Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pretty Ghost on the Wall

I sometimes forget how much time has passed and when I did things. For example, this young lady is Tina. I met her at the Chiller Theatre show in the Meadowlands, New Jersey way back in April 2000. It's eleven years later and there she hangs, still gracing my wall, captured in time and not aging a day in my recollection or imagination. I remember her as very sweet. She was with a glamour photographer who had a table at the show, in a rather cramped corner as I recollect. I wanted a picture with her as well as the autographed photo and she was nice enough to sneak off and change into the little black dress for me. The photographer sort of "art directed" the picture, which was fine but I would have done it a little more conventionally. Still and all it's not a bad picture and it preserves a very pleasant memory. I tried to go back to the Chiller Theatre show twice this year, but had car problems in April and weather issues in October. Maybe I'll try again in the spring. Not that I'm looking for Tina, but I have rather fond memories of the show and wouldn't mind going back. Ah well, maybe this coming April. Anyway, from the Nauticusnow Blog here's wishing you all a Happy and prosperous New Year.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ms. Victory - Squared

Joan Wayne began her career as a superheroine back in the 1940's in the pages of comics by Holyoke Publishing. Back then she was known as Miss Victory and apparently her powers and abilities sort of changed from issue to issue. Revived in the 1970's by AC Comics, Joan continued her career, now known as the more politically correct Ms. Victory (figure on left). Now her powers, which were substantial, were induced by a vitamin called V-47, which had also extended her life, youth and beauty. Then, as with a lot of heroic people, she had a turn to the dark side and assumed the persona of Rad. When that happened the government went looking around for a replacement and came across her daughter Jennifer Burke (her married name). Apparently the V-47 formula would work best with someone who had the same genetic makeup as Joan. Anyway, Jennifer became the second Ms. Victory (figure on right) with a modified costume. When Joan rid herself of the Rad persona Jennifer kept superheroing - it sort of gets in your blood I guess. Joan is normally the leader of Femforce. I used two Toy Biz Jean Grey figures for these conversions. I removed some belt detail from the original figures and made the star tops to Joan's boots from paper glued in place. Two busty babes for the price of one - what could be better.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


AC (short for Americomics) Comics is one of those small comic book companies that seems to soldier along on the strength of a limited but apparently devoted following. They were one of the first to recognize that there was still interest in some of the Golden Age heroes and heroines and to reintroduce them into the current continuity - maybe more on that later. However, their principal "bread and butter" property is Femforce, a group of superhuman women, from both this planet and others, battling bad guys in and around Planet Earth. One of the members of Femforce (in fact one of the earliest, going back to WWII) is She-Cat. The evil cat goddess Sekhmet attempted to enter and take possession of Jessica Hunt, but the plucky girl - don't you just love those plucky girls - fought back. Sekhmet found her/itself in the predicament of neither being able to take control or depart Jessica. On the plus side, Sekhmet's presence has given Jessica extended life, superhuman agility and speed, an acute sense of smell, night vision and deadly claws. She also can get her blood up when provoked and struggles sometimes to keep the dark side in check. I used a Toy Biz Invisible Girl figure, cutting the mask from a piece of thin plastic sheet. The biggest problem was cutting the hair so I could get the right mask spike through it.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Iowa Conversions that Never Were

Following World War II there were two Iowa class battleships still on the stocks, one of them, the Kentucky, which was nearly 80% complete. During the 1950's there were various schemes for completing the Kentucky as a missile ship and over time I've carried out a few of those conversions in 1:2400 scale. In the top picture at top there's the more austere design with the after gun mount deleted and a SAM (surface-to-air missile) launcher in its place. Next from the top is a more ambitious conversion using part of the superstructure of an Albany missile cruiser but cut back so that the Kentucky still retains the two forward gun mounts. It has a long range SAM system back aft and two short range Tartar launchers along the sides of the superstructure. Then the one at bottom is a full-on conversion with the whole of the Albany superstructure and no gun mounts remaining, just SAMs fore and aft. As for the bottom picture - well that's by own scheme for a nuclear powered battleship with an Enterprise/Long Beach style superstructure and all three triple gun mounts. And no, there were no schemes for that design, just one of my little fantasy projects. All battleship hulls are from Superior Models while the Albany superstructures are from Seabattle. The "nuke" Iowa includes a Superior modern Iowa hull and the island from a modernized Enterprise.

Monday, December 26, 2011


There have been a couple of Huntresses in the DC Universe over time. There was the Golden Age baddie that paled around (I don't think people slept together in comics in the 1940's unless they were married) with the Sportsmaster, and then there was Helena Wayne, daughter of Bruce the Batman on Earth-2. This Huntress is a little more over the top, however. Born Helena Bertinelli, her father was boss (or Don) of the Bertinelli crime family. At age six Helena was kidnapped and molested but recovered alive and then sent off to boarding school to protect her. At 19 she comes home for a visit and is just in time to witness her entire family wiped out by a mob hit man. She then trains under another Mafia guy named Sal who teaches her to be less of a victim and more of a - well - Huntress. Running afoul of the police, the mob and then Batman, who considers her too violent, she campaigns to clean up the streets of a even more violent Gotham City. Later story lines mellow her out a bit and she even becomes part of the "Birds of Prey" female hero group. But this is the damaged, unrepentant, bad-ass, kick-butt Raven-haired vigilante I was so fond of. This was another Superior Models Sonya conversion, which actually required some sculpting around the boots and gloves and reconfiguring her dagger into a gun-handled weapon. I used felt for her cape because it always looked stiffer than usual in the comics.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Few of My Favorite Things

Superheroes, action figures, Santa holding up a frosty Coca-Cola - these are a few of my favorite things. Of course then there's beautiful women, Popeye's chicken, etc, etc, but I could only cram so much in one pic. Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you may celebrate, to all the people all over the world who watch my blog.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Puff Ball Green Lanterns

A Green Lantern has aged long in the service of the Guardians of the Universe, nearly 3,000 years. Now he has been directed to a small planet in the fifth sector of the globular cluster known as Valstan C5 where he is to find his replacement. However, search as he might the Green Lantern can find no sentient being to whom he can pass his ring and battery of power. Then he becomes aware of a hive intelligence existing in the midst of some orange puff ball creatures and when a bird creature is drawn into the central hive and absorbed the mental capacity of all is slightly raised. The Green Lantern now understands and he plunges into the hive knowing that his intelligence will drive the capacity of the hive and that each puff ball will become a living power ring. Thus the sector that once boasted of a single Green Lantern now has billions to keep the peace. It's kind of a nice story from Tales of the Green Lantern Corps Annual #3, 1987. I found the puff balls (actually cotton) at a craft store and then printed out copies of the various sized emblems and glued the correct sized ones on six of the cotton balls. I took an old star ship base I had laying around, bent the wires and pierced the cotton balls so they stood out and then painted the base black. An inexpensive and creative solution to getting six new Green Lanterns into the collection.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Saturn Girl

