Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Proofs of Concept - How I Plan a Conversion

My approach to converting is twofold - some conversions I make up on the fly, using pieces from my bitzbox that look good together. Others I plan meticulously, especially when I'm looking to match something stylistically to an existing figure.

In my last blogpost I mentioned that I often create some very rough proofs of concept for conversions to help me decide what components I want to use. This is a very simple process, primarily using images from old catalogues (try Stuff of Legends for catalogue images) and roughly manipulating them in MS Paint before I start any cutting, or in some cases, before I've bought the models I intend to convert.

To illustrate how the process works, below are some rough concepts for my Adeptus Arbites captain.


You can see that I was experimenting with a number of different looks using components from a variety of different figures (in this case I think it was Imperial Psykers, Arbites and Space Marines. I decided that the bare-headed #3 was the direction I wanted to go, which resulted in a pretty intimidating hard-as-nails captain:

You can see I altered his equipment for in-game functionality on the final model.



My Venator sniper from the previous post. I used an image of the Skitarii from the GW website and simply changed it to monochrome to help with the mock-up image.

In many cases the final model is pretty close to the mock-up image, as is the case with the chaos cultist and Eldar scout below:



Sometimes I also draw on some detail that I plan to sculpt, like this Tech Priest.


The Tech Priest is a good example of taking care with scale. I had planned to give him the Forgeworld axe which I bought from a bitz seller, only to discover when it arrived that it was more than twice the size I anticipated!

The process is also useful to plan out units like these beastmen. I concepted up eight figure but only got round to making six of them, but I know I've got a couple of spare ideas ready to go if I want to add more to the unit.


Hopefully this gives a good insight into how I plan some of my conversions and might be a useful approach to try if you're doing similar.

8 comments:

  1. Ohhh, so we see how the cogs work in your mind...

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    1. That's a slightly unsettling thought! Perhaps I've revealed too much!!

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  2. Interesting process. I never knew that you used this method for your conversions so often. But it's probably best to do so for specific unit types and larger projects.

    I've done similar in the past, only a few times though, and using a different app to do the mock-up....MS paint is so 80's :p

    I find that I mostly mock-up mini images when I've got a few different appendages to consider, but can't decide which one looks best. Most of the time I just cut and join stuff till I like what I've made though :D

    Informative post Jon, thanks :)

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    1. I reckon I do a very quick mock-up for about 60% of conversions. Often I don't save the images, but for those where I want a reference, or more complex conversions I keep the image. I've got more advanced graphics programmes, but Paint is quick to load and really simple to use, so for this application I find it the better tool!!

      Often you can't beat a bit of actual cutting and sticking experimentation though. Cheers Shane!

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  3. Great stuff! Thanks for developing this into a whole post from the questions earlier. I can see why so many of your conversions hit that sweet spot of nostalgia mixed with ooooo shiney and new.

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    1. Not a problem at all! I've had several discussions with folks about the process, so it prompted me to get round to putting up some examples. Cheers!

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  4. Thank you for giving us a vieuw on your thought and work process. I just love the care you take... and it pays of. Your converion works is just brilliant!

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    1. Not a problem! Glad you found the process interesting and like the outputs :)

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