24 November 2012

20mm / 1:72 Sci-Fi / Near Future / Post-Apoc Conversions

Quick update on the Sci-Fi / Post-Apoc front.

A new painted "Control Trooper" sporting a riot helmet. He's accompanied by a Stryker from the "World Order" policing forces.

I've seen a lot of 15mm Sci-Fi figures on various blogs that have really inspired me into getting into the genre.

Unfortunately 15mm metals are out (maybe at least until I retire that is) as I've enough 1:72 plastic to sink a battleship. Besides which, my first love has always been plastic 20mm / 1:72 scale so I decided to try my hand at converting some figures from various modern-day sets to see how they turned out.

These are some of the first attempts and I'm quite pleased how they're coming along.





I've cut off the ends of the gun barrels - I think it makes them look like fairly reasonable future "blast" weapons.

18 November 2012

USAAF Figure Conversion

I finished these three figures off last night. Veteran plastic fans will recognize the body from the old Airfix USAAF set. The heads are from Esci figures.

One's for North Africa, and the other two for Europe



I did the head swaps about a year ago and they had been lying half-forgotten until I came across them yesterday and spent an evening painting and basing them.



27 September 2012

Smallscale (1/72, 1/76, 20mm) Polythene figure conversions

Smallscale (1/72, 1/76, 20mm) Polythene figure conversions

Polythene figure conversions ; simple replacements of helmets, heads, limbs, torsos & other body parts



There's a huge selection of small-scale plastic figure sets of all types on the market with wide and varied poses but in spite of that the need for some additional pose will always arise, and besides, we are modellers and can’t live without making some kind of modification to everything we lay our hands on.

Well need the following items :
Superglue
Dressmakers pins
Straight edged craft knife
Pin Drill
Strong Cutters / Pliers
Mouse pad (or some other similar cushioned base)
A handkerchief or similar


Before we embark on full-scale amputation, study the figures a little first to see where the cut can be made and how you might be able best join up with the new torso.

The beauty of using plastic figures is that if you make a mistake, they are cheap enough to replace.

Once youve decided where youll need to make the cuts, place the figure onto a cushioned surface which will absorb the cut of the knife and stop the figure from slipping I use the cushioned reverse side of an old mouse pad or thick cloth.

A very sharp flat blade hobby knife or scalpel is needed to make a clean cut in the plastic and I usually use the thin disposable types with little sections that can be broken off at intervals.



It’s handy to have a little dish or saucer around to put the heads, helmets, arms, etc., into so that they don’t end up on the floor as Ive spent a good deal of time crawling around looking for bits that have dropped and have disappeared forever.

Once you have the heads, helmets, limbs, etc., you will need to insert strengthening pins into them which serve as pegs to hold the these pieces onto the new body.

First start by sticking the pointed end of the pin into the head / helmet / limb, where it will be attached to the new body (taking care not to stick the pin into your finger)

Once this is done, take some strong pliers and cut the pin so as to leave a “peg” of about 2-3mm sticking out.

While you have the pliers gripping the pin, before you cut, put a handkerchief over the part of the pin that will be cut off and so youll catch the piece youve cut and it wont go whizzing over to the other side of the room.

This way youll avoid finding the other half of the pin it hard way later when you might suddenly find it stuck in your foot or somewhere worse.




We need to make a hole in the torso where it will be receiving the new body part. Do this with a pin drill, and make a generously sized hole so as to give us some room to play around with when we attach the new piece.

Now try the fit to see how it looks and make adjustments to the hole if necessary.



When you’re satisfied apply some superglue liberally to both surfaces. If you made a hole with quite a lot of room and the peg is able to move around a lot, that’s not really too much of a problem because the glue will seep into the extra space and give a firm hold.

If there happens to be a gaping space at the join, fill it with white glue on a small paintbrush, and keep adding more white glue if necessary until the join line is no longer visible.

Figures modified in this way can safely be used for wargaming as the joint is quite robust and under normal handling conditions they will be perfectly fine and the parts shouldnt separate.









22 September 2012

WW2 Russian Infantry WIP



Some pictures of the Russians I've been trying to finish off.  They just need matt varnishing and basing.





There's a mixture of figures here, mostly Plastic Soldier, with Esci and Italeri figures plus a Pegasus and Hong Kong figure in there too for good luck :-)


Anyone familiar with the Plastic Soldier figures will probably make out that I replaced all their heads, and did a fair bit of head swapping too with the other figures.


02 September 2012

WW2 British / Commonwealth Infantry Conversions

The old Matchbox British Infantry and 8th Army sets have a good all-round mix of figures, and greatly inspired by the pictures of converted Matchbox figures posted by Paul on his 20th Century Wargames Blog, and Al on the Plastic Warriors Blog, I decided to try my hand at adding more variety to the poses offered in these sets.

So, armed with a scalpel and geared up into a Dr. Frankenstein mode, I chopped and swapped various plastic body parts and came up with the following results.





These are really bad pictures by the way. I took these snaps in the evening with my mobile, and the yellow light from an "energy efficient" fluorescent bulb is nowhere near as bright or defining as a good old 100W tungsten filament bulb.



The different coloured figures come from sets spanning around 35 years.

The radio operator with the beret conversion above is the oldest and was very brittle - his original head didn't even need slicing off, it just snapped off.

The dark green officer figure in the middle above and the olive-green figure below are about 20-25 years old but no brittleness to be found, and the beige figures are new Airfix/Hornby re-releases.



The head on Jack the Knife on the right there is a copy I made from a 2nd version Airfix commando. The arms are off a Matchbox crawling British Commando.



