The golden age of conversions

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I’ve been on Instagram with my little plastic men for about 8 months and even though it does not compare to the intimacy of this blog it’s still fun. It’s a good source of inspiration.

While scouring through pictures of our beloved miniatures the other day I saw a comment on a conversion that said “we truly are living in the golden age of conversions.”

I don’t have a long history with the hobby like a lot of you do but, even in my short time, I would say that the comment is a fair call.

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As some of you probably know conversions/kitbashing is my passion. I do enjoy the painting to but I’d much prefer to spend a lazy Sunday choosing, cutting, sculpting and glueing bits together to create my own unique miniatures.

It allows me to be as creative or as conservative as I like.

It reminds me of when I’d play with LEGO. It also reminds me of how I write music.

Its almost like I’m on a search for that perfect bit to make the perfect conversion. I’m usually pleased with the finished result but it isn’t long before I start thinking what else I could create.

The thirst is never quenched.

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If you look over the GW years you can see how they’ve progressed with their sculpts.

The plastics these days are much more detailed and dynamic. The poses are a lot less static too. For me this allows even more creativity. Mix in the old school plastics and you’ll find there really is no limit to what you can make. From ghoulish winged monsters to tiny little servitor skulls. Or even wastelandish – Gypsies (one of my current projects).

As the old mantra goes, you’re only limited by your imagination.

I’d say 90% of my work is via the GW kits. I love the bulky scale because they are less fiddly for my big fingers. Although some of the face cutting/transplants I’ve been doing are the epitome of fiddly haha.

For the tiny work I tried tweezers but they were too clunky. I’ve incorporated a trick by lightly stabbing the tiny “bit” with my scalpel and then applying it to the glued section.

The broad variation in the GW range also makes it great for a one stop shop.

Despite my love of GW minis I’m always on the search for new manufacturers.

Ive used Puppet Wars minis, Anvil Industries, Zinge industries, Black sun minis, Kromlech and now I’ve just purchased some cool minis from a new Aussie manufacturer (more on them soon).

Now we live in a time of 3D printing! Wow! Everything from our tiny little miniatures to full sized homes can be printed now. What a time in which we live in. So now every man and his dog is printing miniatures and boy there is some really cool stuff out there.

A stand out for me is Heresy Of Us. I’ve just purchased an item from them which I’m very excited to start painting.

So yes it is the Golden Age of Conversions and I, for one, hope it lasts for many, many years.

I’d love to hear about what you are converting, what you think about converting or if you have any manufacturers you can recommend.

Now excuse me while I go and build some Mordant Acid-Dogs. 😉👍🏼

Cheers

IRO

 

53 thoughts on “The golden age of conversions”

  1. I think you and I like to tick some of the same modelling boxes, we just approach it in different ways. In a world where too many things are produced on the basis that one size fits all I like to own things which are either unique one offs’ or if there are more than one they are very few. I’ve applied this to my house, my car and also to my models. I may not convert, meaning the figure is in existence all over the place, but once composed in a vignette or diorama it becomes the only one of its kind anywhere in the world! As for picking up small pieces I use the very tip of a cocktail stick dipped into a very little bit of PVA. Works every time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I like the toothpick idea. What’s the difference between a vignette and a diorama? I could google it but I’m one of those old fashioned people that likes conversation and I have a feeling you’re the same.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Some would say I never stop talking so I guess you could say I like a conversation. As I’ve always understood it a vignette is typically 2 or 3 figures while a diorama is typicaly larger in base size and the number of figures. In theory both tell a story. Happy to be corrected.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a great time to be in the hobby right now, for sure. Part of me misses the days when most GW plastics had separate torsos, legs, and heads, and mixing and matching was comparatively simple. However looking at the work of yourself and others it’s easy to see that the present an emerging range allows for great mix and match opportunities and the results are far better than what could be achieved (IMO) 10 or 15 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is what I came here to type. I feel like today’s models are a little too carefully fitted for my tastes. They’re crisp and beautiful, asked IRO pointed out, but quite a few are essentially monopose, which makes conversion work difficult — and, incidentally, “ruins” the original model, ensuring you’ll never be able to complete it and originally as designed. I, too, appreciated the slightly more primitive days when everything was separate… Arms, torsos, weapons, etc.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Back in the day GW ran a dedicated bits service through mail order. You could buy any piece from any model. This was back when most models were metal, so an order from bits service was *heavy*!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I wouldn’t know where to start, even based on the small selection of sprues you’ve shown here! If you’re creating all your figures by selecting here and there from what is obviously a huge choice, I’m even more impressed with your work (and I was pretty impressed to start with)!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As you know I’m no fan of converting. That’s why I called my blog “Build it exactly the same way as the studio model or die!”. Silliness aside I completely agree with whoever said we’re living in the golden age of converting, indeed I’d say we’re in the golden age of the hobby. Not only are the models much more versatile but the internet has brought together so many people, sharing creativity and exchanging ideas. Here I am enthusing about the hobby with, and being inspired by, someone on the opposite side of the globe – something that simply wouldn’t have been possible to the same degree even a couple of decades ago. Long may it continue!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Great post IRO. Totally agree we are in a golden age. The only limitations are time and cash! I wish I had more of both for the hobby , ha ha. I agree with Wudugast, the community online is fabulous for encouragement and inspiration. I’m also heartened that in it’s Blanchitsu articles White Dwarf is acknowledging this aspect of the hobby and community.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. There are certainly more plastics than ever before – with more diversity within that – and more manufacturers, and… so yeah, it’s easier to source a variety of bits than it’s ever been. I just wish some of the newer GW kits would trade a bit of their dynamism for flexibility – at least on a percentage of the models on sprue. I don’t do a lot of converting or kitbashing myself, but I think a large part of that is (might be?) the backlog of part-panted figures I’m dedicating myself to smashing through. Who knows how my focus may change again once I clear the decks?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I find them quite flexible to be honest. Maybe not as flexible as they used to be although the new Necro kits are a bit more old school with more separate bits and bobs. I’m a big fan of carving though. So if something isn’t supposed to fit but I want it to I cut it to shape. Sometimes it mean a cut in the old thumbs from time to time though hehe. Luckily I’m made of steel!!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Why not do a sprue of empire heads or Skitarii weapons? Because they’re in the business of selling model kits, not bits. That’s why they try to shut down bitz sellers every so often. Buy the boxed set, bitches!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to be a bit of a downer and say the golden age was in the 1990s when Games Workshop had the Bitz Service: any part they had ever made could be ordered individually from Mail Order in the UK, and every single component of every single miniature had its own item code, and every year they released a huge catalogue like a phone book (remember them?!) that listed EVERY. SINGLE. BIT. They were all metal of course, but I preferred that personally. There is nothing like the satisfaction of hacking up a metal miniature but it can be bloody hard work, especially in the days before Dremels.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. True but yeah why not do a sprue of empire heads or a sprue of Skitarii weapons etc. You and I should clearly be running GW. Sure you like Lead and I like Pastics but by our powers combined (Captain Planet Style) we would kick much arse. The first thing I’d do is a Plastics release of Mordheim. New and old models. 👍🏼😉

