|NOTES:||Snap kit with alternate limbs|
Vampirella is a fictional vampire heroine created by Forrest Ackerman, and drawn my Angela Carter. She first appeared the first edition of Warren Publishing's horror comics magazine, Vampirella #1, in Sept 1969. Originally, she was an Alien from planet Draculon. Later, her history was re-written in-which she was born in biblical Eden as a child of Adam's first wife, Lilith, after her return to Eden. She was born to battle evil in general, and demons in particular.
She had superhuman capabilities included strength, speed, acute sensors, enduring stamina, lightning reflexes, agility, immunity/rapid healing/immortality, individual flight with bat-wings, hypnotising stare and voice (especially to males who, in her presence, become lustful towards her), telepathy, unarmed combat and a crack-shot with firearms. As well, she had all of the capabilities and strengths of a vampire (including the ability to change into a small bat), but none of the weaknesses, (such as an aversion to mirrors, sunlight, crucifixes, holy water or garlic). Her ability to squeeze into that skimpy skin-tight suit AIN'T a superpower, because ALL superheros can do that.
Her most attractive attribute (apart from the obvious ones) is that she doesn't hunt humans for their blood or convert them into vampires. Like all heroines, Vampirella's form is that of a typical young Western man's ideal of a perfect female shape. In fact, 'Comic Buyers Guide' rates her as the 35th of the 100 Sexiest Women in Comics.
I bought this kit because a model Club I'm in, decided to do "Modelling - It's a Snap" - a display of snap-together models. As the Club Members listed their already-completed snap-together models, and promised others, I realised that nobody had a snap-together kit of a female figure. So, when I saw this in my local model clearance centre (and at a reasonable price, too), I snaffled it - just to round-off the display. This was a rather courageous (or foolhardy) move on my part because I'm not a figure modeller. But you must remember - for everything, there is a first time.
This kit is one of the Aurora 1970 Monster series that provides a base-plate and a single free-standing figure. It is composed of 16 parts that includes 4 single-piece arms, 4 x 2-part legs. The box-art is misleading in that it shows Vampirella in a dramatic pose with wild, flying hair, whereas the figure has quite sedate with dressed hair. A big plus of the kit is that the limbs attach to the torso where her costume (what there is of it) ends.
Construction was simple, but I made it simpler. Both of the arms and legs were supposed to be trapped between the torso halves before they were glued together. But I trimmed the location pins so that the limbs could be assembled, smoothed, then painted BEFORE assembly to the torso. This process was aided because the join seams are on the edge of the Lady's clothing (what there is of it). Dry-fitting the alternate arms allowed me to decide on her pose, and the form of the final display. Instead of a both-arms-down or a both-hands-on-hips pose, I used one of each arm to come-up with a 3rd pose.
|COLORS & MARKINGS|
All flesh components were sprayed with the last of my Polyscale sand (thinned with water, not alcohol, as I was advised). Masking of the neck and face allowed me to spray her outfit in a bright red (which I preferred over the suggested orange). Her fingernails were brush-painted with the same red. Hair and boots were brush-painted with Citadel Miniatures chaos black, her collar with skull white, and her jewellery in gold.
I followed the advice of other figure modellers when I did her eyes. I did them first, because, if the eyes aren't right, the rest of the figure will never be right. I dotted-in one of her pupils, then while holding her out at (almost) arms-length, I looked her in that eye as I dotted-in her other pupil. I painted her face under the deeper-areas-before-the-outer-areas rule, and then, under the tutelage of my Wife, I did the features of her face, then finally her makeup. I reckon that I'm still well below the level of an average figure modeller.
This was when I decided that I wanted my Vampirella figure to be standing over a fresh grave. The size of the grave was determined by the width of her stance and the length-plus-a-bit-more of the figure. The mound was formed over a piece of packing foam attached onto a wooden base. In a flash of inspiration, I cut a slit in the foam and inserted one of the kits spare arms into it. The manicured lawn was cut from a sheet of 'grass' from a railway shop. I formed a headstone from glow-in-the-dark clay that I saw in a craft shop when I was there, seeking the individual metal letters. And to be cheeky, I wanted THAT message on it.
When gluing the arms on, some resculpting was necessary to change one from a vertical orientation, to its horizontal position and to put her hand into the line-of-sight of her eyes. To keep her standing, I inserted a thick wire up into each of her legs, and down into the base. And to complete the model, I needed a reason for her pose, but it took me a bit over two years to finish this figure.
Now that Halloween is gaining acceptance here in Australia, I could seek what I decided I needed to finish this model. Only recently, in a small party supplies shop attached to a party-hire warehouse, I finally found what I had been searching-for. For only $5, I bought a bag containing three different packs of Halloween confetti in nine different shapes. One shape was the small bat-shape that I wanted. They were punched out from a sheet of thin black plastic. I extracted one and mounted it on a very slim wire, using epoxy glue. The bat looked pretty plain, so I animated it by folding its wings downwards by intelligent use of my newly-acquired PE-bending pliers. The thin wire was inserted into the underside of Vampirella's hand so that, hopefully, it looks like she is looking at the bat has just launched from under her hand. You DO know that bats hang upside-down, and launch by dropping, don't you?
This is the first time I've tried to do a real figure kit (as opposed to the faceless others I've presented here in MM). Judges, and more-experienced builders of figures will, no doubt, condemn this one for its lack of shading, and scoff at my first attempt to paint a face. Well, I took a leaf out of Scott's modelling book, and I'm letting the natural light do the shading and contrasting for me. Hopefully, in future, I will have the courage to tackle another figure kit, because I'd like to improve my ability to paint them.
This is a simple kit, enhanced by the optional limbs, so I would happily recommend it to figure kit novices. On the plus-side, the whole execution turned-out just as I wanted it to, and our Club display was a roaring success.
Oh 27 February
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27 February 2023
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