Sunday, 25 June 2017

Forgotten Heroes 2017 - The Bug Hunters

 
My work for the 2017 Forgotten Heroes challenge is now completed. My entries are based on a little known sci-fi comic strip that appeared in Computer and Video Games magazine between October 1985 and February 1987 called The Bug Hunters. I loved this story back then and I still love it today. It has long stuck in my memory. My initial plan for this challenge was to sculpt the two human characters from the story - Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber. But I soon realised I could convert various robot figures into B-Con, OTISS and X. The big stumbling block was the robot, Big Red. He is huge and I didn't fancy sculpting him from scratch. But, a big part of me wanted to make all six of The Bug Hunters heroes, so I searched on Amazon for a suitable robot toy to convert into Big Red. I struck lucky when I discovered a 5" tall action figure of Baymax from the animated film Big Hero 6. Now the challenge was on to get the conversions done before the end of this month. At that time, Melissa and Jackson had been sculpted. B-Con was a very simple conversion. OTISS, X and Big Red were much harder conversions but I finished them all last week and got them painted in just three days. Now at last I can present to you, The Bug Hunters.
From left to right are Melissa Ravenflame (an executive working for the Institute for the Development and Expansion of Advanced Systems (IDEAS) Corporation, Jackson T. Kalliber (head of IDEAS Security), B-Con (a former prison security droid), OTISS (Overt Technical Information Suburban System droid), X (a former bouncer and black marketeer) and Big Red (Relocation of Explosives for Demolition droid and not the sharpest tool in the box). Their mission was to find and fix bugs and glitches in artificial intelligence systems, computer systems and other robots. It is fair to say, they met with varying degrees of success. Big Red accidentally managed to totally destroy more than one children's home and orphanage!
I am immensely proud of my two sculpts and four conversions. Just compare these two photos above with the picture at the top of the page, taken from issue #1 of the comic series to see just how close they resemble the artwork. So, what are my plans for them? I will use them in some one-off adventures using the N.E.W. sci-fi RPG by What's Old Is New. I've already worked out the stats for Melissa and Jackson and I'm currently working on the stats for the four droids.
Here's a reminder of what OTISS, X and Big Red started out as - RoJaws, Hammerstein and Baymax. That's quite a change, huh? Note how much taller Big Red is to Baymax. His lower legs were lengthened considerably. The word RED on his chest was made out of cartridge paper, cut out and glued in place. Incidentally, Big Red is a lot less posable than he was as Baymax. His arms can still move up and down, but that's it.
I'd just like to end by saying how much I enjoyed this challenge. This was a project that grew bigger for me as the days passed by. At the start of June 2017, I never imagined I'd have the full set of The Bug Hunters in 28mm scale. But I have and I feel I have surpassed myself with this challenge and right now I'm feeling incredibly proud.
Finally, just for Roger, is this photo of my six entries taken against a plain white background. I'm sure you'll appreciate it, mate!
STOP PRESS
I have been asked about what figure was B-Con based on? Well, I can tell you he came from a range of very old (mid 1980's) Citadel 28mm scale Paranoia robots. This range of robots came in two halves - upper and lower bodies. The idea was that you could swap them around to come up with an infinite variety of robots. I bought loads of them and never got round to painting any of them, let alone making them. So, as a consequence, I had a large amount of robot body parts just lying unwanted in one of my spare parts boxes.


Fortunately, I remembered I still had them and as I rummaged through them I saw the perfect upper and lower body parts to make B-Con. His upper body came from the robot shown in the picture at the top right of here and his lower tracked body part came from the robot shown to the bottom right of here. All I did to convert him was add the searchlight on his chest, his hat and his sunglasses. Oh, and I cut the weapons off his lower body. As I said, a very simple conversion.

26 comments:

  1. Marvellous stuff, love the robots so much. Big Red is very impressive

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    1. Thanks, Andy. Big Red is indeed, impressive.

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  2. Truly excellent. Huge and powerful looking.

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    1. Much obliged, Clint. This was a real labour of love for me.

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  3. Incredible stuff, Bryan, jaw-droppingly great conversions!! Big Red obviously captures the eye first and foremost (and the fact you have one of your atmospheric backgrounds to fit him); especially as he's a poseable wargaming model!!. But some of the other conversions are equally as well done once you start perusing your imagines. Its certainly hard to imagine a couple of these fellas were Rob-Jaws and Hammerstein a while ago.