In the late 30th Century Imra Ardeen, a telepath from Saturn's moon Titan, was traveling to earth to try out for the Science Police. As she disembarked she became aware of a plot against billionaire R.J. Brande. With two fellow passengers, Rokk Krinn and Garth Ranzz, she managed to foil the plot and rescue Brande. Sensing these were not ordinary teenagers Brande founded the Legion of Superheroes with Imra (Saturn Girl), Rokk (Cosmic Boy) and Garth (Lightning Lad) as the founding members. Cosmic Boy had magnetic powers and Garth had lightning related powers while Imra was a telepath so they made quite a team. Irregardless they began taking on additional members until the roster grew to over twenty, with some coming and going and a few killed off in various adventures. Imra and Garth eventually married and had twins. For most of her career Saturn Girl wore pants and a tunic but in the late 1970's and early 1980's she wore a more abbreviated costume, which I applied to this version of Superior Models Sonya. True, I took a bit of artistic license but then I'm an artist and can do that sort of thing if I like and in this case I liked.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mary Marvel

Making her first appearance in the 1940's during the Golden Age Mary was part of the ever growing Marvel Family based around Captain Marvel, in his day the most successful superhero on the American comic book scene. As it turned out Mary was actually the sister of Billy Batson, secretly Captain Marvel himself, but after the death of their parents Mary had been raised by the Bromfield's while Billy had been consigned to an orphanage. When Billy had become a radio broadcaster the pair met again and the broken halves of a locket confirmed their identities. As the teenagers were threatened by bad guys and Billy was muzzled so he couldn't speak his magic word, Mary said it for him and was herself transformed into the super powerful Mary Marvel. Along with Captain Marvel, Jr., who was their close friend Freddy Freeman, the trio battled evil as the Marvel Family. The family branched out over time to include cousins and an uncle and who knows what. I've shown two versions of Mary; on the right as she first appeared and on the left as DC adapted her later. Once again I used a Superior Models Sonya for the figure, with a cape from a Superpowers Collection Shazam. The skirt was made from a piece of a plastic bag I glued on the figure and painted. Although the plastic material gives a nice flowing form to the skirt I don't recommend it as a general rule because over time the paint will tend to crack.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ms. Marvel - Sharon Ventura

Another Sonya conversion. This one is (I think) the second Ms. Marvel - I've sort of lost track over time. Sharon Ventura's mother died when she was young and her military father would really have preferred a boy to a girl. She could never live up to his expectations and he died without their issues being resolved. She then became a thrill junky - you know, skydiving scuba-diving, mountain climbing, etc, etc - girl jock. She had become a member of the motorcycle group the Thunderiders when she met Ben Grimm, otherwise known as the Thing. They got along and when he joined the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation she tagged along, joining the female Grapplers associated group. She was talked into having her strength enhanced by the Power Broker, Inc. but without undergoing the full treatment. She was pursued by Power Broker and somewhere along the way was apparently mistreated, which left a deep and lasting emotional scar. Somewhere along the line she actually turned into a female version of the Thing (sort of a Thingette) and started a relationship with the real Thing - takes a rock to love a rock - ultimately joining the Fantastic Four for a while. She drifted away from the team and Ben Grimm later and I'm not sure what's become of her. This was another Superior Models Sonya conversion requiring a lot of cleaning off of Sonya costume and painting. I used a blue ribbon for her belt.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Liberty Belle

This is another conversion from Superior Models Sonya figure. Libby Lawrence was a descendant of the Revolutionary War heroine Miss Liberty in the DC Universe. She was traveling in Poland with her father when the Germans invaded and he was killed but she escaped. Swimming the Channel to England she became an overnight celebrity. Then returning to America Libby became a newspaper and radio commentator, advocating the U.S. join the war and adopting her secret identity as Liberty Belle to fight subversive elements inside America. Obviously an overachiever. She was given a piece of the real liberty bell which she wore in her belt buckle and when the big bell rang her bell also chimed, giving her a shot of Adrenalin that would temporarily increase her strength and speed. I just hope the big bell didn't ring at an inopportune time... woof! Otherwise she didn't really have any super powers. First appearing in Boy Commandos issue #1 in 1942 she qualifies as a Golden Age character. When I did this conversion in addition to removing a lot of the Sonya costume detail I also had to sculpt the gauntlets and the little red collar. As far as I know there has not been an action figure of Liberty Belle produced so I guess unless somebody else has done one mine is the only one in the world. That's kind of a kick!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

From Sonya to Kree Scientist

As I explained before when I started customizing figures there weren't a lot of females to start with and I used a number of metal figures. This is another Superior Models Sonya conversion, this time to the alien Kree Doctor Minerva. In the Marvel Universe the Kree are an alien race from the planet Hala in the Pama System, which is part of the Greater Magellanic Cloud, a small galaxy orbiting near the Milky Way Galaxy (that's where we live if you didn't know). They are a humanoid race, the original inhabitants having blue skin, although there is also a pink skinned version who are more numerous but the blue skins are in charge. Dr. Minerva is a Kree scientist who followed the renegade Kree warrior Captain Mar-Vell to earth. As a geneticist she determined that Captain Mar-Vell and her could produce superior off-spring capable of advancing the genetic power of the Kree race. You know, that's a pickup line I've never used and have never had used on me. Anyway, of course, the good Captain M. demurs but I'd say, hey, why not give it a shot. Hot blue-skinned chick - it worked in Avatar. Anyway, Dr. Minerva was a schemer and worked through Rick Jones and Quasar at various times pursuing what she wanted - whatever that was. The costume she's wearing is similar to Captain Mar-Vell's own as well as the first Ms. Marvel. Again, I had to Dremel off a lot of stuff from the original Sonya figure to get it ready for painting.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First Chinese Aircraft Carrier

