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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
CB 2012 WIP: MPC/Round 2 Haunted Glo-Head Werewolf

Okay, it's time to start my footnote in Hobby Talk history. I'll be building Round 2's reissue of the MPC Haunted Glo-Head Werewolf:



This will be an old-fashioned build--glue, putty, sand, spray paint, and bottle paint applied by hand-brushing. There's no special reason for this other than the fact that I don't own an airbrush, so there's really no other way for me to get the job done. :p That said, I doubt anyone here will learn anything new from this thread; I'll try not to make it too boring, but it may already be too late for that.

Step one will be removing flash from all of the parts. These molds are old, and every part of this kit has at least a little excess styrene that needs to be removed. Step two will be cleaning the parts by spraying them with undiluted Simple Green, letting them soak for 5-10 minutes, scrubbing them with an old toothbrush, rinsing them with warm water, and letting them dry.

Comments and critiques are always welcome, and I mean that most sincerely! If you think my work sucks, please tell me why you think it sucks--it's the only way I can improve.

One last thing--if there's anything less developed than my modeling skills it's my photography skills, so I want to apologize in advance. Properly warned ye be, sez I. :wave:
 

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Laird of Dunans Castle
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All I'm gonna say is I'm looking forward to seeing the Werewolf built up!
 

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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, me too. :lol: I really like these kits but, back when these were first released by MPC in the dark days before the Interwebz made almost everything available at the push of a button, the only one I could find was the Vampire, so I haven't built this particular kit before. We'll see how it goes. ;)
 

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This should be fun. I passed on these when they came out years ago, and now I am really interested in seeing how the pros from Dover build them up.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #6
I don't think I've seen this kit built up. Looks like fun! Did you make any progress over the weekend?
Yeah, I started this thread and posted a photo. :lol: But seriously, no, nothing other than a little brainstorming and mentally preparing my build plan. Also, my eyes aren't what they used to be, so I need to get a pair of those non-prescription magnifier eyeglasses so's I'll be able to see what I'm doing. Once I actually get started, this should be a fun build; it's a relatively simple kit, but the engineering seems to be pretty well thought out.

I haven't seen many of these built-up either, but a good place to get an idea of how they can look is on the Monster Model Review website where photos of the entries for last year's contest are posted (including excellent entries of this kit built by our own Bob Koenn and Yasutoshi Hase).

This should be fun. I passed on these when they came out years ago, and now I am really interested in seeing how the pros from Dover build them up.
Pro? Me??? I think you've been drinking the Hobby Talk Kool-Aid. ;)
 

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Once I actually get started, this should be a fun build; it's a relatively simple kit, but the engineering seems to be pretty well thought out.
As a wise guy, uh, I mean man, once said..."There are no simple kits, only simple minds"!

Looking forward to what you come up with!

Tory
 

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Lifetime Monster Modeler
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Premium Member
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As a wise guy, uh, I mean man, once said..."There are no simple kits, only simple minds"!
Hey! I resemble that remark!


Seriously, Zombie, you might want to think about getting an Optivisor. The link sends you to an Amazon.com listing, but a search will give you plenty of other outlets. These things are well worth the investment for modelers of 'a certain age', though I also use the drug store "cheaters" also. The great thing about Optivisors is that you can get additional lenses for them as needed.

And to reiterate what Triplem's posted, a good strong desktop light is a must. I use one of those clip-on gooseneck student lamps bought on the cheap from Wal-Mart or Target (I forget which). I'm looking forward to your Werewolf build also, as I've got one to do for my Haunted Glo-Heads collection and would like to have somebody else make the mistakes for once... :devil:
 

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Hey! I resemble that remark!

Seriously, Zombie, you might want to think about getting an Optivisor.
Hehehe...

Ah yes, the wonderous Optivisor. Haven't built a model without it since 2002. I highly recommend investing in one of these. Of course it will enable you to see each and every imprefection but it sure makes the "seeing" part a whole lot easier!
 

