Sunday, October 2

Preview: Alpine Miniatures goes to "sunny Italy" - with it's latest set of 35th scale Fallschirmjäger...

In the mid to late WWII, the Luftwaffe sent its 1st division Paratroopers into the defence of the country from the rapidly advancing Allied forces. No stranger to the Fallschirmjäger in 35th scale, Alpine Miniatures has a brand new set of single figures (also sold as a set) on the market. We thought we would look at them and some of the real gear they used in our preview…


Alpine Miniatures new item Preview:
Officer 1st FJ Div in Italy
Product no# 35220
Sculpture by Yukio Honma
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim

NCO 1st FJ Div in Italy
Product no# 35221
Sculpture by Yukio Honma
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim

1st FJ Div Set
Product no# 35222
Sculpture by Yukio Honma
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim

All these choices are now available from Alpine Miniatures website or their distributors worldwide.

The 1st Fallschimjager in Italy…
1st FJ Div saw action in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and on the Eastern Front. The division began as a battalion-sized police unit in 1933. Over time it grew into a regiment, brigade, division, and finally was combined with the Parachute-Panzer Division 2 Hermann Göring in 1944 to form a Panzer corps under the by then Reichsmarschall. It surrendered to the Soviet Army near Dresden on May 8, 1945.
After their service in Africa and Crete, the division then took part in the July 1943 to fight against the Allied invasion of Sicily. After the fall of that island, the division fought in the Italian Campaign for the remainder of the war. From 14–27 December 1943, the division, under General-Lieutenant Richard Heidrich, saw action against the 1st Canadian Division in the Battle of Ortona. Later the division was concentrated in the defense of the Winter Line south of Rome, defending against the advance of the British Eighth Army, commanded by Lieutenant-General Oliver Leese. 
In February to March 1944, the 1st Parachute Division took part in the Battle of Monte Cassino, and later in May it fought against the Allied Operation Diadem later retreating to the north of Rome. They formed part of the German I Parachute Corps, along with the German 4th Parachute Division.


Officer 1st FJ Div in Italy
Product no# 35220
Sculpture by Yukio Honma
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim
This officer of the 1st Fallschirmjäger in Italy is see with two head choices here – both with the same face, but different head gear. One being the traditional M38 helmet, (Fallschirmjäger Stahlhelm M38,) this helmet incorporated four hollow-bore spanner bolts and in this instance it has the single decal of the Luftwaffe eagle on the left hand side of the helmet.
There is a second head choice, wearing the flat tropical overseas cap (tropen fliegermütze.) In 1941, the Luftwaffe developed and introduced their own version of the tropical uniform, headgear and equipment independently from the other branches of service. Originally the tropical uniforms were only intended for wear in North Africa but that was later expanded to include personnel serving in southern areas of continental Europe during the summer months. The tropical overseas cap was based on the standard continental overseas cap but in a different colour and material. The tropical overseas caps were piped in the same manner as the continental style overseas caps, and later the M43 field caps with no piping for EM/NCO ranks, silver piping for Officer’s ranks and gilt piping for General Officer’s ranks.
On his pelvis this figure dons a tropical field uniform typical of southern European based soldiers in the army and the Fallschirmjägers. The long sleeve cotton shirt is rolled at the elbows, and you can see the German eagle emblem on right breast of his double pocketed shirt.
The long tropical pants are gathered at the short leather boot he is wearing pretty nicely. Just like the shirt, his material flows and pinches at the right places on this figure. The pocket on the left leg of the pant is typical of the Tropen Fallschirmjäger überfallhose designs we have seen both in Africa, Crete, Sicily and Italian based FJ units.
He carries a P.38 pistol in his gloved right hand, and you can see on his rear the leather pouch for this pistol is included, along with some short field glasses on his chest. The Officer wears an NCO style square belt buckled belt with the eagle holding a swastika inside a laurel wreath.

NCO 1st FJ Div in Italy
Product no# 35221
Sculpture by Yukio Honma
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim
Sculpted also by Yukio Honma, this second single figure of a German paratrooper in Italy could well be used in many a southern conflict zone, a little like his comrade. He also has two headgear choices, with the M38 helmet the sole gear – garnished with a camouflage cloth cover or bare – the choice is yours here.
The covered cloth version could be shaded in a few different colours. Your tastes can be indulged here, but the bare helmet looks great when dented and scratched as it does here in the box art version, painted by Dr. Jin Kim.
The torso is dominated by the FJ Jump smock. This one piece coverall was manufactured in a number of different camouflage patterns and configurations – this figure is in the earlier grey version. Note the enlarged pockets and buttoned or step in leg. Note here how the sculptor has made the right pocket sag open? This jump smock, and the pants that go underneath are really nicely and realistically sculpted.
This soldier is a lot more weighed down by his equipment. He carries a MP 40 in his right hand and for this machine pistol he carried a trio of spare ammo pouches in his webbing. This leather webbing also supports his pistol holster on his left hip, his bread bag and canteen flask on his rear and right hip. Just for good measure – and a tougher demeanour- he has a stick grenade stick into his webbing and he carries one in his left hand. He must be close to the fight then…

 1st FJ Div Set
Product no# 35222
Sculpture by Yukio Honma
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim
 Here are the two together - sold as a set also - these two really do match in era, clothing thickness and suitability. They are also quite varied in their appearance and body language.
For more info, & pics on these figures visit the Alpine Miniatures site, & now Webstore