Wednesday, May 4, 2011
NIGHTMARE IN PLASTIC AND THE CASE OF THE MISSING RAT!
In the early 90's, Monogram re-issued some of the classic Aurora monster kits as Luminators. For no logical reason, the Universal monsters were now cast in semi-transparent, neon colored plastic. For optimal effect, the models were meant to viewed under a black light. Of course, I scarfed them off the shelves (and ordered the official mini black light too!) thinking I'll just paint them like regular models. Little did I know... I decided to tackle the Phantom of the Opera kit first and found that the typical Testor's paints didn't really work. So I got the genius idea to spray the parts with primer. I stupidly lost a lot of sculpted detail. At this point, I just sort of gave up and said 'forget it' and threw the pieces back in the box. Now almost two decades later, I went back to the primed parts lying in the box, sanded them down and decided to finish the kit with acrylic paints. Whatever type of plastic was used for the Luminator kits, they were badly warped, didn't fit tight and were extra difficult to glue (I used putty to fill in the wide cracks!). A few months ago, I actually finished my Phantom so all was not lost. With the help of some atmospheric lighting, the kit doesn't look half bad!
SIDE NOTE: Just when I thought I was finished, I noticed that I was missing a single part, one of the little plastic rats. I searched everywhere and found my cat, Sweet Pea, playing with it! Of all the parts, she went for the tiny rodent? That says quite a lot about the quality of these vintage sculptures!