Men of Action

In my last post, I noted that I had also almost completed the Roger Webb sculpted “Ballistic Man”, which was one of three superhero figures Roger created for his company, prior to closing it down a couple of years back.

As mentioned in that post, and in some of the comments, this sculpt was based on the 1977 Bullet Man action figure, part of the Action Man Team – along with Tom Stone, Atomic Man and Action Man himself.

I did mention that I had considered creating a few more characters to accompany Bullet Man… and, as usual, this idea niggled away at me, so I began to scour the Internet to see if I could find suitable proxies for some of the other characters.

Having found a suitable figure to represent Action Man and a figure from the same range that, with some modification, will become the Intruder, I went looking for Atomic Man.

For those not familiar with “Atomic Man”, he looks like this:

Action Man Atomic Man 1977

My usual source for suitable conversion fodder are HeroClix figures, but we no longer have a reliable secondary seller of these here in the UK and whilst the figures ARE available in the U.S. for reasonable costs, the shipping costs are pretty steep, so this was ruled out.

“Mike Power – Atomic Man” was basically Hasbro’s own version of the Six Million Dollar Man, as they had noted the success of the 13″ Kenner licensed figure and decided to cash in on this themselves. When Palitoy added it to the Action Man range, they added the flock hair, push-button “Atomic Pacemaker” and gave him a different outfit.

As this character was based on the Bionic Man, I knew there were two UK based companies that produced not-Bionic Men.

First up was Crooked Dice, who do a two-pack entitled Cyborgs 1 for £8.00, which contains versions of both Steve Austin and Jaime Sommers:

The advantage of this figure was it did highlight his cybernetic enhancements, but it IS obviously Steve Austin and do I really want to pay £8.00 for a figure that I’m planning on converting anyway and one I don’t want?

The second option was Killer B Game’s Agent Atomic from their Geezers Royale range, at a very reasonable £2.00:

A bit closer and certainly more reasonable, but still not quite there.

So, I obviously went with secret option number 3 – make your own.

For this, I dug out my box of HeroClix figures that have yet to be assigned to a specific purpose and found this:

This is the Hydra Infiltrator, of which I had two. Liked the pose, just needed to subject him to some surgery. We CAN rebuild him… for no dollars.

The head is obviously all wrong, so this will provided by Mr. Fantastic:

All miniatures representing superheroes with stretching powers SUCK, so I felt no remorse in removing Reed Richards head – something Dr. Doom has never been able to do.

The final component was a cybernetic forearm, supplied from a Warlord Games plastic Cyberman, as although I wanted to try and retain the flavour of the character in his jumpsuit, I did want to show that he was enhanced in some way:

I went for the open hand arm, as I thought this would be a better look.

Now, as I do not currently have any superglue, various alternative glues were tried and the end result was the advice that you should never buy pound shop or dollar store un-branded glue, as it’s shit. I ended up creating ‘pins’ out of lengths of paperclips, so that the head and forearm wouldn’t break off with handling and used decorator’s grip adhesive (i.e. No More Nails) as the glue, which not only sets pretty quick, but also fills small gaps. I really ought to use this first, rather than fannying about with sub-standard glues.

Or not be so tight when it comes to buying glue…

Anyway, after the glue debacle was over, I carved off the obvious tunic, filed down his thighs a bit, tidied him up a bit, then ran out of time for that evening.

So, first a shot highlighting his robotic right forearm:

And a final shot showing the assembled figure, which I could not get the whole figure in focus for:

You can just imagine him saying “Yes, I am Atomic Man. And I AM going to fuck you up…”

So, pretty pleased with progress so far. Need to pop him off his chunky ‘Clix base and rebase him, then should be just a case of painting him in his distinctive black jumpsuit with silver stripes.

Join me next time, for more micro Action Man goodness!

15 thoughts on “Men of Action

  1. Rember Atomic man well, as I actually had one, unfortunately for mine I managed to break his heart when he crashed in the hand glider, and his forearm was very lose from all the spinning of his copter blade ( if you don’t know he had a hand held helicopter blade that he could rotate, think of the whirling blade on the inquisitors in Star Wars Rebels).
    Off to a great start with your rendition Jez, and clever use of all the different parts


    • Whilst I had quite a few Action Men, as my Mum managed to score a job lot from someone clearing out their attic, which included some of the older plastic haired, non-gripping hand figures, Atomic Man was not one I ever had. Or Bullet Man, either.

      Thanks for the feedback.


    • I think he was known as Mike Powers – Atomic Man as part of the G.I. Joe range, but came with a short-sleeved shirt and shorts, to show off his cybernetic (i.e. transparent) parts, Keith.

      Pretty pleased with my No Dollar Man so far.


  2. I cannot for the life of me remember Atomic Man. A lot of my Action Men were hand-me-downs from older cousins, so I had a few of the 60s ones with painted-on eyes, moulded hands and even beards!

    Great conversion, and I agree that stretchy heroes make for crappy figures.


    • Thanks Matt. As the majority of my Action Men were second-hand, I had a fair few of the 1st generation figures, like the German Stormtrooper with painted hair and hard plastic hands. But there was always one kid in the neighbourhood whose parents indulged him, so had all the newest toys – so whilst I never had Atomic Man or Bullet Man, I knew someone who did, so still got to play with them on occasion.

      As pointed out above, the HeroClix Plastic Man figures are pretty good, but generally speaking, stretchy heroes make for rubbish figures. I have to admit to being a little concerned regarding the Ms. Marvel Disney+ show, as it could be where Marvel drop the ball.


  3. I never had Atomic man (or Bullet Man tbh) but I did have Tom Stone, he was very cool in a “Blaxploitation ” way, a bit like “Shaft” he too however suffered from weak wrist joints and had a completely new body complete with washboard abs and tiny blue undies! (strange!). Anyway enough of my childhood memories, great stuff so far Jez, glad to see I sent you off on another flight of whimsy😁. Something else I’ll no doubt get the blame for.

    Cheers Roger.


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