Kit #VHO 50
Size: 1/35 scale; just
a hair above 8 inches tall
Out of production and
Kit Review by Alan Nadel
review originally appeared at PCModeler.com
| Watch the original
1933 version of King Kong and you'll see a film with special effects
that are laughable by today's standards. What sets this classic apart from
other "effects films" however, is excellent writing and direction, some
great characters and an 18 inch tall stop motion puppet with acting skills
exceeding those of his human co-stars.
| I've been a
big fan of the movie since I first saw it on TV in the 1960s. Unfortunately,
there's never been a really good model kit of the big guy. The classic
Aurora kit is the first to come to mind, at left. Even in the best of recent
figure kits, Kong's appearance is so stylized that all resemblance to Marcel
Delgado's actual creation (right) is lost.
Click on the above image
the full instruction booklet
| In the 1990s,
garage kit makers GEOmetric Design and Max Factory Custom Craft worked
together to produce a licensed model kit of the mighty ape. Thanks to the
wonderful sculpting of Izume Takabe, GD/MFCC has produced an excellent
likeness of the Eighth Wonder of the World in a model kit.
packaged kit comes in nineteen dark gray vinyl parts, six of which are
optional. The instructions include an assembly diagram with building tips
and a basic painting guide all contained in a nice glossy "collector's
booklet." The booklet also has four pages containing behind-the-scenes
photos and a wealth of Kong trivia provided by the mighty Bob
Burns (the Ninth Wonder of the World).
| Detail on the
kit is exceptional. The face is an excellent reproduction 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 fur
detail of the rest of the kit. This is visible in the image on the right.
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. Parts
are numbered and clearly marked "L" and "R". The warm parts popped together
firmly and easily at the joints which are all circular to allow rotation.
These joints include the neck, waist, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists and
ankles. What one winds up with is an eight inch tall, fully articulated
| The kit comes
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. Once
again, detail is excellent including the face, hair, gown and delicate
| Puttying and
blending the seams was a challenge because of the kit's furry texture but
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 maximum
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 backs
of the hip joints to hide what looked like "panty lines." Ambitious modelers
may want to sculpt extra fur detail onto the backs of the hands and to
re-texture the upper arms.
| Painting Kong
was simple enough. The instructions recommend "rabbit fur brown" as the
original Kong puppet was covered in brown rabbit fur. Since the movie was
in black and white, I decided to take liberty with the colors. I chose
to use a darker brown for the fur and flesh to try to capture the coloring
of a real gorilla.
A base coat
of 1:1 flat brown and flat black Tamiya acrylic was sprayed on with a Badger
250 mini spray gun. Lighter mixes of brown were then dry-brushed on over-all
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.
| When finished,
I had spent about nine hours on Kong: one hour building, five hours filling
and texturing seams and three hours painting. The finished model looks
just like the real Kong, even down to the dramatic facial expression. The
kit is easy enough for modelers new to vinyl figure kits and because it's
poseable, it can be placed in any scene or setting.
Pros: Excellent likeness,
easy to build, poseable
Cons: Fay Wray figure
way out of scale, detail on forearms softer than rest of the kit
Worse than that: this
kit was discontinued long ago!
AND KIT REVIEWS
- 2O18, Alanoodle Creations