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Discussion Starter #1
I have now seen several photos of the new Moebius Frankenstein model. When images of the upcoming kit were first made available, there seemed to be some negative rumblings about the sculpt. I remember reading that the images that were available were still "preliminary", and that fine-tuning of the sculpt was still in the works.

Well, the model has been released, without any improvement in the sculpt that I cam see, and all I can say is I am — to put it politely — underwhelmed.

The monster's suit looks like it was put in the wash too many times and shrunk about four sizes. This apparent shrinkage of his pants only makes the size of his shoes look bumpkinish in comparison. The expression on his face looks more imbecilic than terrifyingly vacant. And his almost knock-kneed pose, in conjunction with his shrunken pants, makes the bottom half the model look more appropriate to a Li'l Abner sculpt.

Other than that, everything looks wonderful.
 

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Yeah I am not thrilled. It is not a horroble kit but its not super. I put mine away for a while as I got tired of reworking nearly every part. Most of the work is somewhat minor, but it adds up. I shortened the legs, reworked the boots slightly, shortened the arms, shortened the neck and repositioned the head slightly, etc. The base itself needs work... the door lacks hinges and doesn't even touch the stone wall! It just sort of sits there like the Monolith from 2001. I did at least extend the wood floor into the door way since the kit floor stops short. Its also about the DULLEST pose you could come up with for the Monster. He isnt very scary, intimidating or anything really. If anything it reminds me of the scene in Christmas Story when Ralphie comes down stairs wearing the pink bunny outfit...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
... and what makes it even more disappointing is when you compare the thought and attention to detail that went into the Invisible Man. ... yikes!

When I saw the Invisible Man kit, I was absolutely blown away. I couldn't believe somebody could make a kit that good when the subject doesn't even have any inherent interest, as such, like a monster. The Invisible Man is just a guy in bandages. But holy mackerel, what a dynamic kit!
 

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The kit matches the photo very well, but the likeness to Karloff isn't very strong. I agree it's not as good as the Invisible Man kit, but I'm still really happy with it overall.
 

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Curmudgeon
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As I've posted before, Frankenstein is my favorite of the Universal classic horror films so I'm a tough critic when it comes to sculpts of Karloff as The Monster. Even if you remove the facial likeness from the equation, IMO there are any number of things about the sculpt that are of the "close, but not quite" variety. However, I have seen some fine examples of relatively minor modifications made to this kit (mind you, "minor" does not necessarily mean "easy") that led me to believe it can be made to look much better (i.e., a closer match to the iconic photograph) and I plan to use my limited modeling skills to make attempts to correct what I perceive as flaws.

Now, I'll readily admit I don't know every decision that must be made with regards to producing a figure kit; as we've seen with Moebius' Iron Man kit, sculpt approval alone can become a major obstacle. Based on the other kits they've produced, if we lived in a perfect world I'm sure Moebius would have produced the definitive Frankenstein kit. But we live in this world, and the kit is what it is--some like it, others see room for improvement.

Before this starts to sound like a negative post, I'd like to say I'm just pleased a company like Moebius not only strives to produce the best kits they can, but that they also take the time to communicate with us and actually listen to (or read, in this case) what we have to say. I hope they'll read this thread and accept it as constructive criticism and not as nit-picking.
 

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The sad thing is that other companise do strive to make the best possible kit versus cutting corners, doing stuff in house, not starting over if a kit is sub par, etc. just to be able to crank out a kit in a given time frame irregardless of its quality (or lack of). Since several people on this very board have been able to either sculpt their own Frankenstein head or rework the kit head to look much better, its sad to think that whoever was paid to do the kit master was all that could be found.
 

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Curmudgeon
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If I were a betting man, I'd think the odds were better for Moebius producing the kit Universal allowed them to produce rather than an inability to find an artist that could create a sculpt that looked more like The Monster.

Using the Iron Man kit as an example again, I recall Frank explaining to us that the rather lackluster pose was the only one Marvel would approve, so that's the kit they produced. Universal has a long history of showing a lack of respect for their classic horror characters (putting the Monster and Dracula in sunglasses and Hawaiian shirts to sell beer, for example), so my guess is they would only approve a sculpt that was a fairly generic version of the Monster (much like Revell's recent reissue of the Aurora Dracula kit with the resculpted head).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Zombie:

If what you're saying is true (and I don't necessarily doubt that it is), then that begs the question, Why do the model in the first place?
 

