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Tiny Outfits, Large Guns

So ... ya wanna be an arms dealer? Or manufacturer. Or you just want a bucket of scifi weapons to arm up some unseemly horde or ne'er do wells. Well, this is the spot for you! We're beginning with some simple pieces and doing a simple conversion. These won't win any sculpting awards, but they'll do, especially if you have some figs that are just for fun or you want some one-offs and don't want to invest a ton of money or time in arming them up. These conversions also work well for B-movie scifi, which is exactly who these ones are being made for.

So, the first thing you see is we have some coffee stir things. I am using the "double straw" kind. There are a couple of standard size for coffee stir things which can be the base of a couple of different levels of ridiculity in the size of your weapons. These are pretty much the top of the food chain, so they will be nicely oversized.

You'll note that we used a regular size 28mm weapon as a gauge for the length of the weapon overall, not just the barrel. In this picture you can see why we have both nippers and regular pliers. Once the weapon is cut, I mooshed the end to make a stock, again using the nicely done (Tim Barry sculpted) weapon for reference. Now it comes down to rinse and repeat as many times as you need to outfit your force.

Two additional things. First, there are three doubled double barrel weapons (made with an extra piece of barrel on top of the first. These will be the fire team leader weapons, which both gives some variation and gives us an easy way to tell the fireteam leaders apart from the rank and file soldiers.

The second thing is our old fried, puff paint. I added some dots of puff paint near the stock of the weapon to give the weapon some additional detail and a little character. You can go as far as you want with decorating them up. Sword hilts make nice add ons. Using two different size stir things can help. And I fixed bayonettes on four of them, so one fire team (including its leader) has laser cannons with bayonettes. Why not?

So this is how they look painted up. The weapons got a coat of gunmetal (silver paint mixed with light grey paint), a dark grey wash, then some pure silver highlights. The final touch was to hit the puff paint nubs with some color, so they might look like indicator lights or somesuch.

The figures themselves are pretty simple. I used two figures from HeroClix, BoomBomm and Sydney Savage. Both of these are fairly "open" figures, by which I mean the arms aren't up against the body in the green, blue, or purple areas and the hair doesn't cascade over the shoulders in the red area. That makes a little cutting and regluing yield a decent degree of variation in the figures, even with only two base figures to start. Color helps a lot, too. Five skin tones and six hair colors make a big difference to your eye. Color also helps unite; the retro silver barelythereotards give a unity to the figures even though the base figures had significantly different proportions.

So, I wouldn't recommend this gun method for each and every figure, but it does work well with these and should for similarly campy or anime styled figures.

Here's another set of women with guns, in tamer style and raiment. Since there's been some discussion on inexpensive figs and conversions and such, and I was already doing these this week, I figured I would offer them up. These have nicer guns, and a broader range of base figures (though all HeroClix), but still make a good unit. Again, the standardization of the outfit (are jeans an black t-shirts a uniform?) gives some consistency to the set. While HeroClix are notoriously out of scale with each other in nearly every way possible, so are people, really. I think the HeroClix scale problem is more of a problem when I care about why Lex Luthor is taller and broader than Clark Kent and less of a problem when I see that the bald guy in the suit is bigger than the other guy in a suit wearing a fedora and glasses.

Here is another set I did this week. Similar idea ... cut and prune a little from a wide base of HeroClix figures. Get a lot of consistency back in the set from the grey coverall uniform. I like the variation I can get this way. I always wondered if even Napoleonic forces could really have the consistency multiple versions of one or two poses gives anywhere except the parade field. And I don't think that these make such a bad set. Possibly better than some sets that are more detailed (more closed, and more difficult to cut and reglue without significant rework) but have a limited number of poses. At least, they could have the potential to, if someone with a little more professional painting skills took a whack at them.

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