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"TreeGirl needs some help" Topic

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jefritrout06 Dec 2019 7:29 a.m. PST

For her school history project, she needs to find some civilians to put in a diorama for the Berlin Airlift. We could also use some planes that we can show dropping items, but mostly some WW2 or slightly later civilians smaller than 25mm please.

If you know of where to get civilians figures, please let me know.

Thanks in advance,

colgar606 Dec 2019 7:48 a.m. PST

OO gauge model railway people? For example: auction .

Advantages: dirt cheap, widely available from Chinese sources, possibly prepainted.

Disadvantages: limited poses, not particularly detailed models.

doc mcb06 Dec 2019 7:55 a.m. PST

Was there much dropping? I had the idea that it was through the airport.

jefritrout06 Dec 2019 7:59 a.m. PST

There was some dropping (not much) but she thinks that it looks better for a diorama.

The Candy Bomber will be part of a sidebar section.

doc mcb06 Dec 2019 8:05 a.m. PST

Gail Halvorsen, one of the many Airlift pilots, decided to use his off-time to fly into Berlin and make movies with his hand-held camera. He arrived at Tempelhof on 17 July 1948 on one of the C-54s and walked over to a crowd of children who had gathered at the end of the runway to watch the aircraft. He introduced himself and they started to ask him questions about the aircraft and their flights. As a goodwill gesture, he handed out his only two sticks of Wrigley's Doublemint Gum. The children quickly divided up the pieces as best they could, even passing around the wrapper for others to smell. He was so impressed by their gratitude and that they didn't fight over them, that he promised the next time he returned he would drop off more. Before he left them, a child asked him how they would know it was him flying over. He replied, "I'll wiggle my wings."[53]

A Douglas C-54 Skymaster dropping candy over Berlin, c. 1948/49
The next day on his approach to Berlin, he rocked the aircraft and dropped some chocolate bars attached to a handkerchief parachute to the children waiting below. Every day after that, the number of children increased and he made several more drops. Soon, there was a stack of mail in Base Ops addressed to "Uncle Wiggly Wings," "The Chocolate Uncle" and "The Chocolate Flier." His commanding officer was upset when the story appeared in the news, but when Tunner heard about it, he approved of the gesture and immediately expanded it into "Operation Little Vittles." Other pilots participated, and when news reached the US, children all over the country sent in their own candy to help out. Soon, major candy manufacturers joined in. In the end, over twenty three tons of candy were dropped on Berlin[53] and the "operation" became a major propaganda success. German children christened the candy-dropping aircraft "raisin bombers."[80]

doc mcb06 Dec 2019 8:09 a.m. PST

Apparently more than half of the weight was coal, and that could be dropped into empty fields.

Hmmmm. Coal and candy. I guess that year good children got both!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2019 8:15 a.m. PST

+1 for doc mcb!


jefritrout06 Dec 2019 8:42 a.m. PST

Doc Mcb

Your quote is showing footnotes. Where is your citation from? It will definitely help her research.

Thank you in advance,

doc mcb06 Dec 2019 9:16 a.m. PST


doc mcb06 Dec 2019 9:24 a.m. PST

That wiki article has some good info on unloading. They got it down to 10 minutes or less to unload, with the Berliners doing the work. The aircrews were not allowed to get out of the plane, but they had jeeps with welcome wagon-type frauleins go out with refreshments.

Swampster06 Dec 2019 9:57 a.m. PST

If you can get the Airfix civilians, they have more or less period costume.

Mr J197006 Dec 2019 10:31 a.m. PST

Would perhaps 1/72 eg 20mm be the better option for the project due to the wealth of kits available ?

jefritrout06 Dec 2019 12:18 p.m. PST

Mr. J

20mm is fine, 15mm is fine even 10mm is fine.

I think that 25mm is too big.

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2019 12:39 p.m. PST

Probably get some HO people on ebay for cheap.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP06 Dec 2019 2:01 p.m. PST

Google "national museum of the United states airforce Berlin airlift." They have a pretty informative display, as well as a lot of reference links on their site. I agree that 1/72 plastics are the way to go.

Wyatt the Odd Fezian06 Dec 2019 7:06 p.m. PST

Two sets of HO (18mm) figures:

Billed as "Passengers waiting", only a few have luggage, but they're all pre-painted. There are 60 of them

16 Seated, pre-painted figures: link

You're looking at $1 USD/figure.

For N-Scale (1/160 or ~12mm(?):
72 unpainted: link

More here: link

The nice thing is that with N-scale, you can use 1/144 aircraft. Put them in the background for forced perspective.


JAFD2606 Dec 2019 9:17 p.m. PST

A while back, I got some unpainted HO-scale plastic 'civilians' from, painted some up as birthday gift for model railroading friend. Were largely costumed in 1950's styles. But no 'children by themselves' in pack I got.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa07 Dec 2019 3:31 a.m. PST

Preiser is a manufacturer with a huge range of 1:72/1:76 civilians of a European bent. Bachmann is another. There are a lot of small manufacturers in the UK serving the model railway market doing period civilians, but they are a bit pricy (and then there's postage and the exchange rate if you're abroad).

I tried googling a couple of names I remembered from when my Dad had a OO gauge layout, but I suspect they are long gone.

gisbygeo07 Dec 2019 2:15 p.m. PST

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.