Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Converting the Punisher

The Punisher has long been one of my favorite comic book characters, and The Punisher War Journal was the first "superhero" comic that I ever bought. I was psyched to get the Marvel Crisis Protocol Punisher, and decided to convert him into a classic "War Journal" version of the character.


Jim Lee's rendition of Frank Castle was my first exposure to the character, so it left quite an impression on me. Along with John Romita Jr. and Mike Zeck, Jim Lee ranks in my top three Punisher artists/ renditions (in no particular order; they're all great and each offer a unique take on the character).

War Journal Punisher often wore more equipment, and while he still had the spandex costume, the gloves and boots were usually dark grey, leaving the giant skull as the only white accent.



Here's the original "stock" model for comparison:



My first step was resculpting the skull. I made it as large as would fit on his chest. The belt buckle teeth were made from a thin piece of card with vertical grooves etched into it.



I cut the pouches off of Taskmaster (who came in the same kit) and added them to Punisher's belt.



I decided to swap out the sci-fi-looking rail gun for a more contemporary weapon. I had to settle for something from the 41st millennium, though, since I don't have any modern guns in 40mm scale. The most appropriate rifle I could find was an old Vindicare Assassin's sniper rifle. I cut off the grip and arm to keep Frank's original arm and hand. The shoulder attachment needed to be altered to swing the arm forward a little more. I also sculpted a higher collar on the shirt, since the spandex always comes up high on his neck.



I cut the detonator out of his hand and added a Necromunda shotgun. A little sculpting was needed on the pump and the hand. I also had to do a lot of work on the shoulder and side to lower and angle the arm into a firing pose with the gun aimed along the model's eye line.




I hid the shoulder joins under the backpack straps, which were made out of thin strips of styrene plastic. The backpack itself was sculpted out of modeling putty with pouches added from other models. (The two small pouches are from a Space Marine, and I think the central pouch is from a WWII model kit; it was just something floating around in my parts box.)



The legs were fine as they were, I just needed to get some rubble for him to stand on instead of the duffel bag. Here's the final conversion:



And here he is in color. I painted him in an afternoon, it was quick work since he's mostly black and white. I added a bit of blue tint to the clothing, and kept the gloves, boots, and equipment with a more neutral grey. I'm really satisfied with how he turned out!



While I was working on the Punisher, I also pulled out the old resin model for Marshall McClain from Wild West Exodus. I painted him in all white to give him more of a "Lone Ranger" vibe. It was a good opportunity to try out GW's Apothecary White Contrast paint. That stuff works like a charm. I painted it straight from the pot over the entire model and then just white highlighted the edges and a few raised areas, and added a bit of grey into the Apothecary to add darker lines along some of the seams and deep separation lines.



Here he is with Jonny Ringo:



Til next time!


  1. Both figures are great, and I appreciate that the changes you made to the Punisher figure move it more to the "cartoony" realm of things, but in the very best way!

    Also impressed with how well the apothecary white worked out. I assume over a white base coat?

    1. Thank you! For the Apothecary, I primed Wraithbone, then zenithal with White, and a little drybrush of white on the tops of the arms and hat to make sure they were bright white.

  2. What an awesome tribute to one of your favorite characters! :)


All comments are moderated. Any comments containing links will not be approved and will be marked as spam.