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Model kit review: Moebius Models Gigantic Frankenstein

Subscriber-only extra
By Timothy Kidwell
By Aaron Skinner
Moebius Models Frankenstein
Moebius Models Frankenstein
Kit: No. 470
Scale: It varies!
Manufacturer: Moebius Models, 386-956-4133, www.moebiusmodels.com
Price: $109.99
Comments: Injection-molded, 51 parts
Pros: Fun build; imposing display; wonderful retro feel
Cons: Some '60-era building challenges

Last kitted by Aurora back in 1964, Gigantic Frankenstein has long been on the list of "must haves" for nostalgic modelers. Moebius reverse engineered the old Aurora kit after obtaining the license for the Frankenstein movie monster from Universal Studios. This kit is a behemoth, with lots of plastic, but not too many parts: 27 major components and a number of individual chain links. Also included is a black-and-white instruction sheet that perfectly completes the kit's classic feel.

Big Franky's hands, head, and shoes are all molded in bright green plastic, while the body and pants are a dull tan. Washing the model's parts is important; the mold release solution leaves a greasy residue that will retard both paint and glue if not thoroughly removed.

We built Franky in a number of subassemblies. Just dry-fitting the head halves together reveals that not only was the subject resurrected from the mid-'60s, but so were the fit challenges. Many of the joins are very thin; applying pressure to close some gaps causes the whole assembly to deform.

After tacking the head together with Plastic Weld cement, we put a thick layer of 5-minute epoxy along the seam inside the head and let it harden. While the shirtfront fit the front of Franky's neck flawlessly, the join between the collar and shirtfront was uneven and partially blocked the left hole for one of the model's neck bolts. This was corrected by building up the collar with some epoxy and by carving the transition smooth with a moto-tool, making sure to clear enough away for the neck bolts on both sides.

The hands and arms went together well. We filled minor gaps around the fingers with putty. The shoes went together effortlessly. The pants and body were a little tougher fit, since the halves are so large. Again, we used both super glue and epoxy to reinforce the joins.

We used Testors contour putty to fill any remaining gaps and smooth transitions, then applied Gunze Sangyo Mr. Surfacer 500 and 1000.

For paint, Franky is big enough to warrant an airbrush and even spray cans. After applying Tamiya primer, we spray painted the jacket with Tamiya NATO black. The pants received a base coat of French blue, the shoes gloss black and the shirt racing white, all Tamiya spray can colors.

We added shadows to the jacket by airbrushing flat black within folds and for highlights added a few drops of white in NATO black and airbrushed it on top of folds. We added similar dark and light tones to the shirt and pants.

For Frankenstein's skin tone, we mixed a greenish-gray base coat, then airbrushed it over the face and hands. To detail the scars and lips, we airbrushed a thin mix of Tamiya field blue and clear red.

We hand-brushed the leather stitches with red-brown, painted the eyes buff with brown irises, applied a wash of clear red for a bloodshot appearance, and airbrushed thin earth tones to weather the shoes and pant cuffs.

We sprayed the chunk of "headstone" material gray, misted on black, then picked out the letters with dark washes. After spraying the chain's links flat black, we misted on platinum. The neck bolts were painted Testors burnt iron, then dry-brushed with copper.

For final assembly, 5-minute epoxy once again came to the rescue. It was essential to dry fit each piece before applying epoxy. A little touch-up fixed flubs in the paint from assembly, after which we attached the chain and headstone.

Gigantic Frankenstein was a fun build. The large pieces and fit issues may present a bit of a problem for young modelers, but it would be a perfect team-build for an adult and child around 12 or 13. The sculpting on the face and hands is top-notch, giving the monster an appropriately morose appearance. And he looms large from whatever perch he's placed.

Keep a lookout for a review of Moebius Models' "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" Flying Sub in the September 2009 issue of FSM.

Check out more subscriber-only reviews of science fiction models:

AMT/Ertl 1/6 scale Darth Vader from "Star Wars"
AMT/Ertl Federation Starship USS Defiant
AMT/Ertl 1/48 scale "Star Wars: Episode I" Naboo Fighter
Fine Molds 1/72 scale "Star Wars" Jedi Starfighter
Pegasus Hobbies 1/72 scale Apollo 27
Pegasus Hobbies 1/48 scale "The War of the Worlds" Martian War Machine
Polar Lights 1/1000 scale "Star Trek" USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)
Polar Lights 1/350 scale "Star Trek" Enterprise NX-01
Two reviews: Revell "Star Wars" ARC-170 Starfighter and Luke Skywalker's X-wing SnapTite kits

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