I turned 52 today. It was an excellent birthday for a modeler; my parents gave me an airbrush kit. Monique and I have often thought about using an airbrush with our models, but have always been put off by the cost and the learning curve. Now I’ve got one, and incentive to use it. Monique is interested as well. One of her gifts to me was the Modelmania 2-volume dvd set. We’ve already watched parts 1 and 2 on disc one. These are older videos, but come highly recommended by other modelers.
Monique also bought me a couple of models, both of them Captain America. How we got to this point is a story in itself. With the great Marvel movies recently, she knew I loved all of them, especially Captain America. Years ago, before there were so many other models available, we saw the “Let Freedom Ring” kit. I was taken with the diorama; the detail and story were superb. However, the Captain America in this kit was a bit scrawny. Well-sculpted, but his physique was more appropriate to Spider-Man than to Cap. Now that we’re both modeling, she remembered that kit. It’s sold by Mojo Resin. I’ve bought from him before, and will again. His models might need a lot of cleanup, but they’re pretty cool. (He also has a range of ‘uncensored’ models, so I’m not including a direct link. You can Google him easily if you’re interested.) Here’s a link to a great page showing the finished model, with excellent details on how he achieved his results.
In this particular instance, Mojo Resin no longer makes or sells this model. But Monique emailed him, and he very generously cast one just for her. This being a custom order, no returns are possible.
Now you’re ready for the story. I was cruising the internet, looking for a good model kit. Found a collection of other people’s buildups, and was checking out the Captain America models. There were several I liked. Monique expressed an interest, and I pointed out my favorites. I completely skipped over “Let Freedom Ring”. Since she had already ordered it, she couldn’t resist asking my opinion. My knee-jerk response, without thinking, was “I hate it- Cap is way to scrawny, he needs to be beefier.”
You can see he needs a ton of cleanup, but the sculpt is very detailed and tightly executed.
Well, long story short, she admitted to ordering it. And not being able to return it. Of course, knowing that changed my thoughts about it. Especially when she told me it was sculpted by the same artist that did my recent Doc Savage model. This is actually very encouraging, because I started off hating Doc, but by the time he was finished, I loved him. When the kit arrived, we looked at it. Lots of detail, lots of pieces, and tremendous scope for painting. I’d be happier if he was built more like a bodybuilder than a gymnast. But still, the sculpting is detailed and accurate. It looks like he’s going to be very fun to build. Of course, I’ll keep you posted when I start him.
Over the next month or so, Monique constantly told me she was going to build him, since I didn’t like the kit. I told her he was MY gift, and I was going to build him. Our deal is, she builds monsters, I build heroes. Besides, she’s never done a resin kit yet, and this needs a lot of cleanup. She’s a bit intimidated by the Black and Decker rotary tool I use, so it looks like he’s mine. But I think she enjoyed giving me a rough time for telling her I didn’t like him.
Think that’s enough? My life is way more complicated than that. For that matter, Monique is way more complicated than that. Being the devious little planner that she is, she came up with a backup plan. Since my very favorite Cap model is the “Ultimate Soldier” by Mad Dog Resin, she decided to get him. Both of us had independently tracked down the manufacturer, and discovered this kit is out of production. Can’t find him anywhere, not even on eBay. I found a single website that wanted $135 for him, and I couldn’t tell if it was a current site, or even a legitimate one. That’s where I left it.
Monique can be very persistent, though. She not only traced the kit to Mad Dog, she emailed him. He was incredibly nice, and offered to make her a kit. With the proviso that we send him a picture of the finished model. He even rushed the job, so she could have him in time for the day of my birthday! I do NOT know how much she paid. What I DO know is Captain America: Ultimate Soldier is an awesome kit. I don’t know if I’ll learn the airbrush in time to use it on this kit, but whether airbrushed or hand-brushed, this is going to be a lot of fun.
The printout on the side Monique found somewhere online just to show what the finished model can look like.
Monique’s hand-sculptured shield
Also, since Mad Dog told her Cap’s old-style shield is no longer available… my make-it-happen girl ordered some sculpey for both of us. Then she sculpted the shield and baked it. Her intention was to inspire me to make my own shield. But I love the thought and effort that went into this, and the fact that she made me a shield with her own hands. It may not look machine-built, but neither would one that I made. If it’s a little dinged, and out of form, I can only assume the original metal wasn’t as durable as Captain America’s modern-day shield. Seems that, with a bit of dremel work, some creative painting, and a bit of weathering, her shield would look amazing laying on the ground behind Cap, as if he’s leaving the past and moving forward into the present.
One last story (I can’t help myself!)… Last year, Monique decided to take up model kit-building with me. For our anniversary, she sent me out to buy her a model. After some searching, her favorite choice was Revell’s Dracula. We wound up spending our anniversary building models. Monique is a member of The Clubhouse, a forum for model-builders. She got a lot of advice there while shopping for my birthday.
In one of her posts, she describes that day: “Talk about nerds, on our last wedding Anniversary, we spent 8 hours together building models. That was my first build.” Someone responded “This is by far, one of the most romantic things I’ve EVER heard!!! Good lord. That’s beyond awesome. Good for you two.”
I agree, and am glad to see others share our unusual view of the world. It was a great anniversary, a lot of fun, and we both discovered a shared love of model-building. We’ve been assembling and painting models together ever since!
Her next project is probably going to be Elvira. Mine will be Captain America: Ultimate Soldier. I’ll keep you posted as we go.