main field service dress issued to all foot troops. It had different variations of cuff and skirt design depending on unit. The figure depicts the Brandenburg cuffs - the most common. Colour: made out of a dark grey material (Jäger, Maschinengewehr and Schützen units wore sometimes a green- grey version). It had a turn down collar, with eight nickel or tombak (an alloy of copper and zinc, which had a matt bronze/yellow colour) buttons at the front. Normally infantry regiments had the shoulder straps piped (outlined) in white, with the monogram, or number in red. The Bavarian infantry regiments were an exception and were divided into 3 Army Corps, each with a different shoulder strap colour. I bayer. Armeekorps white. II bayer. Armeekorps red. III bayer. Armeekorps lemon yellow. The regimental numbers and monograms stayed in red. The 4th Regt. belonged to the II. The red piping was also used along the front of the tunic (where the buttons lie), the outside edge of collar, skirt decorations at the rear and the cuffs. At each side, underneath the arms are the belt support hooks made form tombak. Attached to the second button- hole from the top is the white/black/white ribbon of the iron cross, second-class. This award was given out quite freely, on occasion to whole units at a time. Note: with a bit of care and a thin, sharp blade it is possible to hollow out the gap underneath the right shoulder strap and tunic. This can also be applied to the right hand haversack strap - the one under the right arm. Overtrousers: Issued as added protection against the wet and cold. These were designed to fit over the service dress trousers and were held up by attached cloth braces. Either worn with the tunic over the top, or tucked in. Some original photos of troops wearing these over-trousers, gives a untidy impression - a contrast to the summer/autumn manoeuvres and field-grey days of pre-war Germany. Colour: light grey/light brown, depending on condition and age. Infantry Boots M1866: Infanteristiefel M1866. The nailed infantry boots were made out of leather and had a tendency to `winkle´ down around the ankle after being worn in. Depending on size they had between 35 and 45 nails in the sole, with a reinforced heel. Colour: at the beginning of the war the boots had a natural light tan, which was then often darkened by coats of dubbin. Later, boots (and much of the other leather items as well) were issued in blackened leather. Equipment Belt: Koppel M1895. From late 1915 onwards, belts were issued blackened, with a grey buckle. Up until then most leather equipment was issued in brown. Within the first few months of the war, belt buckles were being painted over in grey. Haversack: Brotbeutel M1887. Also known as the bread bag. Made out of a canvas material and generally used for rations etc. Later in the war, it was a popular place to keep the spare gas mask filter. Colour: grey- brown. Earlier versions, especially pre-war were a lot browner in colour. Water Bottle: Feldflasche M1907. This had a capacity of 1¾ pint and was attached to the haversack by means of a leather strap and buckle. Originally made from aluminium, later Ersatz material and covered with a brown felt material. On one side are the four metal snap fasteners, which were normally painted over in grey. It was quite common for front line troops, particularly during combat periods to carry a second water bottle. Bandolier: The bandolier was a practical way for carrying extra ammunition and still used in many armies today. This type was designed to hold 70 rounds - 14 x 5 in clips. The bottom 2 pockets on each side were double. Inside, a strip of v-shaped card was fixed along the points of the rounds to stop them damaging (pushing through) the material. On the outside of the pockets are the opening strips (rip off cords), made out of natural coloured sack-material. On some photos one can see 2 lengths of thick string at each end of the bandolier, presumably to attach to equipment. These, for obvious reasons are not on the figure, but can easily be made from cotton thread. Troops would also tuck the bandoliers into their belts. The fact that this was a `one off - throw away´ item and that it was made out of a thin, low quality material, means that there are few original bandoliers to be seen today and are very sort-after items by collectors. The right hand part of the bandolier, when fixed to the figure should hang freely. Colour: bandolier - blue/grey. Opening strips - brownish-yellow. Ammunition Pouches M1895: Patronentaschen M1895. Although outdated, the ammunition pouches M1895 (in Bavaria M1896) were still being used by many infantry units, especially with Reserve-, Landwehr and Landsturm-Regimente at the outbreak of war. These pouches, when full had the tendency to `tip´ forward. This was solved by attaching the haversack- carrying strap (an item of kit which was issued, but hardly ever used for what it was meant for) around the neck and hooked onto the pouch buckle (cannot be seen on figure). Like the other early German ammunition pouches (M87, M88 and M09), the M95 would open outwards, the leather hinge