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Technicolor Terror


 Metaluna Mutant Model Building CreatureScape

Don not be alarmed, people of Earth.  What you see before you is a completed bust of the "Metaluna Mutant" from Geometric Designs. The creature comes from the Techicolor space opera THIS ISLAND EARTH, perhaps best remembered today as being the core film for the MST3K movie.  If "Come give Uncle Scrotor a hug!" rings a bell, you saw the MST3K version.

The process described here utilizes both hand painting and airbrushing techniques as well as an oil wash that really polishes the final bust.  Even if you never do this bust, the process will work for most kits nicely. Anyway, the bust comes in one piece plus a disc and mounting pin, but the base you see here is a little silver serving bowl I found at a local Goodwill . . . always check the thrift stores for useful parts.

STEP 1:  Wash your kit in warm water with dish soap and allow it to dry to remove oils and mold release agents can cling to the kit.  Washing kits makes it easier for primer and paint to adhere.

STEP 2:  Do a spot check for holes, gaps or problem areas and apply putty to fill them.  I use a 2 part putty by Aves most of the time, but also the Testor's modeling putty in the gray tubes is useful.  In fact, I found it worked well where the external veins were damaged.

STEP 3:  Apply a primer coat.  I use FW Inks Cool Gray sprayed through an Iwata HP-B airbrush at about 20 psi, but you can use a spray can and get good results.

Metaluna Mutant Model Building CreatureScapeIn the picture to the right you will see the primed kit.  First  note that there is a screw at the bottom of the bust connecting it to a base that will both support it and allow me to move the kit without touching the paint.  I can spray all around from different angles throughout the process.

Also note that some places look white.  This is because after priming, I could easily see where I needed putty and it is the putty are seeing.  In other words, after priming, I had to repeat step 2, but this is normal in model building.  For more on priming, click here.


Metaluna Mutant Model Building CreatureScapeSTEP 4:  Lay in the deep set paints.  In this kit, the ridges in the brain and the eyes are set in very deeply so they should be addressed first.

I sprayed in FW Ink's Purple Lake, a very cool shade that is one of many FW Inks products I love, especially for a kit like this.  Their colors are vivid and apply more beautifully and easily than any paints I have ever used.

The eyes are painted flat black using a small brush and Createx's flat black.  It is an airbrush paint, but it works great with a regular brush too.


Metaluna Mutant Model Building CreatureScapeSTEP 5:  Next, it was time to start applying the main colors.  The mutant in the film features a couple shades of medium and medium-light blue.  Fortunately, I had just the right colors. 

I sprayed in Marine Blue on the entire area you see coated avoiding the eyes and deep crevices of the brain.  On top of that, on the face and high ridges and mottled here and there on the shoulders, back and ribs, I shot in small amounts of Turquoise.

Metaluna Mutant Model Building CreatureScapeSTEP 6:  The bust really starts to take on character in this step.  First, I continued adding in Turquoise, lightening the brain and shoulder areas until it had that Technicolor look.  I sprayed in FW Ink's Raw Siena in the "mouth" area as well.

The real challenge of the kit, though was painting in the red external veins with a 00 size brush and Red Apple acrylic craft paint from Apple Barrel Paints. It took several applications to get it bright enough . . . and to correct mistakes here and there!

Finally, I sprayed Purple Lake along the sides and back.

STEP 7:  When I was happy with the basic paint job, I sealed the kit throughly with Testor's Dulcote sealer.  It protects the paint job and prepares it for the finishing phase in this construction, the oil wash.

For what it is worth, I don't use anything other than Testor's Dulcote to protect the kit.  I tried big spray cans of flat coat, but they did not really do the trick. There was a lot of over-spray and it was hard to control the spray in some cases.  Moreover, it did not always really leave a flat coat which is critical for figure kits.

But, I digress . . .

Anyway, I mixed up about 3 ounces of mineral spirits with a 1 cm. tab of Lamp Black oil paint and a 1 cm. tab of Prussian Blue, both of which are Windsor & Newton (aka Winton) artist oils.  This solution was applied to the entire kit beginning at the top and working my way down, wiping away the excess as I went.  To learn more about oil washes, you can click here.

You can see how the oil wash tones down the kit and makes the transition between colors seem more natural.  I was tempted to leave this stage out because the unmuted colors were so arresting, but in the end, the oil wash improved the paint transition tremendously and made the mouth look much better as well.

 For the eyes, I brushed in FW Ink's Pearlescent McCaw Green and when that dried, brushed on a coat of Tamiya Transparent Smoke (X-19) to break up the color.  Again, I was tempted to keep the McCaw Green as is because it is so dramatic, but prudence won out.  (Stupid prudence!)

Finally, it came time to mount the kit.  Since I did not have a nice base and I wanted something metallic given the sci-fi nature of the kit, I went shopping . . . on the cheap.  As mentioned above, I found a great base for less than a buck at Goodwill.  All I did was run a screw through the bottom and right back into the bust.

Metaluna Mutant Model Building CreatureScape



Metaluna Mutant Model Building CreatureScape

Metaluna Mutant Model Building CreatureScape

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