A DIY Fruit Bowl Made From Melted Plastic Army Men

Published 9 years ago

Did you ever play with toy soldiers when you were little? Well, now you can put them to a less violent use, with Mike Pinder’s DIY Plastic Army Men Fruit Bowl. Going under the name N36 on Instructables, this guy took some cheap army men, put them in a metal dish, and melted them together to produce a cool fruit bowl. The process isn’t that hard or long, and the result looks extremely cool. We’ve added a shortened version of his instructions to this post!

While the project might look like a smart way to sneak some of your favored troopers into the house, Mr. Pinder had a very different idea. Tired of working within the digital realm, he wanted to make something with his hands; the army men bowl is the subversive result of this work. “I try to create artwork that subverts popular cultural meaning and challenges the viewer to re-assess their own understanding of the signs and symbols from high and low art forms that make up our every day visual experiences.” he wrote on his post on Bored Panda “In this instance I took a contrasting, highly-loaded political symbol (soldiers for children made from oil) in low art form as cheap toys and subverted their meaning into a high-art decorative form, as an every day functional object – a delicate organic fruit bowl.”

Yes, the cheap plastic army men are a matter of some controversy. First produced in 1938, they gained popularity after World War II but lost ground when Vietnam War rolled around. Considering that they’re banned in some schools, Mike’s idea seems all that more clever.

Plus, as an adult, you probably don’t have that many opportunities to keep army men on your dinner table.

More info: instructables (h/t: boredpanda)

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What you need: two bags of plastic army men, a metal mixing bowl and a heat gun!

Hot melting plastic is toxic, so make sure to do it outside in a well ventilated area!

Lay down the first guys, and then heat them up (make sure the flame is far away from the bowl, so they wouldn’t melt completely). 10-15 guys should do. 
Then do the next level of soldiers. Make sure that as much plastic as possible is touching the bowl, and that the soldiers melt well together.
Keep adding men. Tilt the bowl when heating to prevent them from tumbling down. 

Look for weak points, like legs, arms and guns. Add more men if needed. 

Cooling army men contract and should get easily unstuck from the bowl. 

Optional: do a 2:1 PVA glue and water mix, and coat the soldiers for a nice, glossy finish.

Enjoy with some fruit!

Mike warns that PVA might be toxic if ingested, so you’re advised to use either fruits with skin (like, say, oranges) or put a glass bowl inside the army men bowl.

Martynas Klimas

Writes like a mad dervish, rolls to dodge responsibility, might have bitten the Moon once.

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