Converting Figures

This web page exists to provide ideas on how to create custom figures for WH40K, or how to find alternatives for the high-priced "official" GW figures.

If you have an idea along these lines, please drop an email to the editor.


Robert Fletcher, AKA Gaius Apollinarius, Tribune of the Legionnaires, writes:

Good morning/afternoon/evening. I didn't get to play 40K this weekend, but if you did I hope you kicked your opponents @$$.

Anyway, here's a conversion I'd like to share with you. The only vehicle in the Legionnaires army list is the motorcycle. Now while I admit that the motorcycle models that GW sells are pretty cool looking, the $10 price tag is rather prohibitive. What I did was go to my local Kay-Bee toys and purchase several toy Harley-Davidson motorcycles. (I think they were Matchbox, but I'm not sure.)

Now this is where it could get a little complicated. My entire force is made up of the old Mark VI plastic marines, in part because I think they look cooler and in part because I'm mildly anal-retentive and didn't want to mix armor types.

Anyway, the plastic Mark VI marines only have two leg positions. I found that the flat-footed version straddles the toy motorcycles quite well. The marines are a little smaller than the hogs, so their feet don't quite reach the peddles, but what the heck. I think a plastic Mark VII marine will fit just as well if you cut off that whatchamajig between his feet.

The Mark VI plastic marines come with an arm that has the hand cupped for under the bolter barrel. to make this go on the handlebars of the hog, you have to snip the hand off at the wrist (that's GOTTA hurt) and rotate it 180 degrees so the palm is facing down. It still takes a little work to get him on there right, but it can be done.

The Mark VI marines also come with a separate bolter in the sprue. What I did was take two of them for each bike, cut off the pistol grip, glue them together side-by-side, and then place them between the handlebars directly over the headlight. Super glue does seem to work fine for this.

Also, super glue will not bond the marine's butt to the bike seat, the plastic is the wrong type I guess. I tried epoxy and that seemed to work better, but one of my guys still came off. After this, I took a knife and scarred the seat, which seems to have done the trick.

The bikes need a base, and a 40 mm base isn't big enough. What I did was buy a blister of the horse bases they use for WHFB. You still need to put the bike on there diagonally, but it will work. I'm not sure if the Mark VII marines come with the separate arms or bolters, and if they don't I don't think it will look quite right, but if someone finds different, let me know.

Look at it this way, the bike cost me $2.50, and a box of ten Mark VI marines will run you $10. You can't beat $3.50 apiece, and Harleys are cool even in the 41st Millennium!


Snagrot Squigbreff the Arch Arsonist writes:

I've constructed a rokkit based on the Epic pulsa rokkit model. After measuring the sixe of the Epic scale rokkit, I found an old "Big Bertha" model rocket that is almost exactly the right diameter for 40k scale, cut it short, and painted it. I'm going to mount it on a little APC model kit. I might make 2 or 3 of these as they are real cheap and look real COOL! I'm sure GW will put out some expensive model that looks different from mine in about a year or so, but why buy a $20 model for a 50 pt one shot inaccurate artillary piece?

P.S. Ogryn mighty heroes kick *ss!

And Joe Eckhout (Scragg@pinn.net) adds:

Played with a Pulsa rocket last weekend, they are kool! The guy who used it made one out of a real small model rocket. The rockes that take the engines that look the size of AA batteries. Painted the sucker red with yellow teef on the nose and built a launcher out of balsa and a piece of foam core.

I've got a small plastic rocket about 4" long that I'm building a launcher for. A coat of red paint and I'll be all set.

P.S. I'm buying an Ogryn per payday til I get 5 of em. Yes, one will be a mighty ass kicking hero!


Dante (guil9964@nova.gmi.edu) writes:

I have a suggestion. I play Orks, but when I have to put a metal weapon into the hands of a plastic Ork for a conversion, they get too heavy to stand up.

I just Zap a nickel to the bottom of the slottabase and paint it black. It looks kind of silly if you pick up the fig, but once it's on the table, you can't really tell easily. Of course, you may have to try a quarter for a bigger model, or perhaps you have a fairly heavy washer...Anyways, that's what I do.

Larry Irish (SMXX029@Portland.maine.edu) says:

My suggestion: sheet lead.

You can buy lead flashing at any hardware/ lumber yard - it's about 1/8 of an inch thick (I think) and about 1 foot wide. It comes in rolls and you can buy it by the pound.

I trace out the size of a slottabase on the lead with a pencil, then cut them out. Makes 2 pieces that fits inside the depressions of the underside of the S-base and doesn't show.

When I glue in the lead inserts, I use 2-part epoxy and let the glue "slop" over the edges of the lead -- that way, there's a really secure hold on the lead. You usually have to trim down the glue so that the base will lie flat on the table, but they have a much better feel.

Here's some art to try and better illustrate what I'm talking about. This is a side view of an upside- down slotta-base. The B's are the base; the L's are the lead inserts; the G's are the expoxy glue. See how the glue should completely surround the lead - that way, there's no way for the lead to fall-out. I also use an exacto knife to scratch-up and roughen the underside of the base, so the glue has some texture to cling to.

Lead gives more weight than copper/nickle. It does wonders for plastic figures, and best of all, the lead is cheap! A coupla bucks buys several feet of lead. That's my two cents worth...

Last Updates
22 July 1996reformatted
16 April 1996reorganized
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