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Why not do a sprue of empire heads or Skitarii weapons? Because they’re in the business of selling model kits, not bits. That’s why they try to shut down bitz sellers every so often. Buy the boxed set, bitches!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahh I remember the old GW catalogues, many a happy hour looking through them, back in the day, and ordering the odd bit here, and there. I too still prefer a metal mini over a plastic one, though I can see the appeal as they are so much easier to cut and convert.

    I personally am not a fan of the new 3D printed figures, again I can see the appeal, but they just seem a little soulless to me, and of course it’s a new skill set that I don’t possess and never will I fear. I’m very much “old school” though I hate that term too (I really am a miserable old git these days!!).

    As to what I’m converting next…well it’s “Forgotten Heroes” month in June see link below, so I along with quite a few other people will be doing quite a bit of converting then, I’m going “Masters of the Universe” again myself.

    https://forgottenheroessite.wordpress.com/

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tis true but I still find that the blog world is more fun. You get to know people more. Like there’s this one crazy lady in here who does book reviews, has about a dozen dogs and makes delicious treats!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love converting, too. If I think about it I converted quite a few minis in the last year, but didn’t get around painting them up. Sometimes it is just a bag I add, but the really interesting conversions are the ones where I basically use a miniature as a base for my own greenstuff additions, new weapons, new heads etc. Up to a point where the original miniature is almost unrecognizable. I am not that good at sculpting yet, so this allows me to realise more complicated concepts.

    I also agree that we live in a golden age of conversions. With PVC, styrene and resin miniatures readily available there is an endless supply of bitz. I love the Perry boxes, as they can be used for all kind of conversions and combined with each other.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not that confident with green stuff yet but I need to practice more. I enjoy the challenge of cutting/carving bits until the fit together. I’ve also discovered the joy of Bi-Carb sods for patching holes. Thanks for the comment

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  10. I’d say it depends on the day. I’m usually not a fan of the whole trimming and cleaning bit of getting minis ready. Though the last bunch I did, was not so much a chore. I think because I have to so much to paint, which is holding me back from gaming, I just want to get some stuff done.

    Also, when I’m done converting, no one seems to realize that it isn’t some store bought model. I even fooled myself recently. I had a mini that I decided to repaint, and after stripping them, found out that I had added small bits of green stuff to change the model. For models that I’ve changed, I’ll often to explain the under bits to people, but they usually don’t get it. They just see a painted mini. So conversion can be a lot of work, but not much reward in the end.

    On the other hand, it’s not something I won’t stop doing. Too many times I have very specific ideas of how I want my mini to end up, and that often requires a conversion or small modification of bits. And even though other people might not notice, it’s still important to me.

    I also love to see other people’s conversion work (much more than my own). It’s amazing how wild some people’s imaginations are and is pretty inspiring.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I suck at green stuff too. Why am I in this hobby, haha!?

        Oh, the other problem for me with conversions, is that I only know a bit about the GW Specialists games. So if I were to convert a Blood Bowl Chaos Blocker…I’d have to go browsing through GW’s site, looking through Warhammer stuff, hoping I happen to see a piece I want on some model. And last time I did that, found out the piece was a smaller scale and I couldn’t use it. Maybe in 20 years when I have tons of plastic bits lying all around on me the floor.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. I’m glad you have so many hobbies (including this one) that bring you so much joy. 🙂 I think hobbies are so important. I would lose my damn mind if all I did was work and watch TV. It’s maddening to even think of such a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, wow. That’s crazy about your ex. I’m glad you’re with someone now who is much more supportive and encouraging of your hobbies. That’s exactly how it should be. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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