Starting A New Resin Model Kit – Moebius Conan the Barbarian

 Conan, Heroes, Moebius Models, Resin Models, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Starting A New Resin Model Kit – Moebius Conan the Barbarian
Jan 012014
 
Great art to inspire a dynamic Conan model kit

Great art to inspire a dynamic Conan model kit

After finishing Captain America: Ultimate Soldier, I took the obligatory few days off from model-building.  Cleaned up the workspace, washed out the paint bottles. Time to clear my head.  There are a number of models waiting to be built.  In particular I have a Galaxy Quest NTE-3120 N.S.E.A. Protector that’s been calling my name.  I’m a bit scared of it, because it needs custom lighting.  But the time is coming.

For the moment though, it’s going to be Moebius’ Conan the Barbarian resin model kit.  First impression is that the box it came in is gigantic!  The model is large, standing an impressive 12 inches tall, but the main reason the box is so large is the packaging.  The model is held in two layers of form-fitted styrofoam, carved to hold each piece securely.  I’ve never bought a model so safely packaged before!

With over 20 pieces, I categorized them as Conan, Girl, and Base.  In broad scope, that’s the order they’ll be done.  The base makes a wonderful stand to hold Conan while I work on him.  Seems obvious, but not every kit has such a good working mount.  While gluing and painting, Conan was mostly stable, but he wobbled a bit.  A toothpick wedged uder the offending foot took care of it.

Piece by piece, they look good.  The seams fit great.  I like when a model is sculpted to join on obvious seams.  Makes the painting so much easier.  The detailing is very clean.  I did some small touch-ups, but mainly running a polisher with a rotary device was sufficient.  The biggest visible problem is the thumb on his sword hand.  The sword itself need a tiny bit of rebuilding.  Not much, just to cover a small missing chunk near the guard.  But his thumb… seemed to be missing a lot of ‘meat’.  It took several layers of Bondo (makes a good contour putty) applied with a toothpick in the crevice between hand and sword grip.

Conan08

You can see the blemishes, but you have to be pretty close to tell. This is after I rebuilt the thumb.

After applying a light gray base coat, a number of smaller blemishes became visible.  I could have simply ignored them, but decided to smooth down as much as possible.  Spent this evening just smoothing down the minor rough spots.  I’ve read that this kit was originally slated to be a styrene kit like the majority of Moebius model kits.  In midstream they switched to resin.  Just to address the question, a couple of reviews state that the detailing suffered because of the change.  One reviewer mentioned a lack of fingernails and toenails.  There’s some truth to the loss of detail, though I couldn’t really tell until working with a magnifier on the small blemishes.  But my kit, at least, came with fingernails and toenails properly sculpted.

The proportions are good.  Very appropriate to the source material, which is a comic book cover.  Conan #1, from the 1970’s series.  I’ve worked on models with crisper detail, and models with softer detail.  You’ll have to determine for yourself what’s acceptable and what’s not.  As for myself, I like the work.  It looks like Conan, the art is strong and dynamic, and it’s a good match for the original artwork he’s based on.  As typical with Moebius, there’s a very nice color instruction sheet.  Going to enjoy this model kit.

Moebius is the only company I know that provides full-color instruction sheets!

Moebius is the only company I know that provides full-color instruction sheets!

The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, Part 7 Final

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on The Phantom and Devil Resin Model Kit, Part 7 Final
Apr 292012
 

Caught me off guard, but today I finally finished Lee Falk’s Phantom model.  This is the absolute best Phantom model sculpt I’ve ever seen.  It sat alone in our closet for years, until a couple of months ago the mood came upon me to build it.  Been working on it slowly, with lots of pauses in between.  Didn’t think it would ever actually be done, but here it is.