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Curmudgeon
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Assuming you mean "Why produce a model in the first place?", the same could be asked of almost any model kit. The easy answer, of course, is "To make money." ;)

I've been building models for approximately 40 years now. I've seen my share of good kits, bad kits, and everything in between. Every modeler has their standards when it comes to what constitues a "good" kit or a "bad" kit, and for every one of us who has "issues" with this kit there is at least one modeler who thinks it's perfectly acceptable as it is. Such is the nature of manufacturing--you can't please all of the people all of the time.

I can't tell from your posts whether your opinion is based on seeing an actual kit or on seeing photos of the kit. I can tell you it looks better in-person than it does in any of the photos I've seen, but it still doesn't look exactly like the photo it was based on. And when it comes to engineering and part fit, Moebius is among the best of the best and this kit is no exception.

But only you can decide whether or not the kit meets your personal standards. As I stated above, I'm a tough critic when it comes to The Monster so I was disappointed when I saw the final product. But IMO the kit can be improved with a little extra effort (I suppose that could be said of any model kit) so I added one to my collection, and I'm going to put my meager modeling and painting skills to the test. Essentially, I decided I'd rather have one than not have one; your mileage may vary.
 

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Agreed, Zombie 61, This kit beats 'No' kit in my books :thumbsup:
Mcdee
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Zombie:

"The easy answer, of course, is "To make money.""
— That's certainly a legitimate enough reason, and I can't knock someone for that, necessarily.

"... for every one of us who has "issues" with this kit there is at least one modeler who thinks it's perfectly acceptable as it is"
— That would apply to just about everything in life, and I accept that variance as a fact of life, including models.

"I can't tell from your posts whether your opinion is based on seeing an actual kit or on seeing photos of the kit"
— No, I've only seen photos, but I've seen enough to retain my "underwhelmed" opinion of it.

"I can tell you it looks better in-person than it does in any of the photos I've seen ..."
— Fair enough, but unfortunately, that won't be enough to make me want to buy it.

"... but it still doesn't look exactly like the photo it was based on."
— How close the model is to the photo/box art is not really the issue. The pose itself, per se, is "close enough". But if you take something like the original Aurora Wolfman model/box art discrepancy, well, that constitutes downright false advertising.

"And when it comes to engineering and part fit, Moebius is among the best of the best and this kit is no exception."
— That too, is not the issue. I have the Invisible Man and I would completely agree with you on that score, albeit that's the only Moebius model I have.

No, my problem is first and foremost with the suit. It strikes me as ridiculously too small. Secondly, the face. There are all kinds of variations out their from different model makers, and most of them have something to offer with their particular take on the monster's facial appearance. But the Moebius version, as I said before, looks more imbecilic than menacing.

As far as the pose is concerned, the pose doesn't have to exactly match what's depicted on the box art. Although it should be reasonably close so that you at least have a pretty good idea of what you're getting. And I thought the choice of pose was great. I mean Frankenstein's monster (certainly Karloff's version of it) is an iconic figure, and the monster's entrance through the door is an iconic scene. I would put it in the same category with Heston discovering the Statue of Liberty at the end of "Planet of the Apes", or the unmasking of the Phantom of the Opera in his lair (the original Chaney version).

So, with something as iconic as both the monster is itself, and the particular scene in question, it's just all so disappointing, in my opinion, to have the execution of it be so ... well, underwhelming. If the constraints on an alternate pose were so severe, as you suggest, then simply saying, "Oh well, we'll do it anyway just for the money" has a sad hollow ring to it. But, if that was essentially Moebius' position, then all the more power too them. I can't fault them on that alone, but neither can I help feeling the way I do about the final result.

But what makes it particularly disappointing for me, as I mentioned in a previous post, is the striking difference between Frankenstein and the Invisible Man. Consider the detail of the kit: the extras (beakers, bottles, etc) and the dynamic pose, not to mention the ingenuity of the Man's unwrapping while maintaining the illusion of his invisibility (ie: his glove hand suspended above an empty space between that and his coat sleeve). For another example of not really much to work with but having a model become brilliant in its dynamic pose and the accompanying extras, is Monarch's Sinbad. Yes, of course, it's not even out yet, but we've all seen completed build-ups of the thing, nonetheless. And what a terrible shame should that kit not make its way to market. But that's a whole other topic.