being at the front. The lid straps are on each side, with brass fasteners. Colour: until about 1915/16 all leather equipment was generally issued in natural brown. Later this was blackened. Haversack strap - same as haversack, but with brown leather reinforcements and metal hooks at each end. Trench Periscope: The homemade periscope would have been made locally, either by himself, or more probably by the unit carpenter. When in use it was quite common to rap sandbag material around the top for better concealment. After removing the casting supports paint the inside of the periscope before fixing the 2 mirrors onto the 45° slopes and then add the outside wall-section. The wall-section and the original master are all made out of the same 0.7 mm plywood and therefore give an equal surface grain when painted. Use cotton thread to make a `sling´ and have it hanging loosely over a shoulder, or attached to his belt equipment. Colour: brown wood colour, but remember if untreated, wood when left outside for longer periods will turn grey. Weapons Mauser Rifle 98: Gewehr 98. The G98 derived from the less successful Gewehr 88 and became the standard infantry rifle of the war. It had an overall length of 125 cm (49.25 inch) and used the 7.92 mm round. It was a good rifle - well made, generally soldier proof and accurate at long ranges. Some of the first models were purchased by the Boers, who used them with great effect against the British in South Africa. Compared with the British Short Magazine Lee Enfield, the G98 had certain drawbacks. Even in experienced hands it could never quite keep up with the rate of fire of the British SMLE. A British infantryman could fire 15 aimed shots at 300 yards per minute, with some more experienced men managing 25-30 in the so called `mad minute´. Also, the length of the G98, especially when fixed with a bayonet was far too long in the confined spaces of the trenches. A further disadvantage was that the bolt handle stuck out at a 90°angles to the rifle, coursing it to sometimes snag on uniform and equipment. Later in the war a 25 round `trench´ magazine, or Mehrlader was developed, but suffered problems due to over-strength of the magazine spring. On the rifle with the figure you will see the small butt- disc on the right side of the butt. This was a metal disc on which appeared the unit identification. Also on the right hand side, at the end of the stock, are the 2 metal locking splints used to dissemble the rifle. The breech and trigger, up to the Lange ramp sight have been rapped in an unofficial cloth cover to protect from the mud and dirt of trench life. Colour: wood - brown. Metal - dark metal. Rifle Sling: The way the rifle is slung around the neck seems to be very popular with German troops at this time and is seen on many photos from this period. The brown card supplied can be used to represent leather, or material straps. Cut the card in the required lengths - approx. 1 mm wide and flatten, or rub down on a hard surface with a blunt tool (handle of a modelling knife is ideal). The colour, thickness and texture achieved from rubbing down the card gives a good reproduction of leather in this scale. When fixing the rifle sling, you will find 2 small cavities behind the collar and under the bandolier, for the card to slip into. Colour: brown leather. Bayonet M98/05: Seitengewehr M98/05. This was the so called `butcher´ bayonet, with its distinctive wide blade at the top, near the point. The handle had a wooden grip, with 9 carved angled notches on each side for better grip and the sheath was black. Just above the guard (were the blade starts) is the lubricating hole for the locking mechanism. The bayonet frog -Seitengewehrtasche- would have been natural brown leather. Miscellaneous Right Hand: The area between forefinger and thumb can be cut away, giving a natural position of a hand hanging loosely at his side. Here the resin has been cast thin. The Emblem: The emblem can be used to decorate the base, or wooden plinth after the figure has been finished. It depicts the centre shield of the coat of arms helmet plate found on the Bavarian Tschako and Pickelhaube helmets at this period of time. The rhombus shapes (diamond) and the colours of light blue and white have been associated with this area of Germany for centuries. The colours are to be used alternatively. (In actual fact the official colours are light blue and silver. In heraldry the metals - gold and silver are equal to yellow and white, respectively, but this was long before the Great War). The Base: The base supplied with the figure depicts a section of cobbled road typical at this time in small towns of Northern France and Belgium. The larger stones on the road are set with a 1/3 offset in every new line, with smaller ones along the gutter. Like all roads it has a slight fall (incline) towards the edges. Along the gutter is the usual dirt and dead leaves etc., always to be found on any road. Colour: in Flanders a lot of the roads were made using the local Belgium blue-granite stone. This has a dark blue grey shine to it.

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