Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Munsters: Fireplace and Floor

It has been a long, long time since I worked on any of my monster models. So long that all my paints had dried up and I had to make a trip to the model shop this weekend for supplies. I forgot how much I like the model shop. It's so quiet and filled with the very best things!

I bought my first monster model kit nine years ago. In that time I've only worked on two models which are still mostly in pieces. I think it's about time I finished one.

This weekend I pulled out the very first kit I ever bought: The Munsters. If I had to choose an all-time dessert island favorite monster model, this would be it. I love the diorama scene and all the details.

I'm in the process of cleaning and photographing all my grandpa's models and when I get to this one, I'll do a proper introduction. For now, I'll just show the parts of my model that I painted this weekend.

We have an ornately carved fireplace:


A warm, cheery fire:


And a mostly finished living room:


It feels so good to paint again! I forgot to buy brown paint at the model store so I had to mix my own. I forgot how fun it is to mix up just the right color. To add layers of paint to the model to get just the right look. I know this model will take quite some time to finish but I think this is a great start! Looking forward to assembling some of the characters and furniture next time.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Brief History of Monster Models

In 1961, Aurora Plastics Corporation created their first monster model kit. Production on these kits ran 24 hours a day to keep up with demand. Over the next ten years, in a tiny house in St. Paul, Minnesota, my grandfather bought 13 monster model kits and assembled and painted them to the best of his ability. My dad remembers these models, remembers his dad painting them.


Then they disappeared.

Sometime around 1995 we found a box of my dad's old toys in the attic of his old house. When we went through the box, we found his beloved Hot Wheel car collection including the orange plastic Hot Wheel tracks his father used to hit him with when he was bad. We found his WWII army helmet that he'd spray painted silver and put on his head before it had completely dried. There was an imprint of his hair in the paint. And, finally, we found the monster models.

It was love at first sight. I spent all day carefully cleaning off decade’s worth of dust, admiring the tiny details and pondering some of my grandfather's interesting paint color choices.


After a few years, the monsters were set aside and replaced by other things like friendship bracelets, telephones and cars. It wasn't until 2006 that I remembered the models. I searched the internet hoping against hope that some old kits were available to purchase. I so desperately wanted to build my own monster models. What I found was extraordinary...the kits were re-issued in the 90's. Some had been remade using the original molds, some had to be re-cast using original model pieces. All were available for me to purchase, to build and paint and love as much as I had loved my grandfather's models.

And one day, not long after I started collecting my own model kits, my dad gave me his father's monster models. It was the best gift I'd ever received and one I will always treasure.

Now that my collection of kits is complete, this blog will be dedicated to documenting my progress as I build and paint each of my 16 monster models. It'll be my virtual display case filled with my grandpa's models and (eventually) my own.


I hope you'll join me on this journey fueled by nostalgia, love and styrene plastic cement fumes. I swear by Frankenstein's yellow undershirt that it will be a good time.