Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Spending Christmas with The Creature from the Black Lagoon

Over the Christmas holidays, I had a chance to go rummaging with my father. I'm convinced he's part Gypsy as he can sniff out a bargain like a bloodhound. We went to visit a good buddy of his named Mokie, who is in the business of true wheeling & dealing. Mokie largely purchases lots from estate sales and storage units that have expired contracts and then auctions off the contents, sometimes for pennies on the dollar. The trick is you always have to check in and stop by. Half the fun is digging around for the diamond in the rough. I'm always a sucker for anything movie related, especially horror movies. One such visit I was able to snag this little gem of an art project.

The Creature from the Black Lagoon


Researching this online I found out that it's a re-release from March 1999 by Polar Lights of the original Revel model kit. This all plastic assembly kit is a replica of the originals sold long ago. It features all the same advertising as previously issued.

 This was the same classic set-up as years past. I had to twist the pieces apart and begin assembly with some epoxy I had left over. Here is the start of some of the pieces already assembled.

 Working with the epoxy meant having to glue and hold the limbs of the Gill Man just right while it dried. In the future I will definitely use a tube based glue instead of something you have to mix in equal parts.

 The only snag for the project was it didn't include a small snake that is supposed to wrap around the tree branch on the base. The whole thing is a forest green, which is meant to serve as a base for painting it in color, but I had a different idea in mind.

 I spray painted the entire thing in black. I then over-shot it (spraying from the top) with a dark gray spray paint. I then over-shot it with just a touch of white spray paint. Some of this white came out as spittle, dotting the piece like an old 35mm print.

Over-shot painting from the top allowed for the base coat of black to shine through like true shadows. I then took a black Sharpie marker and began to outline the ridges and raised edges of the Gill Man.

 I dotted some of the scales as well and outlined the face with Sharpie. This seems too harsh with all the black lines, but I wasn't quite done.

 I went back over the piece in a thin coat of acrylic white wash (white paint & water) about 2-3 times to blend down the tonality of the black Sharpie.

 These black lines help blend the seam lines left from the glue and such from the naked eye.

 I wanted the Creature to stand alone like the black & white classic film that I remember.

 I wanted the piece to look grainy, almost dirty - like a found print of the film itself.

 The whole kit almost weighs nothing at all, a few ounces at most, yet very durable. The epoxy I used is a great adhesive, my only issues were in applying it. I wouldn't recommend anything else with less strength.

 Here's a closer pic. The white, grey and black almost give it a slight bluish hue when photographed, but in person its just like out of the film.

The base is supposed to be some sort of a lagoon cavern with a large iguana and a skeleton hand sticking out of the crevice. I went back with black Sharpie and outlined the title that was sculpted into this piece.

All in all, it's been far too long since I've played with a model kit, they're quite a bit of fun. I'm eager to find a model shop soon and grab some more goodies. This would make for a great gift, pre-assembled or already put together. Click here to get your own. Click here for a whole gallery of Creature kits offered through time.

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