An Infinity Yu Jing Ninja With Tactical Bow Conversion
This was a Christmas present for my mate Steve, and this post is how I went about converting the model. Steve got me in to Infinity at the start of the year, and has a Yu Jing JSA force himself. There currently isn’t a Ninja model available armed with a Tactical Bow in the Infinity range, so I thought I’d convert one for him.
List of stuff I used:
If a box of 30 models for £18 is a little steep just to obtain some conversion parts you could try a bits supplier on eBay, whatever is more cost effective for you.
- Cotton thread
- Brass rod 0.5mm
- A resin cast of some nice texture
- Styrene strip material
- Zinge Industries grill
I wanted an urban looking base because Steve has mounted his JSA on Antenocitis Tri-Hex bases. I could have gotten some but the issue with this model is that because of the wide stance of the legs I’d need to extend that base in some way (I realise that is what the large lumps of metal are on the bottom of the model’s feet but I don’t like those).
I decided to build my own base. I thought I’d try to recreate a section of pavement, having the actual plastic base as the road. Add a section of plastic strip as the kerb stone Then add some sort of texture for the pavement that extends over the edge of the round base to providing some area for the feet to attach. I used a grill from a Zinge Industries sprue, and the texture was actually a resin cast of an interesting surface I had lying around the house (a metal pencil sharpener).
Put it all together and you get this.
Arming the Ninja with a Tactical Bow
After cleaning up the model parts to get rid of the mould lines I set about working out how I was going to straighten the left arm to hold the bow.
I did not remove the left arm from the sprue to allow me to hold such a small part while I worked on it.
I decided to cut just behind the forearm’s vambrace both on top of the elbow, and underneath. However I was careful not to cut all the way through in either direction. The idea behind this was to be able to bend the arm by removing material from the inside of the elbow allowing it to extend. And also remove material from the outside to enable the elbow to straight out with separating the part entirely. There is a little sculpted detail on the inside of the arm, looks like a seem on the sleeve or a piece of tubing. I used this as the marker to cut up to from either direction.
Cut off the hand at the wrist just in front of the vambrace.
Cut the arm off the bow, leaving the hand, in roughly the same location as I did on the ninja’s arm.
Drill through the forearm, into upper arm, and out through shoulder. Insert a pin all the way through, which will attach both the hand of the bow onto the arm, and the entire arm on to the shoulder.
The left shoulder of the model was removed with some side cutters, as it was at completely the wrong angle for of the repositioned arm. This was then tidied up with a file, being careful not to damage surrounding detail. I also removed those base extenders from the bottom of the models feet. A hole was drilled in the shoulder for the pin from the arm. The pin allows for a slight adjustment of the direction the arm is pointing because you can bend it once in place and then glue it.
The gaps in the arm were then filled with greenstuff, the elbow is smoothed out , and the shoulder is sculpted. Although the arm could maybe have done with being a little higher. An attempt was made to sculpt the continued cut/flow of the clothing from the surrounding areas of the model with greenstuff.
Finally detail was sculpted onto the back of the hand to match that of the original hand.
I could easily have stopped there. But I like models to make sense, and to that end I needed to add a quiver, and give the ninja a katana. There is already a pistol holstered on the hip, so having the remaining items would make sense! WYSIWYG.
The stock quiver seemed odd to me in that the arrow heads are stored point up, so I used some greenstuff to try and create fletching over the top of the arrow heads. Seems to have worked better than I expected.
The model’s original sword was used to create a sheathed katana to hang on the ninja’s belt. I was in the Liverpool World Museum recently and they had an excellent exhibition of traditional Samurai swords. The detail on them is amazing. I wanted to try and suggest that on the model.
I removed the hand leaving the guard and drilled a pin into the sword blade to make the tang. I cut off the tip of the blade and stuck a small section of cut down plasticard to the end. A lot of patience is required here as the contact point is so small for the super glue to bond to. Once the plasticard was secure I carefully filed the rectangle of plasticard down into a nicer less angular looking shape.
To give the katana a more ornate look I put a little dab of super glue on to the pin representing the tang, and wrapped a length of cotton thread around the pin. I did this twice as the first pass with the thread looked a little too thin. In retrospect I should have stopped with the first pass as on the model it now looks a little thick. I did the same at various locations on the sword sheath. Once finished I realised that the thread would have little tiny strands sticking out, so I gave the thread a coat of glue to stick those down (you’ll see later that this didn’t work). I suspect something like a nylon thread would be better for this.
On the left butt cheek of the model was a small piece of detail that I assume was the hacking device for the original model. I cut this off and greenstuffed her butt cheek back into fine form. This allowed me to hang the sword from that area with no obstructions. Just before the greenstuff had fully cured I gently pressed the sword on to the location that I want to glue it later on, so that the sword would sit flush against model more.
I glued the quiver and sword into place, and then greenstuffed some buckles at the locations points. The buckles are just small blobs of greenstuff shaped into squares and flattened and smoothed off, then the centre of the square is pushed in, and the whole thing reshaped again. This leaves a small square recess inside a slightly larger square. Close enough to a buckle for me. I was contemplating adding belts for those buckles to attach to, but I bottled it as my greenstuffing skills are not that good. Maybe the buckles are attached to hard points on the Ninja’s suit, or its just thin low profile webbing that wouldn’t have any thickness at this scale 😉
And with that it was time to prime the model black.
Painting the Ninja
As the Ninja was going to be predominately black, I used my airbrush to blast on some grey highlighting, going from a very black grey up to a medium grey on the highest points.
You can see in the picture above of the ‘greyed’ Ninja the issue with the natural fibre thread used on the katana.
The model was given a couple of washes with black, to reduce the overall greyness and return it to a black looking cloth.
Now Steve hasn’t finished painting any of his JSA mini’s yet (or at least not that I have seen). So I took a bit of a risk with the colours used. But I am fairly certain Steve was planning on staying with a tradition JSA colour scheme of black, white and red. So that is what I picked for the Ninja. As I intended for most of the Ninja to be black, I just picked out various details in either white of red. I had real trouble with the white mask.
Finally I wanted to personalise the model for Steve, and to that end I wanted to add a Dragonfly Mon. This goes back a few years to a half remembered conversation with Steve. My interpretation is that a Mon is the Japanese equivalent to an English Coat of Arms, and Steve would pick to have a dragon fly for his Mon. Sadly not painted with as much detail as the image I grabbed off the net.
The last things I did were to paint some line of sight markers on the base. After I first painted the 180 degree lines I thought they would look good as the Yu Jing symbol. However as Steve is a JSA player I really had to pay homage to his sectorial choice, and so painted a JSA rising sun on the front edge of the base.
Here we are the finished Yu Jing Ninja with Tactical Bow:
Packaging it up
I decided to put the model back in its blister pack to try and ensure its safety before being unwrapped. At this point I figured I’d personalise the blister pack inlay card. I scanned the original card into the PC to get the general layout. Used one of the photos of the model shown above, and photo shopped it onto the scanned copy. Change the text and I also added dragonfly Mon into the Ninja symbol. Printed it out at the right size and cut it to fit in front of the original inlay card. Here is my photo-shopped inlay card, its a bit naff and dodgy. I do not think Covus Belli are going to be worried about me counterfeiting their products any time soon lol.
All that remains to see what Steve makes of this after Christmas when I next see him. Hopefully over a game of Infinity, and probably having my arse kicked by a Ninja. This is the final packaged up model that he’ll unwrap on Christmas Day.
Thanks for reading and I wish you…
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!