Sunday, September 30, 2012


Raymond Maxwell Jensen was kind of a loser. Losing three jobs in a year he finally landed a handyman job at a government lab. When Superman carried out some experiments at the lab with radioactive materials from space he had some leftover crap. Jensen was assigned to dispose of this material but, being a little larcenous, supposed that anything that had Superman's attention mighty be worth something. When exposed to the radiation he was hideously burned and turned into a human atomic furnace, burning up energy at a ruinous rate. If he hadn't absorbed energy from people around him he would have perished. Then he decided that if he really wanted a good feed he should go after Superman. He did but Superman possessed so much energy that this human parasite disintegrated because he couldn't absorb so much so fast. Of course a good villain doesn't just go away that easily so an alien encountered his energy signature and reformed him - only physically, not morally. So the Parasite has made a number of comebacks and probably will continue to do so. I used a Toy Biz Silver Surfer figure for the conversion, which basically amounted to a paint job.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Turtle Man

The very first villain in the very first Silver Age Flash story back in Showcase No. 4, September 1956 was the Turtle Man. While he would later go on to accumulate more paraphernalia, he started out as a slightly rotund, slow moving and even slower speaking criminal who took his time in committing crime. Turtle Man... believed... that... moving... slowly... would... help... him... in... committing... his... crimes.... In that first issue the Flash proved him wrong. Turtle Man also had costumes with a turtle-like shell on his back and so on, but as slow as he moves it probably would have taken him forever just to get dressed. I will confess that sometimes I take the easy path to creating characters. In this case I thought Turtle Man looked a lot like the Jurassic Park Nedry figure so that's what I used and after a little paint job I had my Turtle Man.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Phantom Atom

While conducting an experiment in his lab at Ivy Town University Ray Palmer, secretly the Atom, is caught in an explosion that exposes him to radiation. This radiation creates a Phantom version of Ray/Atom with all of his size-changing powers. The Phantom, as one might expect, explores ways he might become tangible, even if it's at the expense of his prototype. The Phantom learns that he can use an opal ring to exchange places with the real Ray/Atom, but in the ensuing battle the real Atom throws the ring into a raging fire. Then Ray/Atom turns the Phantom's size-changing device on his belt down so that the Phantom basically shrinks away into oblivion. Sounds like a tidy way of disposing of the body. But don't feel too bad - the Phantom had learned that if it didn't switch places with the real Ray/Atom it would have died anyway. Don't you feel better now? I created my original version of the Atom using a Superior Models 25mm figure called Captain Crusher. It took a little filing to clean up the costume a bit but overall was a pretty straightforward conversion. When I discovered the Phantom Atom story I basically repeated the process using paler paints.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Ira Quimby was another one of those small-time, mostly not very successful, criminals the comic book universe seems to be positively replete with. Then the fellow whose crimal friends referred to as I.Q., both as his initials and because he wasn't very bright, visited the museum. Suddenly he was having flashes of brilliance and was creating various devices to aid him and his buddies in their criminal endeavors. That included his aeroshoes, which allowed them to "skate" on thin air. Now why didn't he just market the aeroshoes and make a fortune? If he was so damn smart why didn't he figure that out? Anyway, I.Q.'s crime spree turned out to be powered by alien stones at the museum that, when exposed to sulight, gave him those amazing mental powers. Of course he was ignominiously defeated by Hawkman and Hawk Girl and sent to prison. Then he broke out and then was sent back to jail. Oh, I'm sure you see the trend. Should have marketed those aeroshoes.... When I came to doing a figure of I.Q. I selected various GI Joe parts for the conversion. The main challenge was the goggles he wore, which I made from epoxy putty. Maybe some day I'll find something I can use for his aeroshoes.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


