Friday, May 22, 2009

Out of Obscurity...

Since I'm so busy at work today (grin), I thought I'd post some pics of a project that has long lain dormant for me but has been slowly percolating in the background. Maybe it's time to resurrect this very cool project. These are 54mm Sudan Wars figures, mainly from Armies in Plastic but with a smattering of other manufacturers and some customized items as well.

Royal Marines & British line infantry

The Armies in Plastic figures are quite nice but are limited in pose variation. I am not quite sold on working with plastics and I try in this scale to use metals, if available. Thus, my use of All the King's Men Toy Soldiers for my 54mm AWI project (of which more anon). Ken Cliffe, the proprietor (and good friend) urged me to try out this big scale a few years ago and I've been slowly crawling out of the mire of my 28mm collections into what Ken would surely characterize as the light and beauty of "toy" soldiers. I'm still working on my painting techniques for these bigger figures. My normal practices with 28mm figures often don't translate well onto the larger toys.

Indian Cavalry (conversions from Napoleonic French dragoons)

One of the more challenging, yet satisfying, aspects of working with plastics is the ability to convert. When I began this project several years ago, there were no Indian cavalry available in this scale. I had seen prints of this unit and thought it a cool addition to my British army. With Ken's help, I was able to find some suitable Napoleonic French dragoons to work with. I used heads from AiP's Indian infantry and with some creative use of tissue and putty, I was able to produce three passable figures. Of course, within months of the completion of these figures, AiP produced a boxed set of this very unit. Oh well, now I have limited edition unique figures for the Sudan campaigns.

Gatling Guns & British Naval Crew

These fantastic guns I found at Michigan Toy Soldiers for $5.00 USD each. Unfortunately, I needed sailors to man them and none were produced anywhere. This is where Ken stepped in again. Ken is a master converter and can see possibilities in the oddest figures. An American Civil War infantryman can easily become Napoleon in his fur coat in 1812, in Ken's eye at least!. These figures are superb conversions and if you're wondering whether this is a blatant commercial for Ken's products and services at All the King's Men Toy Soldiers....well, yes it is!

The dastardly Mahdists!

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