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You will have fun with this simple but nice kit, and thanks for the compliment. Of the four in this set I like the Wolfman the best myself. And I am definitely of a "certain" age! I've been using one of the magnifying desk lamps I picked up at Walmart some years back much more frequently lately.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #12
As a wise guy, uh, I mean man, once said..."There are no simple kits, only simple minds"!
Well then, I was born to build this kit! :lol:

And thanks to all for the advice about the Optivisor and magnifying desk lamps! That's one of the great things about being on a forum with other baby-boomers; we can all commiserate about the effects of aging and how to work around them. I already have a pair of "cheater" eyeglasses (nice to know someone else uses that term), I've had one of those clamp-on swing-arm magnifier lamps for several years now, and there's plenty of light in our house. The real problem is that my "workbench" (i.e., the least-used end of our dining table) is currently cluttered with a bunch of junk my wife stacked there, so I think this kit will literally be built on my lap. Ain't life grand!

Additionally, I build so infrequently these days that I have to get fresh supplies every time I start on another kit. I have Xacto blades and sandpaper, but I have to check my preferred seam filler (Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty) and I know I'll have to make a run to the not-so-local hobby shop for paint once I decide which colors I'll need...y'know, the usual stuff. :rolleyes:

I'm hoping to finally get started on this kit before the weekend, but I'll have to see how the next few days shake out. Stay tuned...
 

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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #13
I've finally made a little progress on this kit. When I said it was "a relatively simple" kit, I may have been overly optimistic. With a total part count of 14, I thought this would be a walk in the park; I should have known that's a risky proposition when you're dealing with a werewolf, especially when it's so close to a full moon.

First things first. Before I started trimming away the flash, I wanted to get a better idea of exactly how the parts fit together so that I wouldn't accidentally remove something I'd need later, so I freed all of the parts from their sprues. Next, I wanted to be able to test fit the parts, so I sanded down the "male" pins that fit into the "female" receptacles just enough so that the parts would stay together, but not permanently. Of course, "snap together" isn't an entirely accurate term; "squeeze together" would be closer to the truth.

I'd also forgotten this kit was originally produced in the 70s, and was intended for young modelers to have something to slam together quickly and put on their shelves. As such, it's going to need more putty than I originally thought before it meets even my low standards of quality.

Additionally, just about every part will need at least a little "finessing". For example, the upper teeth and fangs:



The fang on the right is reasonably fang-shaped, but does have some unusual contours. I don't know if this was originally sculpted this way, or if it's a result of the molds getting old, but I didn't like it. I've already sanded the fang on the left into what I consider to be a better shape, and I might work on it a little more just to get it nice and pointy. Also, if you take a close look at the three teeth between the fangs you'll notice they get longer from left to right. They just don't look right to me, so I'll be sanding those into more uniform lengths and shapes.

There are other issues associated with this kit, but I'll address each of those as I get to them.
 

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Zombo,

I've run into the same issue with each of the Haunted Glo-Heads I've built. A little filing and sanding will turn those flat pieces into realistically rounded fangs. Just be careful not to whittle them down too far or they can get too small before you know it.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #15
I appreciate the kind words of caution Mr. McG. That's the reason I used sandpaper rather than a file or an Xacto knife. Fortunately, this glow-in-the-dark styrene sands rather easily, so minor modifications like this are a breeze. Besides, if I screw them up I can always rebuild them with a little Aves Apoxie Sculpt. :D

As if to further fuel my motivation for this build, I received a call from a good friend of mine today who told me about a special screening on October 9th of The Wolf Man (1941) and An American Werewolf In London (1981) that will include a discussion panel featuring John Landis, Rick Baker and David Naughton. This is part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' celebration of the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures, and they'll be showing 13 classic horror films throughout the month of October. For anyone who lives in the Los Angeles area and might want to attend one (or all) of these screenings, here's more info.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #16
I've made a little more progress on the Werewolf...musta' been 'dat full moon I mentioned earlier. Both upper and lower sets of teeth and fangs have been cleaned up and shaped to my satisfaction:



Hoo boy, there are a lotta teeth in that mouth! One of the added benefits of cleaning up and reshaping the fangs is that it provides a little extra space between the upper and lower sets. BTW, I know it looks like I went a little crazy with the sanding and made the fang on the right too short, but the part is misaligned because it's just taped in place for the photo; it'll be aligned correctly when I glue it into place.