For those of you who were around and could watch the TV from your cribs in 1990 there was a show on the tube called Flash. It was a version of the Scarlet Speedster which was rather neat in some ways and a bit lame in others. Over the course of its run there was a war (Desert Shield/Storm) and a few other things which served to pre-empt a number of episodes and I think they also moved it around the schedule. This is a process that networks use to kill a show they find too expensive to produce. Anyway, one of the characters on the Flash show was a clone of Barry Allen (aka Flash) created in a lab by a couple of bickering scientists. I think they were trying to create a more advanced bike-messager service or a super soldier or something. They managed to get a sample of the Flash's blood and quick-grew a clone who, while physically advanced, was virtually child-like emotionally. They named the clone Pollux, after the mythological twins Castor and Pollux, and they gave him a uniform similar to the Flash's except it was blue and had their own company logo on the chest - not a real good idea if they were trying to conceal the identity of who created the clone in the first place. Anyway, in the end the clone sort of sacrifices himself for the greater good and the scientists get bumped off so Flash is the last one standing. I rather liked the look of the character and the logo on his chest. I used a DC Infinite Universe 3 3/4" Flash figure (what else?) and painted it appropriately, including the different chest symbol.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Evil Star

The man who would eventually call himself Evil Star was born on the planet Aoran, orbiting the star-sun Acrux. He was married with a daughter but he was restless and dissatisfied. Problem? He didn't want to die. Unlike most of us he actually did something about it, creating the star band (that thing on his wrist), which used the power of the stars to energize its wearer and lengthen his life span. Unfortunately there was a side-effect - isn't there always? - that caused him to commit only evil acts. Thus he was untroubled when his wife and child grew old and died and when the people of Aoran rose up against him he destroyed them all. Talk about evil!! Anyway, he wanted to spread his evil throughout the universe but realized that he would be butting heads against the Guardian of the Universe and their Green Lantern Corps so he set out to destroy the big blue heads on Oa. That brought him into conflict with Green Lantern Hal Jordan, who succeeded in defeating Evil Star and his mindless "Starlings," smaller versions of himself who carried out his every whim. When creating Evil Star I used the body from a Superpowers Collection Green Lantern and the head from a Lex Luthor. I cut the star mask from a piece of card and found a piece of guided missile that would make the star band on his right wrist. The cape is made from T-shirt material.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Thing from 40,000 A.D.

As presented in the pages of Superman No. 196, May 1967, an object crash lands on the outskirts of Metropolis and a protoplasmic blob emerges. An intelligent blob from the year 40,000 A.D. - hope that's not what we're destined to end up as. On the plus side it's capable of assuming the guise of virtually anyone or anything it comes into comtact with. First it takes on the shape of a tree, then a soldier, then some scientists and workmen as it begins construction of a time schere that will return it to 40,000 where it plans to rule the world. Now what else would a shape-changing protoplasmic blob want to do but rule the world? I ask you! At any rate, it really starts getting into trouble when it first imitates Clark Kent and later Superman himself, battling the man-of-steel toe-to-toe. Then Superman remembers that they are near a tower where a certain test is about to be conducted - how convenient - and when the nuclear explosion takes place there is only one Superman left standing. The real one we hope. I wonder what this episode says about Superman's oath not to take life. I mean, he knew the blast was about to occur, he could have warned the damn Thing. Ya think?? Anyway, aside from a couple of plastic eyes I got from the craft store, the Thing is made from Skulpy, kneeding white and black together. I stuck the eyes in to make places for them in the soft clay, then removed them and baked it in the oven, replacing the eyes when it had cooled.

Friday, September 21, 2012


David Clinton had been a petty crook all his life and spent a good deal of time in jail for it. He decided that the reason he kept getting caught was because he didn't plan well enough and, admiring the clock-work precision of things in jail, he decided to link his crimes to clocks. Studying everything he could about time pieces and working on his plans in the prison workshop (maybe he should have just got out and got a job) Clinton started creating a variety of clock-themed weapons. These included an exploding hourglass, a wristwatch that fires its sharpened hands and a device that could actually slow time itself, as well as his normal mode of transport - a flying sun-dial. Calling himself Chronos he began his crime spree in Ivy Town, bringing him into conflict with the Atom. Guess what?? He ended up being defeated by Atom and sent back to jail. Repeatedly. These guys really need to find themselves another line of work. For the Chronos conversion I used a Mattel Secret Wars Daredevil figure and the head from a GI Joe Destro figure. There is actually a lot of detail to his costume, with the striped pants, arrows on his arms and the symbol on his chest. I used the yellow cape from a Toy Biz Robin cape to finish him off.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ocean Master

