Building the Captain


OK, as a illustration of the results you can get from using the modeling tips I've been passing out, I'm going to go into detail on what it took to build this model from start to finish.  This model requires more advanced building and painting techniques than the previous Batman model, but everything I used is discussed in the previous tips, with a little practice you can also do this.

First, check out what I have to say about the Toy Biz models in my regular gallery page if you haven't already done so.  Every time I build one of these, I swear it will be my last.  But then I start picturing in my mind how neat it would look once I've whipped it into shape, and away I go with the putty.                                                  [IMAGE]

  First thing I always build is the base. In this case it has a wild one I really liked, but I noticed right away it was blocked from view by where they placed the Captain.  That's fixable by moving the figure, and I think the final compositon is actually an improvement.  The Toy Biz models have a tendency to over clutter the base, in this case I just removed one big black tube from the right side to give me floor space to move the Captain around.  I cut off the tab on the base where the Captain's left foot is supposed to go, and painted the hardware sub assemblies before joining the whole thing together, and it took some fussing to get the elements lined up correctly.

 The "concrete" is light grey with off-white drybrushed on.  Pick whatever colors you like for the rest, but keep in mind this is a backdrop for the Red White and Blue main man.  I used the silver mixed with black trick to create a steel look for the hardware.  The skull was just supposed to be dropped into the clear tube, I glued a clear plastic sprue to the top of the skull and attached it to the lid of the container to keep it from rattling around.  Speaking of clear plastic, don't use regular cement.  Elmer's white glue will do a good enough job, but it's best to just get a bottle of special glue like Testor's Clear Parts Cement.  

My next step was to build the Red Skull.  An immediate problem was the arms being unequal length and wrong proportion for the body, noticed after I had him glued together.  If you ever have something that "looks wrong" just compare it to your own body.  The idiots at Toy Biz had reversed the instructions, the arm band goes on the right side.  You can't always believe the instructions!  I chopped the armband off the left arm, spliced it on the right, and did some putty work.  The drybrush continued on his outfit, green fatigues over flat black.  The Red head was simply red over flat black, and  light yellow teeth.  Other than that arm thing, he was easy to build and position.

Then came the Captain.  There was a molding error in my kit; the plastic didn't fill the mold on his back so I was left with a huge missing piece.  Normally this means taking the kit back to the store to exchange, but I decided to test my modeling skills on this one.  This is a putty job with a vengeance, but don't fill in the entire body with a whole tube of putty, besides taking weeks to dry the putty will shrink a little as it dries and deform the part.  Pack the area with something (I used cardboard) until you just need a layer of putty.  Then sand and file to recreate the surface.

 I built the Captain all the way down to his boots, but didn't attach those to his legs until I knew where he was going to be placed on the base.  This let me pose him in different places, and I had to shift his right foot a little and putty in the gap where it joins the leg to get it just right for his new pose.  Dark blue for a base coat on his body, medium blue drybrush to complete the tights, a medium red over grey for his boots and gloves.  I moved the shield, just filled in the hole on his right glove and drilled a new hole on the left.  That's where the Captain always carries it, and besides it puts this icon front and center and makes for a better compositon.  Another mistake in the molding, the Captain doesn't have the big "A" on his forehead molded or inscribed to help with the painting, you just have to use the detail brush and do it by hand or find some way to make a decal.

Now for the shield.  Here's how you get a great paint job by hand.  Start with a flat black wash, then a light drybrush with grey.  This leaves you with black rings that you can see clearly as you take a small brush and go around and around with the paint.  Use thin coats in layers, I used about a dozen coats of red to get it solid.  Then put on several thick coats of flat clear.  At this point you'll see little pieces of grit and small bumps that distract from the flat surface.  Now take some very fine wet sandpaper, about 600 or so grit, and lightly sand the shield, taking care not to sand through the clear coats.  This gives you a smooth, flat surface.  Finally, get some Future or Mop 'N Glow floor polish, and wipe on a coat of this with a damp sponge.  This stuff is "self-leveling" and dries to a hard shine.  You now have a perfect, great shield!

This is a great model, even with the obvious problems.  Use your ingenuity, take your time on the painting, and have some fun with this one.

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