This has been a long time coming. The picture is a satellite image taken from one of the commercial photo satellites of the "new" Chinese aircraft carrier. I'm not sure the ship has a name or if the Chinese have released it yet, but the ship commenced sea trials in August of this year and was "snapped" at sea on December 8th. The carrier started life as the Soviet Varyag (originally Riga), which was being built in a shipyard in the Ukraine. When the Soviet Union broke up they no longer had the money to complete her and the Ukrainians really didn't have a need so it sat rusting at the pier for a while. Then China bought the ship, which didn't even have engines installed, and tugs began to tow it out of the Black Sea en route China. But wait... not so fast said the Turks. They didn't trust that a ship that large without power of any kind could be safely towed through the Bosporus and Dardanelles without running into something. As a result the carrier was towed in circles - literally - for about a year before the Turks were convinced (or paid off, I'm not sure exactly how those things work) and it was allowed to continue on its voyage. There were even press reports of unidentified helicopters landing on its flight deck in the Black Sea for unknown reasons and then taking off again before anyone could board it and see what was happening. The ship has been at Dalien for years and now appears to be underway and running sea trials. "Experts" say it will take years before the carrier can become operational with an air wing and everything. The Chinese say it's basically experimental and a trials ship and that they laid down their first real carrier in June 2011. I guess we'll see but I think it was a major accomplishment for the Chinese (or any one else for that matter) to have gotten this ship underway. By the way, the model is an Admiral Kuznetsov, which was the lead ship of the class and is still serving in the Russian Navy. I painted one and included it in my Chinese Navy, although I may have to repaint the flight deck based on this photo.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Size is Subjective

OK, which of the two aircraft carriers in the picture is the largest? It would appear perhaps that the one behind, which is the USS Midway, is longer and it might be considered largest. But the one in front, the Japanese carrier Shinano, is actually a lot heavier and officially ranks as the largest carrier to come out of World War II. The Midway was 59,901 tons full load compared to Shinano's 71,890. Midway was 968' long and 113' wide, while Shinano was shorter at 872'8", but the Japanese ship was wider at 119'1", accounting for its greater displacement. Ironically both ships were based on battleship hulls. Midway's dimensions were based on the uncompleted Montana class that would have followed the Iowa's, while Shinano was laid down as a unit of the Yamato class but after the battle of Midway was redesigned as an aircraft carrier to compensate for the losses incurred during that battle. Both carriers had armored flight decks, a first for the U.S. navy, but the Shinano was the second ship in Japanese service to be so equipped, the first having been the Taiho. The Shinano would not be exceeded in size until the U.S. carrier Forrestal was commissioned in the mid-1950's.

Monday, December 12, 2011


I always thought DC Comics didn't really know what to do with Supergirl. She started life as Kara Zor-El and she had lived in Argo City, which had been sort of blown into space in one chunk when the planet Krypton exploded. Zor-El, brother of Superman's dad Jor-El, is a scientist and with a plastic dome over the city and lead sheeting to protect the population from the deadly Kryptonite radiation resulting from the explosion, the chunk supports the city's people for many years. Then when Kara is 15 a deadly meteorite swarm rips holes in the lead sheet so Kara's parents send her to earth to be with her cousin Kal-El (Superman), the only other survivor of Krypton. So what does Superman do with her? Does he take her into his home as the only other surviving member of his family, or maybe fix her up with a kindly and supportive family like Ma and Pa Kent had been to him? No, he throws her into an orphanage as Linda Lee. He won't even let her be known to the public, keeping her in reserve as his "secret weapon." Sounds pretty lame to me. She does eventually get adopted by the Danvers and she does eventually come out of the closet, but I have to confess a lot of the plot lines over the years were also pretty lame. They turned her into a fashionista for a while with multiple variants of her costume. They put her through high school and college and then had her take up a bunch of lame jobs instead of maybe becoming a reporter like Cousin Supes. I guess they didn't make her barefoot and pregnant, but they did have her mooning over a string of so-so boyfriends. But then during the Crisis on Infinite earths storyline they killed her off. I really thought they could have done a lot more with the character. Anyway, this is the costume that I liked the best and one she wore longer than most. I used a Superior Models Girl Sonya metal figure for the conversion because there were so few female action figures at the time. We must use the tools at hand.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Green Hornet

I've been wanting to do action figures of the Green Hornet and Kato for a long time but I could never seem to get the appropriate parts and such together. I even had the car, the Black Beauty from the 1960's TV series Green Hornet so I was ready to go. Recently I started applying my creative juices to the project and have finally done the figures, but I still have a bit of a problem. Actually the Green Hornet goes back to the golden years of radio, debuting in 1936. There was a Universal Pictures serial in 1940 which I actually have on tape. There were comic books and of course the TV series, then the 2011 movie, which I really wasn't that fond of, but I did review. Since I was using the Black Beauty car from the TV series I decided to model the figures after that as well. The comic and serial Green Hornet had a mask over most of his face. For Green Hornet I used the body from a Spy Kids II Donogan and the head from a GI Joe Flint, with a hat from the Disney version of Indiana Jones. The coat is from a Han Solo on Endor figure but was a little disappointing because I just couldn't get rid of the camouflage dark patches even after dying it. I tried bleaching another one but basically everything faded except the camouflage markings, and then the coat fell apart, so that has been the down side of the conversion. Kato started as a Star Wars Imperial Commander with the head from a GI Joe Airborne (oriental) and a cap from another GI Joe figure. Kato actually came out better than Green Hornet but maybe I can find another coat that will work sometime in future.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Spider-Woman from Sonja

When I first started collecting superhero figures there weren't many - especially women. I used Superior Models Sonya figure (featured in an earlier post as Red Sonja)for a number of custom figures, including Marvel Comics original Spider-Woman. Beginning life as Jessica Drew, she was the daughter of Jonathan and Merriem Drew. Dad was a scientist who with a partner named Herbert Edgar Wyndham founded a scientific research center on Wundagore Mountain in the small Balkan nation of Transia. After discovering uranium the scientists became rich but Jessica was over exposed to the radiation and eventually to save her life Wyndham was forced to put her into cryogenic suspension. Jessica's mother died and her despondent father went to England. Eventually Jessica came out of the vat and by a circuitous route found herself working for the evil organization Hydra. Having been mutated in cryo Jessica now had enormous strength, an immunity to all toxic substances and radiation and the ability to generate bioelectric energy bursts from her hands. Eventually freeing herself from Hydra's influence she went to America where she used her powers in a costume to help people. Later she lost her powers, then got 'em back again, then lost her body for a while, then got it back again and eventually decided to chuck the costumed identity and become a private eye. Of course she took up the costume again later but what the heck - you get the idea. It took a lot of work to clean all the costume detail off Sonya but once it was done it was just a paint job. I've always rather liked this figure especially because as a metal figure I could use enamels on her and it gave her a look the matt paints don't always provide.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ulysses Bloodstone