This conversion is a case of sometimes procrastinating can actually payoff. Ocean Master was a villain of Aquaman and on top of that was also his half brother. I suppose it would be like any kid growing up in the shadow of a more capable or talented sibling, it can really screw you up in the head. And so it was with Orm Curry, half brother to Arthur Curry, who's father had met and mated with a mermaid. He had remarried and then Orm came along. Angry and resentful Orm created the Ocean Master persona for himself and began exploiting the oceans in a negative way, including the looting of Atlantean cities. This, of course, brought him into conflict with his brother, Aquaman, on numerous occasions. My biggest problem when I was looking at doing this conversion was the helmet he wears. Finally I found one as an accessory to another figure (I really do not remember which one) and then I used a Toy Biz Daredevil figure for the rest of it. Aside from the helmet, which I did not want to try to build from scratch, it was basically just a paint job. For the cape I used T-shirt material with a piece of cord attached, held in place by two brass-headed nails.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Top

The Top was a member of the Flash's "Rogue's Gallery." He was born Roscoe Dillon and since his boyhood he was always fascinated with tops. When he grew up Dillon became a criminal and during one of his sojourns in jail came up with the idea of using tops in his criminal pursuits. Not sure why he didn't decide to just go into the toy business but I guess that's just how he rolled. Anyway, the self-styled Top created tops that exploded, or emitted smoke or blinding light and tops that created illusory images and ensnared people with strong wires or tops that created cyclonic winds. He also learned how to spin himself at high speed and discovered that doing so enhanced his intelligence. Remember folks I don't make this up. Anyway, all this spinning didn't keep him safe from the Flash, who kept throwing him back into jail - shoulda opened that toy store, just like I said - but the spinning did eventually effect his brain and, coupled with the Flash's super speed, ended up killing him. The figure was made from a Mattel Secret Wars Wolverine figure and the head from a Challenger sports figure. I did the lines around his body free-hand, which was really tedious and made me slightly cross-eyed for a time. And before you ask, the figure does not spin.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Rainbow Raider

Roy Bivolo loved art and painting but there was one catch - he was color blind! His optometrist father looked for a cure but on his deathbed all he could offer were some "prisma-goggles," which ultimately gave his son considerable power over colored light. Embittered (I'm glad not everyone with color blindness is this bitter) Roy turned to crime. He learned that the goggles could exploit people through the various colors: red light caused anger, blue caused sadness, green caused envy, yellow caused cowardice, black light sapped an opponent's energy and color and white light could blind people. He could also create solid objects out of light, including the rainbows on which he traveled. As Rainbow Raider Roy embarked on a life of crime, although it was normally a life behind bars. He took on the Flash - off to jail. He took on Batman and the Flash - off to jail. He took on Green Lantern - you guessed it, off to jail. Well, he may have been bitter but he obviously didn't give up easily. The hardest part of making Rainbow Raider was the goggles, which I crafted from epoxy putty. Then I Dremeled the detail off a Superpowers Collection Flash figure and did a lot of colored painting. I'll but Roy wishes he could have done that!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Radiation Roy

I don't normally link my blog posts to what's happening in my life, but yesterday I underwent a CT scan where they inject the radioactive iodine into you and see what lights up. So I thought I would feature a radiation-themed villain, Radiation Roy, member of the 30th Century Legion of Super Villains. He had a genetic abnormality passed down from his Russian ancestors - and we know they had a few radiation problems - which caused him to develop an overenergized metabolism which he can release in the form of a radioactive paralysis beam. He applied to the Legion of Superheroes but they thought his power was too dangerous, so he applied to the Legion of Super Villains and they rather liked his power. The figure was made from a Mork from Ork body and the head from a GI Joe Salvo figure. The shoulder frills were cut from card, which I painted.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

