Monday, April 4, 2011

A to Z: Conversions


Is there anything more satisfying in the hobby than having a vision, taking a random assortment of parts, bits, raw material and creativity and giving birth to your creation?

That's Rhetorical. Of course there isn't.

I love designing a new army or team, I love to paint, I love to game and I love to develop fluff & game rules.
But it all pales in comparison to the art of the conversion. I envy the full-blown sculptors: perhaps that is even better, I don't know. I've sculpted add-ons, rebuilt arms, etc, but I'm a far cry from a sculptor, at least for now.

But conversions are a true joy. Seeing something in your mind, realizing it doesn't exist... yet.
Then correcting that gap in what reality should be.

Yes, I'd enjoy a nice chat with Dr.F. I think I know where he's coming from.

I don't believe in leaving well enough alone.

I'm trying to remember what my first conversion was, but I'm not sure. Needless to say it was right at my start of this hobby. Maybe it was the horse barding I made out of the lead wrappers from wine bottles (I do miss those), or taking a real dead spider I found, and amberizing it with superglue to mount on a dark elf sorceress' staff.

Some of the best conversions are with Orks. Orks know how to live. Grab that junk, bolt & weld it to that other junk and make it look mean. Awesome. I've had great fun making lots of Ork conversions in the past. Every now and then my girlfriend asks me "when will you ever make another Ork Truck?"

Earlier posts here I showed some of the Quar walkers & flyers conversions. So I'll show some other items for now.

I made this last year, for the Warhammer Forum Miniature Exchange.
A skaven engineer with warp rocket, in the style of Dr. Strangelove. He was fun to make.
Plasticard & plasticard rods & tubes are your friends! A healthy bits box doesn't hurt either.
My bits box is more of a 'bits closet'.

Here's a 2nd ed. style catcher I made for a client's team.
He had 3 catchers, but needed a 4th. He had a spare lineman, so that was good enough for a base.
Sculpt some catching mittens and a helmet in their style and good to go.
He's now got most areas base painted and it's hard to tell he wasn't one of them all along.
Necessity is a mother & all that.

Remember 'A' a couple days ago? It got me thinking about that cheerleader Suzy-Q that needed to be made, so while some paint dried I saw to her.
Cut the skull off the belt, then sculpt pom-poms & a grass skirt.. ready to cheer for CCR!

And last for today is my Fezglitch.
If you remember the Skaven Deathball (check Feb under the left column) I had made a Skaven Deathball for a counts-as Rat Ogre. I loved it so much I had to make one for me too!
It is a downside to commission work: you want to keep it all!

But I wanted mine to be Fezglitch, since I'll be coaching an Underworld team in the local league which starts soon. So I wanted a more wild pilot, and to reduce the size of the ball to get it on a 30mm base. Here is the result:
Ignore the string- that was just to keep it together for the picture: it needs to be primed in pieces to get inside where a brush can't reach.
I did later add a band of metal around the exhaust to be a brace for the pole that supports the seat.
But didn't get a picture of that.

Final thoughts on Conversions:

I think the single most important secret to success is just start.

Just start cutting, Just start drilling. Just start sculpting. Just start dremeling.
Plan? Sure. Sketch? Sure. Think your idea through by all means.

But there will come a point long before you are certain, when you still have serious doubts, and that's when you just start anyway. If you can see it, you'll get there, one way or the other, or something better will fishline you by the nose and pull you to that instead.

Sometimes I think "I'm not really sure if this is possible", but it's not like I'm going to listen to it.

Just start.
You'll find your way there. It's like baby birds. They don't know if they can fly or not, but the mom nudges them out of the nest anyway. Chances are, they're going to fly no problem.
O.K., sometimes one doesn't make it.

But that's why nests come with more than one baby bird.


Paul´s Bods said...

Great post. Very readable. Well written and presented. Nice one

Dr. Willett's Workshop said...

Some great ideas in there, specially liked the pom pom conversion, cool stuff.

Impact! Miniatures said...

Fezglitch is AWESOME

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