The CalTek 1914 Imperial German Infantryman figure includes a complete tent square and bed roll, rather than the typical half-cloth facsimiles. This can cause challenges in building the pack. Follow these steps for a perfectly arranged marching pack.
1) Find your equipment. You’ll need the knapsack, tent equipment bag, tent poles (3), tent stakes (3), tent rope, knapsack straps (3 short), knapsack straps (2 long), tent square. You’ll also need the scrap of grey woolen fabric that simulates the bedroll or greatcoat for the pack construction.
2) The knapsack needs a stiffener to maintain its form during construction and simulate the rigidity of the original wooden frame. Cut several cardboard squares: 3cm wide x 3.5cm high.
3) Stack 2 to 3 pieces of cardboard to achieve 1cm thickness. Bind pieces together with tape.
4) Insert the cardboard stiffener into the main storage compartment of the pack, then close the flaps of the pack.
5) Load the tent equipment bag with tent poles, tent stakes, and tent rope.
6) Attach tent equipment bag inside the knapsack as shown, then close the pack and buckle at the bottom.
7) Find the three short knapsack straps and insert them into the external knapsack loops on the top center and right and left sides as shown.
8) Find the bedroll (gray woolen square) and roll it into a tight roll. Set aside. Find the tent square, and fold it into 8 folds as shown here.
9) Combine the length of tent square and bed roll, and center them at the top of the pack. Wrap the knapsack strap loosely around the tent square bed roll, then run the strap through the buckle. Press the tent square and bed roll with your finger tightly to the knapsack (hence the reason for the internal stiffener), and gently tighten the strap and buckle.
10) Wrap the tent square and bedroll around to the side of the knapsack. The tent square will be longer than the bed roll on each side of pack, and should be wrapped around the bottom of the bed roll.
11) Wrap the knapsack strap loosely around the cloth and tighten the strap while pressing FIRMLY with your finger on the cloth. Buckle firmly, but don’t pull so tightly as to break the strap. Now repeat on the other side.
12) The thickness of the tent square and bedroll may pull the bottom of the pack out a bit. To improve the appearance of the pack as seen from the back, pinch the sides of the assembled pack and apply clear tape as shown. The clear tape will not be seen when the pack is on, and it will create a more squared appearance of the pack when viewed from behind.
Attach the mess kit to the back of the knapsack with the two long leather straps. Finally, pass the Y-Straps over the shoulders of the figure and attach the two large hooks to the D-Rings on each ammunition pouch. The side straps attach to the bottom of the pack.
The knapsack’s supporting Y-straps can either be run over the shoulder boards or pass through them. Either method was common at the time.
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