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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In answer to MonsterModelMan's call/challenge/mad dream I'm going to build a Round 2 reissue of the MPC Haunted Glo-Head Mummy. Since this is a bust in about 1/3 scale, there are lots of customizing possibilities. I've already converted an HG-H Vampire into an Alien and added hair to an Apeman, so I know there's a lot that can be done with the Mummy.

To wit: I'm going to replace the heavily-textured wrappings with real fabric and add the undersides to the hands, of which only the tops come with the kit. Since the Alien conversion makes for a fifth model, I will eventually add the Vampire and Werewolf to the set so I can compete with them in the Collections category under IPMS rules. Therefore I'm adding a custom base to the Mummy for a uniform presentation with the rest of the HG-H collection.

I've already checked the parts against the instructions to make sure that I have them all, that they're in good order, and to get an idea of how they're supposed to go together (even though I'll be deviating wildy from the assembly sequence). As I write, the parts are drying after having been scrubbed with an old toothbrush in a soapy solution (watered down Simple Green) and rinsed with plenty of warm water. This first wash removes greasy mold-release agents that can interfere with the putties and adhesives I'll be using on the model.

So there's steps 1 and 2 already done, about a half hour's worth of work. Forgive me for not posting photos, but did you really want to see the interior of my slop sink? :freak:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Okay here's some photos. The first one shows the results of my experiment to see how much material would need to be removed in order to smooth away the heavy wrapping fabric detail. I used a sanding drum in my Dremel Magnagouger (dialed down to an output of only a few curies per second) to grind off the plastic on the top of the back head half, as you can see in the first photo.

The second photo shows the inside of the part. The remaining plastic is plenty thick enough that it won't require any reinforcement. You'll notice that I nipped the snap-fit pins with the sprue cutter in the background.

Photo three is of the raw materials for the display base I mentioned in my first post. The cream-colored disk is the resin base from a Geometric Designs bust (I mount the busts on wood trophy bases). This will be painted and then attached to the wooden craft plaque with two-part epoxy cement. A screw will secure the two and also anchor the Mummy's arm. I'll add a nameplate after the wood base has been stained and clear coated.
 

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It will be interesting to see just what this looks like with "real" bandages applied!

Gotta love getting the Dremel involved in a project! RRR RRR RRR! (bad Tim Allen impression)

MMM
 

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Looking different Mark. Happy to see you didn't have any Dremel accidents with all that grinding!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Now don't jinx me so early in the game, Robert. ;)

Here is a progress report. I thought I'd start from the inside of the Mummy's head and work out. A dry fit of the upper and lower teeth along with the mouth insert showed that work needed to be done to get an acceptable fit.

The first photo shows how the parts fit from the inside; you're looking down into the head from the top. The second photo shows how the teeth looked from the front. The gaps would have to be filled, so the teeth would look like they were naturally (?) set in the Mummy's rotting face.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
These next three photos show my progress with the Mummy's face. In the first, you can see the teeth cemented in place with tube glue. It served nicely as a filler between the Mummy's lips and the gums. The lower teeth required an application of Squadron Green putty to fill the gaps. At this point I hadn't decided whether or not to mess with the Mummy's bad eye.

The second photo highlights some changes: I added more Squadron Green to the lower teeth and tried drilling an iris in the Mummy's left eye to match the same feature in his right one. It's hard to tell, looking straight at the teeth, but I sanded the top and sides of each tooth. The idea was to make the teeth look realistically rounded and less like flat plastic pieces.

My Haunted Glo-Head collection is going to have mainly two-eyed characters (Apeman, Vampire, and Werewolf); if the Alien could have three eyes, why not give the Mummy only one? I decided to go with the authentic appearance of a dessicated eye structure covered by a withered lid, which you'll see in picures of real mummies. I ground off the blind left eye with my Dremel tool and represented the decayed eyball with a piece of crumpled foil supeglued into place. The dried out eyelid I sculpted using Aves Apoxie Sculpt.