    What a great entry to "Forgotten Heroes", and I'm looking forward to their one-off adventures when they arrive too. Just how much sculpting with green-stuff did Big Red require!?! And what great paint-jobs you've done too :-)

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    1. Many thanks, Simon. The height of my background scenery picture is 6" and Big Red only just fit under that by a fraction of an inch, so he is very tall! I used Milliput on all six figures. The conversion of Big Red probably took up about a half of a pack of Milliput, which is a lot! Most of that went on his lower legs and on fattening his body. There is also a lot of Milliput on X. Also, remember that Melissa and Jackson were sculpted from scratch, so all told, I've put in a lot of work and effort on these six. That said, I've enjoyed every minute of it, so no complaints from me. It's been an absolute blast!

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    2. Your enthusiasm for this project definitely comes across with your writing, Bryan, and with the sheer amount of effort you've put into each and every miniature. I am interested to know which model was transformed into B-Con, and he's probably my fave of the bunch :-)

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    3. You're not the only one asking about B-Con. So I've just added a little extra to my post above to show you what B-Con was originally. I hope this helps.

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  4. Well done Bryan! This is absolutely superb and I had to go backwards and forwards from the WIP photograph to the finished miniatures just to enjoy the sheer amount of work that has gone into this undertaking. What an absolute joy Sir.

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    1. That is very kind of you to say, Michael, and very much appreciated. Thank you so much! :-)

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  5. Fantastic!! simply FANTASTIC!!! you sir have taken Forgotten heroes to a whole new level, so please don't come back next year as you've made the rest of us look lazy (just kidding of course you have to come back now, after this!!). I will of course re-post this to the FH site in a bit (just need to check through all the other participants blogs first. thanks for the final pic against the white. I'm not sure what I'll do with the header next year yet, but I'm sure Jez will find a use for it in his end of "term" sum up speech (I haven't actually asked him about that yet, but he will).

    Oh and I know what was the base for B-con, it's an old Citadel Miniatures robot, from their 2000AD range, did he originally have a hammer and a spanner in his hands?

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Cheers, Roger. Isn't it funny how things work out? I was originally going to make a Chibi version of Lady Death, but when the figure I planned to base her on was withdrawn from sale I very nearly didn't enter the challenge this year. Fortunately, I had a brainwave when I remembered how much I loved "The Bug Hunters" series, and so the muse struck me big time.

      I already have a good idea of what next year's entry will be, assuming the challenge is there again, but I won't start work on it until June 1st, 2018. This time, I already have the necessary figure(s) to convert.

      You were very close with your guess about the origin of B-Con. He came from the Paranoia range, not the Judge Dredd range, although he could be used in MC1 without any bother. He isn't the figure with the hammer and spanner in his hands. I actually have that figure, so I know what you're talking about, Roger.

      I have posted an addendum to my post, giving details of B-Con's origins, so you may want to update the "Forgotten Heroes" post.

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  6. I was close but no cigar! I have that pack (I thought it was part of the 2000AD range). Only painted up a couple of them myself, though one of then is the "combo" you show first and another of them did have a spanner and hammer, with a very similar body to the one show.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Ach, you just pipped me whilst i was typing my long reply to you above. You are absolutely right about hammer and spanner guy. He does look very similar.

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  7. That's a great set of miniatures and I love the conversion of Big Red. Quite a project to be sure.

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    1. Thanks, Tim. It was a lot more work than I initially envisaged but I'm so glad I decided to go the extra mile! It was all worth it in the end.

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  8. Ab-so-lutely marvelous Bryan!
    The concept, modelling and painting are awesome!! Well done sir.

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  9. Standing ovation Bryan ! The scratch builds start the myriad of models so well, then the conversions look spot on and finally executed with a top notch paint job. WELL DONE !

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    1. So kind of you to say so, Dave. That's high praise, indeed.

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  10. I had never heard of "The Bug Hunters" before (I'm not really very good with obscure comics), but I've now looked it up :-). There appear to be more robots listed as "major characters" than you have modelled; do you have any plans to make them as well? I'm thinking specifically of Grill and Lieutenant Laww.

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    1. I'm sure that most of my readers have never heard of "The Bug Hunters" either, Hugh, so you're not alone in that respect. Actually, the six characters shown above were the only members of The Bug Hunters squad. Grill and Lieutenant Laww were from a spin-off series that followed on from where The Bug Hunters ended. I have no plans for making either of them.

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  11. Excellent work! They really are terrific. It'll be great to see them being gamed with.

    [L. Heng is a spam google account, if you weren't already aware. There is a number of them doing the rounds, all with links to casinos attached]

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    1. Many thanks, Roy. I'm looking forward to gaming with them.

      I'm aware of the spamming scumbags and they get deleted asap. They clearly have shit for brains!

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  12. What a crackingly good job you've done Bryan. True to the comic art and the size of R.E.D is wonderful

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    1. Cheers, Simon. Yep, they're all done to scale.

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