Another conversion that grew from "the Barbarian" Conan-like metal figure was the early version of Bloodstone. As Marvel Comics tells it during the Hyborean Age that spawned Conan a meteorite crashed to earth in Northern Vanaheim on the European continent under the direction of an alien entity. An agent of the entity named Ullux'l Kwan Tae Syn (repeat that one five times fast) discovered that one of the locals had found the meteorite first and the two of them battled over possession. The meteorite was smashed, there was an explosion that killed the native's tribe and a shard (called the bloodgem) became embedded in the native's chest. It had the effect of making this fellow immortal and probably giving him a number of other attributes. For the next 10,000 years the native, now calling himself Ulysses Bloodstone, searches out Ullux'l Kwan Tae Syn seeking revenge for the death of his tribe, which seems a little single minded of purpose to me, but very loyal. Along the way he learns most of the languages on the planet and amasses a vast fortune with which he establishes support cells around the world as he searches for Ullux'l Kwan Tae Syn and battles every other monster he runs into along the way. This is another one of those immortal characters that roams the world in the present day similar to DC's Immortal Man and Street & Smith's Chuck Magnon, about whom I've already posted. Bloodstone seems to have eventually been killed because his skeleton with the hole where the bloodgem fit still in his sternum shows up in a series of Captain America comics, but his appearances were generally rather spotty. I did the primitive version from a Barbarian figure by Superior Models and the modern version from the head of a Ken Masters figure and the body from a Destro. The bloodgems were red crystals.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pearl Harbor - 70 Years Later

Today, December 7th, 2011, a date which has lived in infamy - or at least 70 years after that date. I didn't want the 70th anniversary to go by with saying something about it. I wasn't alive for it but it was a pivotal historical event in the nation's lifetime. I thought I would say a few words about the battleships that were there and what became of them. If you look at the top picture on the right hand side is the Nevada, then next left is Arizona, then Tennessee with the West Virginia outboard, then Maryland with the Oklahoma outboard and then California. Forward left is the Pennsylvania which was actually in a dry dock and not along battleship row. Most people probably know that Arizona blew up and that most of the hull remains on the bottom at Pearl with a large white memorial over it. Nevada got underway but was damaged so bad it had to be grounded. Oklahoma was torpedoed and rolled over and sank with only its hull remaining above water. It was later raised and was being towed back to the states for scrapping when the tow broke and the ship sank somewhere in the northeast Pacific in bad weather. All of the rest were raised and/or repaired and returned to service. In the bottom picture we have from right the Maryland behind, which only received two bomb hits and was back in action in early 1942 along with its sister ship Colorado, which had not been at Pearl Harbor on December 7th. West Virginia is in front on the right and it received an extensive rebuild, it's beam being increased from 106' to 114' to accommodate additional anti-aircraft armament. Behind are the Tennessee and California, sister ships that were rebuilt as West Virginia. Then there's the Pennsylvania and Nevada, which both were repaired and modernized. So of the seven battleships at Pearl Harbor on the day of infamy, all but two returned to active duty and gave good service for the rest of the war. West Virginia even had the honor to be one of the allied ships in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945 at the surrender of Japan.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

From Conan to Ka-Zar

In the early days that I was collecting superhero action figures there wasn't a lot of figures to work with. In the late 1970's and early 1980's there were DC Pocket Superheroes from Mego that stood about 4" tall and the slightly larger Mattel Marvel Comics Secret Wars figures and then of course the about 5" tall DC Superpowers Collection line. There weren't that many figures and only one female figure - Wonder Woman. So when I started to get restless and wanted to add more figures to my collection I started working with some of the metal figures I had access to. A few days ago I featured Conan and showed the Superior Models Barbarian figure. When I wanted to do the jungle lord Ka-Zar I decided the Barbarian was a good place to start. Ka-Zar started as one of those Tarzan-like characters - mother dead, scientist father harboring a secret and killed, abandoning the young Kevin Plunder in the mysterious Savage Land. This is a place within Antarctica where there exists a primeval land of jungles. Dwelling there are denizens of many epochs of history and prehistory, including dinosaurs and cave men and one sabre tooth tiger - the last of his kind, who "adopts" the orphaned Kevin and who he names Zabu. The boy and the cat forge a bond that remains powerful into Kevin's adulthood, when he takes on the name Ka-Zar. He eventually comes to understand his heritage and sort of commutes between the Savage Land and the outside world, always with the faithful Zabu at his side. I like the Savage Land because it mixes dinosaurs, aliens and everything else into one setting and there's always some superpowered bad guys showing up to keep things interesting. Ka-Zar was made from a Barbarian figure, but I replaced the sword with a knife and filled in the sandals to make boots. I also took the large belt around his waist off. The sabre-toothed tiger I found among some prehistoric animal figures.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Red Sonja - She-Devil With a Sword

Another character spawned out of the writings of Robert E. Howard, Red Sonja was a simple village girl of 17 when a band of mercenaries burned her home, killed her family and the leader brutally raped her. When she cries out for revenge the red goddess Scáthach appeared to her and granted her incredible prowess with a blade and other weapons so long as she did not lay with a man who had not defeated her in fair combat. (Remember, I don't make this stuff up.) She began appearing in Marvel Comics Conan series in the 1970's, getting her own title for a while. She's even appeared in a rather lackluster movie version and been revived in the comics since then. In the sword and sorcery genre she's sort of the archetypical female with a blade who can best most of the men she comes in contact with. She had a sort of running combat with Conan over the years. The figure is from Superior Models, which is called The Girl Sonya, which I have painted up to resemble Red herself. However, instead of the scale mail bikini she is normally depicted with in the comics the figure has a chain mail bikini. I can't think either of them on bare flesh would be very comfortable, but it looks pretty good so I guess that's what matters.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Midway Class Aircraft Carriers

The Midway class carriers were commissioned right at the end of WWII. They were the Midway (CVB 41), Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB 42) and Coral Sea (CVB 43), with the "B" after CV standing for large. The first company to do a 1:2400 model of them a number of years ago was Seabattle of Austria. Recently GHQ released their own version of the Midway class so they make a nice comparison. The Seabattle model in the rear always bothered me a little because it stood so high out of the water. The Midway's were the first U.S. carriers with armored flight decks, a valuable lesson from WWII, and as such they rode lower in the water than the previous Essex class. The GHQ version in front seems to capture that better than Seabattle did. Additionally, the GHQ model is based on the Midway as she appeared right at the end of the war with 5"/54 guns and 40mm anti-aircraft (AA) armament. The Seabattle version is from the 1950's when the 40mm were replaced by 3" AA. You may also be asking why the GHQ version has planes on the deck and the Seabattle doesn't. That's simply because no one manufactures 1:2400 jets from the 1950's period - the GHQ is carrying the F4U/Corsair, which was its primary compliment when commissioned. I thought these two models were a good example of how different companies can do quite different versions of the same ship.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Belit - Queen of the Black Coast

