Monday, December 6, 2010

Wheel of Time Action Figures Part 3: Shadowspawn!

Hey kids, I'm back with the third installment of my feature on my custom made Wheel of Time action figures, based of course on the characters in the fantasy novels written by Robert Jordan. Having exhausted the details of my inspiration for making my own Wheel of Time toys in the last two parts of this article (you can see those here and here ) I'll spare you any more details of my not-so-romantic teenage years and dive right into this one. Today's features are two Trollocs and Myrddraal... Where its at? I got two Trollocs and Myrddraal. Where its at? I got two Trollocs and Myrddraal. Where its at? I got... Ahh forget it, on to article.

The inspiration for both Trolloc figures came about pretty much simultaneously. At the time I created these toys I was heavily involved in action figure collecting and I had it in my head that I wanted to reacquire each and every toy I had ever owned, played with or seen as a child before I eventually came to my senses and settled for just Star Wars and G.I. Joe. As you can imagine, eBay was (and still is) a treasure trove for someone bent on such a demented pursuit. I had acquired a small lot of He-Man figures that included several characters from the various knock-off series that popped up in the 80's to cash in on the popularity of the Masters of the Universe line. When I saw Thoth-Amon from the Conan toyline and Anubi from the Galaxy Fighters line, both made by Remco (by far the purveyor of the most no frills He-Man figures in the 80's) my first thought at both was, "I found my trollocs." Actually now that I think about it, my first thought was probably "I can't believe I spent this much on old He-Man figures", but "I found my Trollocs" was definitely up there.

Or maybe they found me... ooh scary! Or not. Ok moving on...

Ok, so Anubi - that's the wolfy guy, is fairly obviously an easy transition to a Trolloc. He's already got the wolf snout and ears, all it would take is a paint job right? Well no, wrong Mr. Smartypants, because that nasty scale problem popped up with this guy... as cute as the idea of pygmy trollocs might be, if I was going to make trolloc toys, I had to have them standing taller than Rand's chest. So the obvious solution was Anubi's head on another body. Turns out, I had a perfect one laying around... muscular, clad in spiky armor-ish straps, and a toy I had more than one of and didn't mind sacrificing to the customization gods, none other than Panthro from the Thundercats.

"What the fuck is a sommelflange?" (many geek points to whoever gets that)

So I popped the head off of Panthro and swapped in Anubi's head. It fit pretty well and I managed to avoid having to use glue, so the Wolf Trolloc is articulated at the neck. Then I painted the whole thing brown, added color details on the boots and armor, spiky shoulder pads and anklets from (I think) some randoom Spawn figures, gave him a pretty wicked looking curved sword, the origin of which I just can't seem to recall but was kicking around my toy collection forever, and the result you can see below:

I finished the figure off by replacing the Thundercats symbol on Panthro's belt with a crude looking trident, making wolfy here a member of the Ko'bal clan.

Moving on to the Trolloc with the horns, I knew he was going to need some kind of snout or beak or something, so I sculpted one out of sculpey, the results of which I'm quite pleased with.

I tinkered with a few different paint schemes on both Trolloc faces, because the way Jordan sometimes describes them as men but twisted, it felt like the Trollocs should have more flesh tone in their faces at least, but every time I painted the figures that way it didn't look right. So these Trollocs are maybe more twisted than most, I dunno. Anyway, the shoulder pads on this guy are knee pads from Medieval Spawn and the chest piece is the armor from another Spawn I can't remember. Because the shoulder pads are glued on, the shoulder articulation on the toy had to be sacrificed, so this Trolloc is closer to a statue than a true action figure. His spear is yet another unidentified accessory I had laying around.


The inspiration for the Myrrdraal came about by accident. The Sleepy Hollow movie came out in 1999 and McFarlane toys released a line of figures to go along with it. Johnny Depp played Ichabod Crane, and the figure was dressed in a black coat with lace at the throat and sleeve cuffs, very much like Ishamael is described in Eye of the World, so in much the same way the Ian Nottingham figure just screamed "Rand" to me, I knew the Ichabod Crane figure would make a pretty decent Ishy, with a little work. But that's a story for another blog (Part 5, to be exact). When I picked up the Ichabod Crane figure I also grabbed the headless horseman toy (played by Christopher Walken in the movie) and decided I had found a Myrddraal as well.

"He died of dysentery, he gimmedawatch, I hid this uncomfortable hunk of metal up my ass for 2 years..."  Oops, wrong movie.

Now as you can see, this figure required almost no modification to make a good myrddraal, and I think that kinda hurt the figure. What I mean is, I could have just cut off the spurs, slapped a shiny black coat of paint on him, sculpey'd up the eyes and I'd a been good to go. For some reason I went a step further and sculpted him new hair too though, and I'm not altogether thrilled with the results. I kinda wish I'd have left the hair alone. Oh well, you be the judge.

 Also, those obeservant people out there might notice the arm sculpting is a little different on the Myrddraal figure than it is on the pic of the source figure. That's because I used the deluxe version that came with a really cool, creepy looking black horse, but couldn't find a good pic of it online. I don't know what I did with the horse, but the myrddraal looked pretty cool on it. If I can find it, I'll post more pics.

 A Myrddraal commands his trollocs into battle

 So there you have my Shadowspawn figures. Before I bounce though, here's a quick preview of next week(ish)'s installment, Nynaeve and Elayne...


  1. As always, a great job.

    Thoth-Amon's transformation with the sculpey is amazing.

    I can't wait until the next article!

  2. great stuff as always! can't wait for Lanfear and Ishamael.. :)