CAW - the Rank and File

Yesterday I posted about the terrorist organization known as CAW - standing for the Criminal Alliance of the World. Since in my previous post I featured the leadership I thought today I'd feature the minions. I mean, every really important criminal organization needs minions or troops. Al Capone had them and the drug lords have them so everyone needs them, right? And look at those spiffy uniforms!! Al Capone's boys maybe got a suit and a pearl grey hat to wear, but these fellows have actual super villain type uniforms, complete with the emblem on their chests spelling out CAW so everyone will know where they're from and who they represent. Probably makes it easier in the line-ups. For the figures I used four different Toy Biz Daredevil figures and the heads from two Visionaries (the figures weren't much but I really liked the heads), as well as Punisher and Superman. I mean, there's nothing wrong with a bad guy having a resemblance to Supes, now is there?? The hardest problem with this conversion was the CAW emblem, which I did freehand. Gotta love those paint pens.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

CAW - Leadership

Over the next two posts I'm presenting that rancid, violent, international terrorist organization known as CAW - short for the Criminal Alliance of the World. OK, where do they come up with these names. CAW?? They were scraping the bottom of the acronym bucket for this one. Talk about a name that would NOT strike terror in the minds of whoever heard it, this is one of them. Anyway, this was a group that gave Hawkman and his lady a little bit of a run for their money back in Hawkman No 14, June-July 1966. I thought I'd split them up into two parts, presenting the leadership today and then the troops in my next post. I don't think they named any of these guys in the story, but they're all wearing suits so we know they have to be bad guys. The one on the left is a little more conventional. He was made using a McDonough figure from Spy Kids-2 and the head from a GI Joe. The middle one was made using the body of a Raiders of the Lost Ark Toht and another GI Joe head, and I did his fez from Skulpy. The one on the right was made using the body from a Remco Dracula figure and the head from a Buck Rogers in the 25th Century Draco, again with headgear crafted from Skulpy with a crystal added for a little flash.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Ultra Carrier

The back story here is that a fellow wrote into the Naval Institute Proceedings Magazine back in 1978 and proposed what he called the Ultra Carrier as a replacement for the Nimitz class nuclear carriers that were being built at that time. I had always liked it and it had been on my scratch-build list for many years but I just hadn't gotten around to it - that's a long list. Anyway, a company called Shapeways recently offered it for sale and I decided to snatch one up. Shapeways offers a service of making things in various materials and then offers them for sale on their site. The Ultra Carrier would have been substantially larger than a Nimitz (400,000 tons as opposed to 72,700; 1,250 feet long as opposed to 1,040 with a flight deck 400 feet wide instead of Nimitz's 252 feet). It would also have been nuclear powered and was designed to stay on station for lengthy periods of time up to several years before having to return to the U.S. for maintenance and overhaul. However, the crews would be rotated every six months, which would have been great for the crews because carriers were frequently extended on station for various crisis and operational requirements. It would have had a nominal speed 23 knots but could manage extended bursts of up to 26 knots in a pinch. I took a picture of the Ultra Carrier alongside a Nimitz for further comparison. I think it was an interesting concept. Not sure it would have been practical but one never knows. I have one, painted with aircraft on deck but may get another one. Well, maybe two more....

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Galactic Golem

The Galactic Golem was a construct of Lex Luthor, designed to draw energy from starlight. It was really designed to destroy Superman - that did seem to be Lex's all-consuming obsession back in the 1970's - well, and the 1960's, and sort of in the 1980's - OK, that was Lex's obsession. Anyway, in their first encounter Superman threw the Golem into space, but he made a comeback. In the second encounter Superman covered the Golem with magnetic metal and left him as a nice metallic mound at the North Pole with the entire magnetic force of the earth holding him in place. That was his last appearance in original form, although the name was used later for an alien creation - not the same guy. When doing the figure I used the body from a Mattel Captain Simian Nebula and the head from a DC Despero with the top-knot removed.

