After starting the strip down of the old Devastator squad some time ago, all of the original figures have been reassembled, scaled up and formed into my first 10-troop unit, this time a tactical squad.
On the left is the proof of concept marine, then we have a flamer equipped marine and a comms specialist.
All marines cary the tactical squad insignia on the left leg of their lower leg armour.
The squad sergeant uses the original head with some green stuff modelled to provide more hair. He also uses a loin cloth our of a later model set.
The model on the right below is a very old Rogue Trader era metal figure. The chain bayonets were another defining feature of the original Space Marines boxed set.
The original pattern Bolter now seems to be positively anorexic in comparison to the newer models.
I have a real soft spot for the original pattern missile launchers. I just think that it was a great design.
The later missile launcher specific backpack is much better looking that and functional than the original and stick on missile ammo packs. That communicator was also a defining feature of the original set. I also enjoyed creating the backpack with the skulls for exhausts. That’s definitely a design that I will use again.
Having cleaned up one of the Corvus Pattern troops I set about working out what was necessary to scale a model up to be comparable to the newer models. The body is about the same but the legs are shorter so I decided that that making the feet bigger by adding soles using correlated plasticard (~2mm) and adding a little to the waist (~1mm) seemed to do the trick. In the case below I also modded the leg positions from the crouched forms out of the early legs had.
Arms on these early figures used a form of ball and socket type join and to fit more modern arms the body needs the ball joints chopping off the problem with this can be that the arms are too close together to grip a modern bolder so make sure you’ve tried that before gluing them on. Mine needed pinning and some green stuff.
I’ve posted photos of this old Devastator squad before. I’d been reading recently about different methods for stripping paint off figures. In scent months I’ve used some rather nasty Nitromors type chemicals to clean back metal figures, but knew that this generally destroyed plastic so wasn’t an option. As I have a lot of my old figures and some inherited that need more a back to bare plastic or metal strip down I thought I’d try it out. The squad below was the target.
The chemical weapon of choice comes from POR a firm that made their name in the automotive restoration industry, and fittingly used to be known as Marine Clean. There was a rebrand a couple of years ago and it’s now rather more anonymously known as clearer degreaser.
It’s not the sort of stuff you want to br breathing in when in aerosol form (plant spray bottle applicator) or handling for prolonged periods with no gloves. So get a box of blue nitrile gloves of the Bay of E to keep your mitts protected.
I found an old plastic container from a Chinese or Indian takeaway (the deeper ones are best). Then put about an inch of degreaser in and then dunked all the figures in making sure they were all submerged. They where then left for 24 hours after which I agitated the paint on the plastic with a long stiff bristled nylon brush. A lot of the paint was starting to come off by this point, but in some cases a further 12 hrs was needed. The POR shifted all the paint, but needs washing off in clean fresh water and may require some modelling tools to get the paint out o the recesses in the figures.
Sometimes the paint comes off in big lumps and needs little extra effort. There was no visible sign of damage to any of the figure components from the chemical bath. I gave everything a final wash in some mild soapy water in the same way you would clean off mould release agent from the resin models. I’m pleased with how everything turned out. Anyone else remember when plastic figures used to be creamy yellow?
The good news with the POR Cleaner Degreaser is that it is just as effective after multiple uses, so although it might look like you water pot after an epic painting session the chemical still does the business in terms of stripping off paint.