In my last post I featured Conan the Barbarian. In his Hyborean Age adventures Conan took up with a veritable multitude of women. Some of these were shrinking wallflowers and some of them were nearly as tough as Conan himself. One of the latter was Belit, Queen of the Black Coast. A white woman with a crew of black pirate men who worship her as a Goddess, Belit is the terror of the Black Coast, raiding and pillaging and taking many a hapless merchant ship by storm. Her ship, the Tigress, is known and feared along the Black Coast. Conan is passenger on a small merchant ship when they sight the Tigress on the horizon. The ship's captain tries to make a run for it but in vain, as they are quickly overtaken by the Tigress. Conan battles the pirates and distinguishes himself in the eyes of both the pirates and their female captain. After the battle Conan is offered a position in Belit's crew and, after a test of strength with her largest crewman, Conan succeeds in winning his life, a position on the ship and a warm spot in Belit's bed. What a guy!!! I had been looking around for a figure I could use for Belit and found this one produced by Jerry Worcester, who made and sold his own line of miniatures. I haven't seen him or them in many years (this figure is dated 1992) and suspect they are no longer available. It was the closest I could come to a figure to represent the Queen of the Black Coast.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hither Came Conan

...the Cimmerian, created by Robert E. Howard in the Early 1930's for the pulps has proven a very popular and enduring character, as evidenced by another recent movie. I first became interested in the character in the 1970's while reading the Marvel Comics series of stories. Conan came from the fictional Hyborean Age, populated by a mix of influences from barbarian tribes, which spawned Conan himself, to lands of Arthurian-type legend, black Africans, Arab traders, Mongul-type warriors and various other elements spanning thousands of years of history and technology all sort of rubbing elbows in one world. Conan is a thief and a pirate who ends up ruling his own kingdom. Along the way he romances a considerable legion of comely young lasses, who are either frightened debutantes or adept warriors like himself and slays a lot of men and monsters. As for the figure presented, he was sculpted by Ray Lamb and produced by Superior Models as "The Barbarian," and was never called Conan, although he certainly seems to resemble the John Buscema drawing. In the picture his sword is hard to see but it got bent during the earthquake and a tumble from the shelf.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tanya Roberts - Sheena

I mentioned in an earlier post that, apart from Gena Lee Nolan, I had met another actress who played Sheena, the jungle queen. That actress was Tanya Roberts. Although the 1984 jungle film did not receive very good reviews I rather liked Tanya in the role and she certainly looked good. She had previously done a few films and was in the last season of the "Charlie's Angels" TV series. In 1982 she appeared in the sword and sorcery film "Beastmaster," which spawned a couple of sequels. Then in 1985 she appeared as the "Bond girl" opposite Roger Moore in "From a View to a Kill." That was sort of the zenith of her career, although she did appear in "That 70's Show" between 1998 and 2001. I met her in 2004 and found her to be very nice and reasonably chatty.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Target & the Targeteers

Niles Reed created a flexible metal weave that could stop bullets, so when his brother was framed for murder he whipped up a yellow and black costume made of this metal fabric and busted the brother out of jail. However, the brother ended up getting killed so Niles vowed to track down the framers of his brother using the costume as a disguise. Later he's joined by two other young men named Tom and Dave with their own motives for battling crime. Equipped with identical costumes except one is blue and the other red they join Niles in his crusade against crime. I have it annotated that Dave wore blue and Tom red but I have a hunch it had more to do with the whim of the artist than anything else. Target is also one of the few (maybe only) superhero character to be named after an already existing comic. Target Comics from Novelty Press had been published for nine issues before Target himself came along and was published for ten issues after the three had disappeared from its pages. Target appeared from November 1940 through October 1948 so he was one of the more successful heroes of the Golden Age. Aside from a bullet-proof costume Target and the Targeteers possessed no super powers. All three were made from Toy Biz Daredevil figures. The target design on their chests, as well as the crest on top of their heads, changed over time, again probably at the whim of the artists.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Queen Bee and her Minions

Since I first saw Queen Bee in Justice League of America No. 132, dated July 1976 I found her very interesting. She had always been on my "to-do" list but I hadn't gotten around to her. Then they came out with a PVC set of a number of JLA villains and Queen Bee was among them. Great! I got the set and was happy with that. But I had also wanted to do her minions, her Bee-Men, who were really artificial bodies containing masses of her trained bees. When some of the 3 3/4" DC Universe figures came out I thought that would be a good opportunity. Using a mix of Alex Luthor and Atom bodies and some heads from the new Star Trek movie figures I did four of them. I also liked her beehive spaceship so I checked out the craft store and, low and behold, found a wooden beehive and mounted it on a wooden disk, which I painted appropriately. It made for a nice mix of projects.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

13 & Jinx

I was looking for something appropriately "turkey" to present on Thanksgiving Day but nothing really jumped out at me so I decided on a character that was, well, a little lame. Harold Higgins always had a talent for getting things to go his own way - a person who seemed to have luck on his side (unlike most of us). However, when Harold's parents were killed when he was 15 he decided to turn his skills to tracking down killers. Although Harold had established himself as a private detective when he became an adult, that apparently wasn't enough so he took the next step and became a masked vigilante, calling himself 13. Keeping an eye out for others with a talent for good luck he discovered 16-year old Darrel Creig, who he took on as his sidekick Jinx (another cradle robbing superhero). 13 and Jinx - now doesn't that seem like a lucky pair? Well, they must have been because they ran in Daredevil Comics (from Lev Gleason) #3 to 17 for a total of 15 issues between 1941-43, beating the number 13. 13 was made from a Toy Biz Captain America body and the head from a Professor X. I've seen several versions of his costume but I rather liked this one the best. Jinx was made using a Secret Wars Captain America figure and the head from a Superpowers Collection Robin. Hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving day and eat lots of good food.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Kaanga and Ann

