Saturday, July 19, 2008

One of my Insane Hobbies - Part IV (The Final Chapter!)


JULIE NEWMAR - CATWOMAN

One of the hardest kits I ever tackled and the next best thing to having a Natalie Wood resin kit. Julie has had and continues to have a profound impact on me. I've met the Julie (got several autographed photos and an autographed print of a painting that I had too!) and found her to be a wonderful person. Prior to my lifelong love affair with Natalie Wood I was supremely in love with Julie Newmar. Batman reruns at age 5 will do that to a person. A lasting image of her was burned into my visual cortex then and is still with me (obviously) to this day.

The kit came in 5 pieces. Head and torso, arms, and legs. CONSIDERABLE clean up was necessary - lots and lots of mold lines that needed to be sanded and sanded and sanded and sanded. Once the kit was primed all the OTHER imperfections came out and so I sanded and sanded and sanded... Once I had her pinned with armature and assembled, I was able to start with metallic blacks for her Catsuit. But then once again, tremendous sanding - not to mention more sanding of the putty lines where I had attached her arms and legs. So, basically this kit was all about endless SANDING. Especially on the backside where her beautiful bottom meets her legs.

I was really happy with the way it turned out however. I used matte black for her boots, gold tones for her necklace, catgun, and nails - and a shiny metallic black for the Catsuit as already mentioned. I spend considerable time on facial tones - from dark to light. It was about 6 weeks worth of work.

When the kit was basically where I wanted it to be, I bought an unfinished balsa type treasure chest and plaque at Michaels and then painted them both. And Voila! She was done! Until I bumped the kit one day and it fell!!!!!!!!! Julie broke one arm and both her legs! Two weeks later - she emerged from surgery just fine. The results are below. This kit stands over a foot tall!

I think the plaque that I stained and the treasure chest which was also painted provide a good diorama and really sell her pose.


Some detail


3/4 Profile View


Backside. My, oh my.


Clealry, great care was taken when contouring Julie's posterior - which deified the natural laws of physics


Ahh, Julie...

Kit was purchased: Online through a modelers forum in 2001. A very kind gentlemen sold it to me at a very cheap price when this kit was going for 175.00. Scale is 1:6 (standard for figures like this)

Kit was completed: Around 2003. And about a year later when she broke.

Acrylic Paints - Various brushes and Airbrush for skin tones on face.


This is my last post on this topic for now and my pal Bill in China asked for more information about the hobby. I'll try and give a general sense of what's involved. When you buy a kit (and a good place to buy one online is Monsters In Motion or Ebay) you're entering into a challenging and painstaking hobby. The kits, which come typically in gray resin require ASSEMBLY. But, not typical assembly. The kits are generally broken into: Torso, Head, Arms, Legs - and then odds and ends like coffin, candleabra, arch, anxe, rats, whatever... The pieces need to be washed to release chemical agents used in the molds, then they need to be carefully inspected for imperfections and mold sprues. After that - you are free to prime the individual pieces. To affix an arm to a torso, for example, you need to drill a hole in the torso and in the arm - and glue a thin piece of metal, like a small finishing nail with the head cut off, into the torso. You then have created armature for the piece. Impale the arm onto the nail - glue - and then putty the seams so that kit the seal of arm and torso has no gaps. You will then have to sand away the excess putty and then you need to do the other arm, the head, the legs etc. It's ridiculously time consuming. Here are some pics to aid visually (complements of the Clubhouse and Gremlinz - two sites for the modeling hobbyist).

Drill holes in your kit when you need to establish armature between joints



Another diagram for establishing connection between abdomen and torso - you can see how the reinforcement works.


When you have a good fit - you mark the spots with X's and then drill holes to place an armature rod.


You can see an "X" on this piece. Match that X with the X on the other piece and then glue.


Once you have two pieces together and puttied, you can sand the seam until it is very very smooth. At that point you begin the final painting stages.

I hope that these pics can give you a general idea of what the hobby is about and the complexities that often arise. It's a tremendous hobby - one that fills you with pure joy. I love it - I just don't seem to have the money or time for it these days. I think that will change starting now. I have a massive Dark Horse "Bride of Frankenstein" cold-cast porcelain kit that I needs finishing. This sucker is massive and will take forever. I can't wait.

7 comments:

Ross Horsley said...

Wow, what a productive way to procrastinate! This is amazing stuff. Call me sheltered but I've never really seen anything like it before... I guess I thought models just somehow got "made" and that was all there was to it!

Bill said...

I do not know if you know this but I lust over Julie Newmar. I have a picture tribute I will put up soon of her, but it lacks a good essay really. It is great stuff here. Kudos.

Looks like you got the bannerfan.com thing going. Thanks for putting my banner from Tal up. Looks good, and I am proud of the simple but message conveying one for Gilligan's site. Now when I did to visit your site I can find the link fast...

Bill

Liz said...

eeek! did i somehow overlook this great piece of work when i saw you last?!

or was it hiding....?

sometime, we should both get the same model and have a "build-off" and see what we both come up with...

Chick Young said...

Ross ol bud, so glad to see your site active. Makes this old heart flutter! Thanks for the kind comments.

Bill baby, oh yes, I recall your Newmar tribute very well. I figured you would enjoy this kit. I spend weeks and weeks on it. Hardest kit I ever did. I think it turned out okay. As for Banner - no haven't figured it out yet. The ones that I have up are from your and tali's site. Can you help? How do you add am image? I can't figure it out at the bannerfan site.

LIZZIE! I tried to comment on your page - but there's NOTHING there. Perhaps you ought to write something? ALso I need your email address - Bowman never checks his - so If I want you guys to look at something I know that I can depend on you.

Liz said...

ha ha,
yeah, i used to have posts up on my blog, but i got to busy to update it....

then i went back and realized how sophomoric the posts were that i deleted them.

i will blog again soon, promise.

p.s. lizredford@gmail.com

elgringo said...

Really, really impressive.

Also, that just might be the (and this is weird to say) hottest figurine I've ever seen.


Scott
he-shot-cyrus.blogspot.com

Chick Young said...

Thanks Gringo! Julie gave me quite a hard time and then she fell! Re-building her was a massive undertaking. It's an insane hobby. Thanks for your kind words Scott.

Chick