View Single Post
Old 04-25-2010, 07:00 PM   #1
Tony Barton
Company Commander
Tony Barton's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: York
Posts: 718

An Aussie for Anzac Day.

Australian Infantry : 2/16th Regiment in New Guinea.

Today is Anzac Day , kept to remember all the Australians and New Zealanders fallen in the service of their countries.

Based on the Paddy Ryan figure from BBI, with a few mods.

The record of the Australian Infantry in WW2 is unparalleled , as it was in the Great War. Out of all proportion to the size of its population of 7 million , Australia provided 400,000 men who served overseas , first in the Middle East , and then in the Papua /New Guinea campaigns.

They were sometimes regarded as the elite shock troops of the British Empire , and the Axis were rightly very wary of them wherever they appeared.
They did not always get on with British or US commanders , being completely resistant to bullshit or even discipline , but when serving under their own officers were truly formidable soldiers.

My figure is from the battle of Shaggy Ridge in New Guinea , 19-31st January 1944 , where the 2/16th Battalion of the 7th Division AIF distinguished themselves, leading the assault on a knife-edge mountain feature held in brigade strength by the Japanese.
It was incredibly steep , and just climbing and deploying on it was hard enough , with scarcely room for more than single file in many places, let alone doing that under fire. The battle at times became a close range grenade-tossing match between men in scrapes a few yards apart.

Thereís this good pic of men from this battalion forming up before the event , looking surprisingly smart.
They are still in the trees below : the actual mountains were largely grass-covered .

Most of the time uniforms were in much worse condition than this, and it was reckoned that much of a manís kit had to replaced after about three weeks , because of the ceaseless sun and rain , and the rot that destroyed everything. People who have visited both say that the climate and conditions in Papua/New Guinea are even worse than Burma , which is saying quite a lot.

The figure :~

DML body , extensively modified, with new plug-in Fimo arms.
To those who wonder how I repose these arms , I donít .
I just have several sets , and swap them around as needed for the pics. I generally make a new set for each figure in what is going to be his main pose.
The head is very new , and Iíve managed to add real hair to 40s haircut .

The bush hat is felt. The pagri and badges were normally lost or discarded. Although helmets were often worn , the pics from this operation mostly show the hats : perhaps the discomfort was not thought worth the extra protection, since the Japanese were not oversupplied with mortars and artillery.

The uniform is the BBI one , stained using paint and varnish. The jungle green colour varied , since the uniforms were dyed in a rather chaotic and ad hoc manner , and although JG uniforms were manufactured, many items were redyed khaki drill.

Insignia was rarely worn , even badges of rank, though since he carries the SMG , this man is probably a Corporal.

The webbing is essentially the British í37 pattern , but with a different waterbottle suspension including a strap round the middle with hooks so it could be worn on the belt , and the larger Australian-made universal pouches, which could fit the Owen magazines . The BBI ones are actually nearer scale for these than the normal ones.

Iíve made the webbing from JG coloured tape, but it also probably varied somewhat in colour .
He wears 36 grenades hooked on his belt , a practice highly frowned on in British units , and has a cut-down 1907 bayonet carried as a fighting knife, since he has no bayonet.

The gaiters are the BBI US ones : Iím waiting for some better ones from Soldier Story, but these do for the moment. Iíve used US boots as well, since the BBI Australian pattern boots broke up when I tried fitting real laces. When covered in mud the difference is negligible , though the original pattern had cleats fitted to the soles.
Aussie troops were part of MacArthurís Pacific command , and were supplied with limited quantities of US items.

The Owen SMG is from 21st century. Iíve fitted it with a standard rifle sling. I might put the magazine in a mould to make some copies to fill his pouches.
The TUS model is pretty good. Apparently an excellent weapon , and still in use in Vietnam.

Once in trenches , they discarded their kit , as can be seen in this pic :

Tony Barton is offline   Reply With Quote