Reaper Bones Snake Demon, GW Astrogranite and 1987 Robocop

I have to admit I’d never seen the original 1987 Robocop movie until a few weeks ago. I didn’t have high expectations for it so of course I wasn’t disappointed when I finally got around to seeing it on Syfy.

Three things however struck me instantly while watching the ‘ED-209 Malfunction’ scene.

Firstly was the animation of the ED-209. I was genuinely shocked by how poor it was. They really scrimped on this effect. This was a low budget movie but even so they should have cut out the ‘let’s test the big guns by exploding cars and shops’ pyrotechnic scene for example and used the money towards making the ED-209’s movement less comical.

Secondly I couldn’t help but think that Kinney would probably have preferred a PowerPoint presentation.

And finally it reminded me of the creator of the stop motion animation technique called ‘Dynamation’ – Ray Harryhausen, most of who’s work was world’s ahead of the similar techniques used in Robocop.

Last year I’d bought a Reaper Bones ‘Vandorendra Snake Demon’. This figure is the embodiment of ‘Harryhausenness’. It’s a cross between Kali, the six armed statue in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and the Medusa from the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans.
Anyway, it had lain forgotten and unpainted in my collection until Robocop of all things reminded me of it.

Here it is finally painted up.


All the usual Reaper Bones problems reared their heads with this miniature but the more of these I’ve painted the fonder I’ve become of them. I’ve painted all I own now but wouldn’t think twice about purchasing more should any of the Bones figures meet my needs.


Last year I also bought some of the GW textured basing paints. I can only describe the textures of these paints straight out of the tub as akin to ‘gritty thick mayonnaise’. I find them difficult to use in this state as ‘blobbing them on’ is very hit and miss and it makes getting any texture close to the miniature’s feet etc awkward without covering them in the textured paint. They’ve sat in my box pretty much unused since I bought them.

I decided on a stone type base for this Demon so I pulled the Astrogranite back out to give it another go. For those who’ve never seen them here’s how the textured paints look in the pot.


I tried loosening the texture down with water so I could paint it on rather than dabbing it, but of course that dropped the grit out of the paint suspension. When that dried I went back to trowelling it on straight out of the tub.
It appears I’m using this stuff correctly but I just don’t get why anyone would want to. Ho hum, I’ll just use PVA and sand as I’ve always done instead for a similar, much more controllable effect.

“Too bad about Astrogranite, huh?”

“That’s life in the big city.”


6 thoughts on “Reaper Bones Snake Demon, GW Astrogranite and 1987 Robocop

  1. Azazel

    Firstly. Heresy!
    I think it probably helped a great deal if you happened to see Robocop when it came out back in the 1980’s. Objectively it’s not the greatest movie, and it hasn’t aged well, but damned if I still don’t love it still anyway.
    Nice work on the Snake Demon, it looks great – but World of Warcraft has left me with a permanent hatred for Naga in all of their forms. I just really, really hate them.
    Finally, I’m glad you took the bullet for us on Astrogranite. I probably wasn’t likely to buy it anyway, though I’d considered the cracked earth at one point. If you’re interested in a paint+sand texture product at any stage, Coat’D’Arms has a bunch of them. They’re …decent. I find them useful for terrain more than models, though.


    1. Somet Post author

      To be fair it was only the ED-209 movement that made me spit coffee. The rest of the effects, plot, acting and overall feel of the movie were okay, very of it’s time as you say but that’s part of most 80s movie’s charm. I wouldn’t watch it again as a film but as gaming reference material I’d fast forward through it for inspiration, I think there’s plenty there to harvest.

      I can’t really think that I’ll use this miniature in any games I’ll play, I bought it with a few other Bones figures purely because it looked so ‘Harryhausen’. 

      I wouldn’t bother with textured paint from any manufacturer. When the same effect can be got from painting over sand covered PVA in a much more controllable way I don’t understand why people would use them.

      Both Agrellan Earth or the newer red version Martian Ironearth work really well to create cracks – the thicker you blob it on the better the effect. You also need to leave them longer than normal paint to dry so the effect can take it’s full shape. I’ve found overnight is best.

      They obviously come in small pots so if you wanted to use them on bigger areas (rather than just the occasional 20mm slotta) it might be worth experimenting with something like Vallejo’s Crackle medium added to other paint to see if the same effect can be achieved for less coin. If you wanted to use the GW paint to add dried mud effects to a long length of road/track terrain for instance the pot wouldn’t last you very long.


      1. Azazel

        I’m sure you could use her for something if you ever play SoB&H or other small skirmishy fantasy games. Hell, she could be a champion of Chaos, a “beastman” or even something to do with Dark Elves. I bought my CDA textured paints by accident. I thought I was buying their washes. but it seems I didn’t read the description fully. Or maybe the description was badly written. We’ll go with that, I think.
        I’ve got some crackle medium, but I’ve never really been too taken with it. I could see myself buying the GW ones, playing with them a little, then putting them away for just long enough for them to dry out in the pots…


      2. Somet Post author

        You’re right of course, she’s usable for all those. I’ve been trying to get hold of a copy of Frostgrave this last few days so maybe she’ll be useful as a demon for that when I finally get it.

        As far as the GW ‘Technical’ range goes they produce a fair few paints that are truly pointless/unremarkable.
        However the results that Agrellan Earth give are both marked and interesting so I’d say it’s worth a punt to have it in your paint collection even if it rarely sees much use before the dreaded pot death.


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