October 31, 2017

TRENCH RUNNER REVIEW: Elastolin Collector Peter Nussbaum puts Paper Shaper to the Toy Soldier test

This brief article is about using the Paper Shaper liquid from Vantage Modeling Solutions (VMS).  The product is used to render paper or thin fabric soft and formable for making realistic miniature tarps, rags, clothing and other fabric items.  When it dries, the paper or fabric is stiff and can be moved and/or painted.  The VMS website shows an example of making a tarp on a tank using paper -- it looks good -- and also talks about some other VMS products that can be used with Paper Shaper.

I enjoy making flags for my medieval toy soldier army, so I tried Paper Shaper for some flags, and also for a variation of a tarp, which in my example could more appropriately be called a shroud.  I want to stress that all of my efforts were "first shots" to get a sense of how the product works, and could undoubtedly be improved with more practice.

The photo below shows a plastic Elastolin Sir Gawaine lying on his back, sadly demised.  I draped that figure with a thin fabric, left, and a second Gawaine with a piece of paper, right, both soaked with the liquid.  A problem with the paper I selected, a standard printer/copier weight, is that it is weakened when saturated with Paper Shaper.  You can see that the feet have broken through it.  This may be avoidable with a different weight of paper and more care.  I prefer the coarser texture and drape of the fabric version and because it is stronger than the paper.  Both dried with a hard surface that can be painted and allowed me to remove the figure from under them, as I did with the fabric example.

The second photo shows various flag-making approaches, all treated with Paper Shaper.  From left to right, the first two are paper color copies of flags from illustrations in Osprey books and are blank on the other side.  For these two, I soaked and contoured the flags, then attached them to the poles when dry.  For the next three, I glued the flags to the poles first, then did the soaking and shaping.  The middle flag is fabric with the St. George cross painted on it by me with acrylic red.  The white flag is a linen-textured heavy paper stock used to see how a thicker stock could be made to drape, and the right-hand yellow flag with Tudor rose is the same heavy, linen-textured paper stock printed by an inkjet printer.  The fluid left a slightly glossy hard finish on the paper flags that is less noticeable on the fabric. 

Again, all these flags were first-pass attempts intended to get a feel for the way the Paper Shaper liquid allowed me to replicate draped or moving cloth, and all could no doubt be improved with more practice and/or different paper or fabric.  In my opinion, these techniques are fine for toy soldier flags or for wargames flags if done in a smaller size, but lack the subtle shading and detail of a connoisseur-grade painted medieval miniature flag.  That's not the fault of the product, which does what it advertises.  The challenges with this general approach are figuring out how to print on a flat piece of paper a detailed miniature heraldic flag (or any other type of flag) that looks nicely shaded when contoured, or, alternatively, learning how to realistically paint an already-contoured blank flag such as the white one in the photo.
PN 10-2017

FARLEY'S FIGURE OF THE WEEK #166: Universal Monsters by Marx

It's amazing how a certain piece of a memory can evoke a wave of emotions. One fall day in 1964, I came across a startlingly wonderful discovery in the toy department at Woolworth's aka the eighth wonder of the world. There, resting in giant bins next to army figures and other toys were wonderfully colored creatures known as Universal Monster figures by Marx. Owing to the influence of plastic army men, I was, as a kid-and still am today as an adult-fascinated with plastic figures. Like models, there was such artistry to the molding of them that they were worthy of studying for hours on end as well as playing with. These wonderful monster figures came in two different colors. I had a blue Hunchback, Wolfman and Phantom while Frankenstein, The Creature and The Mummy were cast in bright orange. I tried everything I could with them including, but not limited to, painting them with enamels like my Aurora Monster models, attempts at blowing them up and burning them into blackened gobs of plastic. Invariably, I ended up buying these figures again and again. I was in awe at how such wonders were created and made available at such a reasonable price of only a dime. In 1964, ten cents was still a good piece of change, money to be taken seriously, but it wasn't a fortune either. Ten cents was reasonable. Ten cents also paid for the incredibly fascinating 6-inch army figures and cowboy figures also by Marx.

The Original Gangs all here in their original colors!
I really loved "The Mummy" and "The Creature from the Black Lagoon" figures. Frankenstein was cool also, but The Mummy and The Creature were tops. "The Wolfman" and "The Phantom of the Opera" came in third but I loved them just the same. No idea why Dracula never made the cut. 
The set was sold both loose, and together in a plastic bag with a printed logo that read "Cinema Creatures!" The monster figurines have been re-issued many times over the years in many colors including a glow-in-the-dark set by Uncle Milton in 1991. But the original 60's versions were molded in blue and orange plastic.

