Converting Roman Centaurs
Don't call them cavalry!
Jan 26th, 2010
The following is a step-by-step guide to convert some of your plastic
Wargames Factory Romans and horses (or horses from any other plastic line)
into centaurs. All you need is super glue (or your favourite plastic glue)
and greenstuff! Of course, you also need tools such as a hobby knife,
some sculpting tools, a file, and a little experience!
Find a good horse and a suitable Roman body. Cut off the horse's head
if you need to; the Wargames Factory horses have separate heads, so they
are perfect for this project. In the above picture I have used horses
from Lord of the Rings line of Riders of Rohan. The Rohan figs were great because
all of the tacking straps were on the part of the head that I cut off.
You will also need to shave off the saddle and blanket carefully and then
file it smooth and round as a horse's body should be. Once that's done,
cut the Roman body around the upper thigh and shape the bottom of the fig
to fit the horses head area so that it looks good. Glue everything together.
Once the glue dries, it's time for the putty work. The above picture is
with the completed putty work. The steps are pretty straight forward: mix the
putty, put it on the fig so that it covers up everything that needs to be
covered up (the join between the Roman and the Horse, and the Lord of the Rings
horse had a hole in its back), then sculpt on the details. First, create a line
near the bottom of the greenstuff to separate the tunic from the chain mail
shirt. Then, sculpt the clothing grooves in the greenstuff for the tunic,
then put the chain mail details on. For instructions on chainmail scupting,
and Internet search is your best bet ;) There's a large collection of work
on the topic.
Once the greenstuff has cured, it's time to glue all the pieces of the Roman
onto the centaur; no need to outline how to do it, since it is no different
than for the unconverted Roman. I have to say, these plastic Wargames Factory
Romans are one of my favourite lines of figures at the moment! It is worth noting
here that I didn't give these guys Roman Cavalry shields, but Legionary shields.
The reason for this was that centaurs often don't like to be associated with their
human-carrying cousins, and so refused to be categorized as cavalry. So, officially,
they are 'fast Legionaries'.
This is the second of two centaurs that I converted. This one I think is the better
of the two. The reason is that with the first one, I think I cut off the body a bit
too high, and so that body is a bit short. This body has a more natural centaur look
I think... and yes, I know, natural centaur is somewhat questionable! I am happy with
them both though, and I am *almost* tempted to make some more!
Once the glue and greenstuff dries, it's time for painting! I painted these guys with
a variation on a popular cavalry shield design, because I didn't want to do the exact same
cavalry shield design because of the whole centaur-cavalry issue discussed above. Overall
I am very happy how they turned out! Although... the bright lights involved in the picture-taking
process certainly highlighted imperfect blending on the shields! Oh well :)