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Jon Smith Modellbau - Trench Rat Pack 1/16 Scale

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Product Description

Jon Smith Modellbau - Trench Rat Pack 1/16 Scale

Pack includes 15 rats.

  • Rat 1 – Standing Low – Head held low
  • Rat 2 – Standing Middle – Head in middle position
  • Rat 3 – Standing High No. 1 – Standing higher on hind legs
  • Rat 4 – Looking Down Straight – Head held straight
  • Rat 5 – Looking Down Left – Head held left
  • Rat 6 – Dead – Hanging from tail (similar to photos of dead rats in WW1 trenches)
  • Rat 7 – Sitting Eating
  • Rat 8 – Dead Side – Lying dead on side
  • Rat 9 – Standing High No. 2 – Standing on hind legs
  • Rat 10 – Standing Low – Head held to right
  • Rat 11 – Looking Down – (from SRD or other object)
  • Rat 12 – Standing – (with SRD or against other object)
  • Rat 13 – Standing – (in German Helmet)
  • Rat 14 – Sleeping – (in German Helmet)
  • Rat 15 – Inside – (inside SRD or any other curved object i.e. pipe)
  • Rats require painting

The Common Rat: Actually, when one talks about rats, then there are two best known rat species – the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) and the black rat (Rattus rattus- also known as the ship rat, roof rat, and house rat). I have chosen to create a set of the larger of the two groups, the brown rat, which is the dominant rat in Europe and much of North America.

These model rodents are intended to enhance any dioramas or modelling scenes, historical or otherwise, but particularly models of the Great War period, where the Norway rat was particularly dominant. 

The Naming: Originally called the Hanover rat, the brown rat has had many different names throughout history, but is nowadays correctly called Norwegian rat or Norway rat (Latin: Rattus norvegicus). Why it was called this is not certain, as the brown rat did not originate from Norway, or at the time had any brown rat entered this country. Other names include common rat, street rat, sewer rat, brown Norway rat and wharf rat.

Description: These brown or grey rodents will average a body length of up to 25 cm, with a similar tail length. The male rat is larger than the female and can weigh around 300 – 350g, twice as much as the smaller black rat or Rattus rattus. Under good conditions, the brown rat can weigh up to 900 – 1000g, although this is seldom seen. The fir is coarse and usually brown or dark grey in colour, with the underside or belly area a much lighter, or light grey tone. The ears, feet, tip of nose and tail are without fir and will normally have a lighter colour. The eyes are nearly always black without any white showing.

A female rat may breed up to 6 – 7 times a year, with each litter numbering from 2 – 14. The Norway rat is fully grown in approx. 4 weeks and will live up to 3 years. The rats are found anywhere there are people, but particularly in urban areas – this is called commensalism, which means that one species helps another species, without any help in return.

The rat burrow (nest) consists of networks of tunnels and chambers, linked together with passageways. Here they will live together as a group or pack (sometimes called a colony). Rats will cache their food and store within the chambers. The burrows are found in ditches, cellars, sewers, barns, old buildings, woods and marchlands or just anywhere near a food supply (near humans). They will defend their burrow as a group against predators. The brown rat has exceptionally good hearing and is often found near water. They are good climbers, swimmers and have a strong sense of smell. They will normally hunt at night in packs.

The trench systems of the Great War on both sides offered the ideal living conditions for the Norway rat and there is much evidence from soldiers describing their co-habitants.

Predators: The natural predators of rats include the snake, fox, weasel, birds of prey, cat and dog. In the trenches during the Great War, apart from the soldiers, it was the dogs which helped to keep the rat population under control (or as best as possible under the circumstances). It seems that any of the terrier family were quite common as rat killers. There are also many photos of Jack Russells, particularly kept by German troops.