A variety of plastic heads, as well as an old Citadel warrior (as he'll probably look suitable with his plume chopped off) and a plastic chap from the Perrys, which he thought would make a good head donor for a Ramsay Bolton conversion, should I ever get round to modelling him. Minus two to the tally:
8 vs 24 = -16
But plus one to me being able to convert a miniature that I'll later be able to paint, so I guess that evens out? Karmically, if not mathematically for the tally...
And so, to start the conversion, the old head had to come off:
I carefully removed the helmeted head with a sharp knife and saw, and have dutifully stored it in my bits box, even though it's incredibly unlikely I'll ever need a hobbit head wearing a Minas Tirith helmet for a future conversion (but the packrat gamer in me insists that you never know when something will come in handy...). There were a couple of heads that I considered using, which were dutifully stuck on with blutac to be judged:
The former head won, because A) it's in focus, and B) it's better looking, both in terms of shaggy hair and fairness of face. I'm not slaving exclusively to the vision of either the TV Series or the books (or the card game, the art from which can be viewed here), but picking and choosing whichever suits me more, or in this case, a mashup of everything that stews in my brain... Beauty contest judging over, it was time to start the actual converting - cutting away the model's sword:
which involved a great deal of careful sanding to ensure that the surrounding detail wasn't obliterated by my clumsy cutting, so that I could pin in his new weapon, an axe:
The axe came from the Bretonnian Men-at-Arms sprue, and was chosen because it was small enough that it looked like a dwarf would be able to wield it, but chunky enough that it would take a pin (as I didn't fancy it falling off when I came to pain the model). It originally had a small pouch attached to it (as it is designed to be modelled hanging from a soldier's belt) but this was carefully cut and filed away. I did briefly consider giving him a fancier weapon (perhaps the hand axe from the Empire Greatwsords kit, but I don't have one of them unfortunately), but thought that the one I ended up using looked nice and brutal, a practical weapon for swinging into bellies, and cutting foes down at the knees. In hindsight, it's perhaps a little chunky, but alas these are the sacrifices we make sometimes...
Once that was done, it was a case of attaching the new cleaned-up head:
with a lot of careful sanding, to both the neck area to receive the pin and the head itself to shape the neck to fit against the body, as well as to reshape the chin. Funnily, when I was sanding down his chin, I slipped and took the tip of his nose off (spoilers if you've not read Clash of Kings - this didn't ruin the model). Then came using green stuff to fill the slot in the base and (again after some careful sanding) to turn his bare hobbit feet into little boots:
As I was uploading the pictures to write this post, I realised that I needed to lengthen the haft of the axe a little, to make his grip on it look a little more realistic - the green stuff is currently curing on it as I type, so I've added it in using some seamless
Which is the completed conversion, seen here with a half-painted Hasslefree beauty and a Heroquest Chaos Sorceror for scale:
Come Salute, I'm sure I'll be wandering past the Perry Miniatures stand and end up buying some troops to fight and die for him...