• Pardon the dust while the boys rebuild the site.

    The board will be in a state of disarray as I get things sorted out, for a little while at least.

    The new incarnation is using Xenforo as the system software. It is much like what we are used to, with a few differences. I will see about making a FAQ to help point out the differences for the members.


    One IMPORTANT difference for all of us old timers is that the 'mail' system is replaced with what are called 'conversations'/

    There is no 'Inbox' or 'Out box' or 'Sent' folders anymore.

    Think of Conversations as private 'threads' or topics that don't exist in a forum, that you start with another member. NOTE: Conversations can include more than one member if you or someone else in the conversaion, likes.
    Takes a little getting used to but I am sure you all can get a hang of it.


    Only a slightly modified default default Xenforo style is available for now. Once the new SAG style is ready it will be available.

    All existing users should be able to login with their usernames and passwords once the site goes up.


    If anyone has difficulties logging in please contact me at sixthvanguard@gmail.com.


    Thank you for your support and patience. I know it has been a loooong road.

Project - 'Fallschirmjager'

In order to assist in rallying, a paratrooper nearby lobs a smoke grenade after having successfully retrieved a rifle and bandolier from the weapons container. A dead paratrooper lies nearby having been most likely shot during his decent (which was scarily common during the drop as Allied soldiers and anti-aircraft artillery honed-in for the 30 or so seconds it took for a paratrooper to drop from an average of 400ft).

Behind him, a paratrooper who had fired his pistol empty in-defence during the drop shows the fear that many would've faced. Whilst there were veterans from earlier campaigns (Denmark, Holland, Belgium), many were young and idealistic having joined after the French victory of 1940 - the allure that entices many to airborne forces worldwide is their unique espirit-de-corps.

The rocky ground was another hazard which was not helped by the clumsy designed of the RZ series of parachutes where the chute was secured to the centre of the pack on the man's rear meaning no means of controlling his decent and necessitating a knees/elbows impact followed by a role.

Not only was the chute a disadvantage but the harness also which took some unbuckling to get out of...time-consuming when under fire.


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One more scene to go Crete-wise...and covers a hard-won victory... but more on that by weekend's...end.

The good thing about this series is that given it's covering the whole war, the plod to completion won't be too hard as the variety in uniforms/equipment and the battles fought will ensure a fresh approach to each scene.

Enjoy and I hope all is well with all on in the SAG?, Steve
These are great dios. Love the early war FJs. Kudos on having enough gear to deploy that many of them.
Thanks all for the most kind comments. As for having the gear well it had taken me a few years (a few years ago) of sourcing enough to carry me through the war in-total with an emphasis on the early years where their novel approach (that of vertical envelopment) was crucial to the Wehrmacht's 'blitzkrieg' successes.

By the time of Crete though, not so much, as the Allies on Crete knew an airborne assault was on the cards (and the key objectives); however, General Freyburg - the commander on the spot - was fixated on the approach from the sea which, though no less threatening, was well within the capacity of the Royal Navy to deal with. A fascinating 'near run thing' if only the Allies took as much risk in counterattacking the meagre survivors of the Fallschirmjager that first night as the German risk in conducting the mission in the first place...anyway, on with the scene...
It's late in the battle and the once clean appearance of the Fallschirmjager is no more giving way to stifling heat and the need to move on foot given the lack of vehicle transport (always a 'bugbear' of airborne forces).

With this in-mind, he has discarded his woollen tunic (showing his Luftwaffe-branded singlet and dogtag pouch underneath) and cut off his trousers at the knees in order to improve ventilation and reduce body temperature; however, cold nights experienced wished he'd have given it more thought. Over his smock is light belt order with an early-war period rifle ammunition bandolier.

Not all FJR jumped in with the recently introduced helmet covers, many had gone in with applied mud in order to break up the shiny finish prior to leaving Greece whilst others applied it during a break in the battle.

