Germy's Cyber Project Part 1
For this part of my Cybermen project I will show the methods I used
to create a small army of 49 Cybermen (was going to be 50 but I broke
one during construction!). The reason I wanted to make that number of
Cybermen was due to my previous Dalek project where I created two rival
factions of 60 Daleks for each side. If the Cybermen were to be a credible
opponent I'd need at least that many . Unlike most people I'd always
preferred the Cybermen to the Daleks, especially the Cybermen designs
of the 1980's. Unfortunately the only commercially available miniatures
in that style are from Black Tree Designs and then they only have two
different designs and a Cyber Controller. They were also out of my budget
especially when considering the numbers required. Cybermen were available
as with the Daleks off the front of a magazine, but the Cyber offering
was extremely poor.
The first step was to find a miniature I could convert into a Cyberman.
I will also state at this point that I wanted to stay well within the
bounds of copyright. So each miniature had to be a conversion in its
own right. I made no castings or duplication of any commercially available
miniatures. The only duplication made were of the parts I sculpted myself,
the miniatures were also only ever for personal use (sorry if you want
some you will have to make your own). I'm also not assuming any ownership
of established copyrights, this was purely a fan project. Anyway on
we go ...
The miniature I settled on for the main part of the Cyberman was
the old (but still available) Viridian Marine plastic figure for the
wargame Void. I'd previously bought some of these miniatures as Marines
for other games. They are probably 10 or so years old but they have
enough detail on the figures and are multi-part allowing for variation
in how they can be posed. They were sold in batches of five sprues
with 2 Marines per sprue. Which for the price I paid worked out at
around 45p a miniature. The picture shows my first mockup with the
sculpted Cyberman head and initial idea for the front mechanical unit.
At this point I was happy to leave the shoulder pads on.
I'm not sure how I got from that early design to the idea of making
the entire collar from one piece of 'green stuff'. Depending on
the exact ratio when mixing the 'green stuff' it remains quite flexible
once cured (or almost cured) that you can bend it as you see in
the picture. This provided a much better looking collar design,
much closer to the style I was looking for. I then took the test
collar and added more detail for the final version.
Next was to look at how I was going to convert so many and maintain
an acceptable level of uniformity. I was going to have to find
a method of reproducing my conversion parts. I'd previously used
a silicone mould material called Siligum and created castings
by simply filling the mould with 'green stuff'. For one sided
designs you can effectively use the mould as a press mould. Here
we see a first attempt at creating a mould for the finished collar.
Although the results for the collar came out well, my attempt
at using this method to reproduce the head as a two part mould
didn't work that well. Siligum is also expensive and so I was
in danger of spending more on the conversions than the base miniature.
Enter Oyumaru! Ok a bit of explaination, for some time now
I had seen advertisements for something called Instant Mold
(American spelling). Essentially a plastic compound that when
placed in very hot water became less solid and you were able
to press objects into it to form moulds. As it cools it becomes
solid (well harder).. So I thought I might try it instead of
Siligum. As is often the case for most hobby products they are
often repackaged versions of a product that already exists.
Enter Oyumaru which is the same stuff and comes in a variety
of colours. I went for clear as I thought that would help me
see if I had made a good mould or not. The advantage of using
Oyumaru over Siligum is that if it goes wrong you can just melt
it and try again. The disadvantage is that it doesn't copy the
detail of the original as sharply and heat will melt the mould.
So they are not that great for moulds you might want to keep
for some time. From the picture you can see my first attempt
at using Oyumaru to make several moulds for the collars. I was
able to start up a production line to speed up the project.
As previously mentioned Green Stuff in a thin layer as the
collar pieces has a rubbery quality and can be bent into shape.
I achieved this by taking them out of the mould before they
were fully cured (but cured enough not to pick up my finger
prints) bent them and rested them against a slightly open
drawer. In the picture you can see this in action. The drawer
isn't squashing the collar but acting as a brace to stop it
Here we have the first two production collars placed on
the miniatures. The
heads are my original sculpted ones for the Cyber Trooper
and the Cyber Controller. You will notice that the collar
on the Cyber Controller has a small split in it. Some of
the collars did split in places as I bent them. I put this
down to the ratio of how I mixed the Green Stuff. It was
easy enough to fill these cracks with more Green Stuff later
on in the process.
After the collars I turned my attention to the Cyber
Gun. The original I made from wire, plastic rod and Green
Stuff. The picture on the right shows a cast one from
my first two part mould using Oyumaru.
It took quite a few goes to get the two part mould
to work properly.
I watched a number of youTube videos and tried using
lego bricks to create a surround for the moulds, and
to also help line up the two halves. In the end I found
the Oyumaru plastic was cooling down too quickly and
thus losing the ability to squash round the piece I
was attempting to cast. So I simply flattened the hot
plastic on a flat surface and pressed the gun into it
so that it was submerged half way in (or near abouts).
I would then simply squash another piece of hot Oyumaru
over the top and then when cool cut the mould square
with a knife. For some I left one side uncut which
could act as a guide to lining up the mould. Once
you have both parts of the mould it was a case of
trial and error judging how much putty to put into
the mould before pressing the two halves together.
As you can see from the pictures there are different
amounts of flash showing as a result of this guess
work. At this point I had a fairly good production
Once I had made enough collars for my Cyber horde
I turned to attaching the arms. Although the plastic
miniatures are good (and cheap!) they are a pain
to assemble. The torso comes in two parts that needs
to be stuck together before being stuck on the legs.
Then you have both arms and the shoulder contact
point isn't great. But 100 arms later and I was
ready to move onto the head.
I didn't manage to cast the head I sculpted in
one piece. The handlebar head piece just didn't
work, so I was forced to come up with an alternative.
I used was to bend a paperclip into the correct
shape and then sculpt the three points where it
connects to the head. This did extend the length
of time for this project but I could see no other
way around it as I wanted there to be a gap between
the head and handlebars.
Here we have the assembled Cybermen. They really
started to look the business once I had under-coated
them in grey primer. It took longer than I wanted
but in the end this method of using Oyumaru
to mass produce original sculpted parts worked
well enough for me to want to use it again.
The beauty of Oyumaru is you can do exactly
that. If you click on part two of my Cyber project
you will see how I went about painting them.