Aurora Monster Models
It all started with Frankenstein in December of 1961. There had never been a horror figure model kit before, but the release of this kit changed everything for Aurora and its customers. The company went on to become the premier manufacturer of figure models, monstrous and otherwise. The first nine Aurora monster models were issued in a constant 1/8 scale and all but the Forgotten Prisoner were graced with box illustrations
painted by James Bama.
The Collection: Under the competition rules of the International Plastic Modelers Society in the United States of America (IPMS/USA), a collection is usually defined as "5 or more closely related models" of a particular subject. The idea of competing with the Aurora monsters as a collection appealed to me, primarily because the models were very well known by the turn of this century and contest judges would have seen them before - but never in a group.
So I built the first eight Aurora monsters, omitting the Forgotten Prisoner (not a Universal Pictures character) but retaining Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde; all the models were in a constant 1/8 scale. I created a display base made from a comic book storage box covered with Celluclay, a prepackaged form of paper-mache. Finished with oil-based paints, the base was very sturdy and doubled as a transport container for most of the collection.
The collection was awarded First Place in its category in the model contest of the 2001 IPMS/USA Nationals, held in Chicago, Illinois. In 2003 it received an award for "Outstanding Collection" in the Non-Polar Lights category at LightningFest, run by PL's then-parent company, Playing Mantis, in South Bend, Indiana.
This is the collection at WonderFest 2004, where it was awarded an Honorable Mention. This photo comes courtesy of Rick "Night Owl" Evans.
Now, on to the individual models, which I arranged in the order of their original release dates.
The Wolf Man
The Creature From the Black Lagoon
The Phantom of the Opera
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde
The success of the first eight monsters spurred Universal to continue the line.
These other monsters weren't included in the "Aurora Presents the Universal Monsters" collection because they either weren't in 1/8 scale or they appeared in movies produced by companies other than Universal. Nevertheless, they're all classics!
The Bride of Frankenstein