Fun with plastic

Love it or hate it, there is something innately ‘fun’ about plastic as a medium. Well there is for me, if perhaps not for everyone. When I returned from PolderCon, I had a goodybag with a Warlord Games ‘US Marines’ sprue in it. I’d not seen the Bolt Action Plastic Marines, so I was eager to ‘have a play’ and see how they went together.  

The basic US Marines 'off the sprue' with no conversion.

My first outing with the plastic cement was just to create some standard Marines and see what they looked like. Pretty good so far, although I must straighten those binoculars… there were some spare parts left over though, so I wondered what else I could with them. 

US Infantry

Next, I tried combining the spare arms with the standard US Infantry sprues. I had to do a little shaving on the shoulders to get the marine arms to fit. That said, I do prefer the ‘all in one arms’ over the three part (left arm, weapon and right arm) of the US army set.  

French Indochina conversions.In WSS 77 (shameless plug…), there is an excellent article by Gerry Miller on the French paratroops post World War 2. As they wore ex US and British kit, I decided to see if i could convert the marines into French paras and Legionnaires. The beret is a Warlord plastic British commando head with his beret glued so it leans in the French fashion, over the left side of his head. The MAT 49 is a cut down Thompson . I’m sure I could convert some bolt action rifles to MAS 36 and the BAR to a FM 24/29 LMG. I’ve also been thinking about doing further conversions by making some kepis or bush hats, using spares from the Perrys Confederate sprues. I’ll need some more plastic marines for that…

Japanese support weapons.

By now I was properly bitten by the conversion bug (I recognize it well, it’s happened before). Next I worked on some of the Japanese, trying some support weapons. I thought the Type 89 Grenade Discharger (‘knee mortar’) would look good if fired from a prone position, so I converted the team accordingly. The Type 99 LMG needed a loader, so I took the magazine of the spare Type 99 on the sprue and gave it to the loader. 

Japanese experiments.

Then I tried some running Japanese. The model on the left is the standard pose, but you wouldn’t want too many guys like this. So I thought I could try a few different leg positions by using the prone model’s left leg (he gets the cut-off leg in return). I’m happy with the middle pose but perhaps the right one isn’t quite right. Maybe I meed to position the head a little higher…

Prussian command conversions.

And finally, here’s what I should really be getting on with - the Prussians for Ligny. I’ve only got about four months before our big battle, so finishing Prussians is a priority. Here I’ve taken the standard command and make some unique models. The two standards use spare parts from the Victrix Austrians. The leader has a Perry French officer’s arm and a head from my Prussian hussar heads (see my blog on my Hussar conversions).

Converting plastics is pretty easy and can be great fun (see my previous blogs on Marie Louises and Prussian Jagers). There is an element of puzzle solving, seeing how the pieces you have will go together in new and different ways. Also do check out Andy Singleton’s blog on Volley Fire Painting. He’s done some excellent conversions of the new Warlord Winter Russians into greatcoated Germans. 

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