Saturday, September 26, 2020

A tip for a simple conversion

Where are they when you need them?

As I'm intending to use my previously reviewed Toy Story Army men for wargaming, I'm organizing them into rifle squads/sections. But to so in a propper way, they actually miss one thing which most rifle squads have; a machinegunner armed with a a LMG. The 'Bucket O Soldiers' didn't contain any such figures.

The two sections are kind of large (at least bigger than a Norwegian section of 8 men), and can be divided in to even more fireteams. A LMG might get usefull for them

Make a not so useful figure more suitable for your needs...

As I wanted my new machinegunners to match the rest of their squad in both style and size, I decided to convert some of the other Toy Story figures left in the bucket for this purpose. Since I've used most figures for different purposes, there wasn't so many left to choose between. I had some engineers with mine-detectors left, as they are not so useful for my type of wargaming. Besides, their position is not that bad for a soldier carrying a LMG (at least not for a "links-shooter").

Still in a Classic style and pose

...And arm him with "Lego"...

The next challenge was to find a suitable LMG to arm them with. I keep leftovers from kits in a box full og bits and pieces, but my guns there were mostly 1:35 scale. I found them to small, as the Toy Story-soldiers are bigger. To buy other kits just to get the machineguns wasn't tempting, but on Thingeverse I found a lot of 3D-files for free to print. I also found a huge selection of different weapons there as well. As I was able to print some files from Thingeverse (more on that in a later blog-post), it was just to take a pick. 

Even though their generic, green and tan "imagiNATION" style, I kept Norwegian soldiers in mind making the UN-troops. Therefore I wanted to arm them with a machinegun used by Norwegian Armed Forces. As the MG3 was one of my favorites from my own service, it had to be one f those. It is very similar to the WWII German MG42, so it was easy to find some models/files on Thingeverse. I had to try to print different files of the MG42, as not all of them came out successfully due to the small size. I found a "Lego MG42" for "Lego Minifigs Wargaming", and resized it to 1:32 scale. It was a robust model and turned out quiet well, so I printed 2 models with both folded and unfolded bipods. I kept the drum magazine on, as it enables the LMG to be operated by 1 person and will be an advantage in wargaming.

Printed in both black and white PLA-plastic with bipods both folded and unfolded.

Now the soft, oily plastic the soldiers are made from became handy, as I was able to bend the left arm on one of them easily by hot water. The other one I kept a little different deliberately to get a slight variation. With the LMGs fitted, my soldiers became wobbly due to their small original base and added weight. Back at Thingeverse I found different bases and resized and printed one of them. Now they stands steady.

Don't look to good yet, as some putty and glue is still visible

Finishing touches

Painting is straight forward, nothing new here. Washed, primed, painted, and sealed with Mod Podge directly this time. 

Primed and ready
I tried to add further variations as some of the drum magazines looks different from different manufacturers. Some MG3s uses old and new parts, and some even has old MG42 parts. That's why I gave the soldier to the right an older 'brownish' bakelite sholderstock to his weapon.

A quick wash and drybrush brings out the few little details that these 'smooth' figures has.

Now they're ready to team up with their BIA and complete their squads, and probably for some action as well....

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