Fiction House was primarily noted for their jungle characters. These were mostly Tarzan wannabees, male or female, they were almost universally white and many of them had critter friends. I have previously featured Sheena, another Fiction House character, and also the actress Gena Lee Nolan, who played Sheena on TV. Today I'll talk briefly about Kaanga, jungle lord, and his "mate" Ann Mason. They are very Tarzan and Jane-like, cavorting around the jungle in skimpy clothing, righting wrongs and working for the better good. There are friendly tribes and not-so-friendly tribes, great white hunters who are always up to some mischief, and the odd renegade elephant, rhino or something else. I rather liked the picture behind the figures, showing Kaanga on the back of an elephant, struggling with a snake while one of two pots of some fiery substance spill down the elephant's side and Ann tips over backwards. Pretty well sums up the thrust of the stories. As for the figures, Toy Biz did a small group of Savage Land figures, including Ka-Zar and Storm in jungle attire. Kaanga is made from a Ka-Zar figure with the head from a Jurassic Park Muldoon and Ann is made from a Storm figure with the head of a Alfa Flight Aurora. I had to remove some sculpted jewelry on the originals and then paint them appropriately.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sasha Grey & the Kids in the Hall

As my regular readers may know I tend to go off on a rant now and then - it's one of my more endearing character traits I think. A news story caught my eye this week that really brought it home to me just how scared Americans are of sex. Sasha Grey, a former porn star with some hundred or more porn films under her 'garter' belt, but who is now retired from the adult film industry and pursuing a legitimate acting career, volunteered to participate in the "Read Across America" program at an elementary school in California. She was even using her real name, Marina Hantzis, which probably wouldn't have meant much of anything to anyone. She was not dressed like the picture I've included but in pants and a shirt (there are pictures online) and she was not reading passages from the Kama Sutra but "Dog Breath," which I must confess has not been on my reading list but appears to be a - wait for it - children's book. From the pictures it looks like both Sasha/Marina and the 1st and 3rd grade children were having a wonderful time. Well, the parents were outraged and the media jumped in smelling blood in the water. Sasha was invited to appear on "The View," where she admitted the situation could have been handled better, but then that probably wasn't her responsibility in the first place. Personally I think it was great that this young woman was interested enough in getting children involved in reading to volunteer her time to take part in the program. I remember that President Bush was participating in a similar program when he was told about planes crashing into the World Trade Center and he had just come off of stealing the 2000 election. At least Sasha isn't a convicted thief. Actually she hasn't been convicted of anything, other than pursuing a career in a field a lot of people are uncomfortable about. I wonder how many of the parents who were complaining may have seen some of her films. Maybe they were afraid they might have to explain to their 1st and 3rd graders what porn was and something about sex. No one ever explained anything to me about sex. Former porn star is a label that will probably follow Sasha around until the end of her days, no matter how many years are between her participation and the date it's uttered. I remember Traci Lords, whom I've met, who still gets described as a former 'underage' porn star and she's been out of the business for more than 20 years and made any number of legitimate films. I think Sasha shows a lot of character and gumption to be volunteering in such a worthwhile cause and I hope her former occupation doesn't stand in the way of her being able to perform those kind of charitable services - no pun intended - in the future. And I very much hope I'll have an opportunity to meet her one day and tell her so.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Too Many Superboys - Part 3

The last few posts I've been concentrating on the Hyper-Tension story arc in Superboy comics. I liked it because it gave me a lot of room for creative invention. Having already covered some of the nuances of the story I'd like to concentrate on these six figures. For the figure at lower right I used the body from a Toy Biz Riddler and the head from a Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Will Scarlett. Next left on bottom I used a Superpowers Collection Flash body and the head from a Batman Beyond figure. The upper figure on right was also made from a Flash figure, stripped of most of its costume details. On far left I used the body of a Secret Wars Magneto figure and a head who's origins elude me at the moment. On the lower left I used a Mego Pocket Superheroes Superman figure and the head from a Battlestar Galactica Starbuck. And on the upper level at left I used another Riddler body and the head from a Toy Biz Robin. An eclectic mix but it was a strange group of costumes. I'll probably do a few more of these in future.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Too Many Superboys - Part 2

A real rootin', tootin', hi-falootin' super fellow is our Kid Kon-El, the Wild West's Superboy. Again from the pages of Superboy 60-64 in the Hyper-Tension story arc, this alternate universe Superboy rides a horse and packs a six-shooter, although I'm not quite sure why. All of these Superboys are clones of the original Superman, produced by Cadmus research when Superman was supposedly slain by Doomsday. The bad guy of the story arc, Black Zero, is trying to either enlist all the Superboys in his plot to conqueror the Multiverse, or at least eliminate them as competition. Kid Kon-El was particularly interesting to me because he was quite a bit different than the other Superboys. He was also hard to find the pieces for. I eventually used a random western figure's head coupled with various GI Joe body parts. He's a little different than the drawings but I thought he came out pretty neat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Too Many Superboys - Part 1

In my last post I presented the sex change Superboy into Supergirl. This time around I present another entry in the Hyper-Tension story line (Superboy 60-64, March-July 1999 if you'd like to read 'em). The main earth Superboy is blasting (literally) around the multiverse and stumbles upon the Batcave. But instead of meeting Batman and his partner Robin, he encounters Batman and his partner... wait for it... Superboy. Robin is apparently dead and Superboy is training with the Dark Knight. This Superboy is wearing a knock-off of the Tim Drake Robin's costume, complete with black and yellow cape. Although I thought of just repainting a Tim Drake Robin in Superboy colors, I decided the heads weren't right so I took the head from a Superpowers Collection Robin and attached it to the Tim Drake body. Then I repainted it. (Bet you knew repainting would figure in there somewhere, now didn't you??)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Superboy Sex Change

Allow me to explain the title of this post. The modern (circa 1999) Superboy, who is actually a clone of the Man-of-Steel created by the research organization known as Cadmus, discovers there are alternate realities and that there are Superboys inhabiting most of them. On a journey to discover who's kidnapping the clones (actually a guy named Black Zero) Superboy goes on an explosive journey through the Multiverse. He discovers a number of these Superboy clones and even one who was genetically manipulated into a Supergirl (The Hyper-Tension story arc). Got all that?? Anyway, I wanted to create said Supergirl so I started with a Superboy figure like the one on left. I enhanced the chest slightly - any more would have looked funny buldging out of the jacket, and repainted the "S" sign. I also swapped out Superboy's head for one from a Jurassic Park Ellie (first one, not the later one that looked more like Laura Dern), and voila - Supergirl!!! It was my first real sex change experiment.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

