Back when I was a kid, you could broadly divide robots into two types – the Transformers toys you wanted, and the offbrand Transformers-type toys that were available to buy here in the United Kingdom. I loved both.
While we were awash in the stories of the Transformers UK comic, Transformers Ladybird books, Transformers VHS cassette – the toys themselves were difficult to buy. The UK toy aisles were, however, awash with other companies’ robo-offerings – Grandstand’s Convertors, Bandai’s Robo Machine, Tek Toys’ Robo-Kats, MC Toys’ Moto-Bots, Tomy’s Super Alternators and many more. They seldom had any accompanying in-universe fiction, and sometimes not even a name! My imagination went into overdrive trying to shoehorn these pretenders into the official Hasbro Transformers universe, creating my own contrived space operas that justifed a steam train fighting an aircraft carrier.
Now my play patterns have evolved beyond simply ragging toy vehicles around the floor shouting their names and making explosion sounds and into sophisticated adult wargaming, I thought I’d resurrect some of the netherspace of non-canonical robot warriors and sculpt a gawky 1980s robot chonk. Presenting Autoborg, Robot Warrior of the Far Future.
Okay, I may have missed the point by not engineering him to transform – or sculpting an accompanying vehicle mode. But I feel his Popeye style forearms and spindly strut thighs really evoke the spirit of a transforming robot toy. I was tempted to paint him in big slabs of bright primary colours to get across the toyetic vibe, but instead chose a striking camouflage scheme which is instantly undermined by big slabs of purple that really contrast against the sandy yellow colour of the base. Generation 2 Megatron eat your heart out.
If you’d like to fight science fiction wargames with your own Autoborg, he’s up on my Cults3D.