Now, if there are people who enjoy the Frankenstein kit, great, and if Moebius makes money at it, also great (it'll help to keep them in business to make more models). But as a customer, I'm expressing my personal dissatisfaction with something that i feel is not up to the level of excellence they established with the release of their first kit. I'm not one to drink water from a wine bottle and then tell you it's a tasty merlot.

cheers
 

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Elder Statesman
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Very well said Zombie!! I've had several conversations with Frank about these issues and I can tell you that he is trying to give us the BEST kits and poses possible. His hands do get tied by the license owners and what they will allow. I, for one, am very thankful that he went ahead with the new Frankenstein kit. It sure beats NOT having the option to buy and build it. It would be very cool if he could dictate exactly what the sculpts were going to look like... but like you said, this is the world we live in!! And it sure is better than not having Moebius around!!! - Denis
 

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Zombie:
But what makes it particularly disappointing for me, as I mentioned in a previous post, is the striking difference between Frankenstein and the Invisible Man. Consider the detail of the kit: the extras (beakers, bottles, etc) and the dynamic pose, not to mention the ingenuity of the Man's unwrapping while maintaining the illusion of his invisibility (ie: his glove hand suspended above an empty space between that and his coat sleeve).
The difference is that they didn't have to deal with Universal to license the Invisible Man.
They could do the sculpt that they wanted to do, complete with everything they wanted to include.
When you deal with a license holder though, you pretty much have to do what they approve, or not do it at all.
And realistically, how could they do a line of monster kits without having a Frankenstein Monster in the line?
And the thing is, even with all it's flaws, this kit will probably sell a lot better than the Mummy kit According to posts on the Moebuis board, that kit isn't selling very well at all. Yet all the reviews of it rate it as top notch. With a very good likeness, etc.
The fact is, Frankenstein sells.
It and the Creature are probably the 2 most recognizable of Universal's monster properties.
Any kit producer that passes on producing those, is probably passing up the closest thing to a sure seller that this hobby has.
So, you roll with the licensing demands and put out the best that you can within those constraints.
 

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Curmudgeon
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No, my problem is first and foremost with the suit. It strikes me as ridiculously too small.
IMO the jacket is okay (though it's a bit too short in the length), but the pants as sculpted appear to be too "form fitting"; they should have been a bit "baggier". Also, the legs are 1/8"-1/4" too long; removing this slight bit of length helps to make the legs look less thin. And the visible section of the hands and arms are a bit too long as well; again, removing some of the length where the forearms insert into the sleeves helps.

Quite honestly, this thread in which Scary Terry showcases his modifications is what sold me on the kit. I compared the original photo to the photos of his kit after his modifications, and the dimensions and proportions are nearly spot-on. The head sculpt...well, that's a different matter...but Scary Terry's work made me realize how much better the kit can look with a little "tweaking". Is it perfect? No. There are a few things I would do that he didn't. But it did convince me the kit is worth the extra effort.

Secondly, the face. There are all kinds of variations out their from different model makers, and most of them have something to offer with their particular take on the monster's facial appearance. But the Moebius version, as I said before, looks more imbecilic than menacing.
I agree. Even without a resemblance to Karloff, the facial expression could have been less "soft".

Speaking of which, I haven't heard (or read) definitively whether or not Karloff's likeness was an issue; I do know Sara Karloff is very protective when it comes to her father's legacy. Regardless, there seems to be enough of a facial resemblance to inform anyone looking at the kit that it's meant to be Karloff's Monster as opposed to Glenn Strange's Monster, Lon Chaney Jr.'s Monster, etc., so I have to wonder why they didn't make it either more accurate or more generic.

BTW, so far you haven't mentioned anything about the kit that I haven't already noticed and, to a degree, agree with.

So, with something as iconic as both the monster is itself, and the particular scene in question, it's just all so disappointing, in my opinion, to have the execution of it be so ... well, underwhelming. If the constraints on an alternate pose were so severe, as you suggest, then simply saying, "Oh well, we'll do it anyway just for the money" has a sad hollow ring to it. But, if that was essentially Moebius' position, then all the more power too them. I can't fault them on that alone, but neither can I help feeling the way I do about the final result.
I don't think the pose of this kit was ever in question. To the contrary, I think everyone agreed this particular scene was nearly perfect for a model kit since the photograph is so iconic. And I would have a great deal of difficulty believing Frank is only in it for the money. Surely financial profit is a consideration--after all, Moebius isn't a non-profit organization (though I'm sure it seems that way to Frank at times). But with all of the effort the staff at Moebius puts into producing these kits and the quality resulting from those efforts...well, that just doesn't happen if your only motivation is monetary gain.