300th Post - Linnea Quigley

I met Linnea at a convention in Baltimore back in 2001. She seemed very sweet and didn't scream once, even though she's a horror movie scream queen. She's been in a boat-load of movies with titles like "Where the Dead Go to Die," "Savage Streets," "Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers," "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama," and "Beach Babes from Beyond." Born on May 27, 1958 in Davenport, Iowa she moved to California and was encouraged to get into modeling, which she used as a spring-board into an acting career, which she started in 1975. She's done a lot of nudity over the years and a lot of screaming. I saw her in a scene from the movie Guyver (1991) where she has a prolonged, single note scream that would probably have most people squirming in their theatre seats but it was quite a scream. I stood there for a few minutes when I met her and she was interactive with everyone and seemed engaged and intelligent, which hasn't always been the case with everyone I've met, male or female. I like Linnea and always wish her well.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Big Bang - Quizmaster

I couldn't leave Big Bang behind without featuring one of their villains. This one started out as Nestor Whitt, who writes the questions for a popular quiz show "What do You Know?." Jealous of the host and sponsor of the show, Lester Manly and Vernon MacKlan, respectively, he decides to hijack the show when Kid Galahad, heroic protege of the Knight Watchman, is scheduled to appear. He manages to capture Kid Galahad and place him in an electric chair attached to a lie detector. If the Knight Watchman fails to answer his questions correctly the Kid will be fried on live TV. But when the showdown comes Knight Watchman manages to sidestep the questions the Quizmaster asks until the final question, which is the secret identities of the Watchman and Galahad. However, the Kid has managed to work his way free and apprehends the Quizmaster. In the end the game wouldn't have bought the Quizmaster much since the secret identities of the Knight Watchman and Kid Galahad are... the Knight Watchman and Kid Galahad!! So there you are. I made the Quizmaster from a Toy Biz Riddler figure (what else would I have used), making a few little "Q's" for his glasses and belt buckle.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Patriotic Hero - G2

I thought I would interrupt my Big Bang stream of posts in honor of Veteran's Day (11/11/11) for a character from the Quality Comics stable of heroes. I confess I don't have a lot of detail about G2, who in his non-costumed identity was Don Leash. In the one story I have of his adventures he's battling spies on American shores and then goes to England pursuing a woman who implies she's the ghost of Mata Hari. Don seems to be able to transform into G2 at will, and I suspect back again, but how he does it isn't explained. Otherwise he seems to be a fellow in terrific physical shape with a good head on his shoulders but nothing particularly super-powered. At one point in the story he gets hit on the head and knocked out, but that was in his Don Leash guise so I'm not sure if he's less susceptible in his G2 persona. At any rate he catches up with the bogus Mata Hari at the end of the story and finds her "ghost" act was some smoke and flash. Can't ever trust those spy women. I made G2 from a Toy Biz Daredevil body, the legs from a Captain America, the arms from a Hasbro Bruce Wayne, the head from a JLA Atom and the holstered gun from a Jurassic Park Muldoon - lots of parts and pieces. Hope you enjoyed it and again, have a pleasant Veteran's day or, for my international correspondents to whom it may apply, Armistice Day.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Big Bang - Badge and the Rookies

The Badge is sort of Big Bang's answer to Timely's Captain America and DC's Guardian. Born out of the Golden Age, U.S. intelligence has captured a Nazi formula similar to that which created the Blitz. Of the volunteers the only survivor who took the formula is honest cop Robert Ryan, who emerges with enhanced physical and mental abilities. One night while breaking up a gang he discovers his twin brother Roger is in league with the baddies. Roger subsequently gets shot in the cross fire so Robert rushes him to the hospital. Robert volunteers as a donor for a transfusion, saving his brother's life, but the gang shows up and ends the Badge's career. Roger takes up the torch, and the Badge uniform, and now enhanced with the same abilities his brother possessed, goes off to fight crime as the one and only Badge. As it turns out Robert had two kids who end up battling crime alongside their uncle as the uniformed Trooper and Bobbie. Can we say, a little contrived?? Anyway, I rather liked this trio, using a Toy Biz Daredevil body and the head from a Captain America (how appropriate) for the Badge and Voltron Lance and Princess Allura figures for Trooper and Bobbie.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Big Bang - Whiz Kids

The Whiz Kids were Big Bang Comics answer to DC's Teen Titans. Two of these characters I've already presented but I thought I'd include them to be... well... inclusive. On the left is Kid Galahad, The Knight Watchman's partner and Big Bang's answer to the Silver Age Robin. In the middle is Moray, Atomic Sub's protege and sort of the female version of Aqualad. On the right is the character I haven't presented before. He's Cyclone, the Blitz's young partner, who came along a bit later. Starting life as Marty Eastman, your basically overweight geek, who's only claim to fame would be at the science fair. Seeking a metabolism enhancer to help him lose weight he accidentally stumbles onto the Blitz formula and gains super speed. The difference is that the effect isn't permanent and he has to keep popping his "Rocket Pills," which soon insure he's in top form as the adventuring Cyclone. He was made using an Animated Batman Robin figure, to which I added goggles using epoxy putty and ear pieces hole punched from plastic sheet.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Big Bang - Atomic Sub & Moray

Atomic Sub has an interesting background, starting life as Dr. Noah Talbot, who was working on a couple of inventions at the beginning of World War II. His first invention was a blood substitute that was sea-water based. The second was a prototype android into which the brains of severely wounded soldiers could be implanted, giving them a new lease on life. During experiments Talbot and his wife come to realize that the chimp they tested the blood formula on needed to live in sea-water to extract oxygen. Talbot has a heart attack and asks his wife to transplant his brain into the android, which she does. A passing Nazi U-Boat crew come a-calling (don't you hate it when that happens?) looking for new and interesting experimental stuff from the noted Yankee scientist. When they take his wife and the chimp back to their U-Boat, Talbot dons a handy jetpack he had been working on and rescues them, but discovers he also must return to sea-water in order to live. Assuming the identity of the Human Sub, Talbot fights the Axis during the war. Afterwards he changes his name to the Atomic Sub. He later joins the Round Table of America and still later his grand-daughter joins the associated Whiz Kids (more on them later). He sacrifices his own life during the criss-cross crisis to save the world. The Atomic sub was made using a Superpowers Collection Aquaman body and the head from another figure whose identity I don't remember off hand. Moray was made from a Catwoman figure and the head from a Playmates Star Trek Dax.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Matter of Scale

