Tuesday, June 18, 2013

100 Tiny Conversions

I have now found how to drive oneself batty. I recently finally got in my Canadian Infantry models; two platoons of BR812 and the late-war Command HQ blister. Had I known the contents of the BR812 blister, I would not have needed the Command one! Rather than the expected 37 figures, with two blisters totalling 74, I got a bonus 26 figures and a couple extra bases! As near as I can tell, the blisters each contain enough to do a command section for the Guards Rifles as well.

The up-shot of this is it means I now have enough leftover figures to do the baby pioneer platoon!

The Guards Rifle Platoon in BR812 is almost perfect for Canadians. They have the Mk. II helmets that were more prevalently what the Canadians wore in Normandy, have the same stowage and armament, and have a similar tilt on the helmets many Canadians (and perhaps all British soldiers) seemed to wear them with. In 15mm there's no way to depict the toques often worn by Canucks, but I should be able to imitate the jerkins they favoured, not with conversion but with painting.

That said, there are two (or three) big differences between Canadians and the blister.

These following photos (taken from www.canadaatwar.ca) may show some of the more eagle-eyed among you the difference!

The primary difference is of course the lack of hessian strip on the helmets. Anecdotally, I've heard the Canadian Army officially told soldiers not to add them. I'm not certain why, and it was certainly ignored by some units (I have a photo of a mortar crew, as well as assorted other photos with strips of camo). Instead, the Canadians loved putting field dressings and the like under them. The second, more subtle difference is best shown by the gentleman in the centre of the second photo: A decent percentage of Canadians did not wear the gaiters, or at least did not tuck pants into them. This was by no means officially allowed, so it'd be rarer, but I, being a man who can not let an 'easy' conversion like this go, must convert it! The final key difference that I didn't bother with are the shovels. Canadians at least - if not the other countries - found the trenching tool relatively useless for its task, and replaced them with full-sized shovels or picks. Luckily for me, Battlefront's tendency for over-sizing the tools actually makes them look proper scale on the models!

But there is still that problem of the camo strips, field dressings, and un-tucked trousers...

Here's what I was facing to do this conversion:

I decided to divide them by pose, to ensure I didn't end up with a bunch of any one pose having all the same type of conversion, netting, or whatnot. I also decided fairly early on (in the first batch of 10 of these) to leave some un-converted save the strip removal. It seems to me that while commonplace, since none of the practices were universal, I would do a mix of some with dressings and gaiters, some untucked with dressings, and some with neither. (Entirely for variety, and not at all for laziness and the realization that 100 helmets 3mm across is a wee too many to do this on!)

I won't show all the groups, but here's an example of the end result from above. You can see one of the bren gunners has no gaiters, and you can see the stowage on various of the other prone figures.

Also among the dressings, sometimes they were under the webbing, sometimes tied to it, so I likewise varied to have some dressings appear attached to, and in others attempted to make the dressing appear to be bulged out.

Here's nine of the same pose. Another advantage of doing this work is it helped to vary up what would otherwise be exact copies of a model. I still am hoping not to double up on any base, but within a platoon this should help differentiate the figures. Actual base positioning should do the rest (I always try to make each stand have a theme).

 Ten... There are ten bloody figures walking with gun at hip. Now there are ten variously converted figures doing the same. I am impressed with the sculpts though, my next post will be on the blister itself, because I was turned off getting the blister based on BF's photos, until I saw what the sculpts look like in person!

Well, a hundred figures hence, one platoon has been sorted out for basing, and undercoated. I am still deciding if I want to do all of both platoons in one shot, or do them by platoon. I'm getting a bit behind on my painting-to-converting ratio (and waaay behind on my painting-to-purchasing ratio) but I'm hoping to get a bunch done this next week, and my Dystopian Wars fleet just needs some final fiddly details painted before it's ready to see a table!

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