Mummy still looking good at 50+ years!
Franke..back in the day!
Frank makes the cover of his favorite magazine
The Creature looking as sharp as he did back in '64
A '64 Phantom..wave bye, bye!
2017 re-pop in new colors
Hunchie Re-pop c.2000s
1990s Reissue by Uncle Milton
1990s reissue also by Uncle Milton

MTSC PRODUCT RELEASE NEWS: AMMO by MIG Oilbrusher Vol. 2 - The Modellers Collection

Now available from, AMMO by Mig is the Oilbrusher Vol. 2: New Modellers Collection!

Oilbrusher Volume 2
Click to enlarge
AMIG-3503 Oilbrusher: Red
AMIG-3521 Oilbrusher: Yellow Bone
AMIG-3522 Oilbrusher: Medium Soil
AMIG-3523 Oilbrusher: Dusty Earth
AMIG-3524 Oilbrusher: Earth Clay
AMIG-3525 Oilbrusher: Red Tile
AMIG-3526 Oilbrusher: Space Purple
AMIG-3527 Oilbrusher: Marine Blue
AMIG-3528 Oilbrusher: Sky Blue
AMIG-3529 Oilbrusher: Mecha Light Green
AMIG-3530 Oilbrusher: Weed Green
AMIG-3531 Oilbrusher: Mecha Dark Green
AMIG-3532 Oilbrusher: Starship Bay Sludge
AMIG-3533 Oilbrusher: Raptor Shuttle Turquoise
AMIG-3534 Oilbrusher: Summer Soil
AMIG-3535 Oilbrusher: Gun Metal
AMIG-3536 Oilbrusher: Steel
AMIG-3537 Oilbrusher: Aluminium
AMIG-3538 Oilbrusher: Silver
AMIG-3539 Oilbrusher: Gold
* Red has been available from astute dealers like Michigan Toy Soldier since the first wave. This color was mistakenly left out of Volume 1 counter packs and has now been included in Volume 2.

View the entire range of Oil Brushers HERE

View our original PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT on Oil Brushers HERE

You Can order these from MTSC HERE

MTSC PRODUCT RELEASE NEWS: The Weathering Magazine no.21 Faded + The Weathering Aircraft. no.7 Interiors + Encyclopedia of Armour Modelling Techniques Vol. 4 - Weathering

AMMO by MIG has just released is the long awaited Volume 4 of the Encyclopedia of Armour, The Weathering Magazine Issue 21 featuring Fading Shades & The Weathering Aircraft Issue 7 featuring the Interiors. 

Order the Latest AMMO Releases HERE
Order the Latest Weathering Magazines HERE

Modelling Techniques - Vol 4
150 pages with more than 700 high-quality images

The definitive AFV modelling encyclopedia from the hand of Mig Jiménez, creator of FAQ 1, FAQ 2 and many of the best-selling books in the history of modelling, and a team of the best AFV modelers from all over the world under his direction.
Throughout almost 150 pages and more than 700 large photos, Volume 4 explains step by step and in detail the weathering and fading techniques and effects necessary to adapt your models to any given setting with a highly realistic finish.
In this fourth volume of the AFV Encyclopedia, Ammo examines in detail how to make accumulated rust and dirt effects, streaking grime, rain marks, rust streaks, several methods for dust and earth stains. We also explore mud splatters and stains, fresh oil, grease, fuel, and watermarks, as well as different types of rust effects and the specific weathering scenarios presented by desert and winter subjects.

The techniques shown in the encyclopedia are described with highly informative texts and numerous pictures illustrating the process in great detail. This encyclopedia is the definitive tool for the workbench of any AFV aficionado.

70 pages
The latest issue of The Weathering Magazine brings you an interesting and universal theme “Faded”, with in-depth features made by some of the best modelers, complete with step by step articles, techniques, and tricks.
Within this release, you will see various examples of pale and faded finishes seen not only on tanks, trains, and submarines, but also on civilian and science fiction subjects. Ammo will show you how to create faded camouflage on a modern M1A1 Abrams tank and how to achieve a multilayered faded look on abandoned South Lebanese Army’s Tiran 4.

