Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ben B's Easy Headswaps!

Hello people.

I've recently discovered the joy of converting figures for wargaming. This has been made necessary from the lack of ultra modern plastic figures. For example, from Caesar's two current, modern US sets I've made Aussie SAS, Georgians, US in five different camo types, plus with the odd set from Orion or Pegasus the options are just about endless.

The easiest way of doing this is by the great headswap.

For years I've struggled with headswaps. The heads fall off, or distort into the oddest shapes or just plain don't look right. I will now share my newer method. I have mentioned this a while back but never posted a how-to just for it.
A KSK operator using Caesar worldwide special forces set with an Orion Russian head.

It is important to mention now the issue with plastic types. This method will only work with hard-soft, or soft-soft plastic. The best combinations are Orion-Caesar, New Hat-Italeri etc.

I use a staple as the spike. A) Get a staple out of the stapler either without bending it or unbending it with pliers later. B) Heat it on an open flame, I use the propane stove top, embed the red-hot staple as far as you can in the plastic. C) The use either a belt sander as I do, or fine sandpaper to sharpen the end of the spike, the one above is about the perfect length. If those options are not available, try the point of a needle or pin instead of a staple, I have not done that but it should work.

Then dip the bottom of the head in just a little wood glue and press down all the way to the base of the spike.
The next step depends on the type of conversion you are doing, if you want the average figure in combat fatigues or Napoleonic jacket etc, use some filler and press it into the cracks around the base of the new head like the one above.

Or the easy way. Since my latest conversions are special forces in middle east, I make a blob of filler rolled out and around the neck, then sculpt it into a shemagh like...

these two beady Australians!
I hope you find this helpful, thanks for looking.


  1. imaginative conversions Ben :)

  2. great tutorial ben, I have used similar methods in the past though I sharpen the spikes with some wire cutters, also I do not heat it, well sometimes, I have a head swap to show off soon and also sculpt number2! ooh and that top picture reminds me I might get the germans done today!!!! pics soon, might use my fathers camera, or abi's I-pod as mine has decided that the batteries are flat again :-( where are those rechargebles

  3. Thanks Gowan, I'm glad you liked it: I doubt it is original with me though!

    Can't wait to see your sculpt and the Germans, I'm off to look now!

  4. Nice way of doing headswops Ben! Thanks for sharing!