Saturday, August 27, 2016

20 mm Conversions for Chain of Command

First, a couple of warnings. The photos are not great - the camera is old and I am no Karsh. Secondly, 20mm is my cheap and dirty scale to do North West Europe quickly and with a small investment. Efforts are focused on getting toys on the table rather than on painting and I am no great painter to begin with.  Finally, painting and basing is not entirely complete. For those that were supposed to be, I was unable to find matte spray so had to settle for eggshell. Even though the can was very thoroughly shaken eggshells are apparently shiny. Everything will get shot of proper matte in the future.

One of the practical problems one can face when playing low rated forces in Chain of Command is the need to provide support. When playing a Canadian Motor / Infantry Platoon in NWE or Italy and possibly facing Elite Fallschirmjaeger the need becomes urgent since up to 26 points of support might need to be provided. To address this I need to make up a few teams that don't appear in the usual boxes of 1/72 plastics.  For others, I just wasn't happy with the provided poses.
Flame and Bren
First up is a flame thrower centre with a Bren gunner on the right. The source figure is on the left.  For the Bren I just cut away the barrel of the Enfield and replaced it with the forepart of a Bren cut from another prone figure,  The flame gun is just a length of stretched sprue. Having looked more closely at the life buoy unit, I would use a Thompson figure next time as the grip looks better. 

Back of the life buoy
I cut away the existing backpack to make room for the iconic fuel tank. I had hoped to use a tiny rubber O ring for the tank but I was out, so I used a 1/72 wheel retaining bushing from the bits box instead. It is too square in cross section but will do for now.  The fuel line is thin solder.

PIAT to Bangalore wire cutting figure
Just a quick slice operation to remove the PIAT and Sten then a hole was drilled to take a length of brass rod cut to length.

Demolitions Unit
A simple swap of the original PIAT ammunition carrier on the right to a satchel charge on the left.  The satchel is two 25mm US small packs glued back to back. An earlier attempt used two full packs but was well over sized.

Polish Mine Detector (right)
Another simple conversion by cutting away the rifle and using plastic sprue. The detector unit is a part number tab from from a model kit that just happened to be the right size and shape. Though the back pack had most of the detail scraped off to look more like an electronics box, I felt that trying to make the headphones was a route to insanity. There should be a counterweight on the end of the pole but I have yet to find a good picture.

Medic and casualty
This is not much of a conversion as all I did was cut away the Sten (see below) and add a medic bag using another US small pack and a bit of flat dental floss to make the strap.  All but one of the pictures of Canadian Medics I found show the armband on the left arm. I felt though that it was more obvious on the right and was also much less of a pain to paint (and I do have one supporting reference).

Officer to Platoon Sergeant
The original figure is on the far left. As noted above I cut away the Sten from another of the casualty figures - it was a bit delicate slicing it off the leg without damage - a sharp #11 blade is required. It was then a simple process to trim away the pistol and swagger stick and glue the Sten in its place.

Forward Observer
Very minimal work here. The radio operator is a stock figure. The FO is a kneeling Vickers gunner with  a bit of thin brass sheet cut to size and inserted in a small slit to make a map.

Sniper Team
Even less work on this one. Just a bit of stretched sprue for a scope.  Yes I know it's too big, he traded some whiskey to an American for an unofficial civilian model.... 

2" mortar crews - Conversion left and out of the box right.
Revell made a rather good British infantry set with all sorts of useful poses, Stens and support weapons. Sadly it is now out of production. On the left is my attempt to put together a mortar team out of mostly Italeri/Esci bits. The mortar was made from a bit of brass rod. The mortar man's arms were trimmed and re-positioned to hold the tube. Both the mortar man and the loader were originally less than useful Esci Bren figures who donated their weapons to create more dynamic LMG gunners as noted above.

After making one of these, a package arrived from certain paint sniffing dog.  In it was the much sought after Revell set! The mortar team from this shown on the right.  While I am proud of my little conversion, the pre-made one was a darn sight easier to put together.  Thank you Dog!

1 comment:

Michael Awdry said...

Cracking little conversions, I am always impressed those that wield the scalpel to create new and original pieces.