Number four in the Modellwelten series covers the subject of converting plastic 1/72 scale figures. Some convert figures to obtain uniforms not yet available while others do it simply to get more variety of poses, but there are many who have yet to try this tricky but rewarding exercise and this programme is mostly for them. We watch as Peter Herfen and Rüdiger Fischer take several figures and mercilessly chop and change them to gain something new.
The first part of the program deals with the basics, starting with a simple head swap. Then we see figures cut in half and swapped, followed by some more difficult head and arm changes. After that the pose of a horse is changed by swapping legs, and then a figure of General Robert E Lee is constructed from parts donated by half a dozen figures. The programme then takes a look at some of the converted figures in the collection of Peter Herfen to show what great results can be achieved.
All the time the camera gets in very close to the subject, so it is fortunate indeed that all the fingernails are clean! The process is surprisingly gruesome - watching a HaT Mameluke being sawn in half almost makes you feel sorry for the little fellow. However we do get to see exactly how these conversions are done, with suitable reinforcement in order to make the resulting figure more robust. The modeller wielding the blade comments on what he is doing, and on occasion there is commentary as well, so again much can be learned.
For the second half of the programme our attention turns to a large diorama of the Battle of Leuthen by Rüdiger Fischer, and we watch him do a series of increasingly complicated conversions to put together a gun crew, including one chap who has both his arms created from scratch. Undoubtedly the final figures are excellent but you need a lot of patience to do this kind of thing, and it must be said you need a fair bit to watch this section of the programme too.
The finale is a long look at this superb diorama, with figures, buildings and scenery galore, all more than enough to inspire you to try something similar, although perhaps on a more modest scale.
As always the production quality is excellent, particularly considering the difficulties of filming so small a subject. The commentary is only in German, but useful tips can be gained simply by watching these experts in action.
So there you have it. 72 minutes of decapitation and bodies being mangled yet not one drop of blood (at least not on camera). More of an instructional film than entertainment, it will provide both useful information and inspiration to many budding converters out there.