With a little bit of work, the crew of the MMG was changed around a bit.
First off, this pic shows the pieces of the 1/72 WW2 Russian gun crews from Plastic Soldier:
There are 8 figures per frame (two figures per frame are split into two pieces each), and a variety of heads and weapons are included. One or both arms on a select few figures are also separate pieces. The gun crew pack from Plastic Soldier has 4 of these frames in it, which gives a lot of pieces for potential conversions!
(I want to thank Arjun again for his generosity in sending me these figures - see this post.)
Here is what I started with for the MMG stand:
The original crew from Minairons is pewter, with the plastic gunner replacement in plastic. I chose to use a Czech-style helmet for the new gunner. The base is a 1¼" diameter steel fender washer, with a sticky dot to cover up the hole.
At this point, I decided that the original leader would be better off with my Nationalist forces, so a replacement is needed. The old gunner would be perfect with a slight change - replace the right hand with a plastic one that is pointing out a target in the distance:
And, a couple of cuts later:
Add a bit of glue (super glue for the plastic-to-metal connection):
The new gunner needed a bit of attention as well:
In the pic above, one can just see the entrenching tool attached to his belt. I trimmed off the handle, and will paint the rest to look like a normal belt pouch.
I used a small drill bit to make a hole for the new head - plastic is so easy to drill!
And, some test-fitting of the crew:
It will be a tight squeeze to get all of the crew on the base - the loader is positioned at an angle to the weapon, which takes up more room. I am fairly certain that the new gunner is not firing the MMG in the textbook manner, but it should be OK. One note - the Plastic Soldier figures seem to be a bit more broad in the shoulders than the figures from Minairons, but it should blend in seamlessly once the crew is painted and based.
The dark spot in the above pic is also part of the base - While trying to get the original gunner to fit more closely to the weapon, I trimmed the base to a point where the figure will not stand upright on its own. Hence, a nice rock for the new leader to rest his knee upon...