Making the 28mm Giant Ant

I was approached by Scale Creep Miniatures to create a giant ant for them. Normally used to working in very small scales I was a bit apprehensive at first, but decided that I had made lots of small bugs and coupled with the fact that they wanted a reasonably anatomically correct model I said yes.

Here's Scale Creeps take on the idea: "I played a demo of Starship Troopers and though it was a really fun game. Since then I've been (very) slowly building up forces. But it occurred to me that it would be the perfect rule set to game the old movie Them. Finding American soldiers was easy enough - I've got plenty of choices in 20 and 28mm. But finding giant ants proved to be a problem. I wanted ants that were roughly the size of the SST warrior bugs. But most options were either too small and ended up the size of big dogs, or were model kitx that were (a) too many parts (b) too expensive and (c) going to be really fragile. So I got in touch with Germy and here are the results. While I will be offering these for sale they do not constitute a new "range" but are instead simply a solo project. But if you're looking for giant ants, drop by and you'll find them under SciFi/Starship Troopers."

So first up I wanted to get the scale right. I own a wonderful product called "Friendly Plastic" which is a plastice you can melt in hot water mould into shape and it sets rock hard. You can re-melt it as many times as you like. So I made a basic ant shape and added some wire legs and took a picture next to a GZG 25mm miniature.

With Scale Creep happy witht he size I started on the ant. I have been trying to get to grips with Pro Create putty instead of green stuff and so continued this with the ant. I started making the ant by putting putty onto a metal rod and shaping it. I let that part cure and then did the next part of the body. This way I could keep the parts in scale and looking like the came from the same animal.

One of the things Scale Creep asked for was a model that could be put into different poses. So Once I had the three body segments I cut them apart and added a ball and socket joint so that the finished model could be made into different poses. Head to one side, rearing up etc.

Next up I started on some of the detail. I added round eyes and the mandibles. I also added under the main body a set of sockets for the legs and added wire so I could get a feel for the size of the ant and how big the legs should be. At this point I also took another picture with some figures (GZG and Brigade Models) since the ant had become a bit bigger than the first draft.

Showing these pictires to Scale Creep they remarked that the jaws didn't seem, well powerful enough. So I re did the mandibles making them more flat and shapening the inside edges.

Now on to the legs and antenna. I used a wire armature for both and made them segmented as a real ant has. I only made one antenna and one leg with the idea that these could be cast in multiples rather than try and make six identical legs!

And here we have the completed ant (well as complete as I made it) I'm still waiting on the production version to see the giant ant in al it's two antenne, six legged glory! Production rights bought by Scale Creep Miniatures