Speaking of space, one of the things I don't like about this bust is that the gums are molded onto the front of the head rather than being molded onto the same parts as the teeth and fangs. The result is a space between the teeth and gums, as you can see here on the upper set of teeth:



With the way this kit was engineered, there's really no reason for doing it this way, and whoever made that decision was just wrong. A little extra sanding and some putty will make it look better, but sheesh!
 

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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #17
Here's something you don't see every day--a werewolf's tongue:



This is one of the few parts of the kit that doesn't require extra work to look better in my opinion. Here's what it looks like from the side:



Yes, there's a reason I'm showing that--it'll give modelers who haven't built this kit a slightly better idea of how it goes together, and what they can expect if (when?) they build one.

Now, here's the most important part of the entire kit:



Not very "werewolfish", is it? But this simple piece is the key to assembling the entire kit! Okay, that's a lie; all it does is hold the tongue in place. The two outer holes slip over the male pins on the back of the head:



Now, remember those two pins on the back of the tongue? Those fit into the two inner depressions on that flat part that you probably thought were ejector pin marks:



And when you squeeze...I mean "snap" the front and back of the head together...



...the tongue helps to fill in that gap behind the teeth to hide the inside of the head. (I removed the teeth to give everyone a slightly better view). It's not perfect (there are gaps on the sides and where the roof of the mouth should be), but it works rather well.
 

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Curmudgeon
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Discussion Starter #18
This particular kit has a feature that (I think) isn't present on the other three kits in this line. The hair (or is it fur?) on the front head part is sculpted so that it is raised from the rear surface where it meets the back head part, and the mating surface of the back head part sort of "tucks under" this sculpted hair/fur. The end result is that there is no visible seam, so modelers don't have to spend a lot of time trying to resculpt that hair/fur detail. That's the theory, anyway; the reality is:



Oh, look, a seam! :rolleyes: Yes, it's hidden from the front, but might be visible if anyone turns the finished bust around to look at the back. The other side isn't much better:



The reason for this is that the sides of the back head piece are shifted about 1/8" to the right (the bust's right, that is; to the left if you're looking at it from the front). The sculpted detail at the top aligns almost perfectly. And viewing the left side from the front:



Yep, those dark spots just in front of the ear are gaps; so much for not having to resculpt the hair/fur detail.

I thought the problem might be the two lower pins/receptacles that hold the two head halves together at the bottom. The lower receptacles are quite a bit shorter than the upper receptacles...



...and I thought maybe they were too shallow to accomodate the lower pins. So I shortened the lower pins by about 1/8", and...



...if you take a close look inside the red circle, you'll see I cut one of them so short that it doesn't even reach the receptacle. Oops. Clearly, the pins and receptacles weren't the problem; the two head pieces are simply mismatched.

I've considered a number of ways to work around this minor problem. Most modelers would probably just cut off the four pins and glue the two halves together, but that would affect that crossmember that holds the tongue in place and the position of the tongue within the mouth (which is just about spot on as-is). I could modify all of the involved parts, but I think I'm going to take the more simple route of gluing it together as best I can and putty over the gaps; wouldn't be the first time.

So I've prepped the various head parts for assembly, now it's time to break out the glue, right?

Not quite... :devil:
 

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Zombie, this looks like a fun kit!

As far as the seams go, there is a gaping seam in The Monster's lap in the new Bride of Frankenstein kit. I used Testor's Contour Putty to fill in the gap. The tube's nozzle made it easy to get the putty where I wanted it without making a big mess. I brushed away the excess with 91% alcohol. It seemed to work fairly well. I was apprehensive because I hadn't used modeling putty for decades and when I did it was a mess.
 

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...This particular kit has a feature that (I think) isn't present on the other three kits in this line.
Actually, the Mummy works the same way, but in reverse: the wrappings on the front of the back head half were sculpted to cover the mating edge of the front head half.


Zombie_61 said:
So I've prepped the various head parts for assembly, now it's time to break out the glue, right?
I presume that by "not quite" you mean you're planning to paint the inside of your Werewolf's mouth before sealing it up inside the head, thus making the area really hard to paint, right? Right? Hah?
 
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