26 Jul 2016

Underfire Miniatures: 28mm East Germans team 5

Hi guys,

To begin with, I noticed my blog has now reached over 100,000 hits, so thank you for that. While blog is more a way to fill my must-type quota, I always try to post what someone else might find useful. I really like seeing how other people tackle their hobby, so I have to say I am quite surprised to learn how many people dislike posting WIP posts.

Anyhow, I have yet another team of East Germans from the Underfire miniatures. This is a duplicate set, so I was reluctant to simply paint it. For any new readers, I have grown very reluctant to painting miniatures as they come in the past years. Not that they're done badly (or that I could honestly improve them), it's more that the conversions are the part of hobby I enjoy the most.

So, the problem with East Germans is that they are rather unique as it is - except for their weapons. I can not tell you how annoyed I am at being able to play 70 years of conflicts with one constant - bloody soviet weapons. That is, of course, not the problem or miniature makers.

That being said, I still wanted to do *something*, so I started researching East German special forces and I found a fitting unit, whose gear differs from the ordinary rifles: Fallschrimjaegers of NVA.

They was only one paratroopers unit in the NVA and you can enjoy their superior skills on the video below:

Basically, what I did was quite simple. Firstly, I dropped my expectations way low. I've decided to give them paratroopers helmet, AKs with some kind of folding stock (not being too picky!), sort-of sculpt their signature vest and keep any gear that would not go off easily.

Firstly, I chopped the helmets. Ruthlessly. Really, without any mercy.

Then I chopped them some more. And more. And filled them. And then I sanded them as well.

At some point, very early while doing so, I was left wondering why am I destroying these nice miniatures, but well, alea iacta est, so I carried on. I also made a decision that as opposed to my original plan of having several teams (at least 2!), these 4 will have to do.

Next were the blanket rolls. Gone. Then entrenching tools handles - all gone. Any large remains of any straps that would go across the body (i.e. NBC suit bag) - gone.

Rifle butts were carved into something resembling a wire frame.

As you can see, I kept the large haversacks (where gasmask would be stored) - surely being a paratrooper does not give you any sort of protection from chemical attacks. I decided to cut away the straps, thinking it could be attached to the vest "somehow". That was a mistake, but nobody really notices.
Below you can see how I destroyed fantastic mesh on the helmets (that I would actually need on mine, but there was honestly no other way). Also notice the rifle butt being very simply carved.
After a few days of relaxation, I started slightly resculpting the helmets' shape with milliput. In the end, I opted for clean finish and did not try to reproduce the mesh in any way.

Furthermore, deciding I have enough of the pointing-there miniatures, I resculpted the hand of the team-leader (third from left, with binoculars).
 The painting was pretty uneventful, I am not quite satisfied with the pattern. I mean, the idea is great, but I would much prefer smaller strips with less mistakes. I tried really hard to subtly indicate the vest around the shoulders, but I can't say I succeeded with every man.

One thing I did notice while painting the miniatures was all the extra details (like flag!) on their shoulders that I sadly ignored on the first batches, and didn't really think to fix with this one!
 Talking of the pointy-man, here is a side-by-side comparison of the original miniature and the paratrooper conversion. I have to say I was really glad how it turned out, it's barely noticeable that it is the same miniature!
 And the back shot. The miniatures look very different, but paratrooper only lacks the bedroll and entrenching tool handle! Okay, and the helmet is different. But that's it!

Looking at them all done, it makes me want to do another four (a RPG would be useful!), but I hope my sanity prevails!

As usual, thanks for looking!

PS I really, REALLY wanted to paint their faces with camouflage black stripes, but I couldn't see how this could be done without messing the faces completely.


  1. Very nice conversions. I know the feeling of having the AK47 on each casting (Ak 47 and variants there of! AK74, Ak-m etc) it is very similar to having the M16 on each figure... at least from Vietnam war onwards. But different nations do use different things and while some (not many) British troops do use the M16 at least the variation of weapons is more noticeable! Which is one of the reasons I so admired your making of the Slovenian standard firearm several months ago.

    As for messing the faces with black stripes, I imagine that would happen in real life.... they are not for the catwalk after all.

    1. Thanks Clint!
      I agree and likewise, one of the reasons I really enjoyed working on Slovenes was their weapons!

  2. I am very impressed with these, it takes some conviction to pursue your ideas, but when they come out as well as these all is justified.

  3. A brutal way to go about conversion, I approve.

    The end result is worth it as they look great- you've put a really different spin on the figures.



    1. If that is brutal, then it is a good way I forgot to mention that I managed to decapitate one of them in the process!

  4. Your hard work paid off, they look great. And that video was very funny.

    1. Thanks Moody!

      The video is great, isn't it - if a bit cheeky!

    2. Very much, complete with karate chop action.

  5. You haven't lost ny of your conversion skills as these testify.
    They actually come to life when flipped to the larger photos and any trace on conversion is lost - well done mate.

    1. Thanks Joe!
      I am really satisfied with how the arm on the officer came out in the end - but the helmets could use some more work.

  6. Looks good dude. I hadn't realised about the WIP posts. I am always afraid of falling out of the habit of posting regularly as well as not completing anything to show!

    1. The thing about WIP posts could also be because I am more interested in conversions and scratchbuilds - painting WIPs might not be as 'interesting', but a lot can be learned from how people paint as well!

  7. Very good work there Sir. Don't worry about the RPG though as NVA para's are on the 28mm 'to do' list here at Under Fire once the West German police have been done.

    1. Hi William! I'm glad you like them and looking forward to the official miniatures!

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