Tuesday, 31 March 2009

These Blogs are coming along in threes, just like London Buses........
As promised I attache some pictures of the painted Winged Hussar along with some WIP photos of the second member of this mad project.
So I decided that I just had to have some Polish Winged Hussars and my addled brain began to process the potential difficulties of obtaining and converting suitable figures, the problems resolved themselves onto three main areas:
1. A mounted figure to use as a basis.
2. How to make and fix the wings
3. Weaponry - of which there is quite a lot.
Taking those in order, the obvious starting point foe the figure is a mounted Knight isn't it? Well I certainly thought so, they've got armour and are in the right sort of position. Therefore I got some cheap bits via ebay, and stated to study the Osprey book on the subject, and guess what, even if you want to produce a rough approximation of Polish armour you need to almost completely re-sculpt the armour. The two top pictures show this as well as the ones in the previous Blog, all I was left with was the top half of the cuirass, the rest is Milliput or Greenstuff. I used a lot of Milliput as the weight counters the top-heaviness of the completed model. The heads are from Maros in both cases. The clothing, what you can see of it and the animal skin are from Greenstuff, it all took a long time.
I pondered long and hard over the wings, and discarded a number of options before settling on this solution. The Osprey source shows that in the 1680's they were attached to the rear of the cuirass not by a series of straps as I had imagined also they were (obviously I guess) very light, so these are made from thin copper tube carefully bent to shape, with feathers from thin card fixed with impact adhesive. The feathers for each wing are made in one piece, I had thought to make individual feathers, but luckily a shaft of common sense hit my brain and things were made slightly easier. The wings are attached to the figure by sliding the copper tubes over pins that are fixed and then bent at right angles so they are vertical, this can be seen in the first pic above. A bonus of this method is that the wings can be removed and packed away as they are quite fragile.
Weapons, this started well and ended badly. The sabre if from HELMET spares as are the pistols attached to the front of the saddle, the pained model also uses our pistol holsters, the lance is brass and the pennon from painted paper. So far so good, then disaster...... The painted fig should have a long straight sword slung from the saddle under the left thigh, I just couldn't get one to fit as I left this part much too late, When I started the second model, this was one of the first jobs I tackled, see photos above - the blue feet by the way are there because on completing the armour I noticed that the Britains knight no longer looked right, mainly because one leg was about 8mm longer that the other, so major amputation and transplant surgery was necessary.
So main lessons were, research the basis figure well before spending money and starting converting, be clear from the outset how to construct the various components, and lastly make sure everything will fit together in the right order to avoid last minute frustrations.
Next I'll complete the WIP figure and make perhaps one or two more and then think about producing some Turks by way of opposition, then more War of 1812???
Comments and feedback welcome


Mike Blake said...

I thought I had left a comment... oh well, another senior moment. These really are the most fantastic conversions ever! Eric, you are a genius.

Ralphus said...

War of 1812 is great for this scale I reckon - have you seen the Armies in Plastic woodland indians? I fancy doing the Tecumseh phase - clips on him on my Flintlock and Tomahawk blog - Keep up the good work - Ralph

Adrian said...


Your figures look wonderful. I have always wanted to do something in 54mm and seeing your figures has me wanting to do either a Waterloo army or Romans. I really like your painting style - lots of bold colors and less details.
I see that there are a lot of 54mm plastic figures out there, but there does not appear to be a lot of command figures out there.