Book Review
Modelling Waffen - SS Figures

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]


There is an inherent reluctance, amongst many modellers, to accept that there can be sources of information 'beyond' the Internet. Sadly, this is quite a prevalent view and those who believe this, are sadly deluding themselves.

Osprey Publishing have long been in the military book business, and, a few years ago, took the innovative step of commissioning a series of books designed for modellers and written by modellers themselves. The keynote in this series has been their 'focus' on a particular series of vehicles or aircraft, now, for the first time, a book on a common theme for figure modellers has been published...

the book..

Modelling Waffen-SS Figures (Osprey Modelling 23) is an 80 page, softcover book, written by Calvin Tan. The book follows the established Osprey Modelling format by presenting a series of 1/35th scale 'build-projects' which are graded according to level of complexity.

The book's contents:


Project # 1 - SS Sturmmann, 1st SS PD (LAH), Kursk 1943

Project # 2 - SS Scharführer, 1st SS PD (LAH), Normandy 1944

Project # 3 - Grenadiers, 12th SS PD 'Hitler Jügend', Normandy 1944

Project # 4 - 'Salvation': SS Schütze, 3rd SS PD 'Totenkopf', Vienna 1945

Kits and available accessories

Further reading and research


Each project breaks down into several sections (which vary according to the complexity of the project) although, the common factor is the camo scheme used in each respective figure. All aspects are covered from construction/conversion including some INVALUABLE content about sculpting. One of the more eye-catching aspects of the book is the use of photography. Too many books have a few lines of text and then some photos of the finished model. The approach, in this book, of both Tan and his editor, has been to produce an almost 'slide show' effect to show the various stages involved in the completion of a figure in considerable detail. Each project finishes with a color chart covering the scheme used in the project. Five different camouflage schemes are used in the book, each given their appropriate reference for Vallejo Acrylics. The schemes are:

1) Plane Tree Pattern

2) Dot/Pea Pattern

3) Italian Pattern

4) Oak-leaf Pattern (Spring)

5) Oak-leaf Pattern (Autumn)

Not only does Tan cover the principal theme of the book (painting and modelling figures) he also covers in considerable and useful detail, groundwork which can be the 'make or break' for the best-finished figure. As an added bonus, he also turns his attention to weathering a wrecked T34 in the final project - 'Salvation' , with some very convincing weathering and finishing... His use of AM (After Market) parts such as transfers and PE is also interesting - particularly in the use of transfers for items such as collar tabs and SS cuff bands.


Not everyone who models figures has any interest in Waffen SS Camouflage uniforms. However, once again with this series, Osprey Publishing takes a (very) specific theme, and, if the modeller is sufficiently open to new techniques, they will find an extraordinary amount of application in this book. Painting faces, detailing equipment, groundwork, use of highlights, washes and sculpting are all techniques which are covered in this book. These are techniques which are equally applicable if working with figures of ANY nationalities.Herein lies the extraordinary strength of this book and the Osprey Modelling series in general.

For Waffen SS 'specific' modellers, the book is an absolute goldmine of information, although the author is sufficiently experienced to present an excellent bibliography (both print and on-line resources) for further research and information.

With the increasingly large range of figures in metal, plastic and resin in 1/35th scale (and no indication that the Waffen SS is waning as a modelling subject) the greatest barrier to many modellers is tackling camouflage schemes. Tan has made a huge leap in this book by presenting these schemes as 'attainable' - not simply something we can look at and become afraid. The next 'leap of faith' is inevitably to tackle some of the schemes in the book - optivisors and 00 brushes are inevitably going to be part of the process!

A superb book at a frankly 'giveaway' price - VERY Highly Recommended

Further details and availabilty

My copy of Modelling Waffen-SS Figures (Osprey Modelling 23) was purchased (at a discounted price) from Amazon (UK) who provided their usual fast and efficient service.

The book is widely available from the usual outlets, or directly, from:

Osprey Publishing Website/On-line store

Several areas of confusion constantly arise within the various figure painting forums. One of the most repeated, is the question of SS camouflage schemes. This book takes a fairly unique view on the difficulties for modellers (of all levels and experience) by approaching it from their perspective. This book is excellent but it is NOT and (makes no pretence to be) a 'definitive' guide to SS camouflage schemes, rather it takes a 'catalyst' approach to the subject - therein lies the real strength of the book...
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Mfg. ID: 1841768375
  Suggested Retail: $18.95
  PUBLISHED: Mar 14, 2006

About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


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  • cover2
  • back
  • MSS1
  • MSS2
  • MSS3