Modelling SS from Heer Crew

Waffen-SS M43 Pea Dot tunic

Painter’s Tips:
Modelling Waffen-SS from Heer Miniatures

We at Battlefront are very pleased with our range of late-war SS miniatures. Unfortunately, though, we simply could not justify creating a new SS version of absolutely everything in our existing German range. The Nebelwerfer (GE590) and the SdKfz 7/1 (GE168) are two models which, for logistical reasons, missed out on getting their own specialised SS crew figures. So here are few ideas for the especially detail-minded SS player.

Left: Heer crew can simply be painted in pea dot M43 tunics with pea dot or field grey trousers.

Heer and Waffen-SS minitures

Painting Heer crew as Waffen-SS

The first option is simply to use the existing crew figures without modification. This is a perfectly acceptable choice, as the M37 tunic worn by the Waffen-SS – under their iconic camouflage smocks – was virtually the same as the Heer M35 tunic. And uncovered helmets, while not as common or distinctly ‘SS-ish’, were certainly not unheard-of in Waffen-SS units.

If you wish, you can also paint the uniform in a pea-dot pattern, to represent the M43 Waffen-SS camouflage suit common in the late-war period. For true historical accuracy, you may want to carefully shave off the shoulder straps, as the pea-dot camouflage tunic did not have these.

Waffen-SS crew made with some headswaps and then painted in the right colours


Those with keen eyes will note that James has failed to do so in the example photos, so feel free to mock him cruelly.

Headswaps from Waffen-SS figures

If you really want your crew’s heads to match the rest of your army, the simplest answer is to swap heads from spare SS figures wearing covered helmets or field caps, or a mixture of the two. Headswaps are a simple, fun and effective conversion, and have been covered several times before – see p. 46 of The Art of War or Casey’s detailed article here...

Waffen-SS crew made with headswaps and then painted in the right colours

Sculpting Waffen-SS helmet covers

An alternative to headswaps is to sculpt helmet covers over the uncovered helmets of the crew.

All you need is some two-part epoxy modeling putty such as ‘green stuff’ or ‘brown stuff’. In the example photos, Jeremy has used ProCreate, a grey putty popular with sculptors. But whatever putty you are used to should be fine for a relatively simple job like this. 

The first step is to cover the whole helmet with a very thin layer of putty.

Sanded Helmet

Sanded Helmet

Puttied Helmet

Puttied Helmet

Try to smooth the putty out as evenly as possible. A few of lumps and ripples are fine, as the real helmet covers fit a little loosely, particularly at the sides. Hold the figure next to one of Evan’s SS helmets, and try to match it as closely as you can. The Waffen-SS used a distinctively shaped helmet cover, made from three pieces of fabric.

The final touch is to press a curved line on either side of the cover, representing the seam between the fabric panels. You can use any tool with a fine tip, such as a large needle or the point of a craft knife. Moistening the tool will prevent it from sticking to the putty.

Again, the aim is to make yours look as much like one of Evan’s helmets as possible. 

Even a simple sculpting job like this requires a bit of practice, so don’t be discouraged if your first few attempts don’t look quite right. Even if you stuff up really horribly, you can always peel off the putty and start again.

Whatever method you decide to use, have fun and remember to brag to all your friends with German Heer armies about how much cooler your figures’ uniforms look.

James and Jeremy 

Sculpted Helmet

Sculpted Helmet

headswap SS crew

Waffen-SS helmet cover