Nowadays we are spoiled for choice in the vast majority of scales and catalogues, so a lot of you would not even bother with conversions, proxies is all together another thing because in the smaller scales sometimes means just changing the paint job. You will soon realize the important of headgear -as once Wellington remarked- Nevertheless, we are always pestering manufacturers with our demands. Up to a point is absolutely logical. You are a student of a period -obscure or popular does not matter- you will find THE GAP!… For all his extended catalogue in Colonial Warfare Peter does not make a Naval Brigade!… what to do?… first of all annoy Peter on the Forum of Baccus asking for them!…(here you will be helped free of charge with tips from other wargamers in the Forum… thanks chaps!… I always appreciated your comments). On second thoughts peruse the catalogue and see what can be used with a nice paint job, in this case ACW Confederate skirmishers with hat -nice Sennet hat-. OK, those are proxies!… my entire Crimean cavalry Light Brigade are proxies with the right paint job… see pics on other Posts in this Blog.
So, let’s forget about paint jobs and let YOU search for proxies. It is a rewarding pass-time and it puts your little cells to work as Poirot would have said. I am not talking about mixing manufacturers which of course is an even easier way to get the thing done. In my 25/28mm Union ACW cavalry I used Dixon horses because I found them to my taste – it is always about taste- with Foundry and To The Redoubt riders, which did not prevented me to sell the lot once fed up with the bigger scales… had a hard crisis with that!
So, what are “conversions”?, basic modeling skills, a couple of pliers and a sharp cutter and even in 6mm a mini drill are needed. Ok, let’s make it simple: in larger scales it is easier but probably you will also need green-stuff because the cuts are not always that neat. See some pics included, I do not even talk about larger scales as 54mm because those are already able to be ordered or asked for “with different parts” and been able to be assembled by you. From 15mm downwards it is possible but more prone to damage minis to the point of having to discard ones. But on the other side they are less expensive and the margin of mistakes or your limits will soon appear and you will attempt what is inside your range of skills. In my personal experience the only things I do in a “proper” conversion denomination so far is modifying weapons, no sabers at the Little Big Horn, out go the sabers of Confederate Cavalry with hat and that’s it. On the contrary I desired a British Regiment of Cavalry Colonial khaki with sabers so I modified the carbines and scabbards. All super quick jobs. I guess the longer time you have been in the hobby helps. It is the same with “retouching”, I order from painting services, but if I want the peaks of the kepis BLACK I do it myself with a POSKA marker… a matter of seconds… same as adding detail to zouaves outfits etc. Mind, I was at first a bit afraid to try it in 6mm… but even the drill has come to action to provide standard-bearers when needed!… with the proverbial dressmakers bits of pins.
Any wargamer or modeler worth its salt will indulge in those one day or other, it is a kind of final exam or doctorate… LOL.