Friday, 8 June 2012

Making a gun emplacement - Part 7

Crew - final choice, final tinkering…

I've taken a bit longer - perhaps too long - to put together this crew, but as this is my first attempt at playing Dr. Frankenstein I guess I was bound to expend a little too much time on these modifications.

First lesson - soft plastic is a pig to work with!

It actually 'frays' if you attempt to sand it making a unholy mess, so neat and careful carving and shaving with a very sharp craft knife is critical to a clean finished figure. Smoothing of uneven bits or filling must then be done with Milliput or similar putty.

The actual mating of spare limbs and heads isn't all that hard, but you have to chose your doner limbs carefully to match the victim…Er, sorry I mean patient! In the case of my figure who is carrying the ammo crate I used a very thin Revell arm and so had to pad it out a lot - in essence rebuild the arm - with putty to match his other arm.
Tip: I add a reinforcing pin - a small piece of metal wire - to each body part in order to fix it securely to the torso.
Above: These PSC Soviets needed new arms to give them relevance within the gun crew. I quite like the crate carrying figure, it's quite a dynamic pose now. Hopefully the painting will hide his shoddy bionic appendage!

The helmets turned out not so bad and I have the technique fairly sorted now and it's quite quick to do. I just have to add the side rivets which are a distinctive feature if the German WW1 helmet. Luckily, for my infantry I will be making the far simpler Czech M1935 'pudding bowl' helmet as well and that's a doddle.

Above: These are the two 'cut & shut' composite figures made from PSC head and legs and HaT bodies. I needed these for the specialist artillery poses, but the HaT head and legs didn't match the PSC figures so had to be changed. It wasn't all that hard, though my filling leaves something to be desired.

It's been a useful experiment and I am now more confident with working with small figures and have a better idea with what can be done. Obviously I cannot lavish this level of modelling on each and every figure in my Finnish army, but the artillery crews are of sufficient specialism that they need quite unique poses - a rifleman is pretty much a rifleman and won't need much more than a change of hat or helmet!

NEXT: Honest - I will paint these next!

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