| ||AN ONGOING NEWSLETTER||January 2007|
EM4 sells a cool police bike. I decided to meke equally cool-looking riders.
I ordered a pair of them, along with some of the other available bikes to see if I could use the riders for parts. The other bikes & riders were also very nice and all the riders are interchangable between the bikes.
Wanting something different I chose instead to convert eM-4 plastic troopers into police riders.. If you want a more military look to your bikers you're probably better off ordering the trail bike (a slick terrain bike) and rider instead and converting from there.
To make two bike rider models I used the two different plastic torsos with one bent leg. The idea was to swap one of the legs around, to give one set of bent legs, and one set of straight legs (which could then be bent).
You could also use the torso with straight standing legs and work from there, but there's only one of those per sprue, while there's two of each of the others (so theoretically you could make four bikers from one troopers sprue rather than just one).
I cut away the upper torso including the little pack on the back (keep this intact, it will nicely mask the join later on), cut away the tab from the feet, and cut the hips down the middle.
Now swap around the legs and you'll have two sets: a "bent leg" set and a "straight leg" set (roughly). The only difference in modelling is that the straight legs require an extra step in the modelling process: bending.
File away the back of the knee, and bend the leg, this will most likely cause the leg to crack/break above or below the kneepad:You'll fill this gap later.
Glue the leg in bent position (use superglue, this plastic cannot be glued with polystyrene cement).
Feet may be twisted in an odd way, so cut these loose and glue them in a better position (the left straight leg has a really twisted foot, I replaced this with the left foot from the straight standing torso, and gave that one a new foot from putty).
Now it's time to join the legs together. To allow the model to sit on the bike the legs need to be farther apart than they are on standing models.
The easiest way to get the right width is just to glue a long pin in one leg and drill a hole in the other, and glue them together as you fit the legs over the bike. (not yet gluing them TO the bike)
Don't worry about a perfect fit: The next step is to file the inside of the legs a bit more open so they will fit the bike more snugly.
In hindsight it may have been better to keep the legs in the pairs they came with, and bend one of each, but this worked as well, so it's not a big problem.
Now it's time to work on the upper body: Take a front body, cut off the head, and attach the chest to the back you still have lying around.
To ride a bike the model needs at least one arm on the handle-bar. I used the left arm from the plastic pistol arm, and the (also left) grenade arm from the troopers command set (you could also use the left plastic assault rifle arm but I used these for my riot squad).
For the plastic arm cut the pistol down the middle and cut away all bits of pistol. File the hand on the inside to make it thinner (a round needle file works best for this). Then cut the arm at the elbow and reattach it so that the flat of the hand is turned 90 degrees (i.e., so it can 'grab' the handle).
For the metal arm file away the grenade (again, a round needle file works well), and cut and turn the arm at the elbow. Trim the shoulder so it fits properly.
Now attach the upper body to the legs so the arms reach the handles, and attach the handles as well. Give the model a right arm of your choice (I went for the metal SMG arms from the command set), and glue in place. Also, attach the head as you like (leaving it on will have the model looking down too much, which is why you had to cut it off). The last step to be done is filling all the gaps (and there's quite a few) with putty,
Leave to dry and your trooper has become a motorcyclist ready for painting!
Though the bike comes with an integral base I glued it to a 25x50mm base, smoothing the transition with putty I also removed the protrusion from the front (which I assume to be a gun barrel), and filled the gap with putty.
I painted the bike and the rider seperately so I could access all the details. Both were undercoated black.
Using a lot of reference pictures, the bike was painted white with orange/blue stripes. Black parts were black with a dark grey drybrush. Metal parts were painted metal, some with a silver highlight.
The rider received a different uniform than hisfoot colleaguest. He was given a complete drybrush with a dark brownish grey (this makes the black look a bit more natural than a blueish grey). I added reflective stripes (metal mixed with white paint) to his arms and legs.
His body armour and helmet were painted white, with an orange strip across his back. Because the model had much more black elements than my foot models, I drybrushed the gun with metal to add more distinction, and the gun strap dark grey.
I glued the riders to the bikes and gave them a coat of matte varnish. I picked out the windshield, visor, all metal parts, all lights and sights, the belt and the gun in gloss varnish, and they were ready to roll!