Oh warrior! Most brave, strong and true
with shining sword to give the foe their due.
Thy valour is not in thine sword and shield
It is your heart that you wield!
It is your heart that you wield!
Cast aside your sword, your spear,
don your gridiron for game time is near.
Wargear aside, just so many bitz.
Time now to star in a kick off blitz!
Butchering poetry forms aside, hacking apart miniatures to make them different, converting, is great fun.
The most common form of conversion is the 'weapon snip' where you just clip a sword out of a guy's hand.
You see this a lot in Blood Bowl teams.
Understandable, since though the number of minis producers for Blood Bowl figures is expanding: Impact Miniatures, Willy, Greebo, Gaspez-Arts, Comixininos and others sometimes you just want something completely unique, or sometimes you want to save some money by using miniatures you have on hand.
If you have some orcs with axes, cut the axes out of their hands and you have some passable players.
It has gotten to the point that now when I look at miniatures, for whatever reason or genre, I also instinctively ask myself 'could these work as a Blood Bowl team?'
If you find yourself wanting to snip some weapons to convert a Blood Bowl team, before you start take these considerations:
1. Is a weapon-snip enough?
Taking the sword away from a Paladin in full plate armor isn't going to create a Blood Bowl player as much as a knight without a sword. Even more so when you take away a chainsword from a Space Marine.
Some teams are more forgiving than others: Orcs, Norse, Dwarves, tend to have similar looks for everyday war & on the pitch, but Humans, Elves, not so much. So look at the miniature and decide if you'll need to do more converting to make it work, such as shoulderpads.
2. Pose: Dynamic or Silly?
A miniature with a 'come get some' pose might be just fine, but an on-rushing warrior with a claymore might look odd without the sword, making someone wonder if he got his bracelet caught in his earring and he's trying to untangle it as he's running. Some poses won't work without a weapon, so visually remove the weapon first to see how it looks. If the pose is wrong, ask yourself if you can bend it, cut & reattach or whatever it takes to alter the pose until it looks right.
3. Drill Baby Drill
Snipping the weapon off isn't enough. I can't say how many times I have seen decent enough looking weapon-snip conversions that could have been much better with a bit more effort. When a weapon is cut off the surface of the top of the hand is now flat. Make a fist and look at it: your curling fingers look like a cinnamon roll. So, take a small pin vice drill and drill a shallow hole at the top of the mini's fist. carve a bit with a knife to get some finger distinction. You can also put a thin layer of green stuff on top and press in the curl markings, but the drill is easier and quicker.
So on to a recent 'weapon snip' team of mine.
These started out as some barbaric hill-dwarf warriors from Rackham for Confrontation.
I love the Rackham sculpts.. so much character in their faces. Really some of the best sculpting there has ever been in my opinion.
All weapons snipped (and set aside into the bitz for future possibilities).
Unfortunately, these also had integrated shields on their left arms- seems from this angle I didn't take a decent picture of the result- but I clipped the shields and filed them until what was left was an 'arm guard gauntlet' which I imagine might be useful in Blood Bowl!
Angry little fellows who will now fight just as hard on the pitch as the battlefield!
The idea for this team was to 'double dip' for two teams in one. The pictures above show the basics of a Dwarf team, with blockers at top and at bottom: 2 slayers, 2 blitzers, 2 runners.
They have a 'hill dwarf' theme: armor 9 because they're tough sons of anvils not because of any protection they wear! But all that exposed dwarf skin and more barbaric look made me think of running them as a Norse team as well: Norse Dwarves rather than Norse Men.
So they'd need 2 Norse Werewolf minis, in this case I went with Wereboars:
These are Farrow Bone Grinders from Privateer Press' Hordes.
Note: These are not simple weapon snips! If you're new to converting, these might take some practice.
They had cleavers in one hand and a bone in the other. The cleavers laid across clothing and legs, so some serious clipping, cutting, digging and a bit of resculpting was needed. On their backs they had large scabbards for the cleavers, so these had to go, and same situation applied.
They needed a tie-in with the rest of the team, so i sculpted some shoulder pads with the same look as that of the dwarves.
Next up, a big guy!
A Yeti or a Snow Troll was needed. I returned to Rackham for one of my favorite trolls ever:
He had a massive club in his hand, but it was easy work to cut it, drill into his hand to redefine the anatomy and fix his shoulders.
Now all the Fjord Furies needed was paint!
.. more on that to come.