To keep the momentum going, I started converting my Empress miniatures to Slovenes as soon as I got the guns. While I am using US infantry as the basis for my conversions of the gurnts, I decided to use British downed pilots for my test piece first.
I still haven't decided just what exactly to do with them.
The guy on the left had his carbine substituted for an F2000S rifle and the other one will not see any changes to his weaponry because having one with a pistol seems like a pleasant change. I was thinking about adding him an (empty) rifle, but that would just make him look cluttered as he carries some pouches and a bag as it is.
|Here is my patient zero before the surgery.|
The thing is we don't have assault helicopters and I am not sure if I would want them to be pilots. Pilots are great for Search and Rescue missions and so on, but I don't think I ever saw our pilots with a combat vest and armed.
Second role I could use them for is as an APC crew members. Those would work much better and I could sculpt helmets on them for a bit of a diversity.
This is generally a no brainer, but the thing is, I could paint the pilots in one colour OD overalls, which would be a nice contrast to the infantry, while APC crew would have to be painted in camouflage uniform as they are part of the infantry, after all.
Brainstorming like this, I suppose I could go away with one colour overalls and still sculpt the crew helmets on them (for the sake of converting the guy with a pistol) and simply call them "tank crew".
While I think I am far from being a rivet counter, certain details bother me so much, I can't just skip them. I have way too much time on my hands!
To prevent yawns from my ideas, here is a step by step of the "surgery". I decided to write this up to show you there is no science behind simple conversions as this one and to help me keep track of what I changed (this will be more important later on, when I will be working on the basic fire teams)
after the mandatory pre-surgery washing, I took a knife and cut our brave man's palms right off. I had some problems cutting around the magazine and stock of a carbine and I couldn't leave it undamaged. I decided to keep the hands for future reference. There was an option of leaving his right hand on the body and "simply" cut the gun "to fit", but I decided not to do it this time.
I decided this was not a problem and started sculpting hands full of confidence. The lack of armature on the right hand proved problematic, of course. You can (hopefully) see on the photos below that I only managed to sculpt one finger on his right hand. Adding some putty for the rest 3 (not counting thumb) is much easier than trying to sculpt all 4 now with putty swinging around like a monkey on branches. I tried to make it look obvious his index finger is stretched and does not rest on the trigger. It's probably not obvious, but hey - safety first.
Left hand got all fingers done but a thumb (that would be added when it all cures so I don't mess up what I've done so far). I found out that wire support was a tiny tad too broad, so I shifted the grip a little forward (it's not noticable, really). I was (yes, was...keep reading) really happy with how the left hand fingers came out. Fantastic, nicely rounded individual fingers, all more or less of the same size.
|You can see thumb missing on left hand.|
After I gave it another try, I used a bit harder Greenstuff instead of mixing milliput in as well. The end result is visible below. I am quite happy with how it turned out, but it's not as good as it was.
Right hand's fingers are horrible because there was not much place to sculpt them (the GS layer is shallow) - I would probably have to file the gun's handle just a bit to be able to sculpt a more natural grip. If I would simply thicken the GS layer, I would end up with his index (done in first run) finger way too thin and it would look odd.
Also in today's news, I have finished sculpting a grenade launcher on my F2000 yesterday. You can see it down below (top new, bottom old). It's much smaller with a lot softer detail. I am not too happy with how it came out but I had to shape it all in one go so if I moved putty to point A point B got all messed up.
It is way tinier than what you'd see on other rifles, but I think it fits the size of this gun. The actual launcher has a very small overlap over the gun (like what...less than centimeter on each side?), so anything larger would be wrong. It looks awfully small, even compared to Ebob's M16 and his guns are quite realistically proportioned. Unfortunately I have no Empress miniatures with grenade launchers to compare the size just yet. I think I will just thicken the barrel some more (light green) and it should be just fine.
I will now start cutting up the rest, but they won't be armed until those new versions of the guns get cast, so probably some time in August.
Thanks for looking,