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Pa is referring to the Spanish Civil War 1936-39.
ACW (1861-65) figures seem not very useful?
Uniforms and weapons are fundamentally different.
If looking for suitable conversion material, I would rather consider some of Strelets numerous early 20th century sets (WWI to WWII). :wink:
Peter, I think I have already drafted all the WW1 and WW2 figures remotely suitable that I could lay my hands onto into my SCW armies. :grinning:
The hard part is the granadero trousers. This is where the Airfix Doughboy set finds its use. :astonished:
It's rather odd but I swear I posted a message last night on this post but it seems to have "disappeared" ... blame it on the Corona virus !
I realise that the Confederate and Boer war figures have different weapons and uniform detail and are from a much earlier time, but as Pa has referred to they would (with a bit of work) be appropriate for the "scruffier" units associated with the Spanish Civil War. As the poses in the sets I mentioned previously are rather animated and useful my comments were so that these could be used with "amendments" to both equipment/weapons and uniform and not for a moment am I stating that they would be correct left as they are !
There are some very talented modellers out there that can create miniature master pieces by modifying the basic figure with addition/deletion of weapons/equipment and the aforementioned head replacement to create some amazing new options. Sometimes using a figure from one period to fit in with a totally different period depending on the pose and the animation of the sculpt.
I'm not sure if others on this site would be aware of an English chap called John Sandars, (a veteran of the Desert campaign I believe) who featured in Airfix magazine in the 1970's. He created a whole series of Desert war scenes using the Airfix 1/32 Polythene British/German figures and made some fabulous figures of mainly British and Italian desert troops in very character driven poses. Obviously a larger scale than what we are referring to here, but the same principles would apply.
As an example of conversion, I have created a small number of Polish WW2 Aircrew figures utilising the Revell German Naval figures with elements from Airfix RAF,American and German air personnel. "Painting" carefully over the body of the figure with PVA (white glue) to create overalls, adding parachute strapping with trimmed masking tape and flying helmet heads from various aircraft model crew. They may not be perfect but they do create the look of Polish aircrew of the 1939 period.
Thought that I would just clarify my original post...
Kim, same here. Swapping weapons however usually is beyond my abilities when it comes to providing a bond strong enough for handling the figures afterwards, and I don't base most of my figures.
John S. is mentioned often as one of the founding fathers of the hobby. I have found precious little of his articles online though, and at the time I had no access to Airfix publications.
Your description of using white glued sounds great. I take it several layers are necessary?
Thanks Minuteman, I didn't realise that John Sandars what that young when he died, for some reason I thought he was a veteran of WW2. I remember him creating a british soldier guarding Italian prisoners of war - wearing his coat,with a cigarette in mouth kicking up dust - replicated with cotton wool - brilliantly done. I will have to have a look at my old Airfix magazines and see if I can find the articles. Why there is not more relating to him is a bit of a mystery … he was a true artist. It's good to remember him here … I was always impressed with his work and how he could create something so unique from fairly standard figures.
Another great modeller of the same period also sadly gone was Sid Horton, who also converted Airfix 54mm Polystyrene Napoleonic figures to that representing Crimean war Light Brigade British cavalry - based upon Lady Butler's painting "Return from the charge" … another true genius with his work that also featured in Airfix magazine in the 1970's. (he went on to create his own range of metal 54mm figures (Chota Sahib )up until his death. Sorry I have got a bit off subject here talking about larger scale figures... I should keep it to 172 scale as intended!
In answer to Pa's question about using PVA (white glue) I would carefully paint a thin layer onto the desired area of the figure and allow to dry. Then perhaps a second or third coat allowing it to dry again in between - (not too thick or thin) being careful not to allow it to run down the figure. As it is drying you can use a pin to "play" with the surface and create occasional folds or thicker areas to give bulk - eg to represent a baggy flight suit or overalls. It will dry clear and will give some rigidity to the soft plastic. Any additions eg straps etc to be added at this stage and I would then undercoat the figure with Humbrol enamel which would give a good surface for the paint to "grip".
