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 :
Straight edged craft knife
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)
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.