This is a gallery of models produced by a variety of manufacturers.
Brother Rat Fink...on a Bike! and Satan's Crate
Brother Rat Fink...on a Bike!
I purchased Brother Rat Fink as a buildup at a toy show back in the 1990s. The process of updating it was the basis of an article in MODELER'S RESOURCE magazine #43. Some time later, I was approached by Douglas Nason for a photograph. It appeared in his book, RAT FINK: THE ART OF ED "BIG DADDY" ROTH.
Brother Rat Fink, Right
The box art was my painting guide. There, he's depicted dressed entirely in red. For the sake of variety, I tried to make his vest look like leather and his pants like red denim.
Brother Rat Fink, Left
The model kit included a small textured base. I added some groundwork, a doll house beer can, and a scratch built nameplate to liven up the base. I mounted BRF and his bike on a piece of clear acrylic rod. The oily colored cotton "smoke" camouflages the rod and gives the bike the flying look it has in the box art.
Brother Rat Fink, Close Up
The original builder apparently tried to heat-form BRF's fingers around the handlebars. Fortunately, the heat didn't deform the fingers too much; it rarely works for operations like this. Instead, I cut the fingers apart at the knuckles, cemented the segments in the desired positions, and covered the surgery with epoxy putty.
Brother Rat Fink's Bat
Ain't he cute? BRF was molded with squiggly engraved lines to represent his fur. Always the realist, I wanted to make the fur look...well...real. I applied Liquitex Blended Fibers Effects Medium to the furry areas, positioning the fibers with a toothpick and a fine paintbrush moistened with water for the proper hairy effect.
Brother Rat Fink, Back
The plastic sissy bar broke when I disassembled the model. I used the part as a template to make a new one from heavy wire. The tail light is an acrylic jewel from a crafts store. This model is now in the collection of Rob Mattison, who publishes Monster Model Review online.
Satan's Crate, Front
This is the first Satan's Crate I built. It was the reissue released by KitBuilders magazine. It's interesting to compare this model with the one I did for Mike Blanchard; he made the decisions on that one. That the same models can be realized in so many different ways fascinates me.
Satan's Crate, Close Up
I used a color scheme that was based on old legends about Satan - that he appeared as a "black man", was averse to iron (hence the brass fittings of his crate), etc. Blues eyes and red hair were once considered bad omens, so that what my Satan got.
Satan's Crate, Right
The base was scratchbuilt atop an old trophy plaque. Made to look like a road in Hades, it's festooned with chunks of Styrofoam textured with Durham's Rock Hard Water Putty. Everything was painted to look like smoldering sulfur. The skeletal remains were made to be Halloween decorations.
"Crazy, Am I?"
A Tribute to Colin Clive
Crazy Am I? A Tribute to Colin Clive
I had to get one when I saw this kit in a magazine ad for Monsters in Motion. Sculpted by Bryan Moore, the model is a beautiful rendition of Colin Clive in the role of Dr. Henry Frankenstein. This was the very first resin figure I ever built.
Crazy Am I? Close Up
One big mistake I made with this model was to coat the eyes with 5-minute epoxy. It gave a glossy finish, while obscuring the painted eyes. I went for a natural look with my paint job, but there have been some modelers who painted much darker circles under the Doctor's eyes. I must admit, doing that makes the model look even more like Colin Clive.
Crazy Am I? Front Angle
This angle shows the additions I made to the base, adding a "brain jar" and anatomical drawings to the Doctor's right and details to the "Voltulator" on his left.
Crazy Am I? Right Side
This was an early effort, so I didn't do more than detail the items that came in the box. I started that process by adding styrene angles to the "Voltulator" to make it look like one of the machines in FRANKENSTEIN (1931). The model rated an appearance in FINESCALE MODELER magazine, Volume 26 number 7.
Crazy Am I? Machine
The "Voltulator" came with three knife switch handles molded on the front and had flat disks that represented the dials and control knobs. I shaved the switches off the front and added styrene angle stock contacts. The knobs and transparent domes were all made from the lenses of googly doll eyes. I hand drew the dials, reduced the images to the proper size, and pasted them on the molded disks before adding the domes.
Crazy Am I? Left
What are those two electrical towers for? I inserted two pieces of styrene tube and added the bent ends of pins to represent wire connectors. At the ends of the wires are clamps, made from pieces cut from aluminum cans. There are styrene rests for the clamps, butt-joined to the back of the machine. They constantly broke off so, when I got frustrated enough, I pinned the darned things back there.
Crazy Am I? Jar
Here's a close up of the "brain jar", complete with labels I made in imitation of those seen in the movie. The jar was a transparent contact lens case with a piece of clear sprue attached to the lid. The anatomical drawings were copied from GRAY'S ANATOMY, reduced in size, and printed on thin tracing paper for the proper scale appearance.