If you're into collecting model ships then scale is an important consideration. When I first started out collecting little model ships I was living in England and the scale that was readily available to me was 1:1250 from the German manufacturers. These were very well detailed and generally already painted, which was fine with me because at the time I was not painting models myself. But over the years the price of 1:1250 and even the near-scale 1:1200 got increasingly expensive. So I mostly converted over to 1:2400, but there are a few other choices. In the picture I've shown models of Titanic as an example of scale. The one at top is 1:2400, available from a number of manufacturers and there is a fairly nice range of models. Next is 1:3000, which are mostly only available from England, although they have a nice selection of models. Generally speaking the 1:3000 are not very well detailed but now and then they surprise me. There's even a few that are actually closer to 1:2400 so they fit in with my collection quite nicely. Next up is 1:4800, or half the size of 1:2400, which are also available from a couple of manufacturers, but some of them are pretty nicely detailed. And finally there is 1:6000, which is half the size of 1:3000 - see how that works - and they are mostly available from one source. They are fairly nice and come with bases, which I've excluded from this model, but they would probably help some people to better keep track of their identities. I've mixed scales when a particular ship is produced in one scale and not in another. You can fill out a convoy more cheaply that way. But the choice is individual. If you're wondering why I didn't have a 1:1250 Titanic it's because it would have cost me about $100 and I just didn't want to spend the money. You can call me cheap.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Big Bang - Beacon

The Beacon is Big Bang's answer to Green Lantern, but with a hard hat, from the 1940's Earth B. Geologist Scott Martin is exploring a strange, eerie cave when he breaks the light on his hard hat. Following a source of light he discovers an underground city, which is powered by a huge crystal. Captured as a spy, Scott is thrown into a dungeon with the deposed ruler of the city, a fellow named Zarkon. He had been overthrown by a tyrant named Tyrnos, who had gained fantastic powers by wearing a fragment of the Ko-Dan crystal on his crown. Using the tools in his cave digging kit, which his captors were apparently too stupid to confiscate, he escapes the dungeon and ends up defeating Tyrnos in a battle of wills during which the Ko-Dan crystal flies into the empty lamp casing on his helmet. He restores Zarkon to power and is rewarded with being allowed to keep the crystal. Returning to the upper world he assumes the identity of the Beacon, but doesn't really maintain a secret identity, despite the fact he's wearing a mask. He was financed by Texas oil tycoon Aloysius "Oily" Boyd so he can fight evil without having to maintain steady employment. I made Beacon from various GI Joe-type parts. The helmet was a British style WWII helmet I found at a miniatures show (never know where you might find useful items) to which I affixed a crystal (how appropriate!). The symbol on his chest is made from a small triangle of plastic sheet with a nail through it and the cape is T-shirt cloth.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Robin of Earth-2

Just finished this project and I'm rather proud of it so thought I would throw it into the mix today. For the uninitiated, the DC universe prior to the mid-1980's was populated with many different earths, all vibrating at various frequencies. The Silver Age Flash discovered this by tapping into his speed powers and visiting earth-2 where the Golden Age heroes and heroines were mostly still alive and kicking, although they had aged. On earth-2 Dick Grayson had not rejected his Robin persona in favor of Nightwing but had updated the look as he grew older. One version of his costume was the same red/green/yellow colors he'd worn as a youth, which Mattel has already done as part of their Infinite Universe collection, but another version was basically a modified Batman costume. I do not have all of his appearances during this period but as far as I know he only wore this particular outfit in a Justice League of America cross-over in issues 123 and 124 from October-November 1975. This also illustrates one of the things that alternately drives me nuts and pleases me - if you look at the two pictures at right from the cover you can see that the bat wings are on the outside of the "R" emblem, while the illustrations on left from inside the book show the bat wings incorporated inside the emblem. Which makes it more confusing when I'm researching but ultimately says to me I can do it whichever way I please. I used an Infinite Universe Batman for the body and a Hal Jordan Green Lantern for the head and cut the cape from T-shirt material.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blitz Battles Oscar

Yesterday I blogged about Mack Snelling, the Blitz during WWII. Today I thought I'd feature one of his villains. If you remember, or even if you don't, Mack was a newsreel reporter and was assigned to covering the Academy Award Ceremonies. While he was there the giant statue of the Oscar comes to life and starts spouting Nazi slogans and taking a swing at everyone with his equally giant sword. Mack immediately shifts to his Blitz garb and battles it out with the giant robot statue, toppling the sucker and then capturing his inventor in the bargain. For Oscar I used a ten inch Silver Surfer figure, which I painted gold, along with a scale sword for him to brandish. I like it when I can incorporate a large scale figure in with the regular sized guys.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Big Bang - Second Blitz

Yesterday I presented the Blitz from earth-A, which is set in the 1960s, and today I'm featuring the Blitz from earth-B, which is set in the 1940s during WWII. This Blitz started life as Mack Snelling (wasn't there a German boxer during that period named Max Snelling?) who is a newsreel reporter in real life. While on assignment in Germany Mack is captured by the Nazis and on top of being tortured, he's also experimented upon. As it turns out the experiments are his salvation because they endow him with super speed. Escaping by means of his super speed, Mack returns to the U.S. of A. and assumes the identity of the Blitz, using a German word in vogue at the time to mock the people who gave him his freedom-fighting powers. It has been suggested - but not by me - that Mack was given his enhanced powers in the very same lab that Jimmy Travis stumbled into 20 years later but I have no knowledge of that. I made this Blitz using a Toy Biz Riddler body (which come in very handy I might add) and the head from a Secret Wars Captain America. The ear pieces were crystals and the goggles came from the spare parts box. The crest and the little lightning bolts on the sides of his boots were cut from card stock.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Big Bang - Blitz

Jimmy Travis is a successful race car driver competing in a series of races outside Monte Carlo in Europe when an East German competitor forces him off the road. Jimmy stumbles upon an abandoned subterranean Nazi lab left over from World War II where he finds a series of vials and a strange red and yellow costume. Only one of the vials still has liquid in it and when he accidentally spills it on himself he starts feeling very strange indeed. Removing his damaged racing suit he dons the strange costume and, when he's attacked, discovers he has extraordinary powers of lightning speed. OK, hold it a minute. So the Nazis left this suit and the perfected serum in this abandoned lab rather than actually using it to create a team of super soldiers to help them win the war. Sort of like the old stories of buried pirate gold - they didn't bury it they spent it on wine, women and song. Anyway, Jimmy Travis takes on the persona of the Blitz and hurries out to right wrongs and do good in the world. Don't ya just love it when that happens. The Blitz was made using a Superpowers Collection Flash body. I did make two mistakes when painting Blitz, which I just noticed when preparing this blog entry - can you pick them out? First I didn't connect the lightning bolts between his eyes as in the picture, and I also didn't paint the little lightning bolts down the front of his boots. I may have to go back and correct those little items.