As the Allies withdraw, surprisingly to many including their own side further along the coast, the FJR along with reinforced Gebirgsjager advance and here the para has stumbled upon a hastily vacated Vickers MMG position - out of ammo and the water needed to keep it firing (what was left of the water probably emptied into water bottles prior to leaving) and breach-block removed to prevent enemy use.


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On second thoughts, I've come to realise, given the other two larger scenes covering Crete that, in this instance 'more is less' and there is the issue that the Vickers MMG may be taking away my intent for this scene - that of focusing on the paratrooper himself and how his appearance has changed during the course of the battle.

So, a reduced scene sans Vickers will now go in as part of the Crete trilogy.

And now a step back to 1940 and the assault on the Belgian fort of Eben Emael.

Enjoy, Steve


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I lost the breech block for my vickers in a photo shoot years ago.....But you made a story around it!

Nice setup, either way.
Cheers muchly all,

Covering such an extensive project, one is expected to go off on a tangent here an there and with the Crete trilogy, I found my first tangent...but only because I feel it is hard to tell the Battle of Crete as a German success story without them - the crucial close air support (airborne artillery) that played a vital part in softening up the defences prior and on-call airborne artillery after the drop given the FJR had little if any artillery of its own to speak of and what they did have was small in calibre due to the constricting nature of the Ju52 transport plane.

This was made possible by the Luftwaffe's VIII Air Corps with around 650 combat aircraft - 150 of which were the dreaded Junkers 87 'Stuka'.

Now I know this is the 'Ground Pounders' section so not too sure if I'll get banned for featuring air force but...my defence could be, in this case, that these guys pounded the ground and anyone who knows the value of a good JTAC will back me up when it comes to how much of a (using today's terminology) 'force multiplier' ground attack aircraft can be to those on the ground in-need of a little more firepower.

With that in-mind, I intend to cover this 'tangent' by two means - firstly I thought to repaint/detail one of the classic 1:18th Scale BBI Elite Forces Stuka that I bought back in 2005 in the hope I can hang it from the ceiling at this year's model show...but then that tangent went onto another with the need now to have a pilot figure representative of the close air support factor. I decided on DML's 2007 release - Rudolf Mertens - which by coincidence is stated as a pilot circa Crete '41....job done...or so I thought.

The out of the box figure, like so many DMLs, needed additional work if I was to convey the classic Luftwaffe pilot. So referring to period pics and coloured illustrations from the Osprey range, I gave him a promotion to Oberleutnant, changed-out his Browning HP (which a few Germans were sporting around this time of the war) to a classic and better-fitting Walther PPK, added a flare belt above his boots, a wrist compass to his gauntlet, replaced his flying cap with a better BBI example complete with the all the trimmings and gave him a service cap.

Something was still missing and then it occurred to me that the very nice sitzfallschirm was missing its ripcord handle so some scratch-building required there. Then, given the crews were going over water, I had to add a Schwimmweste SWp734. Mission accomplished. Enjoy, Steve


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I don't think any of the mods are going to pull your post because of the "ground pounders" violation.

He's well kitted out and looks ready for action. And the bird in the background is menacing!
Beautifully done presentation of some outstanding figures, and this is exactly what the “ground pounders” is about…showcasing 1/6th scale figure projects :rock:
Much appreciate the comments and without further ado it's time to add a couple more FJR scenes with an on-going narrative to their early war successes - namely the assault on the Belgian fort of Eben Emael followed by the airborne assault on Holland (both May 1940).

For the Eben Emael scene, I wanted to go a little further into the assault aspects via demolitions and scaling gear as well as highlight the subtle changes in the uniform worn - the application of sawdust, paste and mud to the helmets in order to reduce glare and the addition of zippered pockets to the early pattern smocks. This via three figures - one of whom represents the commander of the crucial 'Granit' team - Lt Witzig (with MP38 SMG) who was to play a prominent role in the story of the WW2 FJR. I was also keen to repaint/detail a Flammenwerfer 35 (DML) to illustrate the assault nature of the raid.

