Polishing a Turd

A long time ago after being inspired by the Man of Tin blog I grabbed my first tub of Poundland Army Men and painted some of them up as an unknown sci fi force:

Later on I dubbed them the Allegiance of Gnossos and Deathzap was born. What this little project did though was make me realise that some times the cheap and nasty can be transformed into something to get excited about! Your wargaming figures don’t always have to be expensive.

My little brother visited this weekend, and while I was waiting for his train to come in to Barnstaple station I spent some time wandering around the rather large Poundland nearby. The usual culprits were there, our good friends seen above, and the fellas below:

I’ve never seen the use in these larger action figures before. The plastic is always bad and with basically no articulation they can only get into the most robotic of poses. What I did see on them though was a decent amount of detail, that could definitely be picked out.

Once home I started chopping and reposing limbs, holding everything together with superglue. I managed to get something pretty dynamic.

It was at that point I had to fill all the gaps and strengthen all the joints with Milliput.

After priming him grey I started to get rather excited. It was at this point he started looking like something worth putting on your shelf. The problem I had now was thinking of which Deathzap faction to paint him as.

I chose the lesser known and basically brand new faction The Davian Supremacy. Painting wise this was your fairly standard basecoat, wash, highlight affair. The face was probably the most difficult part as you may have noticed in the primed image above he was distinctly lacking in detail, so everything had to be painted on.

All I’ve written on the faction so far is this:

In recent times the Davian Supremacy have emerged as something altogether different from your average Solar Raider Wartribe, their troops are much better trained and equipped and their technology seems far in advance of the rest of the Tribes and even exceeds some Xolar factions.

My major inspiration for them was Oswald Cabal and his Airmen from H.G Wells’ 1936 film Things To Come.

Something I remembered while painting was that you can highlight black with any colour. His banding and equipment was probably over highlighted with the green, but it does at a distance at least look black, the green also helps his pretty dark purple uniform pop a little more.

For now he’s just a display piece, but I’m considering the possibility of putting together a fire fight game. The sort of game where you only have one or two figures to a side and keep track of all the nitty gritty for each soldier.

Anyway I think that is one polished turd!

7 thoughts on “Polishing a Turd

  1. Wow! inspiring as usual! Yes, I have often looked at those figures and wondered about transforming them but so far I have done it only with the larger one piece figures such as a Rambo lookalike. That particular figure I painted as retro Falsh Gordon style as well as Rambo and one as a bronze statue.

    I suppose the main things stopping me doing anything with the jointed figures were 1/ the dubvious quality. 2/ the amount of work and 3/ the scale. I generally play 1/32 and sometimes 28mm. I was guessing you were going to make these guys into large androids so you could still use them in your smaller scale – or statues.
    I have seen the film you mentioned and I love the retro SF. I don’t recall the pilot’s uniform colour. Was it dark purple or is that just your version?

    Anyhow, I might do some myself if I haven’t already got rid of them. And I hope you don’t mind if I use your colour scheme!

  2. Excellent work, your title suggested that your project was going to get so far in and fail but you have made good use of poor plastic tat material that could well be used in garden or convention games with larger figures, as well as decorate the mantelpiece or games room

  3. “My major inspiration for them was Oswald Cabal and his Airmen from H.G Wells’ 1936 film Things To Come” – great film, like a wordy Flash Gordon – yet again the Wellsian imagination behind Little Wars continues to inspire. I’m sure the old man himself would approve!

  4. Yes, you are right but I thought there might have been promotional colour posters of it. If I recall right, the pilot also had a huge ‘collar’ (at the back of the neck only). It looked ridiculously impractical for someone in a plane (or anywhere) but did make him look imposing. It reminded me of some of the Doctor Who human-like alien outfits.

  5. The Japanese (who else!) have refined the art of polishing mud balls (Dorodango), but it took the Mythbusters team to actually polish a turd (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dorodango). Makes wargaming seem like an activity with a point by comparison 🙂

    I approve of the “evil henchman” colour scheme. He’s bound to come a cropper on game turn two wearing a uniform like that 🙂

    Regards, Chris.

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