Okay, here comes yet another figure in my Silver and Bronze Age Superboy collection, the Insect Queen! As we all know, the Insect Queen is in reality Superboy's girlfriend/nuisance Lana Lang. She possesses an alien Bio-Ring given to her by a benevolent alien she rescued from being trapped under a fallen tree branch outside of Smallville. The ring enables Lana to take on the abilities, characteristics, and lower body of virtually any insect and/or arthropod form she can fully visualize once every 24 hours.
The figure was a major pain to make, but in the end very rewarding. After first removing the belt and head from the DC Universe Classics Donna Troy with my Dremel, I set about using Milliput to fill in the holes in her abdomen from where the belt had been and lengthen Donna's Amazonian bracelets into the Insect Queen's bracers. Once the Milliput had dried, I sanded it smooth, and cracked open the upper torso and added a small portion of Milliput around the neck to create the collar of her shirt. Once this batch of Milliput had dried, I repeated the sanding process and began the long and arduous task of painting the figure. It took about three coats of yellow to get the shirt just right. Once the body was fully painted, I used my Dremel to sand the shoulder joints and sockets to prevent paint rub, and then test fitted the body back together. Once I was satisfied with how that fit and that there was no loss of movement or paint rub, I repainted her legs, neck, and left hand my specially mixed flesh tone that would match the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Welcome to the Hellmouth Darla head (I didn't repaint the right hand at this point as there was still some more work to be done on it). Next, I painted the bracers and trunks in black. As soon as that was complete, I did the boots in white.
The next step was, of course, the right hand. As the Insect Queen, Lana wore her green, jeweled Bio-Ring. Now, in order to do this, I drilled a small pilot hole into her middle finger, and after clipping back a sewing pin that had a ball top on it, I pushed the shortened pin into the hole until I was happy with the depth. After pulling it out, I squirted a little Testors modeling cement into the hole, and after pressing and holding it in place for a good three minutes, I pulled my fingers away to allow it to dry in place. I also took notice that the sewing pin had recessed itself a bit further into the hand than I had originally planned, which, after closely inspecting it, realized made it look more like the ring that it was supposed to be. Once the glue had completely set, I applied two coats of my home brew flesh tone to the hand and two coats of a light green to the ring, completing the right hand.
Next, I used a bit of my modeling cement to reassemble the upper torso. As soon as the glue was dry, I did some paint touch-ups around the seam, and then I started on the head.
I used the Darla head for one reason...the hair style that Darla had in that episode was very 1960's in it's design and style...it just needed to be fully repainted orange to simulate Lana's red hair. Once the two coats of orange went on and fully dried, I grabbed a small glob of Milliput and began forming Lana's mask. Once the Milliput had fully dried, I sanded it, carved and cut it so it took on the appearance of the Insect Queen's pointed mask. The final step on the mask was painting it. It took two coats of yellow to get it just right, but I'm happy with how it turned out in the end.
Next, I had to sand the neck's ball joint down into a smooth peg, and after jamming a bit more Milliput into the head's empty peg hole, I then pushed the smooth neck peg into the Milliput to create a new peg hole. Once the Milliput had dried, I test fitted it and then pulled it apart for later.
The wings came next. Since I couldn't create a cape that looked like Lana's insect wing cape, I did the next best thing...I used the Wasp. I had a broken Marvel Legends Wasp figure, and took the smaller set of her folding wings. Now, the wings themselves were attached to the Wasp's body in such a way that the lower, smaller set (the ones I used) each had a hole at the point where they had attached to the body. This was perfect for what I needed. Lining the wings up side by side to each other (in this shape they resembled an upside down letter "V"), I marked off on her back exactly where the wings would go. Setting the wings aside, I made up a glob of Milliput and applied it to her back to create a support base for the wings. Since the Milliput was still malleable, I laid the wings on top of it and lightly pushed them into the stuff, thus creating a set of channels and grooves for later when the wings would be glued on. Removing the wings from the newly made grooves, I cleaned them off and began painting them with flat white paint (I only painted the side that faced her back as I wanted to get them attached to her back fully before painting the other side). Once the two coats of paint dried, I applied a little glue to the Milliput base and pressed the wings into place, holding it there with a small clamp for 12 hours until the glue had fully set. Once the glue had dried, I applied the two coats of paint on the outside of the wings.
Now there were only two steps left to complete her...her chest symbol and attaching her head. The chest symbol was hand traced from a Spider-Man symbol I found online, and then photocopied and shrunk down until it was small enough to fit on her chest. Using my Exacto knife, I carefully cut out the spider-shape, and using a black Sharpie marker, colored it in. Once the ink from the marker had dried, I applied a little glue from my Elmer's color change glue stick to her chest and pressed the symbol into it until it had formed a good bond to her chest.
Finally, I attached her head using my Testors model cement, and yes, like my Kryptonite Kid figure, I did lose all head articulation, but again, it was a small price to pay to get this one finished. After a bit of excess glue clean-up and a few very minor paint touch-ups, TA-DA, Superboy's girlfriend/nuisance from the Silver and Bronze Ages, the Insect Queen!!!!
Please check her out and let me know what you think. As always, comments are welcomed.