Ammo explores how to paint the forgotten workhorse from a farm – the Case tractor painted with some very interesting tricks. You will also find the Gato-class submarine, and learn how to implement airbrush and chipping techniques to obtain the appropriate discolouration for Naval subjects. For those who do not have much free time for the hobby, Ammo demonstrates a simple but effective method used to apply a discoloured finish on a civilian Renault 4 hatchback, and a faded look on a railway tank car.
The E-100 article will bring you shading methods while simultaneously obtaining the faded appearance of this “what if” pale red primer beast. Aviation lovers will find a classic Bf-109 fighter and will learn a laborious but eye-catching process to obtain the distinctive features of desert-based aircraft. Finally, for those of you who are fascinated by the Star Wars saga, Ammo brings you a detailed tutorial for painting and weathering a very unique A-Wing model.

74 pages
The Weathering Aircraft Issue 7, shows the “Interiors” of the most iconic aircraft with incredible detail and precision.
We should not overlook interiors, so we have decided to show you how to paint and weather cockpits, wheel and electronics bays, and radio compartments. Contrary to what many people believe, interiors generally do not sport many bright coloured parts, so we will have to learn which appropriate colours to use.
As you might expect, these areas also show a fair amount of weathering effects, just as the rest of the aircraft, so we will see how to match the interiors to the finish of the exterior surfaces using different weathering techniques. We have selected various subjects as examples, ranging from WWI aeroplanes to spaceships, all clearly explained through detailed step by step articles by some of the finest modellers in the world.

Order the Latest AMMO Releases HERE
Order the Latest Weathering Magazines HERE


Toys in the Attic: Aurora Monster Models of the 1960s Part 14 -The Monstermobiles

With it's monster kits at the height of popularity, Aurora came up with another series of kits designed to combine the appeal of two popular models: monsters and cars. The result was the Monstermobiles which combined the classic monsters with souped-up cars (two big pop culture trends of the mid-1960's). Unfortunately, the models didn't quite appeal to either the monster fans (because the monsters weren't treated seriously enough) nor the car modelers (who just wanted cars, and not wacky monster characters - Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth's work notwithstanding.
 Frankenstein’s Flivver
Original Kit 1964, 1/12th scale, issued in gray plastic as kit #465
Sculptor: Adam “Larry” Ealing
Box art: James Bama


1996-2003 Polar Lights 5013 (465) Long box, gray ABS plastic.
1997 Polar Lights 5013 (465) Square box, gray ABS plastic. Sold only at K- mart

Dracula's Dragster
Original Kit 1964, 1/12th scale, issued in black plastic as kit #466
Sculptor: Adam “Larry” Ealing
Box art: James Bama

1999-2003 Polar Lights 5015 (458) Long box, beige plastic.

Wolfman's Wagon
Original Kit 1965, 1/12th scale, issued in dark gray plastic as kit #468Sculptor: Adam “Larry” Ealing
Box art: James Bama


1997-2003 Polar Lights 5015 (458) Long box, beige plastic.

Mummy's Chariot
Original Kit 1965,
1/12th scale, issued in
dark gray plastic as kit #469

Sculptor: Adam “Larry” Ealing

Box art: James Bama
1996 Polar Lights 5003 (459) Long box, gray ABS plastic. Sold only at FAO Schwartz
1996-2003 Polar Lights 5003 (459) Long box, Glow plastic "Frightening Lightening edition
996-2003 Polar Lights 5003 (459) Square box. Glow plastic Sold only at K- mart

King Kong’s Thronester

Original Kit 1966,
1/12th scale, issued in black and yellow
plastic as kit #469.
Larger kit then previous releases
Sculptor: Adam “Larry” Ealing

Box art: Vic Prezio


1998-2003 Polar Lights 5016 (484) Long box, beige plastic.

Godzilla’s Go Cart
Original Kit 1966,
1/12th scale, issued in green and yellow
plastic as kit #469
Larger kit then previous releases

Sculptor: Adam “Larry” Ealing
Box art: Vic Prezio
This kit is considered by many to be the single most desirable and most elusive of all Aurora monster kits, and the box alone can cost a small fortune. Aurora was forced to stop production on the kit by Toho because it apparently "demeaned" Godzilla's trademark.

1999  Polar Lights as the Go Cart 5029 (485) Long box, beige plastic
Reproduced from the original rare Aurora kit by Polar Lights, this kit was only on the market for about a year, before Polar Lights discontinued production. Polar Lights did not have the proper licensing to produce and sell this kit with the likeness of Godzilla. The subsequent law suit made the production run and public sales limited.

Web: "Collecting Aurora Monsters" Dennis L. Prince
Web: Professor Plastiks "Aurora Monster Kit History"
Print: Aurora Model Kits by Thomas Graham