Cue me scouring the internet for the past week looking for cheap alternatives....or ideas for conversion jobs. The only one of the latter I could find was a guy on TMP who had used his Gripping Beast Arabs box with Wargames Factory plastic WW2 Russians (taking all the rifles and MGs to put on the GB figures). Pretty nifty. But I was concerned about the lack of AK47s and more up to date weaponry - even though the Taliban are notorious for using almost anything that would fire a bullet. Sebastian Junger remarked that during a weapons raid the US Infantry had found, amongst other things, a Martini Henri.
Lo and behold, more searching came up with a Wargames Factory Apocalypse Survivors - The Men box of 30 plastic figures including all the AK's M16's and even Sniper rifles you could need. Checking ebay there were a few available but I also happened to be passing through Hinckley, Leicestershire, the same day. Home to the very excellent Wargaming Store "Black Dragon Miniatures" and probably one of the best stocked and friendliest I've ever visited (more on this later). Sure enough, two minutes after coming into the shop I'd picked up the necessary figures and was on my way home to give it a shot at converting them.
So what's inside? I'll tell you. Bloody LOADS of guns!! In fact so many extras that it's given me an idea to make some weapons caches as objective markers.
Putting them together was very easy. A few fills here and there but no problem. In fact if you wanted to use these as straight up insurgents you could use at least half of them as they are or just put a Green Stuff scarf round the face. The guys with baseball hats and security type uniforms? How about using them as Private Contractors?!! Awesome.
Making them into Taliban is slightly more tricky, but not impossible if you've got some time and plenty of Green Stuff.
First I rolled a Turban and wrapped it around the head. Then I made two squares (one for front one for back) to fashion a tunic. I covered the arms too, as some of the original sculpts had short sleeved shirts.
Next came the baggy trousers for the start of the Afghan Salwar Kameez. So wrapping the lengths of Green stuff around the legs and flattening it as I went along to create folds. Then I added the bottom hem of the Salwar hanging down below the tunic.
Lastly I added a beard and some more flowing material coming off the Turban and down the back.
So in conclusion I should be able to get around 30 insurgents or Taliban for only £18. Which would cost me almost three times as much in metal. Hope that gives you some ideas! :)