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Post Info TOPIC: British Tommy figure conversion


Hero

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British Tommy figure conversion
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While waiting other model parts to set, I took this small diversion... I always read on old Airfix magazines about the conversion of soft plastic figures. I remain more or less unimpressed by my own results, but I'm contented just to achieve that this figure stays in one piece after grafting new legs and a new arm to it. I also altered the shape of the top of the cap to this (as it was somewhat short-cast on it) using a small blob of surplus epoxy glue.

The basis of the conversion was one of the 1/76 British soldiers carrying a "loop of wire" on the Hät (Airfix) set. It had a clean cast body and a passable head, but the legs were awkwardly posed and the arms were too long (one of the original arms remain on this figure, and you can see it's reaching waaaay behind). I used the legs of the "medic" figure and one folded arm from the "casualty" which looked well cast and proportional to the man's height. I pinned both pieces to the torso using thin copper wire and bridged the invevitable gaps with epoxy glue, as mentioned. Note I also erased the deep base plate from the feet.

Before taking a picture I slapped some dilluted Tamiya putty to it, to see better how the fix was. The photos show many defects which are not so glaring at normal viewing distance, so indicating clearly which are the main problem areas. I'd wish to add new accoutrments and belting, and perhaps a shovel to the left hand and a pipe to the right hand. The overall height was checked, and now I clearly see why these airfix figures look so odd: the tunics are too long on the skirts! Most photos of troopers in the front show at least a part of the pants buttocks, so I'll have to re-tailor that jacket.
It remains a work in process...



-- Edited by d_fernetti on Wednesday 29th of January 2014 01:06:26 PM

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Pat


Commander in Chief

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Don't be too hard on yourself Diego, the digital camera lens is cruel...

You have blended the parts together in a very natural way. How did you glue the parts - with epoxy glue, or was that only used as putty? Also, the pose is quite original, what setting is it ment for? Regards, Pat



-- Edited by Pat on Thursday 30th of January 2014 09:28:17 AM

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Hero

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Hi Pat! Thanks!
It's mostly an experiment to see if I can do what the old Airfix mags said about converting soft plastic figures! I used just common household 2 part epoxy glue (same brand I use for any home repair, nothing specific about it). I took good care of having the mating surfaces clean and pinned in position. I smoothed the rather thick glue paste with a wet finger and let it set about ten minutes. Nothing else!
I intended to add a shovel to the right hand, and pose the figure next to some earthwork (the W^D figure set of the working party gave me lots of ideas) and put the Mark I tank I'm building next to it, to give a sense of "human scale" to the vehicle. I'm not too convinced of the looks of the right arm -seems a bit overlong to me- and might replace for another one. I'll have to see what's suitable to graft to the shoulder.
Do you guys think that a man on a working party might keep his equipment on during the digging? Or I just make the pose with the bare tunic? (I should have taken one figure from the artillery set who's in rolled shirt sleeves!)



-- Edited by d_fernetti on Thursday 30th of January 2014 12:42:49 PM



-- Edited by d_fernetti on Thursday 30th of January 2014 12:52:54 PM

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Legend

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I think the arm length is fine, Diego - arms are longer than we tend to think they are, with fingertips reaching down to mid-thigh.

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Lieutenant

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Hi Diego,

good start so far. An option to these figures perhaps are Preiser figs, just a thought.
Keep us updated please.

Regards
Michel

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Hero

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A man on a working party might keep his equipment on during the digging if he was working near the front line, otherwise I think it would be a case of tunic or shirt-sleeves ! Depending on the time of year/weather conditions. I remember reading all those Airfix articles too and the thing that always stayed with me was to use a new scalpel blade for each session, for these soft plastic figures. It does help !
Paul

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