I figured what the heck and Dremelled deeper nostrils while I was at it. Of course, I managed to gouge my way through the plastic, but a wad of Squadron Green plugged the nostrils nicely (don't anyone go posting Mad magazine-type humor...). The next stage involves the use of more Aves, which is curing as I type. In the meantime there are plenty other CB 2012 projects to looks at. This is getting kind of exciting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Oops, I almost forgot - you'll notice there's some Aves in the Mummy's good eye. I put that in there so I could have a flat iris, as you can see in the profile photo below. As with the Alien, my game plan is to add a clear "cornea" to the painted eye. That's a pretty fair imitation of the structure of a real eye, but not something I would try in a smaller scale bust than this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks, Cap! Here's the latest: the mouth insert would leave a visible gap without some putty work. But once installed, it would have been really difficult to paint. My solution to this problem was first to remove the lip around the outer edge of the part and sand the sides smooth. This prevented the insert from grabbing the putty I intended to use. The areas of the part that would contact the putty were coated with Vaseline.

Next I applied a worm of Aves Apoxy Sculpt to the inside of the Mummy's mouth where the insert would fit and then pressed the part into the putty; the first photo shows the insert from the rear, embedded in the Aves. The edges of the putty were feathered into the surrounding area of the Mummy's head and just over the edge of the insert. I tried to add detail to the Aves that was similar to that of the insert, as you can see in the second photo.

The Aves was allowed to cure fully overnight. I carefully wriggled the mouth out and was pleased to find that the Vaseline had been an effective release agent. The result was a positive locator for the insert with a really thin edge. After the inside of the mouth and the insert have been painted, the edge should be unnoticeable. If not, I'll think of something else... :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
On to the Mummy's hands (hey! - there's a movie title there somewhere...). They came molded as only the top halves. As a competitive modeler, I wanted to have fully three-dimensional hands 'cause I knew the judges at model contests were bound to look under there.

I prepared the smooth plastic of the interior surfaces of the hands by scoring them with an engraving bit chucked in my Dremel tool. This added plenty of "tooth" to help the Aves Apoxie Sculpt I used grip the plastic. I modeled the contours of the undersides of the hands with some accuracy, but not a whole lot of detail, so they'll look like appendages under the cloth wrappings I'll apply later.

The hand on the left of the photo shows how much Dremel work I did; the right hand has been filled with Aves. The piece of sprue I glued to each hand will serve as a handle for the grinding process to come. As I mentioned in my first post, my plan is to grind off the cloth texture molded onto the parts. So in addition to providing contours to the undersides of the hands, the Aves will also help reinforce the smaller, thinner hand parts when I remove the outer material. If the plastic proves to be too fragile or the cloth wrappings too uncooperative, my backup plan is to sculpt decayed Mummy fingers over whatever survives the grinding and just leave them exposed.

In the next photo you can see the forearm assembly packed with epoxy putty (the foil plug was glued there because I wanted to be sure the putty would form the solid area I would need to pin the forearm to the base). This sort of work doesn't require the quality of Aves so I used Harvey's Epoxy Plumber's Putty, which I bought at Home Depot. It came in the blue tube you see in the background and is much cheaper than the dedicated hobby brands.

That's about the only advantage this stuff has over Aves except, since both parts come in one log of putty, getting equal amounts is a snap - you just cut a slice off and knead the whole thing until it warms up. At that point, there's only 3-4 minutes of working time; water doesn't seem to help smooth the putty (I haven't tried Aves' Safety Solvent on it yet). Harvey's Epoxy Putty cures in about 20 minutes, but is much softer and less adhesive than Aves when fully cured. I wouldn't recommend it for any but interior areas of a model, or an exterior feature that required little fine detail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Well, there's another helpful tip!
You're welcome Cap! Here's another one: most projects need to have the sub assemblies checked frequently to ensure that they will relate to each other properly at final assembly. That especially goes for the base, if you're going to do a more elaborate presentation than that which comes out of the box. And I am.


