Friday, October 13, 2017

An Addendum to British Militaria – WWII British Airborne Forces Formation Badge

Recently a member of the British and Commonwealth Military Badge Forum provided insightful information regarding the printed version of the WWII British Airborne Forces Formation Badge. It pertains to the range of both shade and chroma occurring in genuine issued versions of the badge, and includes the maroon background material, as well as the silhouette of Pegasus and Bellerophon. Imagery of the reverse of the badges was not available at this time. As seen, some of the badges have been in use, and would appear to have been removed from battledress.

With both gratitude and acknowledgement to Tcrown (Pierre) who has provided a range of examples of the badge from his personal collection.
• He states that all of badges are printed on Drill #2 cotton coarse weave material.
• The print is consistently placed on the maroon background with the weave being seen running diagonally downward from left to right.
• The difference in the shade of the maroon can be attributed to either original dye/print lots and/or fading due to useage.
• Fold lines for sewing are indicated by a series of dots, not dashes.
• By observation the same precise outline and proportions are present in the silhouette in each badge in both left and right orientation.
• The color chroma as seen in the silhouette can range from a light blue to turquoise.
• Without seeing the revese it can't be confirmed, but in many of the other examples observed it would appear that the cloth is initially a solid blue shade, and the maroon is then overprinted, whether by silkscreening or some other technique, and a limited bleed-through can be seen.






Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Final Addendum to the Photographic Catalog - Operation Market Garden Series by King and Country Military Miniatures

At a point in the resurrected series (March 2014), it seems to the author that King and Country's founder and owner Andy Neilson was approaching a dry well with regard to new figures and ideas. There was a seeming last hurrah in a group of sets that can be divided in two themes, which this author has chosen to call "Defiance at Arnhem" and "Defeat at Arnhem". Usually on the anniversary of the battle (17 - 25 September) he had introduced new figures. It would appear, however popular, that because of the introduction of new themes, and the absence of any new Market Garden figures as of the immediate passing of that date (September 2017), that the series has ended in defeat, just as the real battle did 73 years ago this month.

It was this author's personal choice to only collect those additional sets that depicted defiance rather than defeat. This decision was not only aversion to the tenor of a valiant force defeated, but based upon several other factors, including a substantial price increase on already very expensive figures, a noticeable decline in the accuracy of painting (particularly the Denison smocks), and the glaring inaccuracy (due to extremely sloppy and erroneous research and/or cost cutting) of the alleged "Airborne 6 pounder Anti-Tank Gun" which accompanied the figure of LSgt John D. Baskeyfield VC, in what could have been a magnificent set. A truly pathetic shame, and even more unfortunate, the second major debacle occurring with the very same gun that had been issued earlier in the series.

For the sake of a complete historical record, all of the remaining sets will be depicted herein using the sequence of ascending catalog numbers, with the exception of two sets, namely LSgt John D. Baskeyfield VC, and the dead and wounded British paratroops.

The following sets are considered by the author to depict "Arnhem Defiant".


MG074(P)
LSGT JOHN D BASKEYFIELD VC
2ND BN S. STAFFS (AIRLANDING)
1ST AIRBORNE DIVISION, ARNHEM, 1944

The following image is of a correct Ordnance, Q.F. 6 Pdr Anti-Tank Gun Mk IV on Carriage Mk III (Airborne), albeit in 1:35 scale. Compare the significantly narrowed width of wheel base to provide physical accessibility into a Horsa glider, the removal of all vestiges of the lower front splinter shield, the hinged trail legs on the carriage, inclusion of front towing eye, and the correct absence of the non-existent dolly wheel on the right trail. 



MG075(P)
DEAD AND WOUNDED PARAS
1ST AIRBORNE DIVISION, ARNHEM, !944    

The remaining sets, with the exception of the little road sign, are personally considered by the author to depict "Arnhem Defeated". "Toy soldiers" reflecting the reality of history.


MG067
ARNHEM ROAD SIGN    


MG0068
UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP    


MG070
WALKING WOUNDED    


MG071
SURRENDER AND SEARCH    


MG072
MARCHING INTO CAPTIVITY    


MG073
COMPARING NOTES