Sunday, 15 December 2019

Airfix Medieval Seige - Bod Conversions

Bod conversions for a Castle seige dio.
Pictured are 29 conversions, which mainly use the bods from the Airfix Robin Hood set as the base to which Scratchmade shields, weapons or Body parts from other bods in the Airfix range have been added.
Another 12, the Crews from the Catapult and Battering Ram are not included

The Bod Source material
The mixed pile of Airfix Robin Hood and Sherrif of Nottingham bods and Nags with a couple of other Airfix bods mixed in.
The  5 archer poses from both sets. My usual method of holding bods while adding paint, bottle tops with a lump of wax covering from the Babybell cheeses. Black acrylic basing brushed on.
After adding paint (they have been put in the Colours of Stephen´s younger brother, Henry of Blois) they get stuck onto 2cm diameter plastic Discs. Nags or small groups of bods generally get put onto 3.5cm Diameter ones.
From left ot Right
1. A mix of sharp sand and PVA gets added. Any blank spaces on the bods actual base gets  thinned out PVA dabbed on and then a sprinkle of sand gets added. This is then left to  dry.
2. Base painted with dark brown, left to dry.
3. Highlights with mid brown and static grass applied...again using PVA.
4. After a drying period of about 24 Hours, the new base is prised off the plastic disc. A thin blade such as a stanley knife is good for this. The new base gets stuck onto some thin card using..again, PVA.
5. Excess card trimmed off and the visible edge of the card gets painted .

Why not just leave them on the plastic Discs? I did start to do this but producing Discs for the ever expanding armies proved more time consuming than the above method.
Bowstrings are from  3" Paintbrush bristles. The "How to" is HERE.
Interesting (maybe) is that I didn´t use (european) flesh colour to paint thier skin but experimented with  a mix of Brown/Yellow/White.
Tools, Pins, sharp blade and some second glue or PVA. I´ve done a post on conversion Methods..HERE.
Using bits and pieces from other Airfix Bod sets and swopping body parts among both sets I managed to create 31 new poses. Some are simple, others required Major surgeory.
An ongoing seige needs more Missile troop poses than Hand to Hand Combat poses. As there´s only 5 Archer poses in both sets   some  conversions were needed to avoid having too many repeats. The first ten conversions. Head swops, top half/bottom half swops, arms swopped etc. The one with the red top/yellow Bottom is a conversion I made some 40 years ago.
The bottom row will end up as defenders.
The defenders are in the Colours of Geoffrey de Mandeville II, 1st Earl of Essex. I´ve already painted this particular Coat of Arms with his succesor, Geoffrey FitzGeoffrey de Mandeville, 2nd Earl of Essex.  
The arrows are made using thin steel wire and for the flights I added blobs of PVA. When dry it gets painted to represent flights

 All together, conversions and OOB, they create a decent force of Bowmen.
More ranged weapons bod conversions.
Archers, slingers and crossbowmen.
The archer drawing his bow has had an arm added from the archer bod in the  Airfix Romans set and two others have been converted to Staff slingers and armed with Fistabuli. I´ve made them before using Zvezda´s Medieval Peasant Army bods and can be seen HERE.
At the time, a common a weapon as bows but seeing as they are very fiddly and time consuming to create I´ve only made a representative 2. I could have used some from my spares box but that would be cheating.
Bits of shaved down toothpick for the tiller, Tiny Strip of Card for the staves, thin pieces of copperwire for the stirrups, thread/copperwire for the string.
The bags for the crossbowbolts (which are not visible in the pic) were made from bits of coffee stirrer, trimmed/filed to size and shape and glued on.
Bit of thin Card, make a stencil in the shape and size. This saves recreating each Shield individually.
Shield Patterns get drawn onto another bit of thin Card, ceral packet is fine for this.
Paint on the pattern and add blobs of PVA to create the bosses. Paint the back  brown. When all dry, cut out, shape by bending the Shield over a pen/pencil and attach to bod with some second glue. Paint the rim - finished.  Easy eh?

