Painting miniatures is great, but sometimes I need a distraction while still doing something hobby-related. Sometimes I need something a little more instantly gratifying than what painting can give me. I'm finding that modifying figures to create something new gives me exactly this: it's creative, I get results I like very quickly, and given that not everything I want is in 1/72 (the preferred scale of this blog), it's often necessary. I describe the basic technique I use here. Of course I still have to paint the little dudes eventually, but that comes later, usually after I finish the concurrent painting project.
Let's start with some evil cultists. I got the idea from Plasticgeneral's and El Senyor Verd's blogs. The bodies are Caesar Miniatures undead, while the heads are from Zvezda peasants or HAT/Airfix Robin Hood figures. I decided to completely carve away the scythes the bodies were holding, and though it looks a little rough, I think it will look okay once painted. I also tried some reposing with the arms, and I may do a little more so it doesn't look like the entire sinister congregation is holding invisible polearms. You can see the yellow blobs of Milliput I used to hide the seems in a few figures, but for the most part everything lined up surprisingly well.
Of course, everyone knows that if you join an evil cult, there's a fair chance you'll wind up turning into a degenerate snake monster (or evil fish beast, or host to an eldritch squid god). These guys got head swaps with Arcane Legions sta figures. The middle guy also got a hand swap because I thought he ought to be holding the nifty snake staff the necromancer-looking guy above has. The hooded fellow on the left (possibly a snakeman in cognito) has a head from a Micro Machines jawa miniature.
Here's a picture I took of some body swaps I did months ago. You can see the original figures and the resulting swaps. We have a Caesar Miniatures knight, an Arcane Legions lion-rider, a CM elf, and an AL jorogumo (spider-monster). The idea for the elf-jorogumo swap was to make a drider, a classic dark-elf/spider monster from D&D. You can see the glob of wood glue I used to crudely fill in the gap between the two halves.
As I was messing around with the more recent headswaps, I took the opportunity to fill in the seams a little better with some Milliput. I also did a few more headswaps using Caesar Miniatures goblins. The goblin wizard on the left has a jawa body (its head went to the hooded cultist above) (P.S., my wife mentioned that the goblin wizard looks like Yoda, who when you think about it basically is a goblin wizard). Next to him is a swap between two goblin figures to make a goblin chieftan. Since I didn't want to waste the leftover bodies, I added some Greek villager heads from Age of Mythology minis to make some halfing barbarians: They aren't quite as crude and radioactive-looking in person.
I'm also messing around with some conversions for a demon army, but that will probably be a later post.