120mmPolish Christmas Tree Division Rifleman
Polish Independent Carpathian Rifle Brigade was a unit of Polish soldiers evacuated from Poland through Romania, Hungary, Greece and Yugoslavia, formed in French Syria in 1940. After capitulation of France the brigade was moved to Palestine, where it joined British forces.
The one of most prominent success of the Brigade was taking over strategically important Madauar Hill and town of Acroma, thus ending the siege of Tobruk in 1941.
In 1942 Brigade had been withdrawn from the front line back to Palestine, joined by Polish forces (former POWs held by Soviets) of gen. Władysław Anders, evacuated from USSR and was reformed into 3rd Carpathian Rifle Division.
Division, as part of Polish 2nd Corp took part in Italian Campaign, in battle of Monte Cassino, Ankona and Bologne, to name most notable.
Rifleman is Verlinden’s 120 mm resin Desert Rat figure with just a minor change – arm badge being sanded down and replaced by printed badge of Polish Division. Assembly of the figure is rather an easy task, once you get rid of casting block and small mould seams. In my case I had to repair fore-sight on Lee-Enfield rifle, as it suffered from air bubble. For easier painting boots/gaiters, head, helmet and equipment were left off. Additionally I drilled holes in soles for steel wire helping my figure standing on base.
After washing all element in water with a drop of detergent and priming them with automotive grey primer I begun painting. For this I used Vallejo Color range of acrylics. Next I made a badge, which was downloaded from internet, scaled down to proper size and printed on very thin paper ( I used Epson PhotoStylus printer). I chose to print badge with silver tree, which looks more coarse, little shapeless, like hand made, like being made in early stage of its history. After gluing the badge to arm, I sealed it with few layers of matt varnish, remembering that first layer should be applied with one pull of brush, as it was printed on ink printer.
To better present figure on the shelf and make handling easier, I made simple base for it. To ever-burning flame’s base I glued in some Styrofoam , leaving about 1 cm for plaster. To edges of base and to Styrofoam some medical gauze was glued in and when glue had set plaster was poured. Then I added few stones and when plaster got cured a bit, I sprinkled it with sand and to help the figure sit more natural on base I made light boots imprints. Next, using different shades of brown and sand colour, base has been painted, shadows and highlights have been added. Dusty look has been achieved by applying some powdered pigments from Agama, Mirage Hobby, and Mig.
The final steps were: gluing the figure to base and tying to the ground by dusting the boots with above mentioned pigment powders.
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