Quite pleased with the way this one turned out. The hand-gun that the original figure was holding looked more like a water-pistol, so I replaced it with a revolver from a pistol brandishing Esci British Infantry officer.

The final batch of WWII British / Commonwealth figures, a mixture of Airfix, Caesar, Matchbox and a couple of old Hong-Kong rip-offs (in dark green).









And what a difference a nice bit of sunshine can make- it makes the first lot of photos look abysmal.

01 September 2012

IGB of Poland - Bedfords & Chevrolet C15


I'm posting some pictures of three 1/72 IGB kits of WWII British trucks that my regular wargame "enemy" Juan had bought specifically to use in some desert wargame scenarios.





Chevrolet and rear-view of the Troop Carrier



IGB Bedford Radio/Wireless Truck.



30 May 2012

Hawker Weather Event Group Build

22 April 2012

Hawker "Weather Event" Group Build - Part 1

If you click on the links below to the following blogs, you'll see they've organized a group build based around Hawker aircraft, specificaly those named after particularly bad weather (Tempest, Hurricane, etc.)




The group build is limited to 1/72 aircraft only. What a pity I thought, the only unbuilt Hawker kits I have in my stash are these two 20 year old Revell 1/144 mini kits........

BUT..... using Nick's logic that 1/144 x 2 = 1/72, and under the condition that I build both, well the lads have graciously allowed be on board for the group build !

I dug the two kits out of the cellar this morning and will post a few WIP pictures along the way once the group build begins after 01st May.



You can join up on the group build by contacting either Nick, Paul or Jacksarge on their respective blogs.

The deadline for signing up is 30th April.

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05 May 2012

Hawker "Weather Event" Group Build - Part 2

I'm falling behind the other fellas out there who have been steadily progressing with their respective Hawker "Weather Event" group builds, so following on from the first post (Part 1), I've uploaded some pictures here of the sprues of the two Revell 1/144 Typhoon and Tempest kits I'll be putting together.



After opening the old dusty 20-year-old boxes, the instructions look and feel like old yellowed parchment, but the kits are in perfect shape, no missing parts and they look two nice and simple models.

No pilots are included though unfortunately.






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13 May 2012

Hawker "Weather Event" Group Build - Part 3

Moved on a little with the 1/144 Revell Hawker Tempest and Typhoon kits this weekend..

Once I put the kits together I found that the parts fit more or less OK, but there are a fair few big gaps that needed filling.



I wanted to build these with the undercarriage up but the raised wheel assemblies are a terrible fit, so much so that on one of them I gave up and chucked the bits in the bin and covered the hole with filler.



I also had to dispense with the propellers as the blades broke off from the nose cone as I took the parts off the sprue - so no choice now, I have to make a spinning prop whether I like it or not and will have to cut out a disk of clear plastic and stick it on later.


As far as the cockpits are concerned, I did a dry-fit to see if I should paint the model first then stick them on, but they didn't fit very and it would have left huge gaps, and as there were no pilots anyway, I just stuck them on, filled the gaps and decided that I would paint them black when I finally paint the models.



I used a GW white spray primer (skull white in the background) which is a pretty good base colour for hard plastic models and doesn't swamp the detail.

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26 May 2012

Hawker "Weather Event" Group Build - Part 4

Spent an evening earlier on this week on the Tempest and Typhoon kits.

On the photo below, the model on the right was my first attempt at painting on the cammo. I used a GW "Catachan" green and a shade of Vallejo grey (can't remember which right now), but neither of the colours convinced me, especially as the GW green was too transparent and didn't have enough pigmentation.

The second attempt convinced me more - GW "Codex" grey and a Vallejo Panzer Aces "Feldgrau" green.



After painting the cammo, I painted on a yellow band on the leading edges of the wing using a couple of strips of Tamiya masking tape.



The rockets should be, I suspect, dark green or some other drab colour, but I wanted them to stand out so I used my wargaming artistic licence and used white.



And finally the decals


Arrrgh..... the damned bloody decals.

When I stuck them in water the first problem was that manufacturer's text on the decal sheet broke up into thousands of sticky little pieces. These little pieces invariably got transferred to the kits when I put the decals onto them.

The decals themselves also cracked when I put them onto the kits and when I tried wiping them down to avoid silvering they cracked even more.



Anyway, all good fun and a valuable lesson learned - don't use 20 year old decals.



I'll touch up over the silvering and try a little handpainting over the decals to fill in the cracks and then maybe add D-Day stripes and cut out some transparent disks for the props and add the nose cones and finished.

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30 May 2012

Hawker Weather Event Group Build

Finally finished the Revell Tempest and Typhoon kits over the weekend !



I mentioned in an earlier entry, the propeller blades broke off when I took the parts off the sprue so I made a "spinning" prop by cutting out a plastic disc.

I should have spent a little time sanding down the nose cones really as there are visible marks where the blades came off, but too late now and I suppose at this small scale it's not too noticeable.



After the disaster with the decals I had to hand-paint in over some cracks and bits of decal that were missing, and touched up over the silvering on the edge of the decals.

I painted the D-Day stripes on the wings but didn't bother with the rear fuselage as it would have been a nightmare trying to paint in and around the aircraft ID and roundel - in retrospect I should have painted them on before adding the decals (it's amazing how I realise how dumb I am after the event).



So there we are, finished at last.
I must say I really enjoyed participating with all the other fellas who were involved and have had a good time reading the updates on everyone else's respective blogs.

Thanks all, John
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