Friday, September 7, 2012

King Malis - Ancient Astronaut?

This character was from World's Finest No. 202, May 1971, and appeared when Lois Lane and Batman went missing and Superman went looking for them. Turns out they had been trying to assist an American archaeologist when they were taken captive by an Arab and someone else who turned out to be a discontented, malfunctioning Superman robot. When Superman appeared and did intervene they had just opened the tomb of King Malis, supposedly an ancient Egyptian ruler. A bright red light was emitted from the tomb and Superman was weakened by what turned out to be red sun radiation (his home planet Krypton had a red sun). With some teamwork from Batman and Lois they managed to knock out the Arab, destroy the robot and knock the king's block off - literally. But that was OK because the king was actually a robot as well, apparently left behind in the tomb by ancient astronauts. I found an odd figure and don't even remember what his head was like, but I cut it off and attached an acrylic ball and painted it a gloss red so it looked like it was glowing like the character. A relatively easy conversion if you happen to come across the appropriate body.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Count Vertigo

The count was really a count and member of the royal family of Vlatava, a fictional small Balkan country that was taken over by the Soviet Union at the end of World War II - or so the story goes. When the royal family fled the country they took the crown jewels with them and sold them abroad. The count apparently vowed to get them back and, unable to afford them, decided that theft was his best option. Since childhood Vertigo had suffered from an inner ear defect that affected his sense of balance. He had an electronic device implanted in his right temple that not only sorted out his own balance, but could also affect other people's sense of balance. He also had some magnetic boots that helped him walk on ceilings and walls - but not in my house because it's all wood, I think. Anyway, he kept coming up against the Black Canary and her paramour Green Arrow and ended up spending various periods of time in jail. I rather liked the look of Count Vertigo so I used a Toy Biz Cloak body and the head from a Hasbro electricity-powered Superman for the head. The cape I sewed together and then did some of the design work inside with a felt tip I seem to remember. My version does not have magnetic boots so he doesn't stick to the walls, but sometimes I feel a little dizzy when I walk by him.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sathar Spaceships

OK, I'll freely admit I'm a procrastinator. I routinely put things off - even some I'm looking forward to - for one reason or another. I had bought these space ships and had them sort of laying about for a long time without painting them. The large ships (I have four of the big ones, four of the medium size and six of the smaller ones) required some assembly. The body had two halves, the tail section was separate and there were two loose engine pods, so five parts total. I had put all the body parts together but I had only ever assembled one completely and put it on a base, which proved not up to the task of holding it up over time. Recently I decided where these ships should fit in my collection and what the paint scheme should be on them so I broke down and assembled the big ships and put them on strong bases while I was painting the smaller ones. Then I painted the big ones. I'm showing examples of all three sizes here. I should point out that these were produced by TSR Miniatures for their Star Frontiers line and were called Sathar Ships. The date on the box was 1983 so it didn't quite take me thirty years to get them done. I do eventually get to things.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Skull Gang - Mr. Magnum

A few days ago I did a post on the Skull Gang and this is my follow-up. Turns out that one of the things Skull was into was fixing wrestling matches - gosh and I always thought they were real. Anyway, rather than do it the way we do it today (you know, like everybody knows its fixed) Skull had their prize marksman, a Mr. Magnum, who would shoot one of the wrestlers with a dissolving dart that would "slow them down a bit" so their guy would have an advantage. Lois Lane finds out and confronts Mr. Magnum. Of course she gets rescued before Magnum can put a non-dissolving something through her head. I rather liked the look of Magnum and used a Star Trek Dixon Hill figure and a head (don't remember which one), which required most of the work. I found an appropriate gun and there he is. Always nice to have another bad guy in the collection.