Saturday, June 15, 2013

 How To: Sign Painting:

The German Army used a great variety of signage in WW2. I'd like to provide some tips on how you can paint signs for your displays. Below is an orginal copy of a Wehrmacht vocational training book in sign painting which was intended to provide occupational training guides for soldiers seeking work after the war.

Step 1: For my project, I wanted to create a sign for use at our fortress display. The sign we are rectreating depicts a Army Coastal battery in France. Using a Computer Output your sign to fit. Whatever pre-coated white wooden blank sign you have available. Tile your files if needed and tape them together until your template is complete. When Choosing a font try to stick with the DIN or Futura series when possible. Tannenburg/Fraktur based fonts while certainly germanic were less common as general signage.

Step 2: With the Template assembled flip the paper over. Using a graphite pencil begin shading the backside lettering of the sheet so as to make a transferrable image.
Step 3: Now tape the template face up to the wooden plank. Using a pen and a ruler trace over each letter form. The pen will help you see if you missed any parts.

Step 4: Now remove the template and your letter shapes will be transferred, albeit faintly, to the wooden plank.
Step 5: Now the fun part! Painting in the letters. I find a beer helps keep my hands steady. (Patrons of Ft. Indiantown Gap will recognize this notorious brew!) I am using a Tamiya Flat Black Acrylic enamel Paint. It coats really nice thins with water and dries fast and permanent. A wide flat artists brush will help you stay in the lines. 
Step 6:  With the lettering complete Frame in the sign with a black Perimeter. 
Project Complete! The completed new sign reporting for duty as part of our display. Hope you will consider a sign painting project that will enhance your next event!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

3.PGD at Ft. Tabor (Batch 1)

Our D-Day event at Ft. Taber (June 7-9, 2013) centered a public display around a Festungskommandantur with a Frontleitstelle, based on a generic fortress somewhere near Normandy.
A Festungskommandantur is the fortress command/headquarters. A Frontleitstelle is a front forwarding station where soldiers returning from leave, hospital, etc. would check-in and stay until the exact location of the unit they were returning to could be ascertained. 3.PGD filled the role of soldaten stationed near Normandy before the invasion, as occupying troops, with all the "comforts" that status affords. 

The majestic setting of Ft. Taber really allowed this impression to flourish. The day before the event, remains of a tropical storm hit the New England coast line. This was a perfect replication of the weather right before D-Day in 1944. We could not have asked for a better reenacting gift. Below are the first batch of our photos from this amazing event. Flooding, and our attempts to dry out, can clearly be seen. More 3.PGD photos from this event will be posted in the near future.

Ft. Taber: Friends of 3.PGD

Over the weekend of June 7-9, 3.PGD participated in a D-Day based Public Display at Ft. Taber in New Bedford, MA.  Photos of our display will be posted soon. In the meantime, we would like to feature some great photos of our various friends who also attended the event; 101st 502 PIR, 82nd 505th, 914th, 3rd SS, and British Paratroopers. Sorry, I don't know the Brits exact unit designation...prolly Tea-something. :)