A box full of Italians on the go right now and they need a few 47mm guns - which I don't have.
What I do have though are two very old Hasegawa US 37mm guns, plus an unmade one which should (I'm hoping) make some fairly good substitutes for a "Cannone da 47/32"
Inspiration came from a photo from an old Airfix article by Gerald Scarborough.
Two of the ex-Hasegawa US 37mm guns now based and the third unmade kit has now been put together to represent a towed weapon.
The guns, minus their breech blocks, now need painting up. I also need to put together a suitable crew.
I have no Italians with mortars or heavy machine guns but this was solved with some head swaps - a mortar figure from the Esci WW2 French Infantry set, a crouching Esci WW2 US infantry figure and two figures from the Waterloo 1815 Japanese Infantry set.
The Japanse HMG is "supposed" to represent a Breda M37. It's not perfect but it's not too bad either once painted up and when I've got the bases flocked it shouldn't be to obvious.
And some of the Italian figures that are currently WIP.
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.
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 :
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)
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.
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.
Last week I got a two new sets of the new "made in UK" Plastic Soldier Russian and German Infantry. The plastic is nice to work with, hard styrene which is glueable, and cuts easily and can easily be trimmed and sanded.
You can see some of the Russian infantry here with new heads, mixed with Esci and Revell figures for some Russian squads I'm putting together. With the smaller heads the poses mix well with the other Esci and Revell figures.
The heads etc., are just dry-tested / stuck on with a bit of blu-tac, I'll get around to pinning them sometime over the weekend.
Some of the brave figures who donated their heads to the Great Patriotic Cause....