Further research alluded to the use of shortened stick grenades (some 300 were handed out for the mission) which were never employed again with the paras hamstrung by the inability to throw them as far as the traditional 'masher'. The then highly-secretive shaped charge (the two-piece 50kg Hohlladungwaffen) along with differing explosive charges were other key pieces of equipment that I want to use as part of the scene but as a separate display piece.


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Whilst Witzig's 'Granit' team went to work (along with three other sturmgruppen who were charged with securing nearby bridges), the remainder of the 7th Flieger Division jumped shortly thereafter jumped into Holland to secure airfields (for the follow-up air-transportable 22nd Infantry Division) and capture bridges across key waterways for the ground advance by 9th Panzer Division as part of the German invasion of the west (Fall Gelb) - with the swing down through the Low Countries.

The airborne assault met with mixed success with defeat staved-off largely by Kurt Students use of the 'oil spot' delivery of his troops ensuring the Dutch were spread thin to try and counter the possibility of further drops (of which none were planned). The 9th Panzer also had arrived just in time to prevent disaster; however the success of Eben Emael overshadowed the lessons to be learned from Holland which included the loss of many Ju52 transport planes to ground fire as they landed (many of these lessons which would rear their ugly head again in Crete).


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As with the Eben Emael scene, I thought I'd again illustrate by way of three figures (all DML as with the bulk of the FJR figures I'm employing this year); one with the near useless (even by 1940 standards) PzB39 A/T rifle and the other an MG34 team in the alternate support platform firing position.

I've been keen for some years, having seen imagery and footage of this tandem firing pose, to replicate it and even by using DML's later more poseable NEO figures it was still a tricky marry-up with the assistant gunner acting as a stable firing platform for the machine gunner in firing at an elevated height. Surely today WH&S representatives would have a fit with such 'ersatz' firing positions but back in the day there was a war to be won by all sides and at any cost (including perforated eardrums it seems).

Next figure - Denmark/Norway, yes I seem to be regressing to where it all began back in 1936 before I then move forward past the Crete scenes (with an addition or two to the 'gearing up' scene) and on into North Africa and beyond...suffice to say, still many a figure to go on this one...phew. Enjoy, Steve


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Oh, one more thing, for the PzB39 gunner, I scratch-built the special pouches (each held 20 rounds of 7.92mm ammo for the gun) though, at the time, not realising I'd have the figure in the prone supported position where the pouches would not be fully scene...oh well, at least I know they're there. One small seemingly intricate feature of the FJR are the blousing of the trousers, I've managed to apply it to the recent paras (and now having to go back to do same to those assembled previously) but it isn't easy given the length of the trousers versus the relative short height of the jump boots, hard to tuck them in with sufficient material to allow blousing but it's a work in progress. Anyway, cheers for viewing and hope all are travelling well?, Steve


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Fantastic stuff! I've always loved shots of 2 man fj teams firing their MGs that way. Great to see how you deployed it.

So many nice touches here, and a bit to learn as well. I never heard anything about shortened granades. Candidly, they look kind of silly, and you'd expect them to be harder to throw as far.

One question - what do you use for grass in your bases? It's something I struggled with back in my modeling days, but you've done a beautiful job.
I am very impressed by your work - you've inspired me to re-start working on my FJs. What method are you using for the trouser leg blousing, if I may ask? I use small rubber bands on the figure legs, tucking the trouser material under them. Then I carefully pull the trousers up. Looking forward to more scenes!
G'day all,

I plan to post some updates by weekend's end however keep getting a warning that any new posts won't carry over due to a board re-opening (anyone else experiencing this?).

But quickly, that is a top notch idea Chris ref the small elastic bands, I've found this works for me fine on the later DML versions but not the earlier ones which are too short in length and the leg cuffs too thick so using craft glue to style the blousing whereas the later issues have a bit more length to provide give with the bands. Utilizing either draw-string or double-sided material tape to give the blousing impression on th earlier versions. Given the number of figures involved in this one, I therefore am using whatever above methods to suit but the rubber bands - genius. Thanks for sharing, Steve