But what makes it particularly disappointing for me, as I mentioned in a previous post, is the striking difference between Frankenstein and the Invisible Man. Consider the detail of the kit: the extras (beakers, bottles, etc) and the dynamic pose, not to mention the ingenuity of the Man's unwrapping while maintaining the illusion of his invisibility (ie: his glove hand suspended above an empty space between that and his coat sleeve).
To be fair, there's a lot more "art direction" involved with the Invisible Man kit (i.e., the extras you mentioned and the dynamic pose of the figure). In the photograph chosen for the Frankenstein kit, the setting is extremely basic--floor, wall, and door. I think Moebius would have received a great deal of criticism if they had tried to "dress up" the scene by, say, adding any of the medical equipment from the good doctor's laboratory.

And the pose is very basic as well--the Monster standing in the doorway; his "big entrance" as it were. In my mind, what really sets it off is Karloff himself--he's just standing there with a rather blank expression on his face, yet his body language and face still evoke feelings of raw power, sadness, and victimization. It's very difficult to translate that kind of human emotion into a styrene kit.

The difference is that they didn't have to deal with Universal to license the Invisible Man.
Didn't they? Doesn't Universal still retain the rights to the character likeness? I mean, clearly there would be no real concern over a likeness of Claude Rains since he was only seen briefly in the final moments of the film. But the look of the character itself--the wrappings, the wardrobe, etc.--doesn't Universal still have legal rights to say how, when, and where the character is used?
 

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If I were a betting man, I'd think the odds were better for Moebius producing the kit Universal allowed them to produce rather than an inability to find an artist that could create a sculpt that looked more like The Monster. ).
I may be mistaken but I thought on the other board he said well the kit sculpt was as good as it was going to be considering the time constraints (which to me reads as RUSH JOB). Rush out a half ass project versus taking the time it takes to do it right.
 

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Actually isn't this kit based on a publicity photo of Karloff standing in the doorway and NOT the actual movie scene anyway. In the movie scene he backs through the door way, and as he turns around, the camera zooms in (crudely) on his face. There is no real full length shot of him standing in the door way holding the door open.

I still think the door should have HINGES. As it the door just stands there and doesn't actually touch the wall/door frame! Really kind of strange.

Sawing off the bottom of the legs and sculpting new hems over the tops of the boots is a very easy fix to the storky look. At the same time you can angle the boots outwards slightly for a more realistic look. You could either saw about 1/8" off the forarms, or my fix was to hollow the sleeves out so the arms insert up into them. I also shortened the neck, repositioned the head, and am going to reposition the neck electrodes. The ears should be repositioned as well...







 

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I didn't do a search on posts by Moebius, but what I remember reading is that Moebius posted saying that a lot of time and money had been spent already, and the licence to produce the kit was running out.

In that case, what should they have done - produce the kit as it was then, or flush the money already spent and not produce the kit at all?

What would you guys do - especially since at most the only money we as consumers have put into the kit is to purchase a copy or two?
 

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I didn't do a search on posts by Moebius, but what I remember reading is that Moebius posted saying that a lot of time and money had been spent already, and the licence to produce the kit was running out.

In that case, what should they have done - produce the kit as it was then, or flush the money already spent and not produce the kit at all?

What would you guys do - especially since at most the only money we as consumers have put into the kit is to purchase a copy or two?
Im not sure how other companies do it, but that sort of sounded like an after the fact, cover their butt explanation when people started to voice disappointment in the kit. Licensed products are produced all the time in all fashions. Im not sure I buy putting out a sub par product just to be able to beat a deadline is really a good idea. And to a great extent it takes the same time to sculpt something correct than to sculpt it incorrectly. Its not like a "good" kit has any more parts... just different or better detailing. Its all about who is hired, consulted etc. I know, for example, Dragon uses some leading military historians, artists and modellers, like Ron Volsatd and Steve Zaloga to help with some of their kit designs.
 

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I agree with those who say they like the pose. It's iconic, reflecting the first time we see the monster. Much better than the old Aurora one, which reflected the monster as a clumsy brute seen in later "Frankenstein" films.
However, I also agree the pose was a bit stiff. I don't have the time to dedicate to modeling for hours at a time, so I'm a bit behind in this build, but it's on target to become the first I've finished in quite a while.
I've taken many of your suggestions, such as shortening the legs and opening the sleeves (an idea I had anyhow) and repositioning the feet. I've also done a few extras, such as adding a door latch, detailing to the edge of the door, putting in door jambs, etc.
I also made the base smaller, but instead of putting the ridge back on the bottom I instead installed floor joists.
I'll post photos when its done.

Jeff
 
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