Archive Miniatures Frinx on Glyptodon – Resurrection!

I have long been searching for the Archive Miniatures Frinx on Glyptodon (#2042) from the Star Rovers line.  This three-figure kit was made in 1978, and was composed of two power-armored Frinx riding a glyptodon.  So what is a glyptodon?  A glyptodon is basically a prehistoric armadillo – and the size of a small car.  Its a quirky kit, reminiscent of a Tusken Raider riding a Bantha in Star Wars.

At long last, my good friend Buck Surdu acquired one kit at exorbitant price on eBay.  The plan was to create some Frinx recon sections for use in retro-sci-fi games using the Combat Patrol™ gaming system by recasting.

 

0 in bag
The original kit in unopened bag

 

 

0a in bag
Archive card in bag

 

 

3 close up contents
Contents of the kit

 

The kit itself held two glyptodon halves, two rear feet, two bridle bits, one metal reins set, one forward facing Frinx, and one Frinx facing right.  Clearly, I needed to consolidate in order to effectively cast this set via gravity casting.  My first decision was to abandon any idea of casting the metal reins.  I wanted to use the bridle bits, and use some string or similar material for reins when I paint the kit.

The bridle bits were very small as you see below.  I used a small pin vise and drilled out a place for the bits on the glyptodon.  I secured the bits with super glue, then filled in around them with green stuff.  I also opened the bridle bits up, for if I left them closed they would not been locked in by the Quick-Sil and would not have cast well.

 

4 bridle bits on fingertips
The small bridle bits

The other challenge was that the original glyptodon figure was not well formed or cast.  There were large seam lines and gaps on each side.  My concern was that this gap would wreak havoc with molding as the Quick-Sil RTV that I use would easily expand into every crevice.  It also would look lousy.

 

 

5 glyptodon showing gaps and seams
Good view of the gap between the glyptodon halves on the right side

 

 

6 glyptodon showing gaps and seams no feet
Similar gap issue on the left.  Note the rear feet are unattached.

 

 

11 glyptodon interior
Interior view of the bottom glyptodon half – note the Archive 78

 

 

12 glyptodon interior top
Top half of the glyptodon 

As you can see, because the glyptodon was in two pieces with a hollowed out middle, I needed to address this and the seam issue.  Therefore, I decided to fill the middle and the gaps with green stuff.  I then affixed the rear feet with super glue, followed by adding green stuff around the gaps there as well.

 

 

13 glyptodon interior and bottom with green stuff
Green stuff to the rescue

 

 

14 glyptodon top with green stuff and bits
Nice view of the modified bridle bits

While I smoothed out the seam lines, I still had unsightly lines that would show up on every cast.  I decided to use more green stuff to add a band of tiny armor plates around the base to smooth out the seams – and it worked.  I thought that I should keep the figure as original as possible, so the additional plates were left as a lower band, and not over the whole figure.

 

 

15 glyptodon repaired with green stuff and bits
The glyptodon with its new armor plates added, left side view – no unwanted lines!

 

 

16 glyptodon repaired with green stuff and bits rear view
Rear view after adding armor plates

 

 

17 glyptodon repaired with green stuff and bits right side view
Right side view after adding armor plates

 

I then moved on to the riders, and was surprised to see the beginnings of lead rot under their saddles.  This discovery made me very happy that I was going to preserve this kit through cleaning and ultimately recasting.  I did my best to clean off the oxidation with soap, water, a toothbrush, and an aqueous pewter cleaner.

 

18 rider with rot on bottom
Lead rot begins…before cleaning

 

 

 

19 ready to cast
Ready for molding

 

I made two new mold designs – one for the glyptodon and one basic type for the two riders as shown below.  The major concerns that I had with the glyptodon mold were easy flow of alloy, adequate venting, and adequate cooling with so much molten metal.  With the smaller molds, I had the same, but I really just wanted great details.

 

20 glyptodon mold first half
First half of the glyptodon mold 

 

 

22 front frinx mold 1st half
First half of the front Frinx rider

 

 

23 back frinx mold 1st half
First half of the rear Frinx rider

 

 

24 all molds
All three molds completed

 

All three molds worked well, with small modifications to ensure good casting.  I was able to successfully cast 14 sets (42 total figures).

 

27 day 3 production
14 sets!

 

You can see below a comparison of the recasts and the master figure.

 

28 side by front
Frontal view of recast and modified master figure

 

 

29 side by left side
View of right side

 

 

30 side by rear
Rear view

 

 

31 side by right side
Left side view

They are officially now in my painting queue (which has grown a bit long so I will wait to cast more figures until I have painted some).  Overall, I am pleased with how they came out – please let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

 

 

 

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Author: Mark A. Morin

This site is where I will discuss stuff that I find interesting and that includes family, friends, golf, gaming, and Boston sports!

23 thoughts on “Archive Miniatures Frinx on Glyptodon – Resurrection!”

  1. You’re a bloody machine, Mark!
    If you ever happen to be running off any more of these down the line, I’d love to grab a trio or perhaps even six of them for …archive purposes. I’d pay all costs of course and would not need the riders – I think I could do something cool with them for my lizardmen army.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, and yes they are solid! Not as heavy as my Mark 1 Sphere tanks – those are nearly 1 lb (14 ounces). I’ll have to measure these Frinx/glyptodon combos – my guess is maybe 9-10 ounces? You have me thinking so I will check! Thanks for the like and the feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Roger. The mold line was mid-figure. I used a small nail-removing tool (like a bent screwdriver with a slot in the middle) to bend/pull the top of the figure out and the rubber mold was pliable enough for the feet to pop right out of the mold.

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  3. Roger, not sure on that – as I gravity cast and that’s of course fraught with other challenges. The biggest is getting flow to work to replace the pressure generated by spin casting. Part of that is fixed by good mold design, and some by casting technique, such as what you do with the mold after you pour in the alloy but before the metal has cooled and hardened. Once the alloy cools, the beauty of the Quick Sil is that it is adequately pliable. I did need to open the bridle bits as they would have been locked in if left in as full rings, given that my mold line was basically along the glyptodon’s spine.

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    1. Yes, I see what you mean, interesting to see the differences between the two techniques, I’ve sculpted a few figures for spin-casting (not by me I hasten to add), but have never had any experience of drop casting. So thanks for this.

      Cheers Roger.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did look into spin casting, and when I saw it involved using an oven and industrial strength c-clamps to vulcanize the molds, I knew that was something I would never be able to convince my wife was a good idea! Maybe someday, but I’d need a huge workshop for that!

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  4. Very interesting to see your casting process. I am always taken by the weird stuff lost in time you bring back to the gaming table. The modifications you made to the models work well and I think it was a good idea to add additional scales/plating to hide the seams.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Not sure why but that seems to be my calling. Or at least my current fixation. It’s cool to see them back on the table, and I’m hoping to try soon to paint these. Likely the seams on the originals are a result of poor QC, but I was happy to get them as they are exceedingly rare.

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