Robot Peacekeepers

Back when I was acquiring the Texican Space Rangers from Michael Thomas’ site, classicminiatures.net, Michael let me know that he had some other cool figures that were not listed on his miniatures list.  One of these was a cool robot that he called “Advancing Robot”.  Supposedly, it was from the now-shuttered Mega Miniatures company as part of its Salvage Crew Robots & Vehicles line, with a product number of DEAL-0372.  Michael sent me a picture, and I bought 11 for a squad for Combat Patrol™ games, along with some others that I will hopefully be able to share with you all when they are painted.  The figures are 28mm in size.  Certainly, Michael is great to work with if you have any interest in buying from him

This unit is also one I can use for the June Community Painting Challenge from Azazel as my second unit for the month.

00 unknown pic
The photo that I got from Michael Thomas

However, when I looked at the Lost Minis Wiki, I was perplexed – it was not there!  I reached out to the Old School Miniatures group on FaceBook as I thought these might be old, but no luck was to be found there.  Then I tried The Miniatures Page (TMP), and got a bit luckier with this information.   So, my newly acquired robots were indeed from Mega Miniatures but circa 2008, which ironically makes them relatively young in my collection.  Still, I had no luck with any catalog or descriptor info, until Neil at Lost Minis Wiki helped me out with a 2012 Mega Miniatures catalog and there on page 60 was my robot.

23 Mega Minis catalog (2)
There it is!  Bottom row, second from the right.

I now knew the figure was DEAL-0372, Robot Peacekeeper from Mega Miniatures!  It was armed with an automatic weapon left hand and a claw on its right hand.  As I had 11 of these, I decided that it would be a squad of two teams of five robots (four each plus its own team leader) and led by a squad leader.

0 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372
As delivered

I cleaned the figures,  and filed and cut away any flash (of which there was very little).  I mounted them on ¾” steel washers with Gorilla Glue.  Then I affixed them to poster tack on top of specimen jars for painting.  I used my airbrush to prime them white with Vallejo “Surface Primer-White”.

2 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372
The squad assembled and primed for painting

As for a painting scheme, I decided that I wanted them to pop color-wise, so I again used paints that are more likely to be used models of muscle cars.  Createx makes some really cool pearlized colors that I like for metallics – they really work well as long as you use the proper pressure in your airbrush and you thin them appropriately.  What I really like is that they put the appropriate pressure setting on the bottle.

For the squad leader, I used “Pearlized Red”.  Each of the two team leaders got “Pearl Copper”.  Team A got “Pearl Tangerine”, and Team B got “Pearl Plum”.  Each of these had different pressure requirements, but switching between paints was extremely easy and cleanup afterwards was a breeze.

4 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 after base coat
All base coated
5 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 paints
The base coat paints

At this point, my daughter Ellen, who was visiting with her daughter (our granddaughter) Tabitha, saw them and said, “cool, they look like Skittles”.  As a result, I kept thinking about candy as I worked on them!  Of course, a song crept into my mind, and so from 1982, here’s the theme for this blog post, from Bow Wow Wow for no other reason that it stuck in my head.

Try getting that out of your head now!

Back to the project!  I then used a series of washes and paints on them to bring out details better and to make them easier to use on the tabletop.  I decided that the optics (can’t really say that the robots have eyes) would be the key differentiating feature between Team A and Team B.  I painted the optics white, then lined them with “Nuln Oil Gloss” (the gloss version works much better on metallics).  Then, using fluorescent colors (yellow, magenta, and green) from Vallejo Mecha Colors, I painted each robots peepers (I needed another word for optics) multiple times until I got a nice radiant glow from them.  I highlighted the group with brushing on more of the aforementioned pearlized paints.  All the paints that I used are listed at the end of this post for those interested.

6 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 in progress whites and fluorescents
Mid stage, showing the optics in progress
7 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 in progress painted less bases
Completely painted and shiny (too shiny)
8 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 in progress painted less bases close up
Yes, too shiny…but it was all part of a plan…

I then used an airbrushed gloss varnish to protect the paint jobs.  But wait you say, gloss?  On already shiny minis?  Yes – and after that dried it allowed me then to work on my bases.

