Thursday, December 15, 2011

My Aurora/Polar Lights Superhero Kits!

I grew up in the later '70s-early '80s, which guaranteed two things: bad hair and pants, AND a love for the classic superheroes that were yet to be defiled by drastic costume changes or "humanizing" story elements! The '70s were a bit strange in that way; as kids, we were still basically exposed to the same things that our parents/grandparents were exposed to. It was common to still see "The Little Rascals"/"Our Gang" episodes on afternoon TV, and shows like the "Superfriends" presented the DC heroes basically much like they'd been for 20 years or so.

Of course, "political correctness" came along, and like a bloated dead deer carcass going down a stream, it dragged away anything in its path. Not to sound old, but stuff now pretty much sucks. Come on, you know it's true.

Everyone's afraid of what things from the past might do to us. Meanwhile, all they have to do is see that our parents (and themselves) turned out okay, so maybe they shouldn't get their undies all bunch up over whether or not the Three Stooges are being shown on TV. Oh, and while I'm on that, just look at the trailer for the new Three Stooges movie-- yeah, stuff now pretty much sucks.

So fast forward to the early 2000s, when I got back into model building. I remember as a kid seeing these kits for sale, but I couldn't have them for whatever the reason. By the time I'd hit my mid-20s, I realized that I could go on a tear (via Ebay)and acquire and (gasp!) build these kits, and store them in my nifty hobby room! So yes, I did just that. These are the fruits of those desires.
The first one to get, for me, had to be Superman, my favorite superhero. How could you not dig this guy? He could do everything: fly, beat anybody up, x-ray vision, heat vision, incredible speed... he could even fly through outer space! And... according to Aurora... he can also punch through brick walls!
If I could rebuild this one, I'd probably change the color of the wall, and also do a better job of concealing the seam on his belt buckle. But, shoot.

This kit was a bit hard to find for a nice price, so when I got it, I really wanted to work with color to make it look classic, not cartoony. I also didn't want to do any customizing, just wanted to make him look like the Batman of the comics of that period. I ended up being most proud of the tree, with it's mossy exposed side.

Of course, if you're gonna have Batman, you've gotta have Robin! This kit was kind of boring, and was impossible to NOT make cartoony, thanks to Robin's bright hues. The only thing I did that was off the beaten path was the addition of footprints on the base, to indicate that a villain had just scampered away, after activating some kind of dastard machine as a distraction to keep Robin at bay! I remember being really proud of how I concealed the seams in his legs, which ran VERTICALLY down the center of his thigh!

I made an odd choice when I painted this kit, using glossy paint for the Cap. I suppose I could go back now with some dull cote, and I probably should. My daughter has taken a liking to this kit, and has already broken the Cap off of the base once! He now resides atop my printer, far from her prying tiny hands.

This kit, with all of its recessed web-lines on his costume, inspired me to give up this kit in mid-build. It sat on a window sill for almost a year before I finally got the wacky idea to finish it! Once completed, I topped it off with a piece of fiber optic to mimic webbing being shot out of his wrist. I have another Spidey kit, a reissue of an Aurora kit, but alas he's in the garage, because of the same reason: those horrible, tedious weblines on his costume!

The final kit is, of course, the mean green one, the Incredible Hulk. This kit had a real obstacle: when I began assembling it, I noticed that there was a mistake, that the entire triceps area of one arm was missing! I had to take putty and fill in the area, and it turned out okay. I had a lot of fun painting the base, trying to make the junk that was lying around look like actual metal. I painted him a dark green, and then went over the raised areas with the lighter tone. The facial expression isn't that good, but it is the Hulk, you know.

Coming soon, the massive spewage which is my Star Wars models!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

George Takei: Sci-Fi Fans, Unite!

Just look at him. You know he's gonna be the last crew member to die. Full speed ahead, Mr. Sulu.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Friday, December 2, 2011

Model Madness: My Universal Monsters Aurora-Style Kits

I remember being a bit disappointed with the visage-- sort of looks like a Don Knotts version of Dracula. I gave his fingers and some of his facial features a bluish tint, to sort of mimic dead flesh... even though the guy has obviously gotten his blood fix for the night! Added some snow to add some chill. Can you hear the children of the night? What beautiful music do they make!
I have very clear memories of working on this kit. By the way, this was one of those really odd ventures that companies sometimes wander off on: this was a translucent, fuschia, glow-in-the-dark plastic kit! As soon as I got the box open, I sprayed primer on him to spare him any indignity!

I scanned/printed some actual heiroglyphics and glued them to the column to give some crisp detail. And besides, I sure wasn't going to hand-paint the stuff!

I remember very clearly working on this kit, using real sand for the base, while watching breaking news coverage of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Now that's the REAL horror right there.
This kit was a mega-bummer. The artwork on the box's cover lead me to believe that the Wolfman was going to be in this super-cool pose behind a dead tree. Unfortunately, THIS is what I got! To top it all off, he isn't even really a very good likeness (like Dracula). But I guess the rats and the skull at the base make up for it.

I also have built the Aurora/Polar Lights Frankenstein kit, but I'll have to show you that later. It fits in under the category of "Oh man, something went wrong." But I guess that's fitting for Frankie.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Maestro and Kid Go Fishing

One of the early "John Williams" comics, before he truly developed his identity and this got darker.... and funnier.