Monday, November 28, 2011

Minions, etc.

The problem with the way I write is that it's often done in small burst and then saved for later completion. When I look at my list of blog posts, I always find a few that are still in draft form and I ask myself "Where was I going with that?" For finished posts, I often discover upon review that the editing is choppy and occasionally makes no sense. I just finished an overhaul of my post "Writing Against Type, part 2" because there were some amazing verbal gaffes in it. Heck, there probably still are! Sorry about that but hopefully it flows a bit better now.

As mentioned in that post, I have been working on some antagonists that basically look like WW2 Germans. To re-hash, this was done for comedic effect and as a commentary on what we as a society are willing to accept. It's also dead easy to make up (or "bash") 1/6 scale figures this way since there's so much 1/6 WW2 German equipment on the market. My original idea for the minions had been to make them a bit more post-war, generically "Eastern Bloc" looking. For inspiration, I looked to the Cold War-era militaries of countries like Yugoslavia, Poland and especially East Germany. In the end, the figures looked somewhat like East German soldiers from the late '50s-early '70s, except for the AK 74 rifles, which would place them in a later time period (the "74" is the smaller caliber younger sibling of the AK 47/AKM family). Just for sake curiosity however, I decided to see what they would look like "bashed" as a somewhat idealized but plausible late WW2 German soldier.

The first thing that strikes me is that the helmet, although it fits, seems way too big. I'll admit I'm not an expert on WW2 German subjects (haven't watched enough History Channel "Those Darn Awesome Nazis" marathons, I guess) but WW2 era Stahlhelme (plural) seem smaller than their WW1 ancestors. This version (from 21st Century Toys) is allegedly the WW2 "M1935" but looks more like the size of the WW1 "M1916(?)". It doesn't have to be perfect and in fact, I can still think of others projects to use this helmet for, but it just looks "off" to me. I think I still prefer a more post-WW2, East German/Warsaw Pact appearance. The other issue I have with this guy is that he would reset my project in to an alternate WW2 style setting. That could be fun and I could even include some overtly Sci-Fi elements but I'm just not feeling it right now. I'm going to give this another try with the basic uniform but replacing the helmet with East German "M1956". I've "bashed" this style before and liked the look of it but this time, I might swap out the AK74, "Chi-Com" chest rig and related gear I used for something more "Western". The back story I've worked out is that, while they keep their old-style "Germanic" uniforms and helmets, they switch to NATO small arms, including perhaps the Steyr AUG (rifle) and the FN Minimi light machine gun (known in the US as the M249). Since I already have a couple of these basic dressed troopers on hand, it shouldn't be much to put together a quick test "bash" to see how that looks. Hopefully I should be able to post a follow up and a photo in the next day or two.

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