Saturday, August 27, 2011

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent - NoMan

It's been a few days since I posted but I've finally gotten nearly everything put back from the earthquake. Now we're awaiting Hurricane Irene, with its wind and rain and I figure I may lose power so I should post now. Today I'm covering another T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent named NoMan - sort of a play on words because he's actually an android, but with the mind of a human being. Doctor Dunn had worked with Professor Jennings, creator of a number of special gadgets for the agents including Dynamo's power belt, and had helped create a number of highly capable android bodies. Doc Dunn is old and wheel-chair bound so when he's offered the opportunity of transferring his mind into an android body he leaps at the chance. The transfer is successful and now he can not only transfer his mind into one android, but any of the numerous identical android bodies at will. So if somebody blasts him with an anti-tank missile the good doc just transfers to the nearest duplicate body and he's good to go. Neat trick, eh? Needless to say a number of the stories have to do with this transfer and whether there's a body close enough for him to transfer to. He's also provided a cloak of invisibility, also created by Prof. Jennings, which renders him invisible in normal light spectrum's - and this decades before Harry Potter came along with his cloak of invisibility. As for the figures I used a Toy Biz Cloak or Quicksilver body (they're basically the same) and the head from a Toy Biz Gideon. I did the basic conversion and then four duplicates but since there's only one cloak of invisibility I only had to make one of those, out of T-shirt material.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

After the Quake

I haven't posted for a couple of days mostly due to the 5.8 earthquake we experienced. The picture is a portion of my basement and you can see action figures strewn on the floor. Some of the big ones fell over and took out a bunch of the smaller ones. It was the same story throughout the collection, although some shelves fared better than others. So I've been tied up with cleaning up the mess, gluing figures back on bases and in some cases actually repairing damaged figures. I'll try to post again tomorrow. Didn't want anyone to think I'd forgotten about my legion of fans. LOL

Sunday, August 21, 2011

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent - Lightning

Post before last I featured T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agent Dynamo. Next on the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. list is Lighting. Originally a member of the paramilitary Thunder Squad, Guy is given the opportunity to wear the Lightning suit. The suit has a built in "speed inducer beam system" with which he will be able to achieve speeds over 100 times that of the fastest human being. On the down side, the beam has a life-shortening effect that increases the faster the wearer moves. Of course Guy accepts the challenge and wears the Lightning suit to battle the bad guys. Over the course of the T.H.U.N.D.E.R. comics run he ages quite dramatically, but the suit seems to have a drug-like effect and he just can't give it up. Battling evil can be addicting. For Lighting I used a Toy Biz Daredevil figure, using small crystals for the ear pieces and cutting a piece of plastic for the goggles.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Green Lantern T-Rex

Hobbies should be fun and I like to have fun with some of my conversion work. I had this extra Green Lantern Kilowog figure from the recent movie that I had gotten in a boxed set with one of the Guardians of the Universe. I thought Kilowog had kind of a small head for the size of his body so I looked around for a larger head I could put on him. A T-Rex hatching out of an egg caught my eye in the craft store so I brought it home and did a little work and found it fit pretty good. As Hannibal from the A-Team used to remark, I love it when a plan comes together. Just another GL on my way to making all 3,600 - yeah, right.

Friday, August 19, 2011

T.H.U.N.D.E.R. Agents - Dynamo

Today's offering is from the short lived Tower Comics from the mid-1960s. T.H.U.N.D.E.R., if you can believe it, stands for The Higher United Nations Defense Enforcement Reserves. I've run across some lame acronyms in my time, both in and out of government, including the infamous S.H.I.E.L.D. from Marvel Comics, but THUNDER is about as lame as they come. This is the sort of standard cloak and dagger operation common in a lot of fiction during the Cold War, just with super heroes thrown in. Turns out a Professor Jennings has been - maybe not so secretly - working on devices to benefit the West. When he's killed a few of his prototype inventions are recovered by THUNDER. One of these is a belt which will increase the density and power of the wearer but only for a limited period of time because of the deleterious effect it will have on the human body through prolonged use. It also takes a few minutes to power up, so if the wearer gets into an ambush situation he should be able to dodge well for five minutes. The belt is given to Leonard Brown to be the designated wearer and he's given the code name Dynamo. I'll reveal a little bit more about THUNDER and its agents in subsequent posts. For the figure I used a Toy Biz Captain America figure with the head from one of the Visionary figures (don't remember which one). In order to make the signature belt I used the wheel from a plastic model kit (an airplane I think) and a couple of other small circular pieces, then used Skulpy to form the belt itself with the plastic pierces stuck in the appropriate places.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Green Lantern Lysandra