From Part 6, I mentioned finding a great acrylic paint recipe for flesh tones.  I’m very grateful, because this is honestly the best flesh-tone on any model I’ve ever painted.  Far better than the store-bought flesh colored paints.  Last night began the detail stage.  For me, because my eyes are bad, my hands a bit shaky, and age is setting in…  I’ve gone bionic.  I use a jewelers magnifier with multiple lenses.  Bought it on Amazon for just a few bucks, and it’s given me a young man’s sight again.  At least for close-up detail work.

Still, there’s a lot of back and forth for me.  I keep painting edges in one color, then the other, until it’s as good as I can make it.  once the details are painted, then the dry brushing.  For the overall purple, I used a straight from the store ‘Purple’, with several drops of black added in to paint the base color.  For the first layer of dry brushing, straight-from-the-bottle Purple.  And for the final highlights, purple with a little white added in.

In researching his belt buckle, there seemed to be two acceptable versions.  One gold, one silver.  I like silver better, so went with that for the buckle, and his ‘bad’ ring, the one with the skull on it.  There was a small error on this kit with the ring… it’s upside down.  To make the ring leave a right-side-up skull mark on villains, the Phantom will have to hit with an uppercut.  No big deal to me.  It’s so tiny, and not even visible when the model’s on a shelf.  Just a good detail that I know is there, even if nobody else sees it.  (Tried to include a pic of it here, but it’s so tiny, just can’t get the details.  (Older camera with a not-so-great macro.)

In researching the ‘modern’ Phantom’s guns, references indicated he wore Colt .45’s.  Going through comic books, and looking at pictures of the real guns, at first they looked disappointingly black.  Not much fun painting that!  But on close inspection of an authentic Colt, it’s more of a metal-black, with dark brown on the handles.  Okay, that’s more fun.  It’s hard to show in a picture, but the guns (one in it’s holster) got a base-coat of black, then a heavy dry-brushing of black mixed with silver.  I didn’t smoothly blend the two colors, so I could choose how shiny or dark to make different parts by depending on which part of the blend I dipped the brush into.

The Phantom’s boots shouldn’t look brand new straight from the store.  So I made them a deep black, then touched a bit of dark gray on the creases at the ankles and around the toes.  Tried to make them look used, but well-cared for.

This project was done in three very large phases.  The base first, which was the hardest.  Devil, the Phantom’s wolf.  And last, the Phantom.  Now it’s time to assemble the 3 parts together, and touch-up a spot or two.  A test fit had already shown me nothing was going to fit properly as built.  Best compromise was to leave the post on Phantom’s foot, since it was the strongest point of stability.  His other foot didn’t line up at all, so had to fill in that spot, plus fill in where Devil’s paw was supposed to go.  That was actually pretty easy.  Filled the hole with Zap-A-Gap, let it dry overnight.  Score it with a dremel to match the grass pattern, then paint it.

I took the coward’s way out with Phantoms right (his right) foot.  Glued his left foot in place, then poured Zap-a-Gap between his right foot and the base until a small hill had built up to meet the foot.  Didn’t do any carving.  Wanted the sand to look like it had been ‘shoved’ a bit by him standing on it.  Matched the terrain colors, and called it done.

For Devil, there was no real choice.  In order for the Phantom’s hand to properly glue onto his wrist, Devil’s supporting foot only had one place it touched the base.  Only two points of support for him makes me a little nervous, but it seems firm.  Once the whole thing was assembled, there were a few small details to correct.  Mainly where the Zap-a-Gap had poured too far and made the grass shiny, plus a spot on back of the base where a plant had lost some paint.

By the way, the gold in the chest was a fun process that started with black base-coat, then a couple of shades of metallic gold, then just a light dusting of gold glitter paint.  Now it sparkles in the light as you move.

For the last touch, I found an appropriate jungle scene through Google, printed it, and stood it behind the Phantom as a background.  Turned out very nicely.

Overall, I have to say this is the best kit I’ve ever had the joy to put together.  Quality sculpt, great dynamic action scene, lots of color and details.  It’s a shame the kit isn’t more readily available.  If you want to build one, your best bet is eBay.  There’s nearly always one or two for sale there.

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