Folder Bot 3000

I decided that I needed a short break from building and painting Aztecs – for at least long enough to paint one miniature anyways. This one is called “Folder Bot 3000” from Armorcast Terraform Terrain Ltd.’sRobot Townies” collection. There are a number of unusual robots and Futurama-inspired lookalikes there. I bought this Folder Bot 3000 on a lark when I got some other terrain stuff from Armorcast a few years back. I do like robots and I do like Futurama and Bender, so I got this one.

(Oh hell, its really supposed to be Bender Bending Rodriguez – aka Bender – so let’s call him that !).

The figure stayed on my painting desk in its baggie as I worked on many other projects. This is definitely not my usual practice as I really had no place to properly categorize and put him away for a future game. It was finally Bender’s time…

The figure differs from Bender a bit – his chest “door” hinges are on the right, while the cartoon version’s are on the left, but otherwise it’s similar enough.

The Folder Bot 3000 figure as received. The casting quality was a bit off of what I had expected. For example the figure’s legs and arms did not line up perfectly during the casting process – leading to misalignments of the limbs’ rings. There was some flash and some pitting on the head, necessitating some filing and filling on top of the needed drilling and pinning of the arms, legs, and head.
The figure as assembled. I used E6000 epoxy as I wanted a strong bond on the components, but this proved to be a bit of a mess. I have a love/hate relationship with E6000 as it needs a day to cure properly and sometimes it goes where you don’t want it to go. Here, it needed to be removed from other robot surfaces that needed to be smooth. It does clean up with an Exacto blade and tweezers, but its a pain, and because its clear, you don’t always see it all.

I used a 1″ steel washer to mount the figure in lieu of the plastic base. After I assembled the figure, I saw that there were gaps under the arms and they were not fully affixed. There were also some pitting on the figure’s head and back, necessitating my using green stuff as a remedy. In retrospect, I should have just used green stuff to assemble him.

I also saw that the figure just had an empty slit for the “eyes”, and a tiny flat space for the “mouth”. Anyone familiar with Bender knows that he has very expressive “eyes” and a wavy three-lined electronic “mouth”. One of my goals in painting him was to make him as “cartoony” and 2-D as possible. There was no way that I was going to be able to paint the eyes in the slit effectively or to freehand paint the wavy mouth as the figure was then.

I decided to try to sculpt the eyes and the mouth with green stuff. I admire people like Roger at Rantings From Under the Wargame Table who are much better at sculpting with green stuff than I am (as shown by his efforts here). Undaunted, and inspired by Roger (but a little worried), I used green stuff to fill the slit, make eye holes, and to try to sculpt the “waves” on the mouth. The result I achieved is shown below.

Here is Bender after I had filled in the gaps on the limbs and head, smoothed/filled pits, and sculpted the eye holes and the mouth “waves”.

I was not happy with the “eye holes” and did not think that I could paint them as “expressive” like in the cartoon. I also did not think that the handle on his chest was big enough – so I used a pin vise to drill out all three. I then carefully cut and filed pieces of paper clip and glued them into the eye holes. This seemed better to me visually – and would be far easier to paint.

Bender after drilling out his chest and fixing his eyes.

As I mentioned, I wanted a cartoon-like miniature. This meant that I would by necessity be limiting any highlighting or excessive shading. Therefore, I also decided that this would be a good opportunity to try to use the Vallejo “Metal Medium” that I had bought to try over two years ago to mix with paints to create a metallic finish that would be in line with the cartoon. This would hopefully prevent me from needing to use any actual metal paints. he would have some shiny aspects, but hopefully not excessive.

I was now ready to prime and paint old Bender.

Bender after priming.

In line with my painting approach, I decided to wash the primed figure with “Nuln Oil” to give myself a better idea of where to apply the paint/metal medium mixtures. The wash really showed the casting misalignments on the legs and arms, and where some of the errant E6000 had gone. No worries, as I knew that I could both remove the more egregious excess epoxy and hide the casting errors as I painted. I used three different shades of gray, adding the Vallejo “Metal Medium” in a 50/50 mix (all the paints used are listed at the end of the post for those interested).

Bender after the wash – you can see the misalignments and excess epoxy issues that I described.

The painting was fairly straightforward. I used the darker colors on the limbs to hide the misalignments. The mouth was just OK, given how I had to sculpt it. I used some “Nuln Oil GLOSS” on the limbs to accentuate their ring-like construction.

Bender painted but before final base work and varnish. At this point I found a bristle or hair embedded in the paint on the back of his head that required fixing (ugh).
Bender with the image I took from the internet as a general guide.

To finish him up, I used a Citadel texture paint (“Astrogranite debris”) on the base and the added a a few colors by dry brushing similar to what I did with my Retrovian platoon. Lastly, I added a satin varnish as I wanted his paint job protected but not too matte.

Bender completed.
If there were no colors but grey, he’d look like this in an old movie serial!

This guy is not my best work, but not my worst. At tabletop distance he looks fine, and hopefully will put a smile on some gamer’s face. I just needed a change for a bit and the work on this little guy provided that for sure. I’ll probably use him in a retro sci-fi game of Combat PatrolTM at some point. I could have sculpted a cigar or a beer battle or two for old Bender, but I decided that was a bit too much for me.

And if Bender does not like that…

Thanks for looking – I am entering this small project into Azazel’s extended July/August community painting challenge in the “hero” category – cartoon robot division (I just made that last part up). Please feel free to comment below – always appreciated.

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THE “FOLDER BOT 3000”:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1″ Everbilt Steel Fender Washers
  3. Paper clips
  4. E6000 Epoxy
  5. Poster tack
  6. Kneadatite (“green stuff”)
  7. Vallejo “Surface Primer – White Primer”
  8. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  9. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  10. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  11. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  12. Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
  13. Vallejo “Metal Medium”
  14. Citadel “The Fang”
  15. Vallejo Model Color “Neutral Grey”
  16. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy White”
  17. Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”
  18. Citadel “Nuln Oil Gloss” (wash)
  19. Vallejo Model Color “Mahogany”
  20. Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
  21. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  22. Citadel “Astrogranite Debris”
  23. Citadel “Druchi Violet” (wash)
  24. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  25. Citadel “Warpfiend Grey”
  26. Citadel “Slaneesh Grey”
  27. Vallejo Model Color Varnish “Satin Varnish”