For this group, I wanted to use a less Martian-like red on the bases – and go with a more lunar look.  For this, I used Citadel’s “Astrogranite”, a texture paint on the bases.  With all of Citadel’s texture paints, I find it useful to use a hand-held hair dryer to get better effects from them in terms of cracking or making crevices.  I did not see that effect with the “Astrogranite”, but it did dry enough for easy dry brushing later.  After it dried I was able to effectively apply a wash of Citadel “Nuln Oil Gloss” to darken the low spots.  For dry brushing, I applied Vallejo “Wolf Grey” to the bases.  That turned out to be a bit too plain for my tastes, so I added a glaze of Citadel “Gulliman Blue” which made a nice tint on the bases.  Now I had a good lunar look.

9 SL close up before matte
After bases painted before applying the matte varnish

Lastly, I finished the models with a second coat of varnish, this time Vallejo “Mecha Varnish Matt Varnish” with my airbrush.  This did a nice job on the models and the bases.

10 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 in progress complete drying
Drying on the deck in the sun
11 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 in progress complete drying side
Catching some rays, not ray guns…

I am pretty satisfied with how the unit came out.  The sculpts are retro-looking enough to work with my other Archive stuff – I think they look “Robocop-ish”, and I’m sure I can use them to augment any force, maybe even the Texican Space Rangers.  The Lost Minis Wiki is now updated with the Salvage Crew Robots & Vehicles range.

12 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 in progress complete squad
The squad assembled.  The red Robot Peacekeeper is the squad leader.  The yellowish ones are the team leaders.  Orange is the color for Team A (with green optics) and purple (or plum) is the color for Team B (with yellow optics)

13 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 in progress complete squad better

14 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 leadership
The leadership
15 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 Team A
Team A
16 Advancing Robots Mega Minis DEAL 0372 Team B
Team B
17 SL Square for casualty card
Robot Peacekeeper Squad Leader close up, frontal view.  Contrast this one with the shinier version I showed before.
18 SL Square for casualty card rear
Robot Peacekeeper Squad Leader, from the back
19 Tm A ldr Square
Team A leader
21 Tm A trooper Square
Team A Robot Peacekeeper
21 Tm B Trooper Square
Team B Robot Peacekeeper
22 Assembled Squad
The squad moves out!

I hope you enjoyed these Robot Peacekeepers!  Please leave your feedback in the comments section – I enjoy your thoughts and suggestions.  Thanks and hopefully I get another group done soon.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, WASHES, AND FLOCKING USED:

  1. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White”
  2. Createx “Pearl Red”
  3. Createx “Pearl Copper”
  4. Createx “Pearl Tangerine”
  5. Createx “Pearl Plum”
  6. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  7. Vallejo “”Airbrush Thinner”
  8. Createx “4012 High Performance Reducer”
  9. Citadel “Nuln Oil Gloss” (wash)
  10. Citadel “Ceramite White”
  11. Vallejo Mecha Color “Metallic Blue”
  12. Vallejo Mecha Color “Green Fluorescent”
  13. Vallejo Mecha Color “Magenta Fluorescent”
  14. Vallejo Mecha Color “Yellow Fluorescent”
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Gun Metal”
  16. Vallejo Model Air “Black (metallic)”
  17. Vallejo Model Air “Chrome”
  18. Vallejo “Black Grey”
  19. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  20. Citadel “Astrogranite” (texture)
  21. Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
  22. Citadel “Gulliman Blue” (glaze)
  23. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

Thanks again for looking!

Space Cowboys – Bet You Weren’t Ready for That!

Space Cowboys!  More properly Archive Miniatures Texican Space Rangers (circa 1978), are the subject of this blog, plus some Steve Miller Band stuff from the 1970’s.  Most people are familiar with the Steve Miller Band song The Joker:

Some people call me the space cowboy yeah
Some call me the gangster of love
Some people call me Maurice
‘Cause I speak of the pompitous of love…

Lyrics from The Joker, Steve Miller Band, 1973

Some also know that the opening line of The Joker refers to the band’s 1969 hit Space Cowboy – a rousing song with psychedelic undertones.

I told you ’bout living in the U.S. of A.
Don’t you know that I’m a gangster of love
Let me tell you people that I found a new way
And I’m tired of all this talk about love
And the same old story with a new set of words
About the good and the bad and the poor
And the times keep on changin’
So I’m keepin’ on top
Of every fat cat who walks through my door

I’m a space cowboy
Bet you weren’t ready for that
I’m a space cowboy
I’m sure you know where it’s at
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…

Lyrics from Space Cowboy, Steve Miller Band, 1969

If you have not heard it before, and/or if you want a theme song for this blog post, here it is:

I’m sure that in some way, shape, or form, these songs influenced the sculpting of these figures.

