You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Sailor conversion from Copplestone Gangster Street Tough

I've been enjoying Friday Night Fights by Two Hour Wargames, so much so, that I'm busy painting up some bare knuckle fighters and other assorted toughs to use in the game.
Since I've set my fights in a 1930s pulp setting, I just had to have a sailor, but I couldn't find any that would match up well with Copplestone's figures. The problem was solved by converting one of Copplestone's own figures. The original figure is the bat-wielding figure from GN13 Street Toughs in the Gangster range.
I began the conversion by (1) clipping away the slot tab (since I'd be pinning the figure to a homemade urban base) and the bat (since the game is about fighting with fists, not cheating with weapons.)
(2) The next step was important: With the bat cut away, the arm was in an akward pose. I needed to rotate it into a more believeable position. This was accomplised by wrapping the arm with a thin piece of heavy paper (so that my pliers would not ruin the surface of the mini) and carefully rotating the arm with a pair of needle nose pliers. MUCH better; now my sailor looks like he's puffing his chest out and clinching his fist, challenging other fighters to come forward and get their blocks knocked off!
(3) Not many sailors wear suspenders (or old sports caps), so these were simply filed off. The suspenders on the baclk of the mini were more diffulcult to remove because the mini's back is concave where my files could not reach. I solved this problem by filing as much as I could, and covering up the remainder with greenstuff. At this point, I also made the sailor's hat. Surprisingly, this was a difficult shape to make for as simple as it looks. Plus, I had to make sure it was the right size.
I did not saw off the mini's orginal hat (4), because even a razor saw will remove extra material, and I needed as much head and hair on the mini as possible to make the sailor hat look good (and look correct.) So I filed the hat down to the ears and at an angle. When I reached the ears, I used needle files to clean up any excess metal. The sailor hat was glued on, and that was it!! Painting was easy, though, I'm a little out of practice; I've been teaching myself to sculpt and convert and build. It's time I get back to painting with patience.
Still, the sailor came out better than I thought it would, and he will make a nice addition to my collection of fighters.


  1. Do you mind talking a little bit about arm rotation, if you haven't already?

    Having run into how difficult it was for me to do pinning (drilling holes with a pin vise into metal isn't easy... ), sometimes rotating might be an option, but I'm curious how you do it and avoid breaking the mini.

  2. It really depends on which company's figure you're using. Copplestone Castings uses a softer mix of metal allowing for the metal to be torqued more without breaking. I've tried the same thing with a Reaper mini, and SNAP.
    When I rotated the arm, I didn't do it in one turn either. I wrapped the arm with the protective paper/thin board, grabbed the mini's forearm nearer the wrist with my needlenose pliers (pliers with teeth will help a bit, but don't squeeze too hard or you'll mar the surface.) Then I firmly, but slowly rotated the arm. Now, what I was actually doing was "twisting" the arm near the wrist. The paper kept the pliers from scarring the surface, and the twisting really didn't otherwise distort the mini beyond what couldn't be covered up with paint.
    A couple years ago, I was unsure about bending my minis for fear of breaking them, but I had a few extra minis in the lead mountain to practice with.
    Just mind the metal's property; all mini's have a snapping point, you just need to find out how far you can bend before you reach that point.

    A quick note on pinning: I use the Games Workshop pen vise- one of the few GW hobby tools I think works well. Plus, the size of the bits GW gives you matches perfectly with a standard paperclip (which I use as pins when I'm out of brass rod.) Just a thought if you were looking for something to make pinning easier for ya.

  3. I'll take that recommendation to mind - I've not been impressed with my pin drill, but then I'm not sure if the bits are crap. I know I could not get it to work well on my Otherworld Troll miniature. So here I am with a variable speed cordless drill with a 1/32" bit (teeny/tiny) trying to keep a low speed and drill holes in a less than 1/4" troll foot... wondering if I'd be angrier at drilling my finger or drilling a bad hole...

  4. Just a quick question: What kind of pen vise do you have?
    If you have a double-ended type, I think the GW vise (or, you'll see one with what looks like a hex nut on the end opposite from the bit end) will show superior performance. The back handle on the GW vise, or the hex-nut on the (eXacto?) brand fit in the palm of your hand and can rotate. It allows you to turn the drill with your fingers and push at the same time with your palm (instead of making your fingers do the twisting AND pushing.)
    I haven't tried a power drill yet; I'm to afriaid of breaking too many bits. But others use power drills to great effect.

  5. It's some cheap piece of crap. It doesn't allow me to rotate and push easily.

    I was thinking a variable speed Dremel tool might do the trick. I might have to price one and see, but in the meantime, I'll hop over to my GW store tonight and get the pin drill.