Lysandra is the newly appointed Green Lantern for the planet Zintha in Green Lantern No. 169, October 1983. Normally Green Lanterns are appointed to entire space sectors, but on Zintha the people believe they must not venture out to or even look up into space by the will of their god Thar. The Zintha scientists believe their sun is going to go supernova (if they don't look up at the stars I'm not sure how they would have figured out any star does that) and are using the green power battery to focus their wills to move the planet of Zintha out of the way. Another Green Lantern shows up and after a little misunderstanding Lysandra finds out that the star isn't a star at all but a living creature that's about to split in the process of reproduction. Lysandra takes her power battery back, the other Green Lantern moves Zintha back into place and the sun creature splits and now the former ice planet of Zintha is warmer and growing. It also turns out the god they worship is actually the sun creature Thar who granted them permission to live on Zintha when they escaped a space war in their distant, and obviously forgotten, past. As for the figure, I took the body of a DC Universe Supergirl (figure on right) and removed her cape and skirt. I then had to plug holes in her stomach and back and on her shoulders where the cape and skirt fit with green putty, sanding them smooth when dry. I then took the head from a Starfire figure (on left) and, after painting both parts, put them together to create Lysandra. I used the Starfire head because it had really long hair like Lysandra did.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Charlton Comics - Judomaster & Tiger

This was really the first martial arts superhero. First appearing in 1965, he predated not only some of the Marvel and DC martial arts characters like Shang-Chi, Iron Fist and Richard Dragon, but he even appeared before the whole Bruce Lee/Kung-Fu movement started in the early 1970s. Judomaster was an outgrowth of Charlton's successful war comics, his adventures being set during World War II in the south Pacific. Army Sergeant Rip Jagger (do people really name their kids Rip?), was stranded on this island where local guerrilla fighters rescued and protected him from the Japs. He is taught the skills of a Sensei Warrior, including karate, judo and Jiu-Jitsu in order to better fight the Jap invaders. He then adopts a costume and, with the aid of the guerrillas, drives the Japanese from the island. He then continues to battle the Japs, presumably for the rest of the war. Jodomaster later takes on a young Japanese-American boy named Tiger as his sidekick - the picture is the debut of Tiger in issue 93. After DC took over the Charlton line there didn't seem to be a lot of interest in this character, who was sort of retconned into the All Star Squadron for better integration into the DC Universe. In the limited series Kingdom Come there was a female Judomaster who is on my list of figures to do one day. Judomaster was made using the body and legs from a Toy Biz Daredevil figure, the arms from a Spiderman and the head from a Captain America. Tiger was made from a Secret Wars Doctor Octopus and the head from a Captain America. The pony tails are both from Toy Biz Gideon figures.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Captain Atom - The Next costume

The other day I featured the Charlton Comics character Captain Atom in his original costume. He subsequently had a melt-down of his powers and changed to a sprayed-on costume that permeated his pores and became permanent when he power charged his atomic powers. Voila, the first appearance of the new and improved costume. When Charlton folded AC Comics had the rights to the character for a short time and used this costume and then when DC Comics bought the Charlton characters out they also used this costume for a time. Since then DC has changed his costume a couple of times. I once again used a Toy Biz Cloak figure but this time the head from a Magneto for this version of the good captain.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Charlton Comics - Captain Atom

Captain Adam is working on a rocket that is counting down to launching when he loses track of time and off the rocket goes into space with him on board. Now why a captain in the air force is fiddling around with a screwdriver on a rocket is not explained, nor why the control folks can't just stop the countdown until he climbs out, but that's the way it goes. Turns out that he's not only getting launched into space, the rocket he's aboard has an automatic timed nuclear warhead, which explodes with Captain Adam on board! Ouch!!! Although he probably wouldn't have felt much. So the good captain, brave and bold as he was, if a little clumsy in dropping his screwdriver, is turned into random molecules floating forever in the timeless wastes of space. Or is he? Turns out he shows up on the launch pad shortly thereafter, ragged clothing and all (after all, it was the comics so he wasn't naked), and oh yes, white hair. Of course he is radioactive so he sends for all the Diuluestel, a lightweight metal that shields radiation, which the air force brain boys weave into a costume for the good captain - not to protect him but to protect everyone from him. He is then endowed with powers like making his costume appear or disappear at will, the power of flight and the manipulation of matter. Dubbed Captain Atom by the president, he sallies forth to fight evil and the enemies of the United States where ever they may appear. In the Watchmen series the character of Dr. Manhattan was modeled after Captain Atom. As for the action figure, I used a Toy Biz Cloak figure and the head from a Superman figure.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Peter Cannon - Thunderbolt

