Book Review
Modelling Waffen-SS Figures

by: Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]

7.25 x 9.75 in.
80 pp
347 color illustrations

I. Introduction
II. SS Sturmman, 1st SS-Panzer-Division “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler,” Kursk, 1943
III. SS Scharfuhrer, 1st SS-Panzer-Division “Leibtandarte Adolf Hitler”, Normandy 1944
IV. Grenadiers, 12th SS-Panzer-Division, “Hitler Jugend”, Normandy 1944
V. “Salvation”: SS-Schutze, 3rd-Panzer-Division “Totenkopf”, Vienna 1945
VI. Kits and Accessories Available
VII. Further Reading and Research
VIII. Index

Formed to serve as Adolf Hitler’s personal bodyguards, the Waffen SS grew from a small band of militia to a 38 Division elite forces combat unit by the end of WWII.

These men were selectively picked from the rest, adherent to the Aryan ideals, strongly disciplined and strict Nazi’s. Equipped with the best and most sophisticated weaponry of the times, these forces were some of the most formidable in history, and gained the respect of even their most hated enemies. For this reason, as well as the many sophisticated uniform styles and varieties, the Waffen SS exerts a fascination amongst military modelers, collectors, and re-enactors.

This new addition from Osprey Publications is a guidebook which aids the modeler in re-creating this historical subject in scale form (1/35 for the most part). This manual promises to assist the modeler with tackling some of the most technically challenging aspects of figure painting, with useful and essential tips, techniques, and after market products to improve stock figures, or to create an accurate scale reproduction of a Waffen SS soldier from your own ideas.

Looking a Little Closer…
The main ingredients in this new book combine the authors creative multi-layered painting techniques (primarily using acrylics), supreme accuracy, brilliant ideas, and a whole lot of talent into four of the finest new build projects of Waffen SS figure modeling. Each build chapter begins with a detailed breakdown of subject, project overview, skill level, base kit used, additional detail sets needed, tools and materials required, and paints needed to complete each detailed project.

The first two build chapters focus on Hornet Models white metal figures in 1/35 scale for the base subjects. The author details in text and full color photographs exactly what is needed to reproduce each of the figures with complete accuracy. The photography is superb, and the close-up shots will aid the reader in learning the spectacular methods of reproducing the camouflage patterns that were in use for the time periods shown. Each camo pattern is fully explained, and come complete with a color chart detailing the paints and paint mixes needed to recreate the various patterns.

Five separate, multi-layer camouflage patterns are used and explained within these pages. They include: Plane Tree Pattern, Dot/Pea Pattern, Italian Pattern, Oak-Leaf Pattern (Spring), and the Oak Leaf Pattern (Autumn). I must say these techniques are absolutely awesome, as the finished subject’s camo patterns are identical in look and design as their full-blown counterparts…amazing talent, artwork, and ideas!

In the third build chapter, project # 3, the author now focuses on re-modeling and super detailing stock plastic figures in 1/35 scale, using Dragon Model figures as his base subject(s). Once again, the step-by-step close up color photos and text for these projects makes the process easy to understand, and complete accuracy in miniature is the common denominator. The finished vignette of this chapters figures is breathtaking.

The fourth build chapter, which is my favorite of the projects, introduces the reader to custom figure modeling with an excellent explanation of the procedure, as well as companion photographs. This project, entitled “Salvation,” portrays a Waffen SS soldier seeking his own hope and salvation in a time of war, and grave danger, in a kneeling/praying position, perched atop a wrecked T-34 chassis. The true artistic expression of this vignette is really beyond words; and once the reader fully understands what the author has tried to reproduce with this subject by following along with the accompanying text, the full impact of the piece falls into place…this is really not just another figure painting book.

The final two sections of the book are the reference sections, which include a detailed chart of recommended kits and accessories available today, with 1/35 plastic, resin, and white metal/pewter figures, 1/35 heads and headdresses, 54mm figures, and 120mm figures in its listings. There is also a listing of manufacturer and research websites, as well as a great compilation of recommended reading and research materials.

In the past few months, Osprey Publications has introduced several new additions to the Modelling series line of books, and truthfully, these are some of the best so far, with this one on top of the list. This book is a terrific resource for reproducing the Waffen SS in full detail with clear and concise instruction. I can honestly say that although figures are not my specialty, (but I have done quite a few in my 30 odd years at the hobby), after studying this manual I desperately feel the need to try this authors methods, and do plan to do so in the very near future…Very highly recommended from this modelers point of view.

Many thanks to Sheeba Madan, Osprey Publications New York, for providing this pre-release review sample and first-hand look opportunity!

Keep Modeling!

In this review, we’ll take a first look at one of the new additions to Osprey Publishing’s Modelling Series line of manuals, # 23, Modelling Waffen SS Figures. Written by one of the worlds leading figure modelers, Calvin Tan, a native of Singapore, this new book features common patterns for Waffen SS camouflage dress and fully describes how to achieve these finishes in clear, step-by-step text and photo instructions.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: Other
  Mfg. ID: 1841768375
  Suggested Retail: $18.95 U.S
  PUBLISHED: Sep 10, 2005

About Mark R. Smith (Gunny)

I have been building models of all sorts all of my life, concentrating mainly on the coolest one's when I was younger, but now I focus directly on all military subjects, from armor to warships. After years of counting rivets, I put away the calipers, dial indicators, and micrometers and now just ha...

Copyright ©2021 text by Mark R. Smith [ GUNNY ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


Click image to enlarge
  • mwss1
  • mwss2
  • mwss3
  • mwss8
  • mwss10