Australian Frontier Wars – Aboriginals: miniatures

Spirit Warriors

.

.

 

Aboriginal Warriors

From the earliest post of this project I mentioned that the utility of the Eureka Miniatures Denisovan figures would be the mainstay of the Aboriginal warriors to be used for this period. In this post I’m going to show some of the ways the current line of miniatures can be used, as I have done, to depict my Koori clansmen.

The pics below show the ‘greens’ that Eureka Miniatures had on their website showing off the Denisovans. You can see, in order from left to right, the conversions I’ve done to show how these figures can be used in a variety of ways in pictures following that of the ‘greens’. As you can tell, subtle conversions, combined with a few more extensive ones, really do provide for a good mix of figures.

Often figures in the same pose just need a twist of an arm or a new weapon in hand to look like a different figure. The way the arm and weapons are sculpted on these figures allows for a good deal of conversion and by including a lot more spear armed troops I think they look more like traditional Aboriginals with their propensity to always have a spear to hand. In addition, the thinner spear ie metal one, is more slender and befitting the typical spear a warrior would use rather than the thicker cast ones IMO.

Note, I have not used all the types of Denisovans available in the range. I went with those that looked distinctly Aboriginal in pose, style and look (mostly facial features) – not all do in my opinion, at least not to my taste. Thus by selectively getting the figures from the range that have classic aboriginal features and then doing a number of conversions as below, you can get a good deal of variety in posing but retain the ‘classic’ warrior look that I’m after.

One thing I have not done, and I don’t think is easily possible, is a change of heads. The unclothed sculpted figures really don’t allow for this as you can’t hide the join in the neck line on a jacket or something similar…whilst possible, it’s not worth it in my view and the sculpted hair into the rest of the body makes it hard. It is possible if you green stuff to blend it but that is probably beyond my feeble green-stuffing skills!

.

Conversions

 

 

em-den-1
Above you see the greens for the conversions below. These three figures provide a solid choice for ‘core’ aboriginal warriors. The first figure we’ll look at is the tribal elder/chief on the left.

img_4351

The left side figure has had his club ‘clipped off’, which I’ve kept for re-equipping another warrior. He’s been given the metal spear and the head of the spear has been replaced with a shark tooth spear end, clipped off another warrior (see below). I wanted this fellow to have a commanding presence ‘pointing’ the weapon to infer he is giving an order to his warriors somewhat like the ‘old boy’ out of the movie ‘Zulu. I’ve  also added a green stuff head band sculpted as animal fur to further customise his look.

The middle figure has an ‘over the shoulder’ animal skin green-stuffed to make him look a bit different. His arm has also been raised up indicating an inspiring ‘follow me’ moment or perhaps an order about to be given.

The right side figure has had his weapon clipped out and his arm bent so as to be able to take a spear. I’ve added a bit of green-stuff as this weapon could be painted with the hand hold to perhaps representing more of a ceremonial spear, in this case with a stuffed crow or otherwise a favoured weapon, not just a regular spear.

.

.

img_4352

Looking at the same figures from behind you can see the detailed fur on the back of the left-side elder and details of the other two. These adjustments have made this same figure into three quite different types through weapon swaps, arm positioning and a bit of green-stuffing (is that a word 🙄).

.

.

img_4356

The next figure along is a good candidate for conversion. He has a very aboriginal look, is crouching in a good ‘advancing’ pose, has a sheild and his right hand can easily be reequiped and repositioned. For the most part I’ve rearmed with a spear and with some subtle hand and arm twisting the figures look different in movement. Note, the spear variation positioning creates a more dynamic look as the weapons are in quite different positions, which your eye is drawn to. The left most warriors has had a boomerang from another figure repositioned into his hand for added variety.

.

.

img_4354

The last of the warriors equally has a good advancing pose, a sheild and a right hand that can be reequipped. His small dagger is clipped off so another spear armed warrior type can be made. As for the elder, a spear has had a sharks tooth end attached for a bit of variation in weapon types. This figure could easily be given a club or boomerang in his right hand also….a quite useful figure. These four figures look subtly different but are doing the same thing…which is the idea…kind of that ‘Perry ‘ look of same, but different, motion.

.

.

img_4355

The left hand figure has spear in a slightly different pose to the one above. The middle figure has a conversion for the same figures but being a little more creative.

He is portrayed as a spiritual warrior ie a clever man or shaman. He could be a leader as well. He has had a green-stuffed ceremonial headdress attached by clipping of the hair knot from the original. He then has been given a bit of wire to hold a crow (also available from Eureka Miniatures) and a bit of wrapping around as a hand-hold. He is very distinctive and with a suitable paint job should look pretty good…or at least different!

