When I first saw the EM4 Troopers with berets, I knew I just had to get a set. They look like well-trained and equipped professionals....
But since there are only 5 different troopers available with berets I had to come up with a way to increase my options.
First step was to decide I wanted the ones with bare heads as well, that was the easy step. (Some of these figures were seen in Trooper Command! Here I show how I did it....)
To get some variation for my troopers I gave each set of two identical models a different skin colour: one got a caucasion skin tone, the other an african one. Not to much hassle and with a good result in my opinion.
They look like two different individuals wearing the same gear, which fits these well equipped regulars. This way I doubled the potential amount of troopers I could field.
Thirdly, I made a few easy conversions by swapping hands. I wanted some models armed differently from how EM4 provides them and this would give me different figures at the same time.
I used hands from the trooper command set.
These conversions are quite easy. Just cut off the hand at the wrist and glue on the new one, pinning it in place.
As soon as the glue is dry, you can file the joint and that's it, no modelling clay required if you're careful. In this way I made the following models.
Trooper 0429 became a field medic. I swapped his left hand, holding a grenade for a hand with a medical bag. I converted and painted this miniature quite some time ago. Unfortunately at that time I didn't take a before picture, so I can't show you that one unpainted.
Since you can never have too many grunts armed with an assault rifle, another trooper 0429 received the assault rifle from the converted officer. I removed the SMG before I cut off his hand.
Trooper 0011 became my second officer. I wanted him armed with a SMG in his right hand and pointing with his left. For this conversion I cut off his right arm under his shoulder pad, as you can see in the picture.
I cut off the gun, where it touches his leg. The new arm with SMG was made to fit into this corner and was then glued into place. The left hand was attached with a simple cut to the wrist.
Trooper 0013 became an nco, armed with the SMG from the previous owner. I cut off his pistol and simply glued on the SMG. Since there was some damage I had to use a little green stuff to fix this. His left hand was replaced with the gesturing hand from the converted officer.
Another trooper 0013 became a technician/drone operator/communications guy, there's always room for a guys with some serious skills. For this his left hand was cut off above the elbow and he got a data/control pad in his left hand from the trooper command set.
With this I cheated a bit. It's actually a right hand holding the pad as you can see if you have the set of hands. But I figured who's to know, since you can't see it on the table?
The converted new guys were painted the same way as my other troopers. I used three different tones of green: one for their fatigues, one for their armour and one for all the pouches and holsters. After a black wash I painted the raised areas again with the same green and afterwards added some bone coloured paint to each to add the highlights.
All the weapons were left black with two highlights: a darker grey for all the edges and a medium one for just some raised bits here and there. Finally I used metal to paint a few details.
For the skin I used a regular caucasian tone, washed with sepia, repainted the higher areas and added highlights. For the dark skin I started with a dark brown, pinwashed the areas and then applied highlights with a medium brown. The eyes were painted with a white horizontal line, followed with a black vertical line in the middle.
Finally, for the last details I used the same red for the beret and used blue for the pad, that the converted trooper is holding. With succesive highlight and a gloss varnish I tried to achieve an inner glow like modern pads have.
And that's how another 5 troopers found their way into the ranks of my ever growing force. There's currently 19 of them, more than enough for the games that I play. But they could do with some heavy weapons, so you might see more converted troopers in the future!