El Baron del Terror
El Baron del Terror
The English translation is, "The Baron of Terror"; it's the title of a 1962 Mexican horror film released in the U.S. as THE BRAINIAC.
El Baron, Right
This nifty little resin figure kit was put out by the now sadly-defunct Ultratumba Productions. The Mexican film industry had charmingly loopy ideas about making horror films; if it wasn't for this model, I might never have heard about the movie. My thanks go to Paul Schiola, who sculpted and released this kit. Paul also produced one other Mexican monster model, the Aztec Mummy.
El Baron, Close Up
The movie monster was an actor (presumably the star, Abel Salazar) wearing a mask. I resculpted the eyes of the model a bit and added the rough texture to reflect the mask's appearance. The Baron used his long tongue to suck out the brains of his victims.
El Baron, Left
I altered the head a bit, toning down the Baron's prodigious nose and adding the pyramidal horns on top. In the movie his shirt was badly ripped, so I added facial tissue and white glue tatters. The color scheme on the model is my interpretation of the black and white movie monster.
El Baron, Back
The resin base is okay, but I wanted to detail it to suggest the monster's first appearance in the film. He had returned to Earth on a fragment from a comet that had landed in some woods, so I added a Woodland Scenics tree and other groundwork to the base. I used the lettering from the movie poster as the basis for the nameplate.
The Mummy by Horizon
The Mummy by Horizon
This model is one of several excellent 1/6 scale vinyl model kits of the classic Universal monsters released by Horizon. I scratch built a base for the figure and added a resin nameplate from The Headless Hearseman.
The Horizon Mummy, Right
The Mummy was doubled over to such an extreme extent that I felt he'd be hard to see on the tables at model contests. Therefore, I built the floor of his tomb with an upward angle. I based the tomb paintings on actual examples found in books on ancient Egypt.
The Horizon Mummy, Close Up
I closed the Mummy's right eye with Aves Apoxie Sculpt. This Mummy was clearly based on the Universal Pictures movie monster of the "Silver Age" (the late 1930s and '40s). But it doesn't really resemble any actor in the role. Touches of blue and green artist's pastels made his flesh look good and moldy.
The Horizon Mummy, Left
It's all too easy to paint a mummy in monochromatic hues and tones that look uninteresting, no matter how well detailed the model may be. But the many different browns I used on the figure didn't quite "gel", either. Ground up artist's pastels mixed to a yellowish brown and dusted over the figure tied the colors together.
The Horizon Mummy, Back
The base is made of Styrofoam, covered with plaster of Paris. I cut a piece of plywood, coated with Krylon Make It Stone spray paint, to support the model The little brazier was a wooden candlestick holder with supports for the bowl cut from sheet brass. The bowl was made from Aves, which was formed over the end of a glass cigar tube.
The Mummy by Polar Lights
The Mummy, by Polar Lights
This model was produced by Polar Lights as a tie-in to the THE MUMMY (1999). I was never a fan of the model's pose. The Mummy was stepping out of the coffin with arms spread wide open. With the coffin laying on its back, the scene looked like Al Jolson was getting out of the bathtub singing "Mammy". Something had to be done!
Polar Lights Mummy, Close Up
The Mummy's rotted face was rendered with very little detail. I used screen caps from a DVD of the movie to guide me as I Dremeled more rot (meaning less face) and added some features with Aves Apoxie Sculpt.
Polar Lights Mummy, Right
Standing the coffin on end showed that it was really a bit too short to fit the figure. I cheated by placing the coffin on a small pedestal to increase its apparent height. My alterations to the model's composition created a dead space to the figure's left. I filled in this area with a scratchbuilt pickax and torch.
Polar Lights Mummy, Head
The holes in the movie Mummy's skull were represented as depressions on the model. I opened them with the Dremel tool and added some interior structures, made from more Aves, within the skull.
Polar Lights Mummy, Left
At my wife's suggestion, I lit the torch with an LED tea light; the flame is hot glue colored with transparent Tamiya paints. I added an interior to the blank coffin lid so I could show it propped open by the Mummy's right arm. Its left arm was repositioned for a menacing appearance.
Polar Lights Mummy, Back
When the Mummy is revived in the film, the coffin is standing against a dark rock wall. Mine was made from Styrofoam, covered with Durham's Water Putty. I painted it to resemble the black granodiorite statues on exhibit in the Classic Court at the Toledo (OH) Museum of Art. I finished the back with a movie poster image downloaded from the Internet.
