Monique finally finished her Moebius Invisible Man model
. Personally, I loved it right from the start. As soon as she opened the box, and we saw approximately 500 million little tiny pieces… Monique’s been something of a juggernaut now that she’s started building models. Not only does she enjoy them, she’s extremely good at it. Plowing through one kit after the next, I foresaw having to build a new room just to hold them all. When I saw The Invisible Man was so complex, it looked like she had finally found a challenge to stretch her skills.
Not that it was just a bunch of parts. Moebius has a well-earned reputation for quality kits. The only part that surprised us, was the material. We had assumed it would be resin, but instead, the kit was of a high-quality plastic. Very smooth, well cast and no air bubbles. The fit was excellent, requiring only a bit of putty work here and there.
The instructions were amazing. Went into very good detail, with full color pictures, charts, recommended colors, and exacting step by step guidance. All together, this model kit provided the perfect challenge to Monique’s abilities. At times I could hear her quietly muttering to herself… at other times, she was quite vocal. Being a perfectionist is an asset in kit-building, but it also means you do, and re-do, and spend a lot of time making something to be proud of. So yes, it slowed her down. To be fair, we also had several real-life projects in the same time frame, so that accounted for some of the time factor.
Several things about the model were worth noting. To begin with, the pieces were detailed in the extreme. Tiny, partially invisible rats. Rows and rows of books to detail. Vials of strange and mysterious liquids. The pieces were either clear plastic, gray, or a kind of off-orange. For the clear things, Monique experimented with transparent paints. Neither of us had any experience, and had no idea how well it would work. After seeing the finished model, I have to say the transparent paints turned out extremely well. With the vials, she went the extra mile and carved tiny cork stoppers to put on top. It was a great touch that really added some realism.
Another extremely clever and innovative idea Monique had was to paint the shoes the basic colors, do some dry brushing, and while they were still tacky from the paint, she stirred the brush into the dust from a nearby shelf (but aside from that one shelf, our home is perfectly clean!!) and brushed the dust onto his shoes. This gave a very subtle feel of quality that’s seen better days. Monique’s goal was to make him seem slightly shabby. Appropriate for someone who’s been on the run and hiding out.
For the mortar and pestle, they were originally clear pieces. She painted them to look like stoneware, then added real honest-to-goodness herbs from the kitchen into the bowl for verisimilitude. She also put different herbs in some of the vials. Talk about attention to detail!
She’s got a great hand with bandages, as seen in her Mummy model. These turned out quite nicely, as she was looking for a slightly dingy appearance to them. The broken bits of glass on the floor were sculpted into the floor, but Monique thought they needed more, so she put a small beaker nearby on it’s side.
The tables and bookshelves were just plain plastic. Monique gave them a wonderful dry-brush that looked like real wood, and then made it look aged and worn, in keeping with the slightly shabby feel of the overall scene.
I personally liked the look of the rats and the frog, being partially invisible. One small unforeseen difficulty- This was our first time working with clear pieces. Neither of us realized that spraying a clear finish to protect the paint would fog clear parts. As a result, the aquarium holding the rats, and the vial holding the frog is a bit fogged.
The rug was my one complaint about the kit. It took me a while to understand what looked wrong, but I finally realized it was the carpet. Monique did a great job painting it, but the carpet was sculpted in the base, and was on the same level as the wood flooring. A real carpet would have been raised up on top of the floor. Having just realized this, I blurted it out without thinking. Knowing Monique, I probably shouldn’t have mentioned it. She’s a perfectionist, and now it was bothering her. Lucky for me, she’s also a problem-solver. After discarding several ideas, she found a miniature carpet on eBay meant for dollhouse hobbyists. It was an absolutely perfect fit to hide the original carpet, was still circular, had a great design… and looked believable. A perfect solution, and the final crowning touch.
For the most part, the rest was standard procedures in a model. Getting the colors just right, mixing tones for dry brushing and making sure multiple pieces matched when assembled. Sanding, filing, puttying as needed. Monique also found a decal set made specifically for this model, which included things like the book titles, and some printed pages. She didn’t use all of it, because some parts weren’t suitable to her vision. And the parts she used weren’t the free pass you’d expect. For instance, the books had to be painstakingly prepainted before applying the titles. You might imagine just cutting out a row of book titles and applying them en mass, but they actually had to be cut and applied individually. It was still a lot of work to do, but having custom designed titles and binders for the books was an awesome find.
I don’t mean to make all this sound easy. Monique spent a lot of time getting everything just right. Painting very small details onto hard-to-see parts. This was a great kit. I love how it challenged her skills, and led to several creative solutions over the course of building it. I’ve tried to highlight things that impressed me, or that she mentioned specifically. I’m sure there are things I’ve missed mentioning.
The finished model looks incredible. It’s her best work to date. If you think you’re up to the challenge, I can highly recommend the Moebius Invisible Man kit. As a matter of fact, I recommend pretty much anything by Moebius. Monique’s next project is their Mummy kit. Great size, tons of detail. She’s going to enjoy this one even more!!
Monique's current monster gallery!