On The Bench 219b: Tom Hering’s Magnus Robot Fighter


This is MAGNUS, ROBOT FIGHTER, 4000 A.D. The build is complete, and took about three weeks. The Magnus figure is a conversion of the Revell re-issue Superman. Two-part epoxy putty was used to give the figure the right hairstyle. His collar is styrene card and epoxy putty. The arm holes in his tunic were created by outlining them with polyester carpet thread. The thread was saturated with super glue after it was tacked in place, and then back-filled with green putty. His belt and buckle are styrene card. The lower edge of his tunic was outlined with aluminum wire, and then back-filled with epoxy putty. The Superman boots were sanded away, and Magnus-style boots were created the same way as the bottom half of the tunic. Soles and heels were made of styrene card.

The robot is scratchbuilt from junk parts and costume jewelry items. The head was cut from the end of an old bicycle pump handle. The eye housings are shirt buttons, and the eyes are transparent, costume jewelry “rubies” with reflective backings. The big ball joint under the head is a roll-on deodorant ball. The neck and collar piece is from my spares box – not sure what kit it came from. The shoulder yoke is a piece of vinyl drywall corner bead. The shoulders and waist are matching bottle caps. The shoulder, wrist, hip, and ankle ball joints are two sizes of costume jewelry “pearls.” The torso is the bottom half of an old electric razor, detailed with styrene card, and the backpack unit is the battery cover from an old VCR remote, boxed in with styrene card. The pelvis tube is an aluminum spacer from the stock of an old paintball gun.

The arms and legs are brass rod and plastic “pony beads,” with the gap between each bead – created by the curvature of the arms and legs – filled with spackling compound, and smoothed with wet cotton swabs. The fingers are thick styrene card, with the five joints of each finger created using a triangular jeweler’s file. The feet are built from styrene card and filled with epoxy putty. Before the putty set, a solid socket was created for each ankle joint by pressing and twirling a costume jewelry “pearl” into the soft putty.

The base is built from styrene card. Two large metal pins secure the figures to the base – one in the left foot of Magnus, and one in the right foot of the robot. A small metal pin joins the right fist of Magnus to the robot’s head.

Everything will be primed before painting. I plan to match my paint colors to the ink colors in my original, 1960s Magnus comic books. The painting style I plan to use will echo ’60s comics art – solid color fields, without gradations. No blending, shading, drybrushing, or weathering techniques will be used.

Tom Hering

See the finished model here