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Friday, December 6, 2019

Soldiers of the foreign (Ausländer) armed services produced by Lineol and Elastolin (Germany)

Lineol and Elastolin ,famous German toy soldiers makers, produced also soldiers representing the foreign (Ausländer) armed services.These include British, American, Danish, Dutch, Belgian, Ethiopian, French, Swiss, Italian, Hungarian, Romanian, (British) Indian, Chinese and Japanese. Lineol and Elastolin used the "standartised" approach to production of its foreign figures by adding a head with the correct helmet to a headless conventional body and then painting the figure accordingly. 
That is why English, American and French soldiers are armed with the German-style "potato masher" hand grenades rather than the Allied "pineapple" hand grenade, and that is why they carry a standard German gas mask canister.
Several other European nations used also the German stahlhelm for their own armies. This made it possible for Lineol and Elastolin to create figures representing some foreign armies simply by painting standard German figures with German heads in the color(s) of a foreign uniform. Therefore, it is helpful to have a good reference book such as Andrew Mollo's The Armed Forces of World War II to correctly identify them—particularly when distinguishing between German, Hungarian and Swiss personnel.

Elastolin soldiers (from left to right: German wearing the Stahlhelm, French wearing the M15 Adrian helmet  and Italian wearing the pith helmet from the Italo-Ethiopian War)
Lineol soldiers (from left to right: Danish wearing the Danish M1923 helmet, Swiss wearing the Swiss M18/43 helmet and British wearing the Brodie helmet )

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