The commander (far left) and the spearman (second from Right) have had head swops using heads from the Airfix Romans set..neckand cheek guards removedThe one on the far Right has had the polearm cut down and it´s had a spear head added. Unfortunately not visible in the pic

Even More Bod Conversions
One more for the catapult.  Pole with a bit of sprue added to create a hammer to aid with releasing the trigger on the catapult.
The one running is attempting to put out a fire.  Bucket added from the Airfix Waterloo British Artillery set, bow stave removed. Hood cut down.
Bod from the Ancient britons set with a head swop
Two assault troops who are in support of the Battering ram.
The one with Sword has had it donated from the bald headed bod in the Robin Hood set arm Holding bowstave bent up
The other had his left arm repositioned, arm carrying the axe from the Bod in the Sherrif of Nottingham set who was Swinging it above his head.
Gate defenders
From left to right
Spearman created by twisting his head to the left, shortening the staff, adding a point
Swordsman. Bow removed, Right Hand removed and another Hand with Sword added from the pose 2nd from Right.
Spearman and swordman - poses unchanged.
The bod lobbing the rock was an easy conversion. Staff removed, Hands pressed between the jaws of a pair of fine toothed pliers which slightly flattened them and gave finger like indentations, then "hot water Treatment" and the arms bent upwards. I freed his left foot so as to give the Impression he´s puttting some swing into chucking the rock.
More Blois Boys and Mandevillians.
Friar tuck OOB.
Archer conversion (Top row, far left in the unpainted conversions above) Torso and leg swop, Head Twisted to the Right, Hood cut down.
Captain created by swopping Bottom half with that of one of the archers, headswop from running pose, Hood cut down
Another spearman. Head swop and staff given a point
Total number of Bods
35 Blois Boys and 17 Mandevillians, 52 in total  of which only 11 are unconverted in any shape or form.


  1. Superb transformation, the figurines are very beautiful, beautiful work.

  2. Absolutely brilliant work. Great to see how you go about your work, you have a fantastic eye for a models potential.

  3. Impressive conversion work Paul, great job!

  4. Those are really nice conversions Paul, love 'em, great work. Are those green Robin Hood figures old veterans ? I had them in that colour as a kid.

    1. Thanks John. Green and yellow versions, all 40 years or more old. Happily the plastic is a good as new :-)

  5. Very nice batch of converted figures. The archers are particularly interesting, yous have very natural poses (it seems you are an archer yourself). And the hand made crossbows are perfect.

    1. Thanks Phil, I did a bit of archery a Long while back, with home made yew longbows. My back won´t allow it These days :-(

  6. Astonishing bit of work. Always thought the Sheriff & Robin sets were nice sculpts but this takes them to the next level. Oddly, I have never owned either!

  7. Wow! Awesome work! I love them! I have done some conversions on 28MM metal ancients before, but never on 1/72 plastics. This is inspiring, especially the bits about using Romans for parts on midieval bods. And I like what you did with the crossbow creations. Excellent work Paul

    1. I had a lot of practice as a nipper. Not the range of stuff to be had back then so either they had to do or were "altered" to make do :-)

  8. Wow awesome work Paul! These are incredible.

    Also that Airfix Robin Hood set has got to be one of the most versatile out there. I have used them for everything from Greek Skirmishers and humbler farmers, to barbarians, pirates and drug cartel leaders.

    1. Thanks Gowan :-) Cartel drug that´s interesting

  9. Amazing work, these wouldn't disgrace a 28mm table let alone 20mm.

  10. Great work Paul, these old airfix got really a new place in Life now...

  11. Really a great Job, Paul!!

  12. Great work - as always. And, as always, an inspiration. Great conversions from a great set...

  13. Great work Paul and a real nostalgia trip for me. I have exactly the same pile of spare RH & SoN figures in my own spares box - right down to the Roman auxilary archer and the solid wooden wheeled Ancient British chariot.

  14. So much love on those figures, and great results. Awesome. It brings back memories.