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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I swear, until about 10 seconds ago, I was going to title this thread "Marta Kristen Topless" but I figured Hankster might see that and close me down :).

This figure is Marta Kristen as Lorelei the mermaid from the 1965 movie BEACH BLANKET BINGO. I have to admit that I'm a huge fan of the entire Beach Party series...a disturbingly huge fan. There is something about them that just connects with me.

Of course, unlike sci-fi and horror fans, we Beach Party fans don't exactly have a lot of kits to build :). This may be the ONLY exception. This small resin figure (the surfboard is not quite 8.5" long) is authorized by Marta. I actually started this figure last year but the project got sidetracked. With the big Spindrift out of the way, I wanted to try another figure and I had almost forgotten about this half completed kit. I spent this week working on it and just finished it a few hours ago (late Thursday).



 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ya' know, I did think about using the dremel to adjust the hair but I realized that would make it difficult to post pictures.

This is one of those models that demonstrates my philosophy about paint choices. People sometimes ask, "What's the best paint to use?". My answer is that you should use what ever will get the job done. The final result is what counts and you don't get points for using one particular paint.

This kit has:

Auto lacquer spray primer

Autol lacquer touch up paint

Auto engine enamel

Model enamel

Model acrylic

Craft acrylic

Artist's tube acrylic

Krylon spray paint

Artists tube oil

Future floor polish

It was painted with: spray cans, air brushes, brushes and sponges
 

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nice job Brent . i've seen this kit at Cult's site and thought about picking one up . now seeing it done up so nicely i definitely want one .
i too am a big advocate of the use whatever is best to get the desired affect and it is interesting to get to see what all you used on it .
hb
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Beck, I'm reluctant to criticize the guy who did the paint work for the two Marta models (Space Babe and Lorelei) on the Cult site because, for all I know, he might be one of us. But, personally, I find the Marta paint jobs are not very complimentary. The paint job on the Lorelei "demo" kit looks a bit like clown makeup. The figure is very good but that paint job probably doesn't help sales.
 

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your paint job really compliments the likeness of the kit . btw , what did you do to get that scale color ?
hb
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I was afraid you'd ask about the scales. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't actually remember how I got that effect! As I mentioned in the first post here, I started this kit over a year ago and left if partially finished. When I began work on it again, the three main components (mermaid, surfboard and base) were all in plain grey primer except for the mermaid tail which I had already painted.

So that tail was done last year and the process is very fuzzy in my mind. Geez, I must be getting old.

Here's what I THINK I may have done based on fragments of my fading memory. The whole body would have been sprayed with grey lacquer primer. Most likely, I would have then sprayed the tail with silver auto touch up lacquer. I then would probably have given it a wash with green acrylic...rubbing off the excess so as to show the texture of the tail. Then I would have given it a few coats of clear Future acrylic to give it depth.
 

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Beeootifull Brent!!! I too have looked at this on Cults' site, yours looks scads better. Maybe I'll finally pick one up now that I see what a difference the paint job makes.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's an out-take from a photo session that shows part of the arrangement



The lighting is done with Ott-Lite Truecolor fluorescent fixtures. These are rather pricey but with 40% coupons from Michaels's and a sale at Office Depot, I acquired three of these lights. They are basically compact desk lamps.

In the above photo, you can see one of the light fixtures in the upper left of the frame. They provide a soft natural light. I avoid using a flash when photographing models because of the harsh shadows and unpredicatable glare.

I usually have two lights, one to the left, one to the right, above the model. The third light is usually at the front of the model and set low to provide frontal illumination and mitigate hard shadows. I pay particular attention to avoiding glare with the "Marta Kristen" signature on the base being one example. The black paint is a satin semi gloss around the signature and it will glare if the light location isn't controlled.

When I got my Olympus E-500 DSLR last Spring, I made a concerted effort to improve my model photographs. I got tired of apologizing for bad pictures. I got a good lens (50mm F2 macro) and started painting my own photo backdrops. In the robot picture, I'm using a piece of plain blue 22"x28" poster board. I use the same size of poster board for the mermaid pics but I sponge paint them with acrylics to provide a more pleasing appearance.

I stuck in that picture with the black backdrop because, in the movie with Lorelei, most of here appearances are at night.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm tempting fate with this closeup. The face on this figure is only 3/4" long from chin to hairline and the pupils of the eyes are 1/4" apart. As I commented in another thread, some figures aren't really intended to be seen as huge enlargements on a computer monitor. My fat fingers can only paint so much detail in such a small area. Nevertheless, I just love a good closeup of a tiny model so I'm posting this:

 

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RE: the lighting.
I bought two of those "sunlight" true color desk lamps on eBait from Sun Brite PPR Direct for 2/$29.95. Got one on my bench and gave the other to the wife for her knitting. Also bought replacement lamps ( she broke hers !! ) at ReplacementLightBulbs.com for $5.95 each.

I'm also thinking of painting sections of an old window blind in various backgrounds to be rolled down as desired, but have absolutely NO place to hang it.
 

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Brent, you are your own worst critic! I like your painting job. And the close up shot is really good. I try to paint small models, but I shake some, so I WILL be embarassed of my painting.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
I think this particular style of bulb is only available as a 13 watt bulb. 13 watts was in the fixtures and that seems to be the same for every lamp I've seen using bulbs (tubes I should say) of this style. I just checked the actual Ott-Lite fixture and it says to use 13 watt bulbs only.
 

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The lamps/bulbs I have are 4 connected parallel tubes at 27W. They seemed to be pretty common on the "replacement" bulb site ?? The lamps themselves are flexible 'goosenecks'
With Brent's directions for 2 lamps, I may have to swipe the wife's lamp back ??? Hmmm ?
 
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