Back to the miniatures!

In the early stages of my chasing down Archive Star Rovers a couple of years ago, I discovered two figures that were called Texican Space Rangers. One figure was Travis B. Crockett who was armed with a couple of laser pistols.  The other was Armando Garcia, who had an assault rifle, a laser pistol, and a very imposing sombrero.  Both had very cool jet packs as well.  I did think that they would make an awesome unit for Combat Patrol™  games.  Archive packaged them in two ways.  One was as a set (along with a dog I have not found) as #2045 Texican Space Ranger Group.  The other was individually as #2225 (Travis) and #2226 (Armando).

19 catalogue
From the Archive Miniatures Catalog
23 Archive-starrover-2045
From the excellent Lost Minis Wiki website.  The photo above includes the elusive dog, and was posted by David Wood whose excellent blog http://deartonyblair.blogspot.co.uk/ is worth a look if you like old school minis!

There are a few images in the Star Rovers game that showcase the Texican Space Rangers.  I think the artwork is very cool and worth sharing as well.

20 image of rangers
Here the Texican Space Rangers are being attacked by Eyegars and Flygars.  Note the dog disappearing here as well on the lower left (maybe why I cannot find it?).
21 bar image of rangers
Travis hanging out with a Hurraku Space Phraint at a bar!  I made a platoon of these Arduin types earlier this year which you can read about here.
22 bar image of rangers
Quite the bar fight mash-up here.  I see Armando on the left, some Space Centaurs, Felynxi, Clint Eastwood (?) and a Chewbacca look alike under the table?  Also a Nevile Stocken logo behind the bar near Armando.

I searched, and the only source that I initially found for the figures was on eBay which made the prospect of building a platoon-sized unit very expensive.  Because of this, back in June 2016 I made a mold of Armando Garcia and cast several for personal use and for some friends which I wrote about here.  I had a plan to cast Travis B. Crockett, but did not get around to it, which was lucky for me as I found a better option.

Michael Thomas is a hobbyist who bought a spin caster and has been collecting OOP miniature molds and making them available for a very reasonable price.  I discovered that Michael has both Texican Space Rangers (among many other lost and OOP miniatures) available at  http://classicminiatures.net/.   The product codes are RKV-0122 for Travis and RKV-0021 for Armando, with their prices being $3.50 and $3.75 respectively, which is very reasonable.  I had a sufficient number of Armando’s, so I ordered enough Travis figures to round out a small platoon sized unit of 32.

My concept for the Texican Space Rangers was to have them as a small constabulary-type unit (like the Texas Rangers).  I made a command group (1 of each type), and 5 infantry teams.  Each team would have one Travis and five Armando’s.  Filing and cleaning the originals ones I got from eBay and from Michael was a breeze, while my castings needed much more work to make them presentable.  They are moderate in terms of crispness, but not like today’s figures.  But hey, this is what it was like in the 1970’s!  Once that was done, I used my airbrush to prime them, and moved on to painting them.

I also had a pretty important secondary goal on this project, which was to use as many of my old Polly S, Polly Scale, Deka Lack, and Armory acrylic paints as possible.  My Polly S paints were ones I bought in the early-to-mid 1980’s (really).  My Deka Lack paints are ones that I purchased in West Germany (remember that?) around 1987.  The Polly Scale paints were made after Testors bought them out, and my guess is that they date from the 1990’s (they were gifts Buck Surdu got for me slightly used from a gaming convention flea market).  My Armory paints were all bought by me in 1996.  All of these paints are viable, but they have lumps and clumps and do not always thin easily.  I thought as a challenge, I would use as many as possible as theme colors, and add washes, inks, and glazes to enhance the models.  Besides, they won’t be useful indefinitely.  If you are interested in the history of Polly S , I did find this blog post that was interesting.

Additionally, I follow a couple of blogs that were inspirational for this project.  One was imperial rebel ork’s post about his Western/sci-fi mashup.  He has three chapters there.  Also, our good inspirational friend Azazel from down under made a painting challenge for units for June, so this works and this is my entry (or at least one of them)!  On to the theme colors…

The platoon leader’s main color was Polly S “Venetian Dull Red”, while the platoon sergeant’s was Deka Lack “Blaü” (blue).  for the teams’ main colors, the A team got Polly S “Desert Pink”, the B team got Polly Scale “German Armor Light Tan”; the C team got Polly S “Interior Green”, the D team got Polly Scale “WWII British Aircraft Gull Gray Light”; and the E team got Polly Scale “German Mauve”.  The Travis figures also have US red, white, and blue on their collars, and the Armando’s have the colors of the Mexican flag (red white, and green).  I list all of the paints, glazes, inks, washes etc. that I used for this project at the end of this post (only 55 this time!).

