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Discussion Starter #1
I'm working on a Monogram/Aurora Phantom of the Opera and have been thinking the eyebrows just seem wrong to me. In the Chaney version, the Phantom didn't really have any eyebrows but in the sculpt there are these great big bushy ones. I know the Aurora sculpt isn't really Chaney -- if anything it's Cagney in Man Of A Thousand Faces. But who wants to build a James Cagney Phantom of the Opera? When I was a kid, I painted the face without eyebrows (don't remember if I did this on purpose or, most likely, just didn't think of doing details like that when I was 12).

Anyway, has anyone thought to REMOVE the eyebrows? (cut off with an xacto and then carefully sand them) I'm thinking of doing this but am torn. I really want to build the Aurora monsters with as little modifications as possible, but since Phantom's one of my favourite characters, making him with eyebrows isn't going to be completely satisfying. . . .

Too bad this isn't a Glows In The Dark kit -- then I'd just build TWO heads. One with and one without!

:dude:
 

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Hey Ost, I'm VERY Heavy into Lon Chaney lol and TO ME it would appear that Erik Does in fact have a little bit of Eyebrow showing BUT the Dark Circles over (and under) his Eyes Run Smack into Chaney's Eyebrows.(sorta creating an outline if that makes any sense?) Sorry I don't have a Pic to Post for ya' but check out this Site for ALL your Classic Monster Reference Needs! lol
www.vampirunlimited.com
this Site has TONS OF Info


JOHN/LONFAN
 

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Hi Ost,

I Chaney-ized my original Aurora Phantom and have been very pleased with the results. This, however, was the FIRST model I tackled when I got back into the hobby and it was before I discovered Polar Lights and the on-line modeling community. It was a project I went into 'blindly' without any expert advice on how to approach it. I honestly don't remember if I sanded down his eyebrows, puttied over them, or what..... but, I can tell you: It will be worth your effort!



As you can see from the above photo, Chaney's Phantom does have visible eyebrows, but, they are greatly minimized from the ones on the sculpt. I also sanded down the LONG HAIR on my Phantom and gave him ears ( which I fashioned from putty ) and gave him a BALD SPOT in the appropriate place. I used the US POSTAL STAMP of Chaney's Phantom as a general painting guide for his face.



I also added a HIGH COLLAR to his cape ( made from Sculpey ) and formed a VEST over his button-down waist coat to make his costume more accurately reflect the Phantom as portrayed by Chaney. You may or may not want to get that anal with it, but it greatly improved the kit in my own eyes.

I discovered Polar Lights and the BB when I was about half-way through with my restoration and customization of this kit. After a good amount of lurking here, I realized that I would have done somethings differently but, thankfully, it all worked out to my satisfaction anyway.

So, speaking from my own experience, I enthusiastically support your desire to modify your Phantom of the Opera.

- GJS
 

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And BTW if ya' don't already have one BY ALL MEANS get yourself The Polar Lights Phantom Of The Opera!!! Beautiful Sculpt and the Organ and other Details are Amazing!!

LON/JOHN
 

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By all means, get rid of those eyebrows!

Painting the eyebrows is the single biggest glitch I've seen when finishing this kit.

I happen to think that the face on the PL kit is extremely well done. Some people seem think it requires an aftermarket head. In my opinion, the kit head is an excellent piece that just needs a bit of thought. When I did my kit, I didn't fully remove the eyebrows but just sanded them down and barely shaded them (much as shown in the previous post's photo). I've seen way too many of these kits that have been wonderfully painted and then ruined by guys painting in the full eyebrows. Just because the detail is molded in, there is no law requiring you to paint it.

I regret having no good photos of my kit because it was actually sold before I could photograph the finished product. It was the first model I ever sold...someone bought it from the display case at a local hobby store. However, as part of that sale, I did receive a second Phantom kit which is yet to be built.
 

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true ! i think the PL version of the Phantom is an excellent kit and more Chaney-ish .
i recently built a Luminators Phantom and went more for a box art style . so i actually wound up adding to the eyebrows because they seemed a bit thin ( maybe due to the molds getting old ) and added to the hair also ( looks bushier on the box ) . also i used the wall and floor parts from MiM .
anyway , i'd say sand 'em off and redo them like the pics you see of Chaney . don't be afraid to experiment .
model on .
hb
 

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"Eybrows? Who cares about eyebrows?" - George Costanza

The Aurora Phantom's eyebrows are so similar to the rest of the detail on the face I think you can get away with just painting them the same color. A little sanding or puttying might help. Then you could just draw the Chaney eyebrows in with a colored pencil.

I went for a box art approach with my Phantom. I was doing white hair, and had a tough time getting the white eyebrows to stand out from his livid face. Here's how it came out: http://members.toast.net/blackswampmodelers/PhantCloseUp.jpg
 

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Mark,

Good grief! Those bloodshot eyes are freaking me out! Stop looking at me!!!!

Great job, man! :thumbsup: Care to tell us how you did it?

The Dude
 

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Mark, TRENDON, nice jobs!

I have nothing of any substance to add, just taking the opportunity to show off. But I agree it's a nice sculpt overall. The eyebrows never bothered me as a kid - not when i could see masks from Don Post in the back of Famous Monsters purporting to be the Phantom and looking even less like it than this.

Below are pics of the Monogram I did eight years ago, the first new kit I built upon returning to the hobby. The paint job is one I still like, though not as smooth as I could do in some spots. Didn't do any puttying on those seams either. The eyebrows, instead of trying to remove them I just tried to keep them a neutral tone and blend them with the shadows of the eyes.

At that time, I wasn't prepared to attempt changes. He would look better with the eyebrows filed/sanded down, not to mention giving him short hair and the bald spot.