So with the forearm asembled and the hands puttied, I figured I'd better determine the model's location on my custom base. I snapped the left hand onto the forearm, punched the sprue handle through a sheet of paper, and taped the assembly down (first photo). Then I turned the whole thing upside down and rubbed a pencil against the assembly to get it's "footprint". Since the hand doesn't lay flat, I held the assembly up to my desk lamp and traced the shadows of the fingers, as is evident in the second photo.

I cut the tracing out and laid it onto the base parts. The third photo shows the Mummy's back head half snapped into position on the forearm and the whole thing positioned on the resin disk, so I could ensure that the model would be oriented to face front. At that point I taped the paper tracing and base elements together so they would relate precisely as they should when they're assembled.

With everything lined up as it is in the fourth photo, I can determine where to drill holes through the base parts for a couple of screws. The screws will hold the resin disk onto the wood base firmly. I selected screws long enough to poke above the resin disk a little, to serve as pins to help secure the model to the base. The last use of the tracing will be to align the model so I can drill holes into the epoxy putty at the base of the foream and the palm of the left hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Thanks, deek - how 'bout we go here: the Dremel grind-off of the molded wrapping detail went pretty well. I saved a little time by using a cutting wheel to hew off the raised edges of the "cloth strips" and then ground off the remaining detail with a sanding drum. The process still took about an hour; I'm glad I did it outside, as I was covered in glow-in-the-dark debris by the time all the plastic had been removed.

I managed to avoid sanding off any fingers (the Mummy's, not mine), though I did break through the back head half, as you can see in the first photo. Turned out I had vastly overestimated the thickness of the plastic of the head halves, so I reinforced them with plenty of the Harvey's hardware store epoxy putty I mentioned in post #15, as you can see in the next photo. What had thrown me was, the leading edge of the back head half was molded to represent the thick longitudinal wrapping. Since, I'm applying my own wrappings, this feature had to go. The third photo shows the thick plastic and also how bad the seam between the head halves was.

I'm running out of room for photos so, having stated my problems here, I'll discuss their solutions in the next post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
The thick edge of the back head half could be Dremelled down, but I needed more reinforcement, so I slathered on some more Harvey's epoxy putty. I brushed Vaseline over the mating edge of the front head half, then applied a worm of Aves to the corresponding edge of the back head half. Aves provided the longer working time I needed to position the putty on the back head half; pressing the front half into the putty left a perfect impression for a much improved fit, as you can see in the first photo.

The next photo shows how I started the process of continuing the Mummy's wrinkled face up beyond the point where the original wrappings had been molded, using the Aves I had leftover. I'm sure the cloth wrappings won't hide nearly as much of the head as the molded ones did, so this extra sculpture will provide a little insurance. There'll be more of this detail to add once the head halves have been assembled together.

In the meantime, all that putty work paid off. The head halves fit much better after the Aves cured last night. This morning, I Dremelled the excess plastic off the back head half so it matches the contours of the front head half. You can see the results in the the third photo.

I've also been working on the base; the resin Geometrics Design disk is sanded and ready for paint, the wood base has been stained, and the first coat of clear gloss urethane is drying on it as I write this post. The last photo shows the nameplate in progress. It's the lettering taken from the model's box art, Photoshopped onto a gradient background. The colors were also derived from the box; once I determined the size the nameplate should be, I printed it onto glossy photo paper. The nameplate was cut out, and I built the styrene shadow box to mount it.
 

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I looking at your work and wondering where the end game is going to take us, Mark. You've done so much work to the kit that it could even become a completely different character. I could easily see the Mummy becoming The Phantom of the Opera or Dorian Gray. I skimmed back over your posts but didn't see any mention of this intention. Have I missed something? Regardless, it's looking pretty good!
 
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