Saturday, October 6, 2007

See, I Actually Am Doing Some Work!

Well, enough for "playing around" on the computer, time to cut, glue and paint. May I present the first Company of The Lady Katherine's Guard, which are now officially Heavy Caribiniers de Garde instead of "just" Caribiniers. These are the excellent Zvezda Napoleonic Saxon Cuirassiers, in front cuirass only (correct for SYW), with heads "borrowed" from old Airfix British AWI Grenadiers. The plumes have been trimmed correctly from all but the officer and musician. I can't wait to get these primed and begin putting the brush to them.
I did find out a couple of things doing this conversion: The plastic that Zvezda uses has several very good characterisics. It is firm enough to allow me to use my cordless Dremel at 10,000 rpm to drill "starter" holes for the head pins. The plastic takes the new LocTite Instant Glue very well. The plastic doesn't have "memory", meaning that you can bend an arm (as I did with the second rank and with the officer), hold it for a few seconds, and it will retain the new position. The conversion is fairly straightforward, I obviously cut some heads off, checked the angles for clean joints, drilled pilot holes with the Dremel, cut a fine dressmaker'spin to the desired length and inserted the "blunt" end in the pilot hole, seating it firmly with a small pair of pliars. I then carefully lined up the Airfix heads with the pinpoint, pressed it into place, and applied a small amount of LocTite just before the two parts made contact. I then waited for the LocTite to completely set up and then brushed a coat of PVA over the joint to reinforce it. I did notice that the old "greasy" Airfix plastic had a tendency to want to "slip" back off the pin if I didn't hold it until the glue set. If I ever do a second unit, I will probably try and find an appropriate head from Zvezda or Italeri or Emhar which can be drilled and will set better. I will probably convert the second company tonight and then prime them and get them ready for paint tomorrow.
Here's the "math" on the Zvezda Cuirassiers: If you use 12 -figure units like I do, either as squadrons or regiments, buy three boxes. You can match the "rank and file" positions up to form three definite OSW-style units, then use the spares to form a fourth unit in assorted poses, great to lend your opponent ;-) You will have to convert the command figures for the fourth unit, but that's not so difficult as Zvezda has provided an "NCO" figure that is a compromise between the "specialty" figures and the "rank and file". I will make one a standard bearer and another an officer, and that squadron can live without a musician. My additional Cuirassier regiments/squadrons will be in tricornes taken from spare Swedish Infantry. More to follow...
Sir William


Bluebear Jeff said...

Thanks for the descriptions / comments about how you are doing things.

I hope that Lady Catherine will appreciate her Guard troops.

-- Jeff

A J said...

A nice conversion project, Sir William. You've created some very effective new figures. Between you and Stokes Schwartz, I think you've both persuaded me to try some Zvezda plastic figures for my Hetzenberg imagination. The scale may not be truly compatible with my current metal figures but since they won't be mixed it won't matter.

Thanks for sharing.