Wednesday, August 30, 2023

More W. Britians conversions

These past two weeks I've been making nearly as many conversions as did the Spaniards in Meso-America.

My two Confederate regiments are guys from Texas and Virginia - fifty-five from the Old Dominion and sixty-seven from the Lone Star state.  With that many soldiers, duplicates were inevitable. While this may go against the grain for serious W. Britains collectors, I've spent the past three weeks making conversions to transform the duplicates into individuals, and I'm very happy with the results.

For some reason this Rebel with the skeptical look on his face, seems to be a glut on the market...with two or three frequently available on ebay on any given day.

In my rush to build a regiment I lost track of how many of this guy that I had accumulated.  It turned out that I had seven of was like a clone army.   With saw, files, epoxy, and paint, I got to work.

For some of the figures the modifications were minimal, including this guy.  I sawed off his rifle arm simply to change the position of his rifle.  I also repainted his hat and added cuff facings.

The most involved conversion included changing the positions of the arms and legs; in this instance to make the guy look like he was running faster.  I started by sawing one foot free of the base.

The next step was to saw nearly through his knee, and then bend it to the desired angle.

Next came the two-part epoxy to fill the gap.

Dealing with the bare metal that was left behind was pretty simple, with just glue, sawdust, and paint.

In addition to his leg, I also bent his arm at the elbow and changed the position of his rifle arm.

Armed with a flat-file, I gave him a flat-topped straw hat and painted his jacket butternut.

The difference is significant and the result was very satisfying.

I also gathered my other duplicates and started swapping heads:

Another advancing rebel figure provided opportunities, as I had five of them.

With their modified captain, they can now charge confidently into battle...clones no more.

This was a really fun project, with satisfying results.  I'll see you in a few weeks with another report from the toy soldier studio; until then...

Soldier on!


Saturday, August 19, 2023

W. Britains line officer conversion


I've built up two regiments of W. Britains Confederates; one is a 62-man outfit from Virginia, and the other is a regiment of 67 Texans.

With that many figures, I had about 20 duplicates, which I found I spent the past two weeks making conversions.  This saga will be the grist of the next post to this blog.

What prompts this post, is the conversion that I did today.

My Virginia Regiment needed another officer, but I couldn't find anything suitable; the usual sources had officers, but none in usable poses.

It turned out that an ebay dealer was selling the Britains "Hell for Glory" (31199) set.  The classic red box arrived to reveal seven figures, including the one below:

I definitely didn't want an officer-flagbearer, but when I first saw the photo of this figure, I hit the "buy it now" button.  I saw that, without the flagstaff, this officer's arms and hands are in perfect position for a revolver and a sword.  

I got to work

The steel rod comprising the staff was particularly hard metal; I had to do most of the removal work on the bandsaw (very carefully).

Staff gone, and hands filed, I moved on to the sword.  I separated the hilt from the scabbard and sawed out the handle to enable the officer's hand to appear to be gripping it.

Now it was time to fabricate a blade.  Using the scabbard for reference, I marked out the length on a sheet of styrene plastic.

The results were pleasing, and all of the components were ready to assemble.

I also wanted my officer to be wielding a pistol.  This took me to my large collection of plastics, in search of a likely six-shooter...

there were plenty of candidates.

Filed, filled, glued, and painted, our captain is ready to take his place on the firing line.

See you next time with more conversions.  Until then...

Soldier on!