Cow Tools

As regular readers will know, I set myself a relatively modest goal for He-Month 2, namely to recreate in 28mm the Masters of the Universe characters Fisto, Beast Man and Orko, mainly because Orko would be effectively sculpted from scratch and I wasn’t entirely sure if my sculpting skills were up to the job.

However, as stated in my previous post, I was rather further ahead than I expected, so rather than sitting on my laurels, decided to assign myself a side project, which was to re-create the version of Devil Dinosaur that appeared in issue #12 of Nextwave.

Just because…

So, as my sculpting tools consisted of toothpicks, a craft knife and my big fat fingers, upon the advice of a more experienced sculptor, namely Mr Roger Webb of Rantings from Under the Wargames Table fame, I decided to try to find some “proper” sculpting tools. If you want to see what can be achieved with correct tools and talent, go take a look at Roger’s blog and prepare to be amazed.

Having wandered the aisles of The Range for a good twenty minutes, discovering that Fimo modellers apparently use plastic spatulas to sculpt with and cake decorators pay through the nose for silicone-tipped sculpting tools, I left disappointed. Returning home, I scoured the Crow’s Nest for various pointy or shaped items, intending to use the gathered “tools” as proxy sculpting tools. However, when I laid them out, I was reminded of this Far Side cartoon:

Hence the title of this post…

However, I then paid a visit to The Works, which is a UK discount art/bookshop and found a pack of four silicone-tipped colour detailers in their art section for £3.00. That’s 75p each! Bargain! The results of my attempts to master these new tools can be found further down the post…

Bur first, let’s see where I am with my Masters of the Universe conversions.

First, Fisto. When we last saw him, I had completed the additional details I wished to sculpt on him and undercoated him. I then very cleverly took a photo of this cream-coloured miniature against a white background, which, as pointed out by a friend of mine, wasn’t the best idea…

However, as Fisto has now got a bit more colour on him, the white background is fine this time:


I’m pretty pleased with how this has turned out, as when it was undercoated it looked a little…blah. Now he has the majority of his colour, he looks a lot better and much closer to how he looked in the cartoon. Just needs a bit more detailing and I think he’ll be done.

Next, Beast Man. As with Fisto, this too was undercoated when we last saw it. Now that it has some colour on it, it just proves the point that sometimes if you have a figure that’s ‘almost’ the character, using the correct colours can really help with the conversion. See whether you agree:

Beast Man 3

I’m really pleased with how this figure has turned out, as whilst the majority of the ‘conversion’ work was just a re-paint, the choice of the base figure and the correct colours has really made this into Beast Man, as far as I’m concerned.

Our final denizen of Eternia is the floating elf known as Orko. I’d finished sculpting him last time, and he’s now had an undercoat of white and been block-painted with his base colours:


As I was particularly pleased with how his hat came out, I decided to take another picture, just to show this off;


I think this is the best of the three, as it resembles the character almost exactly. Final detailing, including the painting of his ‘O’ (which I’m not looking forward to) and he’s done too.

So, that’s the progress in Eternia, what of dinosaurs of rosy hue?

I took the original plastic figure and the first order of the day was to remove the prominent eye ridges, then roughen up the areas where I’d sliced them off, to ensure they blended back into skin of the head. I also removed the prominent mold lines running down the front of each leg.

As the figure’s arms/forelimbs were in the wrong position, these were cut off, re-positioned and glued into place. As the sleeves of Devil’s smoking jacket would cover the joins, I wasn’t overly concerned that rotating the limbs had created an overhang, as the cross-section of the limbs was oval, rather than circular.

