Saturday, January 13, 2018

15mm Stormtrooper Alterations - Irregular Miniatures

Recently I was looking to add some dedicated close combat stormtroopers to my set of 15mm WWI German figures, guys who clearly had the look of men looking to get up close and personal as they raided an enemy trench on some moonless night. My Germans and French have been entirely taken from the excellent Peter Pig lines so far, but while Peter Pig does have some stormtroopers modeled throwing grenades, they don't have figures with shovels and pistols and body armor, which is the look I was going for. 

I looked around at my options with other manufacturers, and decided to give Irregular Miniatures a try. The photos on the website seemed to have promise, and the price was right. My biggest concern though was that size-wise the new figures would not be a good match. I didn't own any pieces from them already, and couldn't find clear comparisons online between the relative sizes of the two lines, so I took a shot in the dark. 

It was pretty clear on opening the package that the Irregular figures were significantly bigger than the Peter Pig ones. They were also not as well sculpted, and the variety of poses was not great, but I didn't want to give up so easily, so the following pictures show some of my efforts to bring them down to size and fit them in with the Peter Pigs. 

First and foremost, I needed the Irregulars to be shorter in order to fit in. Right off the bat I cut the pedestals off their feet, and then sanded the feet down just a little bit to make them stand a little lower. 

Next, the Irregular heads were significantly larger, and that was a detail that stood out even when viewing them from a bit of a distance. Men naturally vary a good deal in size, but the helmets wouldn't differ quite that much, in both size and style. So off came the Irregular heads, to be replaced by spare helmeted heads I cut off of WW2 Peter Pig figures. I didn't realize when I was doing this that I could have ordered spare heads from Peter Pig, both in steel helmets or in field caps. I probably would have gone that route had I known about the possibility at the time. 

Next, I wasn't very happy with the Irregular poses. They are clearly all based on exactly the same pose, with some very minor changes made to give them different equipment. So I cut some metal away from their joints to make it easy to bend their arms in different positions. Between that and gluing their new heads in different orientations from the ones they started with, it helped give a little more variety to them. 

To mix things up a little more I also glued a few very simple custom items into a few hands. I made a shovel from brass and card, pistols from pieces of brass rod, and a grenade from brass and a small wooden dowel. 

Size-wise the figures are not a perfect match, but then even within the Peter Pig line different packs of infantry vary in size. For example, the Germans in firing poses are noticeably smaller than those charging with bayonets fixed. 

The results are good enough for my purposes, and these gentlemen have already hit the table and given a good account of themselves in storming their objectives.