Science Fiction Models
Lindberg Flying Saucer
This is the 1998 reissue by Glencoe Models of the very first Science-Fiction model kit. Originally released in 1954 by Lindberg, this fun little 1/48 scale kit has been reissued frequently over the years. I added cast resin engine exhausts. The forward ends ends of the jets were detailed with styrene bits. The jets' exhaust plumes were made from straight pins contoured with white glue. My color scheme for the model was based on the box art from 1954 and a later release of the 1970s.
Flying Saucer, Cockpit Right
In the 1950's, a pilot was molded as a simple bust, stuck onto a flat cockpit surface. I wanted more depth for my alien, so I cut the head off a 1/48 scale airplane pilot figure to enlarge the alien pilot bust.
Flying Saucer, Cockpit Left
The flat cockpit interior was cut out. I extended the molded details into the saucer with styrene tube and sheet. More tube and the heads from straight pins fleshed out the controls.
M113 Salt Creature
This the Larson Designs/Lunar Models resin 1/8 scale figure kit of the first alien monster seen on STAR TREK. It represents the Salt Creature of planet M113, seen in the premiere episode of the series, "The Man Trap".
Salt Creature, Full Right
The model comes in four parts: the main figure (head, torso, legs), two arms, and the base. I mounted the kit base on a wood craft plaque, both to support the model and provide extra room so I could add ruins.
Salt Creature, Right Side
In "The Man Trap", planet M113 was a desert, dotted with ancient ruins. Mine are based loosely on those seen in the show. They were made from pieces of Styrofoam covered with Celluclay and colored with Testors Model Master oil-based paints.
Salt Creature, Close Up
I resculpted the head, first removing some detail with a Dremel tool. Over two separate sessions, I resculpted the face and hair, to better match photos of the Creature as it appeared in the episode. The eyes are small beads embedded in the Aves Apoxie Sculpt used to remodel the face. The teeth were carved from toothpicks.
Salt Creature, Left Side
More Aves epoxy putty and a sludge of Aleene's Tacky Glue mixed with water and ground up artists chalks integrated the Creature's feet to the resin base. More of the colored dust was applied to the base and fixed with Testors Dullcote.
Salt Creature, Back
The ruins were painted with shades of Testors British Crimson and German Grauviolette. The yellow grass was groundwork material from a manufacturer whose name I've forgotten.
Salt Creature, Full Left
The monster costume consisted of a fur body suit made by the show's costumer, William Ware Theiss. The "flesh" parts were latex appliances made by Wah Chang. Mr. Chang's contributions to Science Fiction are far too numerous to mention here. I rendered the greenish flesh with artists' oils and the fur with Testors paints, using wash and drybrush techniques.
Salt Creature, Left Close Up
The netted garment was made from craft burlap that was unraveled to match the garment seen in the episode. The fabric was soaked in a 50-50 mixture of Tacky Glue and water, then applied to the painted figure. Since the burlap had to be coaxed into remaining adhered to the figure, I had to let each of six sections dry before adding the next. The tan burlap was painted with Vallejo Acrylics, then sprayed with Dullcote.
The Sixth Finger
This model was based on the character who appeared in the original THE OUTER LIMITS television series of the 1960s. This classic vinyl (figure) and resin (base) model was released by Golden Age Models in 1989. It represents David McCallum's character, who had been artificially evolved to the state Man might reach in 1,000,000 years.
The 6th Finger, Front
Another angle. The sculptor did a pretty good job of rendering the master in 1/9 scale. The series was shot in black and white, so I had to rely on my imagination and a quotation from TV GUIDE, referring to the makeup's yellowish coloring. The base was painted entirely with Testors oil-based paints.
The 6th Finger, Right
This model was sold on eBay, so I haven't a clue as to its current location.
The 6th Finger, Close Up
I painted the figure with Vallejo acrylics. They're excellent paints, but this model convinced me that I can always render more lifelike flesh hues with artist oils.
The 6th Finger, Base (Left)
I scratchbuilt the control console, using sheet styrene and pin heads for the main structure. A round headed pin provided the control lever. A piece cut from acetate packaging serves as the transparency over the main dial. The bezel over the small dial was a flat little lens that came from I know not where.
The 6th Finger, Base (Right)
I drew up the art for the dial and control lever, based on what I could see in a videotape of the episode. The scattered papers are covered with reduced quotations from the script.
This is a nifty little resin kit from Jimmy Flintstone. It represents the title lad from the CALVIN AND HOBBES comic strip by Bill Waterson. Calvin was fond of escaping reality - frequently the classroom - as the imaginary "Spaceman Spiff". Along with its vacuum-formed clear bubble, the model is a dead-on rendering of Spiff in his ship; I built it for my brother, Kevin.
Spaceman Spiff Base
This a generic base from Jimmy Flintstone; I don't recall whether it came with the model or I purchased it separately. Note that Spiff didn't appear on the JF website the last time I checked.