Sunday 12 March 2017

Operation Cowboy Part 3

My current project has been converting the USAriadna motorbike troops into proper cavalry units and I'm pleased to say that I'm now finished!

It's been a bit of a slog getting here, but I'm really happy with the end result. My thanks go out once again to Philip Hynes for the sculpting, Hysterical Games for the casting and everyone else who gave me the courage to think that this wasn't a completely stupid idea!

Below are WIP as well as finished pics of all the models, as well as a little bonus surprise at the end.

My first difficulty with these minis was finding a good way of making reins for the horses. Most of the minis were designed to have hands resting on handlebars which would end up looking a bit silly if they weren't holding onto something. I tried a variety of different solutions including copper wire, low-tack tape and plasticard before settling on greenstuff.

The greenstuff was rolled out, squashed flat and then left to cure for about three to four hours before being cut to shape and size. Loops for the reins to fit through were made of wire and drilled into the sides of the horses mouths as per this article to hold the ends of the reins. The riders and reins were then held in place with blu-tack until fully cured.

My second difficulty when assembling the minis was the fact that the poses for many of the models was just unusable - especially the Mavericks. The Desperado with pistol could be used as is pretty much, but the rest needed substantial cutting up.

I tried to bend limbs using a bit of brute force where only small changes were needed, but used a saw to re-position limbs where more drastic alternations were required. It's a bit terrifying because once you start making cuts there isn't any going back!

The first Maverick had two substantial cuts made to the insides of his legs both of which were then bent outwards at the hip. Two cuts on the insides of the knees then let me bend the legs back in to give a riding pose.

The second Maverick had one leg at almost 90 degrees to the body which needed to be bent inwards. He had a significant cut at the top of his leg, which was then bent downwards and filled. This involved cutting off the pistol holster completely and left an unsightly greenstuff job. The fix was to stick on an armour plate from a 40k Ork sprue to cover it up!

One of the Desperados went on with just a tiny amount of leg-bending. Appropriate really as he was the original inspiration for this project!

Whilst the other had the inside of one leg cut and bent in to give him a better pose. He's got a bit more of a lean to him than I would really have liked because the left leg didn't shape quite how I wanted it. Still, I think he looks the part.

He had an indentation on his back as he is meant to be leaning back on some baggage, but this was covered up with a spare backpack from one of my excess Grunts.

I'm not the happiest with the painting of the horses themselves, it's not something I've done much of and they aren't as smooth as they could be - especially if you look too close! They look the part on the tabletop though, and that's what counts.

I promised a surprise for those who made it this far, and that's my antipode rider which I decided to paint up for a bit of fun!

The mount is a Thunderwolf by Games Workshop and after a bit of greenstuff work to cover most of the mechanical bits, was an absolute doddle to paint. The lady herself had her left leg significantly chopped up to fit properly and has been converted to wield an SMG.

Only problem is that the wolves are freakin' huge! It barely, barely fits on the 55mm base and even then with considerable overhang.

So that's it. I've got a few spare horse casts that I'm not sure what to do with, but I;m sure I'll think of something, even if only for dioramas and the like. I'll probably try and finish up my USA army soon, just some skirmishers, and the Marauders needed now.

Lastly, here are a few final group shots.


  1. Ha interesting idea! They look great!

    1. Thank you, not looking forward to having them shot up the very first game their in though! :(

  2. Wow, this was as unexpected as great!!

  3. I'm glad you put the effort in. It's this narrative which makes me enjoy Infinity so much

    1. Thanks for the comment and glad you've enjoyed the journey! Just need to to make up some 'Charge of the Light Brigade' style scenarios now...