Conversion Corner

This is where I keep details of various conversions of plastic figures I do.  What is a conversion, you ask?  Well, if you go to a Hobby Shop or a Toy Shop, buy some plastic or metal  figures or to go along with any model of something you have and you convert into something else that was not specified in the packing label, you have a conversion.

The easiest ones to do are called painting conversions.  Usually the kit comes with recommended painting schemes of a generalized object, and you and a ton of research, come up with a different colour scheme.

For example, I have taken five figures from the Airfix Waterloo French Infantry set and painted them in the uniforms of various armies of the same time period:

The first figure on the left is the end result of not enough research.  He is supposed to be a member of the French 9th Line Infantry Regiment, in the 1809 uniform.  The problem is, in 1809, Napoleonic experimented in changing the coats of the French Infantry from blue to white, and the 9th was one of his test subjects.  The black collar, cuffs, and cuffs place this man in the 9th.

Next is a member of the white-coated with green facings of the “Greens” of the Paris Municipal Guard.  As you can see, I can paint right down to the level of the buttons.   This level of detail is critical to tell the various regiments apart, especially for British, Austrian or Prussian armies of the period.

In the middle is a member of the “Legion du Midi”.  I think that Midi is now somewhere in North-West Italy.  I should spend some time researching this unit’s history.  If they ran often enough, it would be a sure bet they hailed from Monza before the circuit was built… (I joke…)

The next troops is an Italian from the Kingdom of Italy, which was then only the Northern half of what we call Italy. I see the green collar and cuff flaps, and red lapels and cuffs with the yellow (brass) buttons and checking these details  places this figure in the 1st Italian Infantry Regiment.  If you look closely, you can see the red/white/green national cockade in on the top of the figure’s hat which matches the Italian national colours.

Finally, we have a Dutchman from I think, the 3rd Dutch Infantry Regiment.  I can see that you are wondering how do I tell them apart?  Well, I also paint the bottom of the bases in a national colour as sometimes, enemies wore colours that where similar to each other, and this lead to friendly fire incidents.  At first I had a tough time trying to work out by the picture whether the figure was supposed to be Saxon, Dutch, Italian 1st or 2nd Infantry or The “Red” battalion of the Paris Guard as they all wore red lapels, cuffs,  and collar.  But then I remembered that the Italians where more colourful wearing red and green in various locations and the Paris guard was just as colourful.  I have not painted any Saxons up to this pont so this figure must be Dutch!

Anyway, I have a couple of projects in the back of my mind that I would love to start on.  I am going to have to purchase a set of Airfix USAAF personnel and Airfix RAF personnel from the Second World War to use as the Pit Crew for a specific moment in time during a Grand Prix season.  The actual F1 car will not be in the scence as well, to my knowledge no F1 car exists in the correct scale.  The best I can do is hunt down the model trains companies and see what I can find in HO/OO scale….


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