Moebius Mummy Kit: Excellent Plastic Model Kit with Lots of Detail

 Moebius Models, Monique's Models, Monsters, Plastic Models, The Mummy  Comments Off on Moebius Mummy Kit: Excellent Plastic Model Kit with Lots of Detail
Jun 142012

Recently Monique and I started new models.  Mine was the little 120mm Doc Savage.  Hers was the very large (by our standards) Moebius Mummy kit.  As always, Moebius exceeds expectations.  The box was surprisingly large.  When we opened it, the kit was larger than we had expected, intricate, and had a lot of detailed paint work required.  The complex paint requirement was expected.  Monique actually selected this model kit because of the complexity.  Her last kit was (also Moebius) the Invisible Man.  It placed a lot of emphasis on detailed painting, but most of the work involved careful assembly of many small pieces.  Invisible Man was a great kit, but she wanted something oriented more toward the painting than the building.  She’s also got the bug to make some resin models after seeing me enjoy mine, but her next projects for a while to come are all plastic.
Anyway, this was a pretty big kit.  First time she’s ever had to use rubber bands and clothespins during assembly.  Initially, I think Monique was getting frustrated that she couldn’t put it all together in larger increments.  Once she realized each part needed time and attention, she drilled down to a very detailed approach.  This was good, because the result was a very clean build.  Everything fit well, seams and gaps were minimal.  Build-wise, another well-crafted kit from Moebius.
The painting was every bit as complicated as expected… with the added factor that Monique couldn’t originally decide what color scheme she wanted.  She had a good variety of metallic and pearlescent colors, which neither of us had really worked with.  With all the details carved into it, she had a lot of opportunity for dry brushing and using washes.  Monique uses washes more (and  to better effect) than I do.  My preference is dry brushing.  Because of her, I’ve actually expanded my bag of tricks and techniques.
For instance, on two previous models she came up with a method of painting rocks that looked amazing.  Something I would never have thought of.  On this kit, she really went the extra mile.  The cobra snake was well-built, but lacked some detailing.  On the hood, front and back, it was smooth.  Nothing to account for the typical markings of a cobra.  No problem, just paint them on, right?  Monique thought that lacked depth.  So she took a candle, and several differently shaped needles, and burnt the patterns in!  After some experimentation, she found a good pattern and depth.  She’s still a bit afraid of the rotary tool, so I smoothed the edges for her.  Mine’s the Toolman Tim version… big, clunky, and heavy.  Maybe for our anniversary, I’ll go all romantic and buy her a smaller hobbyists Dremel.  :^)
In the meantime, painting the mummy went very well.  She did her usual great job, including painting his eyes through the very small slit of his nearly opened eyelids.  She thought  really hard about adding real bandages to him, but to be honest, the sculpt was so good, there wasn’t really a need.  Especially since she saw the sarcophagus as the primary point of this model kit.  For all the difficulty, I think it was her favorite part of the project.
Speaking of, the sarcophagus exterior was wild.  She did a dark base coat on it; looked kind of like Burnt Umber to me.  Then she covered it with a very bright metallic gold, thinking to do several layers for effect.  After the first coat of gold though, it turned out so cool, she left the golden parts just like that.
The other colors were another story.  Probably the only part of the Mummy kit that gave her real trouble. She wasn’t sure of her color choices, and they were so different from each other the contrast was very startling.  Had some trouble dry brushing the metallic colors, the medium was kind of thin.  She eventually wound up blending a bit into one and the other until they looked more like they belonged together.  Still had the problem of brightness.  The paints were so vivid, it looked far too new for an ancient Mummy’s final resting place.
Monique found the answer in a forum.  I wish I knew which forum, and which thread, I’d like to give proper credit here.  But someone else building the same model, had the same trouble.  He solved it by using a very watery black wash, then sponging it off quickly.  She tried it, and the result was beyond fabulous.  Instant antique!
The base she blitzed through easily, doing a marble effect for the fallen columns.  She told me she put less effort into the actual ground, because most of it won’t be visible in the final.  She’s right, when it was all done, what little I can see of the ground looks fine.
Her last effort was on the back wall.  On the far side, was embedded artwork and some runes.  With many options on how to handle it, she chose to color it in.  Used a very washed-out technique to make it look very old and worn.  It’s such a wonderful look, I really regret it’s going to be mostly unseen.  We’ve discussed a rotating stand, or a mirror in back, but probably won’t go that far.
There’s something both magical, and frustrating, about knowing all the effort will not be seen and appreciated.  Sometimes, the only reason to do something is because you’ll know.  And generally, that’s reward enough for me.  The sense of pride and happiness I get from model-building comes from knowing I did the best I could.  It’s a great hobby, and I’m glad Monique and I both share it.

Next Projects: Moebius’ The Mummy, and MojoResin’s Doc Savage Models

 Doc Savage, Heroes, Moebius Models, Monsters, Plastic Models, Resin Models, The Mummy  Comments Off on Next Projects: Moebius’ The Mummy, and MojoResin’s Doc Savage Models
May 152012

Click pic for Amazon page

We’ve been taking a break since the last models.  Monique’s Invisible Man turned out fabulous, and I was very happy with The Phantom.  Both of us have our next models lined up.  She really liked the quality of Moebius, so next she’s going to build Moebius’ Mummy model.  One thing I like about Moebius, it’s pretty easy to find on Amazon.  (The pic to the side is a link.)  The Mummy is pretty large; the box says 1/8th scale, but it looks more like 1/6th scale.  The details are nice, and the build complexity is far easier than the Invisible Man was.  She’s really looking forward to painting it.  There’s a lot of scope for a creative paint job.

