Kit #VHO 50
Size: 1/35 scale;
a hair above 8 inches tall
Out of production
Kit Review by
review originally appeared at PCModeler.com
| Watch the original
1933 version of King Kong and you'll see a film with special
that seem quaint compared to
today's CGI animation. What sets this classic apart
other "effects films" however, is writing and direction that
set the standard for action-adventure movies to come and an 18 inch
stop-motion puppet capable of stealing every scene from his human
I've been a
big fan of the movie since I first saw it on TV in the 1960s. Sadly,
there have been several King Kong model kits produced over the
of them really looked like the big guy. The classic Aurora kit is the
to come to mind, at left. Even in the best of recent figure kits,
appearance is so stylized that all resemblance to the Eighth Wonder of
the World is lost.
Click on the
the full instruction
In the 1990s, garage
kit makers GEOmetric Design and Max Factory Custom Craft worked
to produce a licensed model kit of King Kong. Thanks to the
sculpting of Izume Takabe, GD/MFCC produced a kit that
the mighty ape.
packaged kit is made up of nineteen dark gray vinyl parts, six of which
are optional. The instructions include an assembly diagram with
tips and a basic painting guide all contained in a nice glossy
booklet." The booklet also has four pages of behind the scenes
photos and a wealth of King Kong
trivia provided by the mighty Bob
Detail on the
kit is exceptional. The face is an excellent likeness of a roaring
Kong and the proportions look just right. The fur is nicely represented
although both of the upper arm pieces (parts 4 and 5) lack the crisp
detail of the rest of the kit. This is visible in the image on the
Kong is well
engineered and easy to work with. The hard vinyl softened nicely under
hot tap water and excess vinyl was easily removed with a hobby knife.
are numbered and clearly marked "L" and "R". The warm parts popped
firmly and easily at the joints which are all circular to allow
These joints include the neck, waist, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists
ankles. What one winds up with is an eight inch tall, fully articulated
with what the instructions call the "Fay Wray option." This includes a
manacled right hand and a figure of Ms. Wray as Ann Darrow dressed for
the New York scenes. The four piece figure, which measures three inches
when assembled is nicely executed. The body is in two parts, separated
at the knee along with separate arms which attach at the shoulders.
again, detail is excellent including the face, hair, gown and delicate
Warning: Nerd rant
At the kit's
listed 1/35 scale, however, the three inch Fay scales out to nearly
feet tall! According to Wikipedia, Fay Wray was five feet, three inches
tall, making the figure scale out to 1/21
But that would make the eight inch tall Kong figure scale out to
fourteen feet in height. According to the book The Making of King
by Orville Goldner and George E. Turner, the miniature sets used
in the movie's Skull Island scenes were scaled to make
Kong appear 18
tall which would make the kit 1/27 scale. The New York miniatures were
built to make the Kong puppet appear 30 feet tall which roughs out to
scale. Either way, Ann Darrow winds up being seven or eleven feet tall,
respectively. (I knew Bruce Cabot was wearing lifts!)
I decided to
leave the Fay Wray option out and instead posed Kong with arms raised
a menacing gesture using super glue to fix the figure into position. A
1/35 scale military figure (2 inches tall) was modified to resemble a
placed alongside Kong for comparison. At that scale, Kong works out to
about 23 feet tall, an acceptable compromise.
blending the seams was a challenge because of the kit's furry texture
with a little patience and a pointy object, I was able to blend in the
seams at the joints. I used epoxy putty with a 4-hour cure time for
workability. My sculpting tool would be a 3/8 inch wood dowel sharpened
to a point using a pencil sharpener. Extra putty was needed at the
of the hip joints to hide what looked like "panty lines." Ambitious
may want to sculpt extra fur detail onto the backs of the hands and to
re-texture the upper arms.
was simple enough. The instructions recommend "rabbit fur brown"
because the stop-motion Kong puppet was covered with real rabbit fur.
the movie was in black and white, I took some liberty with the
and chose to use a darker brown for the fur and flesh. I wanted Kong's
coloring to more closely resemble that of an actual gorilla.
A base coat
of 1:1 flat brown and flat black Tamiya acrylic was sprayed on with a
250 mini spray gun. Lighter mixes of brown were then dry-brushed on
and finally a mix of brown, white and yellow was dry-brushed on to add
highlights to the fur. Kong's face is large enough to make painting his
eyes and mouth easy.
I had spent about nine hours on Kong: one hour building, five hours
and texturing seams and three hours painting. The finished model looks
just like the real Kong, even down to the dramatic facial expression.
kit is easy enough for modelers new to vinyl figure kits and because
poseable, it can be placed in any scene or setting.
to Sharon L. for hunting down and finding this kit and for putting up
my occasional single minded obsession with whatever it is I happen to
obsessing about at the moment.
easy to build, poseable
out of scale, detail on forearms softer than rest of the kit
than that: this
kit was discontinued long ago!
AND KIT REVIEWS
- 2O23, Alanoodle Creations