Universal's movie monsters have been a mainstay of modeling since Aurora introduced its kits in the 1960s.
Now, Moebius is taking up the mantle with a series of newly tooled kits of some of the silver screen's most iconic villains.
The first is The Mummy, made famou by Boris Karloff in the 1932 movie.
Molded in light gray plastic, the nicely detailed parts include a bandage-wrapped figure, a sarcophagus and lid, and a base with part of a wall, some ruins, and a cobra. The vignette captures the moment in the movie before Imhotep is returned to life through incantation.
The instructions are typical of Moebius' recent kits, with extensive notes about the subject, modeling tips, and written instructions supported by photo illustrations. The back page includes extensive painting instructions, with 17 colors called out referencing Testors enamel and acrylic paints.
Crisply engraved detail on the sarcophagus makes the multicolored painting easier. I was super-impressed with the mummy's head, which is a dead ringer (no pun intended!) for Karloff. I built the model in subassemblies to ease painting.
The figure fit together tightly, leaving hint of seam that I removed with sanding and a little filler. The seam on the head was most prominent: After filling and sanding, I scraped the tip of a No. 11 blade across the join to blend the seam into the flow of the hair. Similar work disguised the seams among the bandages on the arms and body. It took me less time to clean up the figure than similar kits in the past.
The body of the sarcophagus presents the kit's only real construction challenge, with exterior and interior each built from five parts. Heavy alignment pins help, but it's easy to push one section out of position while trying to line up another. I used slowsetting Testors liquid cement (the smelly stuff with the pink label) and coaxed the parts into position.
Both parts of the sarcophagus needed filler. I used Tamiya putty, smoothing it with a finger and stippling with an old brush to replicate the molded texture.
I assembled the wall, sanding the join but leaving the part off the base for painting. I glued the column head at the figure's feet into position.
The six-part snake went together OK, but it needed filler and sanding to eliminate a step between the front and rear body sections. I wish there were more texture on the snake's body.
Painting can make or break any figure. After a coat of Tamiya spray-can primer I sprayed the exterior of the sarcophagus Testors Aztec gold, the coffin interior and wall dark tan, and the mummy ivory. I used two other shades of gold - Tamiya gold leaf and Testors gold (from the square bottle), as well as copper and bronze to embellish the chamber, choosing to follow the box art and my imagination more than the instructions. It gave me a chance to use a lot of bright colors - shades that rarely see the light of day on my armor subjects.
For the mummy, I airbrushed the head and hands red-brown, then added shadows to the bandages with a lighter version of the same color. Mig Productions brown and dark washes added depth to detail, and a
very light dry-brushing with white enhanced highlights. Dry-brushing progressively lighter colors gave the flesh a wonderfully desiccated appearance.
Mig washes enhanced the detail on the wall and ruins. After weathering, I glued the wall and sarcophagus in place, filling the large gap around it with putty textured with an old brush. Polly Scale sand, airbrushed on the base around the elements, blended everything.
The Mummy gave me a chance to let my hair down and have some pure, unadulterated fun. The finished model stands more than 1' tall and draws attention. This model is for anyone who's a kid at heart.
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