VSF Walkers from Toys (WIP part one)

A while ago, I picked up a copy of When the Navy Walked, and even reviewed the game briefly.  I've always liked the "look" of the game (even if I had some critique of the actual layout of the book). Moreover, it is in the 15-20mm scale range, which tends to be pretty inexpensive.

The other thing I liked about it was the chance to perhaps move into a different niche of the hobby--scratchbuilding vehicles.  And not just any vehicles, but funky Victorian science-fiction vehicles.  And as this has been slow-cooking in my brain over the last year, I've been slowly picking out items mentally that I've seen in stores that might be converted.  Well today I saw two toys in the clearance section of the local big box store, both priced under $5 and I finally jumped.

The two figures are "Clockwork" from the Ben 10 TV show and "Shel" from the movie Green Lantern.  Shel was $3.50, Clockwork was $4.50.

Like a lot of the Ben 10 aliens, Clockwork has really smooth lines to fit the animation style, so he really needs some added detail.  Shel is practically good as-is, a rickety, spindly robot with a bulbous head.  To get Clockwork up to speed, I decided to add some rivets.  Now some use a hole punch and plasticard, and God love them, but I'm too lazy right now to do that so I just dropped $2.99 on a huge bag of 4mm googly eyes at the hobby store, as well as buy some 1/12" birch plywood to cut bases for the two figures.  WTNW doesn't have standardized bases for Capital units, so these will both be 2" by 4".

I glued the googly eyes in what I thought were appropriate places across Clockwork's body, making him look a bit like the mythical figure "Argus" (which might just end up his name as a VSF walker).  I used superglue and a cheap pair of plastic craft tweezers to make sure I didn't end up attaching a little bit of human flesh to the walker as well.

Shel, as I said earlier, really needed no work, so I attached him to the base using E-6000, which is a sort of clear multi-purpose thick, gummy glue.  I had a staff person at Hobby Lobby say that most of the staff carry one of these tubes around with them at all times in case of emergencies.  It is a lot thicker than superglue, and I felt that with the smooth plastic finish of the toys I needed something with a little more heft to attach them to the base.  Then it was my typical practice of covering the base with watered-down PVA glue and then a layer of model railroad ballast.  For a little variety I glued on a couple of chunks of terrarium gravel as well.

Now these guys are all ready for priming and painting, which I'll cover in part two.  Comments welcome!


  1. Me likey. Good thinking on the Shel. Had not thought of using him for that. Hopefully there are a mess of GL movie figs on clearance at such places that can be had at exploitative prices, and I can make myself an army of evil giant robots!

  2. I was pondering those Ben-10 figures just the other week, good call.

    And thanks for the tip on the E-6000. Will need to hunt that down as well.

  3. These will work great for wtnw! Wonderful tutorial. I look forward to the final products.


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