Fitting square pegs into round holes

One of the problems I encounter in using the 1/72 soft plastics is the presence of figures which just don’t fit the theme or an overabundance of figures of marginal value. That is the case with my Successors project. I have way too many light infantry/skirmishers than I need. Also some of the cavalry are shall we say, less than useful (I only need one Alexander model, not 10). The saving grace in these however is the ease of customization and conversion that plastics afford. Below are some of the conversions I am doing, some easy, some pushing the boundaries of practicality.

Staff Slingers and Javelin men to Slings and City Militia/Tribal warriors

This is an easy one. For some reason the manufacturer of these figures was enamored with staff slings. They also provided a metric crap ton of javelins. I snipped the sling part off the staff and the javelin from the throwing hand of the javelin and glue the sling in its place. Not wanting to waste the staff slinger figure I trim out the staff and replace it with a spear being held at a low angle. This gives me several options. I add a pelte and get a Thracian lowlander. I add a small round shield and he can serve as a poorly armed city militia. If I cut off the base he can also fit into a howdah as a pike for an elephant.

Sword to lance conversion

The second conversion is even more simple. The cavalry provided is split evenly between spears/lances and swords. While ranks of identical lances look cool on the battlefield, a unit of identical word wielding troopers does not. So in this case I simply clip off the sword and replace it with a wire spear. The figure on the right is the original.

Horse Archer to lancer

This one is more complex. Between the various boxes of figures I have about a dozen horse archers dressed in tunic, Greek helmet and bow. For my purposes any horse archers will be dressed in a more Skythian/Persian style. The pose of the archer is very difficult to simply modify. As most plastics the figure is in a flat pose. In this case the bow is held perpendicular to the horse with the left arm outstretched and the right pulling back on an imaginary bow string. If I just replace the bow with a spear I will have a lancer holding his weapon at a 90 degree angle, both impractical in combat and in ranking up figures on a base. So in this case I had to cut the torso just above the sword on the figures side. I then repositioned it so the left arm is pointing just to the left side of the horse. When I glue in the spear it comes close to approximating the look of a kontos being held overhand, stabbing downward. I also trimmed down the helmet to make it look more like the Phrygian helmets in use at the time. The figure does not have much in the way of armor but it will serve as line cavalry well enough.

Alexander: there can be only one.

Every box of the cavalry contained an Alexander figure in his classic pose astride a rearing horse, leopard horse blanket and spear held underarm. Well you only need one of those in an army, not a whole unit of Alex clones. Once again the surfeit of javelins comes in handy. One pose has the Greek helmet they are fond of so a simple head swap is in order. A trim of the helmet crest and an armored cavalryman is produced along with a bare headed, good looking, raggedy ass skirmisher.

I am sure there will be more conversions as I go along. The nice thing about these is that it breaks up the monotony of painting. Next up DIY shields.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.