Friday, May 31

Preview: Two new figures of the "Lions of Casino" in 35th from Rado Miniatures...

Rado Miniatures is on the ever-improving cycle with their figure releases, two new figures of Fallschirmjäger in 35th scale are evidence of the upward cycle - we look at both of them and the pictures that inspired the sculpts in our preview...

Two new figures of the "Lions of Casino" in 35th from Rado Miniatures...

Fallschirmjäger figures, both in 35th scale from Rado Miniatures to preview for you. They are dressed in the garb of the 1st FJ Div in Italy, so around 1943-44 - to the war's end could be a good timeframe, hang on, let's take just a look at the unit's actions in the war at this time...
The 1st Fallschirmjäger 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. 
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 defence 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.
By January 1945, the German Ist Fallschirmjäger Corps was deployed to the Adriatic coast behind the Senio Rivier. The Allied advance resumed on 8 April, and the 1st Parachute Division was forced into a steady withdrawal toward the Po River by the British Eighth Army. By 25 April, the division had completed the river crossing. They immediately set off on a final march toward the Alpine Mountains. Finally, the German surrender in Italy came on 2 May 1945 and included the men of the 1st Parachute Division. The unconditional surrender of Germany followed a week later. These men were seen as very important specialised troops by their commanders, and after their last large-scale para drop in Crete, they were often used to stiffen defence or to rectify a situation or emergency on a front. 
This reputation for toughness, the gear they used and their relative obscurity (compared to other service branches in the German armed forces like the SS and tanker units) in the figure market makes these troops pretty popular with modellers.

These two new figures from Rado Miniatures:
Released as single figures or combined as a set - these two new 35th scale figures are sculpted by Radek Pituch and in the case of the boxart painted by Dr Jin Kim. Both of them depict soldiers from the 1st Fallschirmjäger in the Casino theatre in WWII. We will look at both of them singularly and then as a set along with the pictures that inspired them now.

NCO, 1. FJ Division, Italy 1943-45
The Lions of Cassino
Sculpted by Radek Pituch
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim
This NCO of the 1st Fallschirmjäger in the Casino front is seen in warmer weight clothing - the almost full-length WWII vintage M42 pattern overcoat in grey/blue of the Luftwaffe covers his torso. Underneath the tunic and pants of the paratroops. He carries an MP 40 on his right shoulder as he surveys the scene before him. This figure was inspired by a few pictures provided by the sculptor Mr Pituch.
The soldier is wearing the traditional M38 helmet, (Fallschirmjäger Stahlhelm M38,) this helmet incorporated four hollow-bore spanner bolts. Also, note that the boots of the figure are the tall Africa Korps issued type so this soldier had been in action long before Cassino.

MG 42 gunner, 1. FJ Division, Italy 1943-45
The Lions of Cassino
Sculpted by Radek Pituch
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim
The second figure is of a German paratrooper with MG 42 heavy machine gun, seen in the garb he would have worn at Monte Cassino, Italy, 1943-1944. He carries with him a pistol in a holster on his belt, also the heavy 10kg MG 42, tool kit in a pouch on his waist and a 250 round ammo box and of course, is wearing the M38 helmet of the Fallschirmjäger.

Some pictures of these paratroopers that inspired the sculpt.
A view here of several soldiers wearing the Third Pattern Splinter Camouflage Jump Smock. (Fallschirmschützenbluse) that this soldier is wearing.  The third pattern smocks featured a full length front closure as opposed to the earlier pattern "step-in" coverall styles. The third pattern smocks were originally produced in the early mottled green fabric until late 1940 when the splinter pattern camouflage fabric was utilized. From mid-1942 the smocks were constructed in both the splinter and tan/water camouflage patterns. 
 A well preserved WWII example of the smock

1. FJ Division, Italy 1943-45
The Lions of Cassino
Sculpted by Radek Pituch
Boxart by Dr. Jin Kim
Price for two figures: €23,00
Here are the two "Lions of Casino" in a walk around showing all of both of the figures from different angles.

Sold as singles or as a complimentary pair - these figures sure look impressive!

Both of these figures are now available from the Rado Miniatures Website.