Forgot to mention for the gluing of arms/ head etc I have used Selleys "All PlasticFix" which is a plastic glue and primer -this is available here in Australia … there may be an equivalent of this overseas if you look at your local hardware store. It is ideal for gluing soft plastic figures, but does dry very quickly. Hope this is of some use.
(These ideas are probably not new to many others out there … )
Thank you Kim. Sounds like you have been using the PVA glue like a liquid putty. Will give it a try.
GC Esci/italeri lebels from foreign legion, the packs and helmets are moulded using a pressmold made by pushing the relevant part in milliput/green stuff, this will last for a while and uses old sprues...these are really old 70s production airfix given a new lease of life as the plastic was good but many had battle injuries...
You can use this method to make the arms move by drilling a small hole all the way through shoulders/arms and use a piece of stretched sprue as the pin, welded over at the ends to hold everything in place so they dont fall apart...
I like soft plastic for conversions, some recent plastic from italeri is too hard to cut easy so beware :wink:
Thank you Minuteman, that is about all I found from him online - well worth a look.
I find I learn more from conversions of very old (Airfix 8th Army 1st version) 1/76 figures than from conversions in other scales. For some reason, transferring techniques from another scale just does not work well for me.
Kim, the Boer figures seem a good basis for "scruffy" looking SCW milita / infantry and artillery troops. I bought the Strelets "Long Tom" gun set for exactly that purpose.
I have also used the odd Confederate (after a headswap) as well; weaponry was very different 70+ years after the ACW but images of foot soldiers with blanket rolls are "iconical" for both conflicts. The sets you mentioned have poses that work for 20th century conflicts as well.
Conversions are a great way to do something fun while having to stay indoors whether because of winter weather or other things.
I feel head swops give so much variety and are fairly easy to do. Some with different head gear and others simply by turning a Cavalryman's head looking off in a different direction. Here is a link of my AWI head swops, mostly Airfix giving me British with 3 different types of headgear, some different wagons and artillery, too. Link:
Here is another link of my Giant/Hong Kong Copies of Britains Swoppets, maybe the first plastic figures intended for conversions or swops:
Actually, I would enjoy Strelets including a couple of or a few extra heads with different headgear in their sets as a kind of bonus to give me more poses. I would be more likely to buy extra boxes to make a different looking army. Such as my AWI figures having 3 types of headgear.
Pa, to give you some ideas or inspiration for your SCW or SJW you might try checking some of BUM's set's pictures on Google Images. They have been very creative using existing sets to make new sets. They have made many short-run limited production sets not found in any catalogues I can find.
BTW, my links above are postings from years ago still found on Google Images using what are now considered "Vintage/Classic" figures mostly out of production these days and never intended to promote any particular brand name. Hope it's OK.
Have fun - GC
GC, time for a confession. I have ever since admiring your Swoppets and been wondering how on earth do you manage to carve a peg out of one figure that - and that is the point - fits snuggly into a cavity you drilled into another figur's half?
I think I asked this before on the "other" forum but without images this will probably remain beyond me.
When trying this I see myself having 50% waste _plus_ failures. That's why I use pegs for my headswaps.
Good morning, Pa. You are absolutely correct. If you try to recreate 1/72 in the actual Swoppet style, you'll in most cases have to use 2 figures to get 1 because of the one-piece head with peg. However, when I bought my Hong Kong Copies of I suppose pantographed down Swoppets (Giant Brand), there were plenty of poorly formed figures. To make them useful, they become "spare parts." It would be too expensive and too time consuming to build a whole army of these guys. But that's part of the passion of this hobby, whether painting or converting, just having a little challenging fun! I'm sure someone else could do it better than me and with more economy in mind. For me, if by sharing a few pics of the end product is enjoyable to other hobbiests also, then that makes it all the more rewarding. :innocent:
Just want you to know, Pa, I did rifle thru my old digital pics and couldn't find anything new that was worth posting that is earth-shaking and current. I'm afraid my best work is in the links I posted above. Nothing any more revealing. OK, cheers!