I'm doing another of the same kit again soon in black and white. Don't know If I'll use a different head or not.
 

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Ditto that, it's a great site. Love the layout and visuls!

On my Phantom above, you can see that what I was trying to do with eyebrows didn't work, so let it serve as a learning example.

Just for fun, lemme add the rest. Always loved that guy in the cell on the kit. One bar in the pic is knocked out of place - the whole thing broke off and needs repaired, it's just sitting in place for the pic. I used putty to add length to the arms, and extend his neck down to some shoulders.

I got lucky with the lizard. Got a book from the library to look for shots of actual lizards to find one with a suitable look, and found this one that tends to prefer damp cellars and crumbling ruins. The picture of it also gave me that bluish stone used in building and the look of the old concrete.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for all the feedback everyone, and for posting your pics -- excellent work!

I think I'll probably cut and sand the eyebrows down to about half of what they are. Then maybe someday I'll just build another one completely stock without changes to the face. Or . . . . maybe I'll just fit the head in place and if I can get ahold of another kit cheap, I'll build and paint the head stock and I can interchange them!

Thanks again for the responses!

:dude:
 

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Got Phantom?

Guys,

Thanks for your kind remarks.

AFILMDUDE,
What you're looking at is the third paint job I did on the Phantom's phace. The first was done in the yellowish tones which were described in the Gaston Leroux novel. I messed with it some, but still wasn't satisfied. Finally I thought I'd go for the bluish green box art look I'm happiest with that.

The red rims within the eyelids aren't too hard to do, and really bring any figure's eyes to life. Depending on the individual face, I may or may not paint the eyes before doing the surrounding flesh tones (for example, on Aurora's Frankenstein Monster doing the eyes first is a must). I paint the whites, then seal them with a coat of Future Acrylic Floor Polish.

The Future is allowed to cure overnight, because oil-based and even acrylic paints might dissolve it if they're applied too soon. Then I mix a little red and flesh colored paint to get a very ruddy flesh color. You can see that for the Phantom I used a very red color. I thin the paint to a medium wash consistency and let it flow along the crack between the eyelids and the eyeball. It sometimes takes more than one application to get the depth of color I want.

The great thing about this technique is that the Future coat allows you to remove the wash if it gets too far out on the eyeball. Sometimes the wiping-off process leaves a little red on the clear Future over the white that looks like scale blood vessels. Painting the eyes before doing the face means that I only have to deal with the eyeballs and not worry about slopping paint anywhere else, knowing that I can paint the outer edges of the eyelids later. On the other hand, there's always the risk of getting eyelid color on that beautiful eyeball, so there's a decision that needs to be made before the face painting begins. Therefore I always protect the finished eyes with Future when they're done.

GJS,
Here's more pics: http://members.toast.net/blackswampmodelers/MarkMGallery.html

TRENDON & dreamer,
Thanks for sharing your photos. I get a hoot out of seeing how others have treated a model I've built too. I particularly found both of your use of fairly natural flesh colors on the Phantom's very unnatural face appealing - the more normal hues underscore his physical deformities where wilder flesh colors might tend to be distracting. Sharing photos like this is one of the great things about being on the BB!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hey Mark -- are those pictures taken during different periods of your Phantom's lifetime ? It appears that in some of the pics the buttons on his jacket are black and sometimes they're . . . gold(?) Also, in most of the pics his face is greyish, but in the one second down on the left his face is more greenish/yellowish. Do you have any closeups of that face? Excellent job, by the way!

:dude:
 

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Thanks for the info Mark. I've used a red wash over gloss white painted eyes before - but never with as good of an effect as you've got there. Gotta go get some future floor wax. Do you just paint it on with a brush?

BTW: All your kits look great. Do you use only brushes?
 

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Thanks, Mark! I was looking over our other builds last night, very impressive work (as always). And I have the same reaction to seeing so many different takes on the same kits! There's no "correct" way to paint these kits, it's one of the best things about them.

My usual approach to these kits is to ignore the instrux, the box art, the "official" descriptions put out by the Universal licensing dept., etc., and try to combine realism (as best I can research it) with a pleasing color scheme or idea. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. If I did this one again in color, I'd do it the same, try to get the cell blocks more realistic, but I'd try for the velvet evening clothes suggested by the link Lonfan gave - something in very dark deep green or burgundy. Not sure how I'd blend that in, there are already maybe too many colors involved to draw them together into a coherent whole. Its' a little busy already.

The skin tones in my Phantom paint job were kind of a personal joke.

You've seen me before here going on about how we learn "mental shorthand" as kids and have trouble escaping it as adult modelers. Watch any class of firstgraders when the teacher tells them to draw a tree, and they all reach for the green and brown crayons. Real trees are far more diverse...but what do many of us do as modelers when a dio includes a tree? Generic green and brown. Lizards? Green and yellow. Rocks, grey. Etc.

Same for skin. Alot of modelers just use the same generic "normal" skin tone for every human figure, despite the many complexions of real life. I painted the opera mask using just that "normal" skin tone with healthy rosy cheeks. But it's not skin, it's a mask! it's a lie the actors of the opera house use that's acceptable and comfortable for their audiences. For me the mask represents "shorthand" thinking, and pointedly it reflects neither of the two figures in the kit. Erik has that sallow skin, while his unfortunate victim has a darker Middle-Eastern look. The Leroux novel helped there, as Erik was an escaped lunatic from Persia. IIRC, at least one member of the Persian secret police tracked him to the Opera House and mysteriously vanished soon after.

It's just a joke comment for my own pleasure, doesn't come through from looking at it. Always did have an oddball sense of humor.

The prisoner has the beginnings of a beard sculpted in. Several days growth. At the time, I couldn't decide if the sculpt of the upper lip suggested a mustache or musculature.
 
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