My work for the 2017 Forgotten Heroes challenge is now completed. My entries are based on a little known sci-fi comic strip that appeared in Computer and Video Games magazine between October 1985 and February 1987 called The Bug Hunters. I loved this story back then and I still love it today. It has long stuck in my memory. My initial plan for this challenge was to sculpt the two human characters from the story – Melissa Ravenflame and Jackson T. Kalliber. But I soon realised I could convert various robot figures into B-Con, OTISS and X. The big stumbling block was the robot, Big Red. He is huge and I didn’t fancy sculpting him from scratch. But, a big part of me wanted to make all six of The Bug Hunters heroes, so I searched on Amazon for a suitable robot toy to convert into Big Red. I struck lucky when I discovered a 5″ tall action figure of Baymax from the animated film Big Hero 6. Now the challenge was on to get the conversions done before the end of this month. At that time, Melissa and Jackson had been sculpted. B-Con was a very simple conversion. OTISS, X and Big Red were much harder conversions but I finished them all last week and got them painted in just three days. Now at last I can present to you, The Bug Hunters.
From left to right are Melissa Ravenflame (an executive working for the Institute for the Development and Expansion of Advanced Systems (IDEAS) Corporation, Jackson T. Kalliber (head of IDEAS Security), B-Con (a former prison security droid), OTISS (Overt Technical Information Suburban System droid), X (a former bouncer and black marketeer) and Big Red (Relocation of Explosives for Demolition droid and not the sharpest tool in the box). Their mission was to find and fix bugs and glitches in artificial intelligence systems, computer systems and other robots. It is fair to say, they met with varying degrees of success. Big Red accidentally managed to totally destroy more than one children’s home and orphanage!
I am immensely proud of my two sculpts and four conversions. Just compare these two photos above with the picture at the top of the page, taken from issue #1 of the comic series to see just how close they resemble the artwork. So, what are my plans for them? I will use them in some one-off adventures using the N.E.W. sci-fi RPG by What’s Old Is New. I’ve already worked out that stats for Melissa and Jackson and I’m currently working on the stats for the four droids.
Here’s a reminder of what OTISS, X and Big Red started out as – RoJaws, Hammerstein and Baymax. That’s quite a change, huh? Note how much taller Big Red is to Baymax. His lower legs were lengthened considerably. The word RED on his chest was made out of cartridge paper, cut out and glued in place. Incidentally, Big Red is a lot less posable than he was as Baymax. His arms can still move up and down, but that’s it.
I’d just like to end by saying how much I enjoyed this challenge. This was a project that grew bigger for me as the days passed by. At the start of June 2017, I never imagined I’d have the full set of The Bug Hunters in 28mm scale. But I have and I feel I have surpassed myself with this challenge and right now I’m feeling incredibly proud.Finally, just for Roger, is this photo of my six entries taken against a plain white background. I’m sure you’ll appreciate it, mate!