Plastic 32mm-scale gaming miniature, painted in acrylics, kit-bashed with other pieces, and with sculpted putty hat. Original miniature: Reaper Bones #77160: "Judas Bloodspire, Vampire."
For my first Iron Kingdoms RPG session, we spent a good portion of the time writing up character sheets, and not everyone came to the table with a concept -- so I didn't have everyone's custom minis ready (not knowing any better than the players what they were going to play). One of the players decided to go with a Gun Mage -- basically a spellcaster/gunslinger who specializes in infusing his pistols (and the ammunition therein) with special effects. I used a cowboy proxy for the first game, but to get the proper Iron Kingdoms look, I needed something with a long button-up, coat, tricorn hat, and very antique-looking pistol. There are official Gun Mage minis from Privateer Press, but none of my friendly local game stores had them in stock, and I wearied at the thought of putting in a mail order for ONE pricey miniature that might or might not arrive in time for the next game.
So! Time to dig into the Box o' Bones!
I wanted somebody with a fancy coat, and I'd already put the Bones Captain Barnabus Frost to use (as a Khadorite conversion), but Judas looked like a possibility with a few tweaks.
My figure had a very bendy sword, so my initial plan was to chop it off and put the gun in that hand, but I decided to give the "dip it in boiling water" method another go. I've had spotty results with it in a few cases, but here it worked PERFECTLY -- it was rather uncanny, the way the blade straightened out on its own once dipped into very hot water. (Note: The right arm is actually a separate piece that comes glued on, but it's fairly easily snapped free. Therefore, I was able to dip JUST the sword into hot water, without having to subject the whole figure to the treatment.)
Given that the sword looked just fine now, I decided to make the mini a lefty. That was accomplished by chopping the left arm off right at the joining point with the shoulder pauldron, drilling pin holes, then reattaching with wire at an adjusted angle. The trickier part was in taking a sharp hobby knife to the outstretched hand -- originally in a sort of "reaching out for something" pose, but I managed to extend the thumb, shave down the inside of the cuff, and hollow out the palm and thumbpad area so that a pewter "dwarf pistol" (from a Warhammer Fantasy sprue) fit nicely in, with the index finger going over the trigger, and bent-out thumb fitting behind the stock.
For another conversion project, I had transformed a few plastic Clix "Crimson Skies" aircraft into passable starfighters -- and starfighters don't need props in space! (Technically, they don't need WINGS, either, but that's beside the point.) That left me with a few little clear plastic circles that were used to represent spinning props, and I've kept those around just in case they might be handy. I used one to slip over the barrel of the flintlock, and painted Khador runes (it's a letter substitution code) around the circumference.
I've picked up quite a few HeroClix and HorrorClix minis on the cheap, including quite a few that were acquired simply for any translucent plastic "special effects" on the figures that I might be able to use for other purposes. One of these was a figure called "Shaman" -- basically a guy sitting in the lotus position, supported by translucent blue "lightning" effects. While that's a cool enough thing on its own, I don't need all that many people in spandex, so I got this just for the lightning. I trimmed off a strand with an interesting-looking crook to it, and inserted the narrow tip into a hole that I'd bored down the barrel of the flintlock. (Thankfully, the flintlock was actually thick enough in diameter for me to do that!)
The intended effect is that we've got the character firing off an enchanted bullet, and in my imagining, this one is some sort of lightning effect ... although I confess that I don't even know if that's an option for a Gun Mage under the rules, so -- artistic license!