Saturday, 4 August 2012


Converting a Simple Toy

The idea for this model originated with the purchase of a toy AFV from a Toyworld store.  The toy was sturdily moulded in hard plastic, ideal for gluing to, while the add-on extras, such as guns and hatches, were easily removed. Total work time, from start to finish, was about three days!

The original toy AFV before the conversion began. It was quite a large size, being more than 30 centimetres in length, however I wanted to keep a 1:35 scale for the completed model to make it appear more impressive in size. After taking out the six screws holding the upper hull to the chassis, all the hatchways, etc. were filled in with plastic card and various hooks and other protuberances removed.

Many bits and pieces were laid out alongside the basic shape and the fun part was coming up with differing combinations for the cannon and also for extra detailing on the hull. Unfortunately the tracks were moulded as single pieces, no wheel or links movement, so it was necessary to paint the supposed insides of the units matte black, after they were sprayed with gunmetal and weathered with a wash and drybrushing.

The cannon assembly, in its early stages, was a combination of a clear plastic box half, a torch body, a toy gun, plastic domes and toy backpack, along with various pieces of add-on plastic card. When completed, the unit was superglued to the detailed turret which remains removable from the hull, just in case I wish to add a new upper section to the model in the future.

The nearly completed conversion prior to priming and painting with acrylic lacquer spray cans used for cars. The white sections are plastic card, while the clear cabin dome was half of a Christmas tree bauble. Extra pieces were leftover resin casts of kit parts and a collection of toy bits. The plastic card side skirts help to disguise the lack of detail and movement in the moulded tracks. After priming the upper and lower hulls, the turret and the pair of tracks, the basic green colour was sprayed over the upper hull, while the lower hull and tracks were sprayed Gun Metal and the cannon Satellite Brown. Pinstriping tape was added for effect and weathering with a medium grey sprayed through an airbrush completed the job. The paint was sealed with a combination of gloss and matte spray varnish.

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