Charlton Comics produced a number of superhero comics in the mid-1960s, some of them follow on's to earlier comics, like Blue Beetle from Fox, and some of them original material. One of these was Peter Cannon, or Thunderbolt. Peter was the orphan son of a husband and wife team of medical workers who had battled the black plague in the Himalayan region until they, in turn succumbed to the illness. In gratitude for the Cannon's selfless work the High Abbot of the Lamasery decided to raise little Peter, who was trained to mental and physical perfection. Peter was entrusted with the knowledge contained in the ancient scrolls, which contained the secret writings of generations of wise men. He learned concentration, mind over matter as well as the art of activating and harnessing that unused part of the brain that made fantastic feats possible. Following his training the scrolls were destroyed so that no one else would have access to the secret knowledge. Now embodying the power of the chosen one Peter, along with his friend Tabu, journeyed to America where they would seek out a new life. Thunderbolt battled mystic masters and resurrected ancient queens over the course of his career. His costume reminds me a little of the original Daredevil, who has alternating red and blue sides of his outfit. Not sure what's up with that. At any rate, when Alan Moore wrote the Watchmen books he borrowed from the Charlton stable of characters for his cast of superheroes, with Ozymandias being modeled after Peter Cannon. As for the action figures, the Thunderbolt was made using a Marvel Secret Wars Daredevil and the head from a Robin figure from one of the movies. The figure of Tabu (see the inset lower left) was made from various GI Joe and Black Hole parts. I had to sculpt the turban from Skulpy.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Russian Aircraft Carrier Kuznetsov

I've mentioned before that I went a long time without putting airplanes on my carrier models because I hadn't found a good way of lining the decks. Then I discovered a nice, fine point white paint pen and, in an orgy of hard work I lined the decks of all of my carriers, no matter the race, creed, color or national origin. Whew! Now that was done. Then the rub was that I needed to go back and see about all those pesky airplanes I had cavalierly set aside for another day. By George, the day had arrived! So now I am in the midst of going back and putting planes on the carrier decks. I've already posted my Essex class carrier with a plane flying CAP. Now I present a more modern carrier, the Russian Admiral Kuznetsov. This is a very nice model from the foundries of Viking Forge, who produce not only their own models but also Seabattle models under license. They did a good job with the carrier but they don't really produce airplanes, so I turned to GHQ. They produce a nice set of modern land based tactical aircraft which includes the SU-27/Flanker and the SU-25/Frogfoot, both of which are embarked aboard the Kuznetsov. They also, along with their modern Soviet surface ship kits, produce the KA-25/Hormone, which is similar to the helos embarked aboard Kuznetsov, so I had a nice mix of aircraft to work with. On board the model there is a Flanker about to take off with another Flanker exiting the starboard elevator. Then there are three Frogfoot and a Flanker alongside the island, then another Frogfoot and three additional Flankers parked along the starboard stern. A Hormone is sitting on the port side aft waiting to take off for plane guard duties. I camouflaged the jets and gave the Flankers white noses.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Earth-32 - The Next Green Lanterns

So, as I was saying, Bruce Wayne is the new Green Lantern of earth-32 and he is being tormented by the yellow-ringed Sinestro. When the Guardians of the Universe want Bruce to go off-world to take care of their business he decides he can't leave while Sinestro is still at large. The Guardians decide such insolence cannot be countenanced so they not only send four of their best from the Green Lantern Corps but also create three new earth Green Lanterns. These include Superman, the Flash and Amazon Queen Hippolyta, who are pictured. In the end Bruce contains the four Green Lanterns and his three fellow earth people contain Sinestro and his minions, but Sinestro escapes. Bruce goes off into space after Sinestro, the three earth people are left to defend their planet and the Green Lanterns admit defeat and return to their own duties. As for the Guardians - well, it seems their schemes are proceeding apace. The three figures I used were Infinite Universe Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash. I have to say that the Green Lantern symbol on Superman's chest was the hardest of all the work I had to do and I had to touch it up a couple of times. For the Queen Hippolyta figure I printed a copy of the character from the book the right size and glued the symbol to her chest, then painted it to make it stand out better.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Earth-32 - Sinestro

Following up on yesterdays post, after Bruce Wayne is made the new Green Lantern he's assigned by the Guardians of the Universe to go to the planet of Korugar. The Green Lantern based there, named Sinestro, is abusing his power and the people of his native planet. Bruce deposes Sinestro, assigns the female Katma Tui as the new Green Lantern and delivers Sinestro to the Guardians. Sinestro is exiled to the anti-matter universe of Qward, but there he is provided a yellow ring by the Weaponers. Sinestro returns to the earth-32 universe with an attitude to settle scores with Bruce. He journeys to earth and adopts a new costume patterned after the outfit usually worn by the Joker and sets out to destroy Bruce. More on that in my next post. The action figure was created using a Joker body, which I repainted, and the head from a movie version Sinestro.