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.



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