Monday, November 28, 2011

One Pose - Many Characters

One of the neat perks of submitting miniatures to's SHM miniatures line is getting multiple casts of the figures you have created. This has left me with quite a few extras of the aliens I sculpted for them and given me a great opportunity to convert some these extras into new and interesting characters suitable for use in games like Blasters & Bulkheads.

To get on a soap box for a moment, there has often been criticism of miniatures ranges for not providing enough options for miniatures gamers. This is true in some cases and complete bunk in others. Regardless of how many poses a particular line offers, I think these following pictures will demonstrate how the same basic figure can be used to create a range of interesting and useful characters.

In the above pictures you will see several characters built off of the basic Vergan (far left) sculpt I did for This tentacled fellow seems an unlikely miniatures for a range of characters which is exactly why I decided to work with him first. To the right of the basic alien are. from left to right, The Commander, heavy weapon, trooper, laborer, and musician. None of these of these required more than basic putty pushing skills and a little time.

The weapon-armed Vergans presented the most extensive conversions, but that is because I also made their guns. Basic weapon forms were affixed to the miniatures and then given added detail and limb extensions to make it all come together. Ammo packs, straps and equipment harnesses were added using a number of simple shapes and basic pouch-making techniques. The Commander was done with similar techniques to achieve his extensive utility harness. The laborer, had the drum pinned to his chest with basic drilling and pinning techniques and then his tentacles extended so they looked to be lifting/holding the cargo. The musician was achieved by a basic putty shape that was allowed to harden before details were added.

The Horansi aliens are another one that really captures my imagination. With their long arms they offer a number of opportunities for limb rearrangements though all of the merchant satchels, backs, packs and pouches on the original figure did pose a challenge for prospective conversions. The three figures above show three levels of putty work.

The alien on the far left above, was converted from simple merchant, festooned with baggage to a more technical looking character by covering over his cluttered mess with more orderly looking tool packs and a backpack (unseen). The above middle alien is a companion to the Vergan musician and was given a curious alien cross between a tuba, oboe and bagpipe. Arm adjustments and more advanced putty work, including a wire structure for the instrument were used for the musician. The Horansi to the right above is a rather extensive conversion featuring the addition of a young Horansi at its feet, a new hand, a cloak/shawl, and a staff. And interesting note about all the above aliens is that I have done nothing to change the posture of their main bodies but they all seem to be standing in different ways. This was accomplished more by how they were mounted on the base and the clever propping this way or that by the putty under their feet.

Another simple technique, besides the application of putty techniques is to set your figures up in little vignettes that paint them in a different light. The top Horansi is stock from the mold and placed amid a collection of precast Peter Pig weapons/supply cache pieces from their Vietnam range. The lower alien, besides his new hat and cape (he's a styling merchant) has only had a simple limb adjustment and has been placed amid more of the same sort of cache bits, in this case munitions and weapons crates. Placed in a spaceport or market scene, they would add a touch of character to any game.

And remember, the force will be with you...always.



  1. Because of your previous message I ordered a bunch of aliens from 15mmUK (the last paint job do them justice). Now I'm starting to think about conversion...


  2. David,

    Which message was that, if I might ask?

    I am glad to have inspired you to paint and convert.


  3. The previous one: My Sculpts Painted! (Not By Me)

  4. Very inspiring work, and when my paint schedule opens up I'll be picking up those aliens you sculpted :)

  5. Those Horansi merchants are great!

  6. The Horansi are my favorite!! Good stuff!

  7. Good work as always Eli, and thought provoking stuff.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...