Now came the tricky part – his gun and champagne flute. A rummage through my bits box uncovered several metal weapons, but these were more suitable for Space Marines than dinosaurs (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write…). The box of 3 3/4″ G.I. Joe figures weapons provided a couple of potentially suitable handguns, but these were automatics and a little large. Then inspiration struck and I started rummaging through my box of Lego and uncovered a spare revolver, which I believe was part of the Adventurers range. Just the right shape and size. The champagne flute was made from another length of spent ballpen plastic tube, which was heated, stretched and twisted until it sort of resembled a wine glass. Not entirely happy with it, so this may change later, if I come up with a better alternative.

Next, Devil needed some thumbs, as the dinosaur model only had two digits and Devil Dinosaur has three. The ends of a GW Skeleton Army archer’s bow look suitable claw-like, so these were appropriated and glued into place.

Out came the Milliput and my new sculpting tools and I began. I decided to do the cravat first, so a strip of Milliput was wrapped around his neck, with a big blob at the front to represent the folded over section. These were then smoothed, teased and formed into the requisite shapes, although I was having difficulty with the front of the cravat, as I’d glued his arm almost in front of this and was having issues getting smooth pleats. Of course, I then managed to knock of the offending arms by accident, as it had only been superglued in place, rather than pinned. I started to curse, then realised that this actually worked in my favour, as I could now reach the front of the cravat and the arm could then be reattached afterwards.

Having mixed up a fair bit of Milliput, I then decided to begin to add the body of the jacket above the “waist”, the intention being to do this section first, then the part below the waist at a later date. Luckily, the amount of Miiliput I had mixed was just enough to do the main part of the body, with straying into the potetially tricky area where it will overlap in the front.

I apologise for the lengthiness of the above description, as I failed to take any WIPs pictures, so only have a couple of the stage I have reached now:


and a front view:


You’ll notice he’s now got a slightly wonky foot, due to being shown to a friend, which involved being transported in a figure case which was apparently not deep enough. This shall be sorted before we see him again.

So far, I’m liking my new tools and this particular project will allow me to become familiar with them, so hopefully I will get better.

However, where else are you going to see a figure like this?

Until next time, thanks for visiting. Comments and feedback appreciated, as always.

7 thoughts on “Cow Tools

  1. Glad your having fun with your tools (ooer misses), and DD is looking pretty good already. looks like I’m going to have a rival soon, Sorceress next?

    the three He-moth minis are looking rather shape too, beast man is a revelation! I wasn’t sure I you first showed him (but of course I was to polite to say anything), but now he’s the right colour…Bingo “Beast man”!!

    Keep it up “grasshopper”.

    Cheers Roger.


    • Thanks Roger. It certainly has made a difference having “proper” tools. However, I think I have a long way to go before I reach your level. The student is definitely not the master yet.
      And I’m pretty chuffed with all three figures. Because the bugbear figure had such a dark pre-paint, the detail wasn’t easy to see, especially in photos. I tend to look beyond the pre-paint anyway, as I usually intend to repaint the figures I get anyway., so had a gut feeling that this figure would work. It wasn’t until I got the correct colours on, however, that I realised just how well it was going to work.
      Given that the Sorceress caused you so much grief and that I never really liked the character, I gave a feeling that she won’t be on the agenda. Man-e-faces, however, is a possibility.
      And predictive text is the bane of modern existence, so no worries.
      Regards Jez


    • Thank you very much, Michael. I was particularly pleased with how Orko came out. Although, to be fair, it wasn’t the most complicated of sculpts. Devil Dinosaur is coming along nicely as well, and I’m hoping my new tools will enable me to do him justice. And whilst it may be bonkers, it did appear in a Marvel comic…might have to do Mo-Skull next…lol


  2. Great stuff Jez. I’ve not heard of Fisto before but recognised Beastman from your paint-job straight away and as others have said your Orko is spot-on. Devil Dinosaur is also coming along great guns and I’m really looking forward to seeing how one of Jack Kirby’s finest creations turns out 🙂


    • Thanks Simon. As I said in the post, I’m pretty pleased with all of them, including Devil. There will be an update later today – may have been concentrating on the dinosaur to the detriment of the other figures….


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