This was my first try at converting a miniature. One of the players in our DnD 5th Edition campaign played a Fighter who specialized on polearms, so I wanted to try and get a miniature that accurately represented his PC alongside the rest of the party. Sadly, the only polearm-wielding miniature in my small collection was a Heroclix skeleton which served as a placeholder for a while (after some retouching – Heroclix miniatures are infamous for terrible paint jobs).
To compound the problem, I had very little human miniatures… so I figured I’d try and convert one of the many Grenadier Arquebusiers I had. I picked one who had originally been wielding a pistol, sawed that off and reoriented the other arm. I also managed to drill a hole through the hand that had been holding the pistol. After mistreating the metal to no end, I ended up with something acceptable. Oh, and I also managed to break one of its hands.
Horrible moldlines, I know… but I still love all of these old models. Anyways, in my first attempt at making a blade for his weapon, I used Brown Stuff (I considered using plastic card, but I did not find anything suitable at the time). After a lot of struggling with the stickiness of the material, letting it cure, sanding, giving up and making a new blade, more waiting, more sanding… well, see for yourself.
It looks like a smoked ham. A really ugly smoked ham. I’m sure Wallace’s frontline pal is thinking that his companion is gone as mad as the Quixote whose book inspired the fighter’s title.
It was at this point that I decided I would rather sacrifice another mini than attempt this a third time. I was about to chop off the sword of an elf fighter when I suddenly remembered to dig through my army of Grenadier Dwarves and found a squad of polearm-wielders that I had completely forgotten about! I separated the poor bearded fellow from the blade of its weapon and ended up with something a bit more decent. I did have to use a bit of Brown Stuff, so while I waited for it to cure, I got started on painting the actual figure.
I had originally painted the vest, the pants and the shirt sleeves in very different shades of green, but as I kept applying more and more layers of Citadel’s Nuln Oil, the differences eventually faded away into the same shade… I also lost all of the work I had done at highlighting the cloth folds. An important lesson: never overwash a miniature, especially if you are using a dark, black wash, or your colors will all fade into a dark halftone.
Here he is alongside his old placeholder. The shape at the back of the blade was achiever by using a piece of another figure’s broken bow and a generous amount of Brown Stuff, which also covers the wire used to make the weapon’s pole. In retrospect, I should’ve made it a bit longer. I’ve also thought about giving him a shoulder guard in order to mask all the twisting I had to do in order to get his left arm in place…
The party is finally complete!
You might notice that both Wallace and Baldrick’s weapons got an updated treatment with Citadel’s Blood for the Blood God. It probably looks excessive on Wallace’s blade, but it was the best way I found to hide the imperfections in the sculpting.
One of the miniatures in the War Springalds blister, converted into a lightly-armored fighter.
- Runefang Steel (dagger, chainmail and minor metal highlights)
- Agrax Earthshade (shading skin, hair, beard, leather and any other brown parts)
- Nuln Oil (shading any metals)
- Reikland Fleshshade (shading red glove and trousers)
- M.C. Bronze 70.998 (glove, mace and leg guards)
- M.C. Basic Skintone 70.815 (skin)
- Matt Varnish 70.520 (final sealing)