Thursday 16 April 2015

I Spy With My Beady Eye...

Hi, All!

The Nefarious Doktor Nefarious surveys the ruins of Ah-Pul-Sh'Napps with his towering automated bodyguard.

Coming from a long and proud military heritage as I possibly do, I often find it impossible to resist the urge to rummage through boxes of brightly coloured plastic beads.

If any of you are Sandhurst men, I'm sure you understand...

Beads, Sir. Dozens of 'em.

Anyway, I was cheerfully rummaging away the other day, intermittently humming 'Rule Britannia' and having a delightful conversation with myself about the shocking price of cheese these days (as one does) when I gasped in astonishment!

"Gasp! I'm astonished!" I gasped astonishedly, "That there pink beady-thingy looks exactly like the torso of one of those late nineteenth-century steam-driven self-motorvating legionnaries what gave our lads such a hard time!"

And of course, I was right. Keep reading - I can prove it.

The 'torso' beads are trimmed into shape to create a neck line, and abdomen and hip beads are attached. Neck pins are shoved into heads...

And so, I present to you another of The Nefarious Machinations of the Nefarious Doktor Nefarious...

The Legion of Steam-Driven War-tomata!

(not to be confused with your salad.)

3.2mm square tube is cut to create leg sections, jointed with tiny round beads.

This little gang was a nice distraction from Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile (more on that very soon) and were also super cheap to create.

Trangular sections are cut from square tube to create the feet. The squad is glued to washers, with packing under some feet to support action poses.

As you can see, I used little round beads for all of the joints. By so doing, I gave myself limitless options for poses. I wanted the unit to look dynamic and active - not your typical rigid robot-soldier poses.

Rivets and rods are added to 'flesh out' the legs. The same detailing will be added to the arms. The hips are armoured with plastic tube.

Arms are added, and shoulder armour is cut from round plastic tube.

These were fast and fun to build, although making ten of them for the sake of fielding a full squad was almost a drag at times.The lengths of plastic rod lining the arms and legs were the trickiest and most time-consuming part but they really bulk up the models.

Ray guns are put together from 1mm plastic rod, diamond-shaped beads and tiny rouns ones. Model-making doesn't get simpler than this!

'Hands' in place. The models are almost finished.

I wondered about hands, and decided to go for a simple claw on one arm and ray gun on the other. After all, these are supposed to be Victorianised Retro-Robots... Whatever those might be!

A finished War-tomaton, ready for painting. The crest on his head is a slice of plastic tube, cut open and stretched into place.

Centurion (note ribbed shoulder and diamond-emblem on his head); NCO (round emblem on head); and Legionary. The chimneys (and boilers) were made from plastic tube and a tubular bead.

I think these do rather well as 1960s-style robots with a VSF twist anyway.

The Centurion.

NCO (left) and Legionary (right)

The finished unit was given a simple paint job of copper with gold details, green eyes and red ray guns. Easy!

The completed unit, ready to smash all who stand in their way!

So there you go: Fast, Cheap, Simple and Dangerous!

The Nefarious Doktor Nefarious leads his warriors to assured victory.

Next post: More on Lord Smudgington Smythely-Smythe's Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile (... I'm really getting bored of typing that...) and TWO more super-duper-secret side projects coming soon!

All the Best!


  1. Fantastic stuff. Your ingenuity knows no bounds!

    1. Thank you Dave - I hope you are right! Bounds annoy me.

  2. Excellent work sir! Fantastic.

    Perhaps Lord SSS should christen the Hydraulically-Motorvated Sextupedal Land-Traversing Vacational Domicile something a little less of a keyboard full. Stillromin' perhaps?

    1. I had the same thought, Mr King!

      I was thinking perhaps, 'Unsinkable'.

  3. Tat into Gold. That's alchemy.

    1. If only that were true! My house is full of tat!

      ...and I'm broke!

  4. Wow! Just simply brilliant!

  5. Holy cow!!! I've got everything but the beads at home to do this. I NEED TO DO THIS!

    Stellar work :)

    1. Hi Tim!

      Please - make some! I look forward to seeing the results.

      Beads are cheap, so long as you don't mind the odd looks you get when you're buying them!

  6. It would be fun to climb into your cranial-creative-chamber and take a tour of your genius. I do it, if it is for free!

    1. Jay, my friend, I can assure you that my cranial chamber is rather cobwebby and drafty, and strange moaning sounds echo from its depths.

      Be careful what you wish for!

  7. Brilliant, Doctor! So good I'll have to steal the idea -d.

    1. Thank Darrell. Feel free! Have a go!

      And let me know what you come up with!

  8. By the Lord Harry! That's genius, is what that is! Hmm... I have a biscuit tin full of those bead thingies (inherited from my wife's mother, you understand, nothing to do with my choices at all, harrumph!) so I can try this at home.

    (... I'm really getting bored of typing that...) Take a tip from an author, old chap - 'cut and paste' is your friend! Highlight the words on your blog using the mouse, CTRL-C, then CTRL-V where you want the text to go. Works just like a Word document.

    1. A J, old bean!

      My bead collection was kindly donated by my daughter, so I completely understand!

      Yes - the old cut and paste thingy is useful... So I keep forgetting to use it...

  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Scott! More machinations on the way - about time you dusted off those Prussians!

  10. Replies
    1. Indeed they were!

      Good to hear from you, old friend!

  11. Gadzooks!, just when I thought the nefarious Doktor had scaled the very heights of nefariousness he jolly well comes up with this piece of nefarious mischief.
    Nice to see you managed to fit some bally rivets in there somewhere as well...delightful.

    1. Hello again, Mr Ogilvie! And thank you.

      It wouldn't be a Colonel O'Truth invention without rivets, would it?

      And there are more Nefarious Machinations on their way...

  12. Great work, excellent scratch building!
    You've given me inspiration to create my own 28mm scale VSF automatons!

    1. Thanks, Darling!

      I'm very glad to hear it! Please let me know how they turn out.