For my ECW cavalry I unashamedly love the plastic horses from Warlord Games, they are big powerfully built and wonderfully sculpted horses that look perfect as mounts for well equipped heavy cavalry. So as I already had a hundred or more cavalry from Old Glory, Front Rank and Essex with cast on saddle cloths I really wanted the horses to be consistent in size and weight within my units as I like to mix & match the figures. Obviously the Old Glory horses were quite small in comparison and could not be mixed in the same units, Essex Horses were a mixed bag with some of them fitting in well and others not so well, and the early ECW Front Rank Horses again seemed a little underfed when compared to the Warlord Games Horses. I could have put them into separate units, but I actually wanted a really good mix of different poses within units and I actually liked all the figures I had.
For most that was it, less than a minutes worth of work, but for others there was more to do on areas such as the saddle holsters and the rear of the buff coat. First the holsters, these can be really nice on some of the Old Glory cavalry and really awful on others, so I simply snipped off the awful ones and used the plastic ones provided on the horse sprues. Again all really simple and easy to do, but the rear of the buff coat on some of the figures had a really wide and unnatural looking opening so I decided to remodel these with green stuff, which although a little harder to do than the other work it was still relatively easy.
The problem was obvious the saddle cloths had to be removed and done in such a way that it didn't stick out like a sore thumb that the riders had previously had the cast on saddle cloths. Actually this was easier than it looked so I took my trusty clippers and simply snipped off the areas of saddle cloth leaving the rider and his sword scabbard. The next thing to do was cut the back of the scabbard so that any extra thickness was removed and it looked normal, this done the clipper work was completes and normal clean between the riders legs was done with a knife or file.
That for the most part was all the converting that I needed to do, but there was the converting that I wanted to do, which was the weapon hands. Old Glory figures have separate weapon hands which you choose to mix & match, which is great and Warlord Games figures have separate weapon arms with lots of spares which is even better. Simply put it was a case of swapping hands or arms as I saw fit to make them look how I wanted, this part was really easy and really good fun. The Warlord Games sprues have extra trumpets and cornet lances which look great and are very easy to attach to most other makes of figure, so the lances especially I use on all of my mounted units.
So there you have it, easy conversion techniques for making cavalry fit on horses they don't fit on. As for the spare horses, they were put aside to mount Scots cavalry and dragoons of all sides who both rode smaller horses, more of which I will cover in another post.
Stephen Wylde BA (hons)