The figure on the right has had the hatchet type weapon repositioned from the previous warrrior type to give him more variation…mental note – always keep the weapons clipped off figures for re-arming onto another figure.

.

.

em-den-2

Of these three figures I’ve elected to only use the left and centre figures. The one on the right doesn’t fit in with the look I’m after though the one leg pose is appropriate for aboriginal warriors as they are often depicted standing that way. The centre one I’ve not altered and have used ‘as is’. The way the spear is sculpted on the figure doesn’t allow for easy removal and the arms can’t easily be repositioned as the spear is attached to the shield…so I’ll use the figure as the maker intended and paint it differently for variation.

The left hand figure however can be used for conversion.

.

.

img_4357

Here is the subtle variation that looks strikes a classic aboriginal look…a pose and physical look of the Australian native warrior…one of my favourite figures in the range. I’ve re-speared the figures and used the shark tooth head of the original spear for weapon variation, one of which is shown here. The arms have been repositioned and to my eye they look nicely ‘different’ from one another – a nice simple conversion.

.

.

img_4358

These same figures again. The left hand warrior has had an animal skin green-stuffed on him to mark him out as someone special – perhaps a junior leader.

 

.

.

em-den

Next group of figures are all excellent candidates for conversion. They have weapons that can be reused, both arms of which can be reequiped and reposed, have good arm positioning and looking distinctly aboriginal with shield and boomerang…nice work Mr Marsh! The figure on the right is my favourite from this range of minis.

.

.

img_4362

Here you can see quite a bit of variation. Starting from left to right, the first warrior has been given a club which came from one of the elder figures. The second figure from the left has had his arm repositioned into more of a stabbing pose as opposed to the third figure who shows the arm in the original position of preparing to strike. The third figure has also had is left-hand boomerang removed and been given a spear.

The fourth figure along has a spear in his right hand and the green stuff I’ve models is meant to represent the centre of a flaming spear…oh so good for burning crops, a favourite tactics of the native warriors. On top of this I’ll put some cotton wool to represent a smoking spear.

The one to his right also has a much larger green-stuffed flame… I guess the proof will be in the pudding when I painted to see just how they turn out. If worst comes to worse I consider pull off the green stuff and just make them simple spear warriors again…easy.

The last warrior has simply had his right arm repositioned and being given a spear in his left hand. From that one figure there is quite a bit of variation.

img_4361

Looking at the next figure the one to the left is as sculpted. The second one along has had his left hand weapon clipped and then given a spear.

The third one along has had his right hand boomerang removed and one of the elder clubs put in its place. In his left hand he’s been given a spear and though you can’t see it I fashioned a shield which is also carrying.

The last figure has had his right hand rearmed with a spear in an overhead defiant fashion making for quite a nice pose.

.

img_4363

The last figure of the greens that you can see is this warrior standing and looking in the distance. This is a very nice figure.

Moving from left to right, I’ve given the first warrior an animal skin over the shoulder look and in his right hand placed a warclub. Combined with the shield in his left hand and the distinguished look he will make for a very nice leader figure.

The second figure along has had his right hand slightly repositioned and then re-equipped with a spear, which I’ve fashioned on a bit of green stuff on for variation. The third figure along has simply had a right hand thin spear fitted as has the fourth, both in slightly different positions.

The second last figure has had his right hand re-equipped with a hatchet type club and the last is as per the original sculpt. From this one figure there is a good deal of variation.

.

Out of 7 variant figures of the original sculpts the are now 41 variants! In a typical army you therefore produce probably 3 of the same figure without any further repeats – an excellent result when one considers that warrior armies need to have a good deal of variety to capture the right look.

So, as you can see from the relatively limited number of figures, in this case little more than seven figures, I’ve been able to create alot of variation. When all these figures are painted and intermingled with one other they should provide the suitable look of a group of advancing warriors with leaders suitably posed but with a wide variety of weapon and pose positions.

It is my hope that these Denisovans may have a few figures added to them, perhaps four to six figures, in a more traditional and classic aboriginal look. If that were the case and they were as cleverly sculpted as these ones then there really would be an enormous amount of variation to create the look of an aboriginal warrior clan.

Needless to say, you can get more possible variations if you’re prepared to get a little bit of green-stuff going and you had some other weapons that you may want to fashion and put into the warrior’s hands. I think these figures are excellent and suitably painted should look quite the part.

.

.

In the next post we take a look at painting these figures and what sort of ‘look’ we shall go for to depict our warriors – see you then…

 

Advertisements