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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Introducing the German Waffen SS

The Waffen-SS was the armed branch of the National Socialist Party. A large number of its members were volunteers. Many of them were hard core believers in the party ideology; many others saw themselves engaged in a crusade against Bolshevism. In any case, that made them a highly motivated fighting force to deal with. The Waffen-SS also raised mutliple divisions with conscripts from the occupied territories, many of them ethnic Germans. The 38 SS Divisions fought alongside the regular German Army and were under control of the German Army High Command. Their legacy has been tainted because several Waffen-SS units committed crimes against POWs and civilians, and because they were part of the overall SS organization which was responsible for many of the attrocities committed by the Nazi regime. Nonetheless, as a military fighting force, they earned themselves a reputation as elite troops.
The Waffen-SS was often outfitted with cammouflage clothing. In the pictures below you can see two platoons. One of them is wearing the spring/summer cammo pattern in green and the other one is wearing the fall pattern with orange/brown tones. Towards the end of the war, the uniform code was fairly relaxed, if for no other reason that they were suffering substantial supply problems. I've tried to reflect that in the painting scheme of these figures, who are wearing different types of clothing throughout the unit. You may notice that some figures appear in both sets, while some others appear only in one of them, so if you want to see all the figures produced by a given manufacturer you will need to look at both sets and identify the unique poses.
Conte Waffen SS
Nice mix of cammo smocks and regular field grey uniform items. Notice also the helmet covers. I really like the second guy from the right. A very dynamic pose conveying lots of action.

Conte Geman Infantry
These are a few figures taken from the regular German Infantry set and made to wear cammo trousers to give me a few extra poses/weapons to complete the set.

Italeri German Elite Troops
Notice how Italeri shied away from calling them Waffen-SS. I wonder if it really makes a difference in terms of sales. Anyhow, some of their figures are wearing extra layers to keep warm which suggests that these men were fighting in the very early spring. You will see why that matters a bit further below.

TSSD German Elite Troops - Part I
Toy Soldiers of San Diego also called them elite troops. Nonetheless, they came out with a very good set. First manufacturer that I am aware of to produce mounted WW II troops. The machine gun team is also very well done.

TSSD German Elite Troops - Part II
Some more nicely sculpted poses. The guy on the left offers a bit of drama to any scene he participates in. The  man with the sniper rifle is wearing one of those tent quarters (zeltbahn) which could be joined with another 3 parts to make a tent in the form of a pyramid to get some protection from the elements.

TSSD Germans in Long Coats
Well, these guys are not really Waffen SS, but I threw them in to get a few more poses and also to further relax the uniform code in the unit. Since we are assuming they are fighting in the early spring, a coat might have come in handy.

Conte Waffen-SS - Part I
This is the first set of the fall cammouflage pattern. This one contains the commanding officer, which can actually be used to command the spring troops as well. The guy who is looking back is wearing field grey trousers in this set.

Conte Waffen-SS - Part II
This set contains two figures that were not present in the spring cammo set. Can you find them?

Conte German Infantry
As with the green set, I recruited a couple of regular army guys to complete the set, and also because your squad can always use an extra MG-42. The guy who is leaning/running as he fires is one of my favorite Conte figures, so he was easy to include.

MPC and CTS German Infantry
These two guys also came with regular infantry sets. The green set already had a prone guy with an MG-42, so we had to balance that out. The CTS sniper man is wearing cammo clothing which made him an ideal candidate for this unit.

Italeri German Elite Troops
Nice inclusion of a panzerschreck figure. This was the German equivalent of a bazooka, but with a more powerful 88mm round, which earned it its nickname 'panzer terror'.

TSSD German Elite Troops - Part I
This picture is showing the second mounted figure, including a different horse.

TSSD German Elite Troops - Part II
Showing the same figures from the spring set from a different angle.

TSSD Germans in Long Coats
Containing two new guys that were not painted for the spring set. Note also how underneath the coat you can see a bit of the cammo pattern in the guy who is running. Again, assuming they were fighting in the late fall, coats would have been appropriate.

Classic Toy Soldiers Assault Troops - Part I
CTS just released a new set of German 'Assault Troops'. Considering that most of them are wearing cammo smocks I am going to paint them as Waffen SS, to go along with the other figures depicted on this post. I like that some of the poses are a bit different from what has typically been done in the past for such weapons. For instance, the panzerschreck is held by a prone guy and the man operating the MG 42 is not actually firing it, but urging on his comrades.

Classic Toy Soldiers Assault Troops - Part II
These other poses are also nice and interesting. Note the guy with the flamethrower on the right, and the guy pulling the cord off the hand grenade. The guy surrendering is not my favorite as I prefer fighting poses, but even that is original.

TSSD German Infantry expansion set
These are some recently released German guys that complement the TSSD German 'Elite Troops'. They will paint well as SS guys in cammo gear or as regular landser wearing winter gear, as they go well the Germans with longcoats, with the nice added touch that they come with a different head gear. You can't see well in the picture, but the man on the right is holding/throwing a grenade also. The only thing to complain about is that they only released four poses.  

Here are some pictures of the Waffen SS fighting the British in Normandy.

2 comments:

  1. COnte actually did poses of the SS. Four were in set 3 and set 4 also has those along with 4 new SS poses. Do you have a picture of all 8 poses ?

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  2. I do, but not in one single shot. All 8 poses are represented in this post across the 3 pics of the conte waffen SS (2 show them in fall cammo and the other one in spring colors). The poses are kneeling rifle man, grenade man, panzerpfaust, man with sub MG turning back, man with sub MG walking cautiously, officer, man kneeling on two knees, standing rifleman.

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