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!