0 Travis B. Crockitt Texican Space Rangers
The Travis B. Crockett’s I got from Michael Thomas, unpainted.
1 platoon primed
The Texican Space Rangers, primed for painting.  I ended up with some reductions so I actually painted 32 for this unit.
2 platoon start
Here I started working on the heads and the theme colors.  Some (not all) of the old paints I used are in front for fun.
3 mid platoon start
In the middle of the project.  I did heads first, then legs, with torsos last.
4 Armando mid stage
The platoon sergeant before washes and inks.  This is an original, not a recast.
5 Travis mid stage
The platoon leader early on – I cleaned him up substantially as the project continued.
6 Teams A and B await varnish
The command group, and Team’s A and B painted and awaiting varnish.
7 all painted
The whole platoon finally painted and awaiting varnish.
8 All varnished
All varnished and ready to leave their specimen bottles!
9 in storage box
In the storage box
10 Command group front
Command Group frontal view
11 Command group back
Command Group, rear view
12 Team A desert pink
Team A
13 Team B german armor light tan
Team B
14 Team C interior green
Team C
15 Team D gull grey light wwii british aircraft
Team D
16 Team E German Mauve
Team E
17 leadership travises
All of the leaders (being the Travis figures).  You can see the differentiating colors on the hats and uniforms, which I hope will aid on the tabletop for play.
18 Armandos
Examples of the different Armando figures 

This was a fun project, though the older paints are much harder to use than modern ones.  Still, I am glad that those oldies got a chance to be useful.

Thanks for reading, and I always appreciate comments and feedback in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, WASHES, AND FLOCKING USED:

  1. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White”
  2. Vallejo “Dark Flesh”
  3. Vallejo “Medium Flesh Tone”
  4. Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade”
  5. Vallejo “White”
  6. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  7. Vallejo “Brown Rose”
  8. Polly S “Venetian Dull Red”
  9. Vallejo “Dark Blue”
  10. Polly S “Desert Pink”
  11. Polly S “Venetian Dull Red”
  12. Polly Scale “WWII German Armor Light Tan”
  13. Polly S “Interior Green”
  14. Polly Scale “WWII British Aircraft Gull Gray Light”
  15. Polly Scale “German Mauve”
  16. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  17. Deka Lack “Blaü”
  18. Polly S “Slime Green”
  19. Vallejo Model Air “Signal Red”
  20. Vallejo “Red”
  21. Citadel “Auric Armour Gold”
  22. Vallejo Model Air “Gun Metal”
  23. Vallejo “Dark Blue”
  24. Vallejo “Glossy White”
  25. Polly Scale “WWII German Armor Dark Brown”
  26. Armory “Leather Brown”
  27. Armory “Prussian Blue”
  28. Vallejo Model Air “Aluminum”
  29. Vallejo Game Air “Dead White”
  30. Vallejo Game Air “Beastly Brown”
  31. Secret Weapons Washes “Just Red” (ink)
  32. Citadel “Gulliman Blue” (glaze)
  33. Citadel “Waywatcher Green” (glaze)
  34. Secret Weapons Washes “Blue” (ink)
  35. Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
  36. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
  37. Secret Weapons Washes “Parchment” (wash)
  38. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  39. Citadel “Nuln Oil Gloss” (wash)
  40. Citadel “Soulstone Blue”
  41. Citadel “Waystone Green”
  42. Citadel “‘Ardcoat”
  43. Citadel “Agrellan Earth”
  44. Citadel “Agrellan Badlands”
  45. P3 “Bootstrap Leather”
  46. Secret Weapons Washes “Sunshine” (wash)
  47. Vallejo “Glaze Medium”
  48. Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
  49. Secret Weapons Washes “Stone” (wash)
  50. Secret Weapons Washes “Purple” (ink)
  51. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  52. Vallejo Mecha Color “Purple”
  53. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  54. Vallejo “”Airbrush Thinner”
  55. Vallejo “Matt Varnish”

Thanks again and feel free to let me know your thoughts!