September 8th, 2008
Apoxy Sculpt, Fimo, hot glue
~ One, kinda
Character & Intent
When Mattel announced that they had the DC license,
I was happy.
When they announced that they wouldn't make Lobo due to his mature-oriented comics, I was sad.
When they announced that there would be a Lobo, after all, I was happy.
When they announced that he'd be a convention exclusive, I was sad.
When they announced that he'd be available via Mattycollector.com, I was happy.
When I realized that he'd come without a space-bike to call his own, I was.. motivated.
Okay, the above isn't an exact summary of the timeline, but it
more or less fits.
I actually didn't even mean to order Lobo from Mattycollector, due to the pricy
shipping that invetibably comes with crossing the oceans. However, just to dream,
I put one into my "basket" on the site. And kept him there until he was officially sold
out. And then, seeing that he was still in the basket, I completed the order for fun,
expecting it to be cancelled. Instead, I received my Lobo a few weeks later.
I can't claim to regret the purchase.
However, the perfect way to display a Lobo figure - apart from a
mountain of dead
heroes - is to have him sitting on his space bike. Which he obviously didn't come with.
I was very idly looking around for possible stand-ins (As you can tell by the collage
above, the design was never very specific), as my gaze fell upon the MOTU 2002
Battle Tank, which I had bought for possible customizing potential.
"Flip-out weapon wings. Hmm. If I screw it open and turn them around..
And re-position the front... and... Holy crap, this is going to work."
And by now, I think it actually did. How 'bout that ?
Like said above, the first step was to take the screws out of the
battle tank and take apart
what could be taken apart. Turning the wings around, with the launchers on top, gave them
a much more cohesive look for Lobo's decidely chaotic vehicle. Later on, I glued them into
place, dremel-cut some of the vehicle's upper hull to make more clearance for the parts that
used to be bellow and covered the cutting line with some Magic Plastic cuts. Also, I attached
the rear fins from an old and beaten Ecto-1 to extend the wings.
The mechanism that made the ram head flip out was naturally taken
apart, as well. The inter-
connected rods that were part of it were removed, as was the handle on top of the vehicle.
Fiddling around with those parts, I realized that they could actually be used to create an adjustable
handle. A little glue and metal rod inserted for stability of the gluing point forged and unholy alliance
of these two elements. A skull cast from a Movie Maniacs poster base rounded the appearance.
The final result looks kinda like this.
The choppery front was revised a couple of times, but the basic
concept remained the same -
Take the ram-head apart, glue the parts to the front of the tank. By the way, the ear-like protusions
were cut off and placed as ornamental fins on the back of the bike. I'm not sure if I fully
succeeded in making it look unlike what it used to be, but it will do. The gun on top of that
front section came from Samurai Man-At-Arms and fit quite nicely into the slot that used to
hold the top of the ram head. The big skull in front gave me some trouble - Everything I could
find was either too large or too small, so after a week of searching, I just decided to sculpt it
on my own. Sure, it's painfully obvious that it is my first full skull sculpt... But it's close enough.
The seat/saddle was one of the first parts I added to the
vehicle, as it was quite easy. It's just
a Mecha-Bite Panthor's saddle hot-glued into place and sculpted over at some of the seams.
The slots of on the side left over from the action figure gave me some trouble, but ultimately,
I think the Lego parts I shoved in there to cover up worked out fine. There also was this
empty space where the wings used to rest - I was afraid that they'd end up looking too empty,
so I decided to decoupage them up with some pinups by Scott Blair and Darren Taylor,
respectively. Frankly, I've done it without permission - But seriously, why would they give
a flyin' frag about what I put on my one-of-a-kind action figure accessory on my own shelf ?
Ironically, the gritty paintjob ended up making the space look a lot less blank than I thought
- but by then, I was so attached to the pinup idea that I went ahead with it, anyway. Besides,
if anyone's up for having a bunch of gorgeous women at his feet, it's Lobo.
The turbines on the side (Wait a second - Turbines in space
? What the heck ?!) were made
by gluing a screwnut into the tank's front wheels, drilling holes into two fortunately-perfectly-
sized peanut butter jar lids, screwing the whole thing together and gluing it into place. Given
the nature of screws, you could say that the turbines actually spin, but that would lead to
coming off when screwing counter-clockwise or breaking when screwing too hard and long
clockwise. ... Why are you laughing ?
The exhausts on top were just taken from an old Ghostbusters
vehicle and glued into place.
nothing more to say about that. Similarily, a few uneven spots on the vehicle were sculpted
over. Again, quite unremarkable. This leaves remark time for the cross symbol on the sides:
It a bit odd enough that the Battle Tank had vintage He-Man-styled iron cross symbols
on it's sides, but it was also fortunate for this project. In the comics, Lobo's more often
than not shown wearing the symbol as a necklace. Undoubtably a tie-in with Metal
and biker culture, where the symbol has rosen to popularity with it's original, ancient
germanic meaning of power. So it's definitely not out of place on his space bike.
Finally, the thrusters in the back are a wild combination of a
frozen hasbrowns jar lid
and Kinder Surprise egg shells. It took some time to actually get them all to hold up,
but drilling a sizable hole into the back of the tank to attach the top of the "connector"
eggshell did the biggest part of the trick.
After this, it was just a matter of paint. Originally, I had
the whole thing decked
out in the same drybrushed gun metal tone, but that was clearly too monotonous.
So I added assorted blue and red highlights as well as some gold to make the
handles fit in better. I'd left the grips of which unprimed and -painted to avoid
paint rub on Lobo's hands.
And that's... it.