The conversion work was pretty simple. I just kit bashed a bunch of things- cutting them down to fit and smoothing the seams. I had a mental image in mind when I started and I just tried to make him look as close to that as possible while keeping it very simple (KISS!). I didn't check how the model actually fit together until the end, so gluing it all together was a pain in the butt.
I learned for basing that gluing plaster to plastic doesn't work very well unless you know the trick. That trick is gluing it first with wood glue, ripping it off once it's dry, and then gluing the now dried wood glue to the base with super glue. I also decided this time to use a few different materials for the base to make it look more elaborate. I chose large pieces (plaster blocks), medium pieces (the plastic tiles and the plastic sprue pieces), and small bits (the sand). These all seem to work together pretty well.
Painting-wise I learned that I should probably use less layers. Right now I highlight up from the darkest color, then apply a wash, and then re-highlight all the way up. That's kind of a waste of time. I think I've decided to apply the base color, apply a wash, and then highlight up from there. It's still pretty annoying to have to wash the whole area. The weathering powders were a mess and a half. I got them all over my computer and desk area. I was worried that they were dulling the black too much, but that effect faded once I sprayed the model with Matte Varnish.
I applied the blood effects (Tamiya Clear Red) and they were easy and awesome. I recommend getting a little pot of it. I also tried my hand at some OSL (object source lighting) on the lantern in the back. I don't like it so much in person- something is just a little off, but on camera it looks pretty good.
The photography portion was a blast. I tried using a green sheet of paper behind the model to enable me to better use the fuzzy select in GIMP. It worked pretty well, but only after three tries. The first try I placed the model in direct sunlight and the reflection of the green was very present on the back side of the model. Next I tried in a shadow outdoors with the flash, but the model was still too close and some of the glossy black areas (especially on the base) were a little green. The final try was in the driveway with the model on a stand, the paper about two feet away, and a nice lamp lighting the model from in front. That worked the best, but there are still hints of green in the pictures. I think more forward lighting and even further from the paper will work wonders.