For my own part, I’m taking an easier road.  Being a big Doc Savage fan, I did a smaller one years ago that was extremely well-sculpted.  When we found a cool looking Doc on eBay recently, I jumped at it.  Both came from MojoResin.  I’ve had mostly good luck with Mojo, and have ordered several models (and so has Monique) from him.  This one, though… it’s a great concept.  Doc Savage on one knee fighting with a giant python.  Classic Doc scene.  The picture looked pretty good.  But when he arrived, the first thing I noticed was the sculpt.  It was kind of elongated.  Almost like Doc’s taller brother  (No, he didn’t have a brother – just in case you were wondering).  Had all the right features, but especially the face was too long.  The rest of the sculpt was pretty decent for a smaller kit.
This model had more of a quality issue than usual, also.  Lots of flashing, and parts to trim off.  That was okay with me.  But there were tons of air holes, and some pretty big bubbles that meant I had to fill in and re-create part of the surface.  Taken all together, none of this is a deal-breaker.  It’s still going to be a fun model to build.  But due to the disproportionate length of his face, and to a lesser extent, his body, he won’t have a permanent place on my ‘shelf of pride’.
In the pics below, you can see the initial quality, and then a test fit after some cleanup.  Plus a close-up of the face; being too long in the face is my only real complaint.
Doesn’t mean I wont enjoy it.  It’s going to be a lot of fun.  I have a good backlog of models that need building, but it’s purely a mood thing.  Right now, I’m in a Doc Savage mood.  One of my most-looked-forward to models is the NSEA Protector from Galaxy Quest.  Another is Jeannie from the old tv show I Dream of Jeannie.  When the time is right, I’ll know it.  Besides, I’m still brainstorming the Protector… want to light it, and I’ve never built a model where I added my own lights.  Don’t know anything about it; going to head to Radio Shack sooner or later.  Seems like a good starting point.
For now, though, Doc Savage.  Grew up on the books, fan of the character, really looking forward to painting him.  Off to a good start just smoothing and trimming.  Nearly ready to start painting.  Going to be fun!

Revell Re-issue of Aurora Mummy Plastic Model Kit

 Monique's Models, Monsters, Plastic Models, The Mummy  Comments Off on Revell Re-issue of Aurora Mummy Plastic Model Kit
Mar 192012

Revell 1:8 MummyNo new modeling.  Been on my mind, but the last week around the house has been pure chaos.  Good chaos, but it meant no time for working on The Phantom.  Even Monique has put her current model (Moebius’ Invisible Man) on hold for a while.  Just to keep Monique’s collection going, today I’m writing about her Mummy build.  It’s a Revell model, re-issued from the old Aurora classic Mummy.  The pic on the left is a link to it on Amazon.  For Monique’s version of the kit, see pics at bottom.

Anyway, this was her third model.  By now, she’d done Dracula, Wolf Man, and had the rest of the old classic monster kits lined up waiting for her to work on.  She’d practiced detailing on Dracula, dry brushing on Wolf Man, and taken her first stab at hiding the edge seams with Wolf Man’s feet.  The Mummy was where it all came together.  I thought we’d taken “as she went” pics, but can’t find anything but the finals.  Too bad, it was interesting watching her put all her new skills into play.

It was easy to see, she had a clear vision of how the Mummy should look.  Not just clean bandages, he needed moldering, dirty, ragged bandages, in keeping with his age and condition.  Many times I saw her looking up reference images from other modelers, and from the movies.  Both of us like to research our work before jumping in.  A methodical approach just makes it easier to know where you’re going, and how to get there.  Sometimes you have to wing it, but even then it’s usually after a lot of thought.

Monique assembled portions of the model before painting.  Used Testor’s Contour Putty to smooth out the seams.  Then a series of small files and an exacto knife to blend her work into the original carving.  Painting the Mummy just flew by with ease.  Maybe she agonized and pondered over each color, but to me, it looked like one of those times when intuition strikes.  Choosing colors with sure confidence, sweeping the brushes from area to area.  Dry-brushing the perfect shades over the base tones.  Within days, she had an ancient mummy living on our table.

The base, and the snake, weren’t quite so fast.  Monique originally planned on gray stone for the base, to contrast with the desert sand.  She tried several variations on portions, compared, took time away, came back.  Next thing I knew, she’d done them up in an amazing marbled pattern with variations of red sandstone colors.  The desert sand was a mix of light tans, browns, and lord knows what else that looked just like windblown sand.  She even detailed sand blown into all the appropriate crevices.  The colors of the base, especially the sand, blended into the Mummy.  Makes sense, since he’s been out in that stuff for centuries.

Unfortunately, it left her without a lot of contrast.  Here’s where the snake came in.  Several concepts came and went.  Eventually, she went with a bold green for the back, red eyes, and a black/brown/tan stomach.  The cobra’s hood became a very pale green, with some high-contrast colors to define it’s patterning.  This snake goes right in front of the Mummy’s farthest foot, near the front of the base, and centered horizontally.  It’s the perfect position for the vivid colors to break up the rest of the model kit.

During the build, we both admired the sculpt and details on the kit.  This is a good model, with excellent artistry.  It was an easy assembly, with plenty of scope for painting.  A great model to express Monique’s vision and style in a unique way.

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