Moebius Models reissues of Aurora “Monster Scenes” -The Pain Parlor and Gruesome Goodies

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By Justin Humphreys

© Justin Humphreys – 2010

Who was the marketing savant who decided to put “pain” in a kid’s toy’s name?

Does Barbie drive a Pain Ferrari? Would the Great Garloo have sold better if Ideal had called him The Big Green Pain Demon? Has Wham-O made a fortune over the last fifty years selling Pain Hoops?


Aurora’s Original Monster Scenes Pain Parlor from the early 1970s

The answer to the last three questions is a resounding no, but Aurora’s creative minds Continue reading “Moebius Models reissues of Aurora “Monster Scenes” -The Pain Parlor and Gruesome Goodies”

Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde- Aurora Monster Kit reissue by Moebius Models

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By Justin Humphreys
© Justin Humphreys – 2010

For the last seventeen years, model kit aficionados have seen a steady stream of superb replicas of Aurora Plastics’ iconic styrene monsters, from warhorses like the Frankenstein Monster to heretofore un-reissued rarities like Dracula’s Dragster. But one of Aurora’s 1/8th scale beauties has been passed over without fail whenever reissuing time rolled around: Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde.

Why is the good doctor never returned to hobby store shelves? Did that flask that Dr. Jekyll’s chugging spook parental watchdogs into thinking that it would inspire impressionable young chemists to poison themselves with some unspeakable brew? Where’s the logic here? Why has this kit been out of the legitimate kit market for over thirty years?


Moebius Models reissue of the classic Aurora Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde

“No one did it earlier as they said it wouldn’t sell,” says Frank Winspur, president of Moebius Models. “At Polar Lights, they thought it wouldn’t sell enough to make it break even.” Larger kit manufacturers, he says, “felt it was a crappy kit, hard to build, and no one remembered it with any fondness! Crazy stuff, in my opinion!” Continue reading “Dr. Jekyll as Mr. Hyde- Aurora Monster Kit reissue by Moebius Models”

From Mexico to Venus with Paul Schiola-Ultratumba Productions’ Mastermind Speaks!

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By Justin Humphreys
© Justin Humphreys – 2008

Please note that this interview with Paul Schilola took place in 2008.  Ultratumba ceased production in 2009. – Alan Bussie

Over two decades after his death, the delightfully lurid cinematic monstrosities of creature creator (creaturist?) Paul Blaisdell remain perennially popular. Rather than lumbering, shambling, or fluttering around dive-bombing victims as they did in their original movie habitats, they generally sit stock-still these days… In effigy, that is, courtesy of Ultratumba Productions.

Ultratumba is releasing a series of 50s and 60s-era movie monster models that have, among other things, resurrected Blaisdell’s monstrous menagerie—creatures like “Beulah” the Venusian from It Conquered the World, and the titular BEM from Invasion of the Saucermen with its head like a bundle of vines from a freshly-picked pumpkin patch with a hideous trademark Blaisdell scowl.

Author George Clayton Johnson once told me that “Pulp never dies,” and that’s uniquely true of unique pulp. And nowhere has pulp been more unique or lovingly rendered than with Blaisdell’s monsters. Bizarre, bulbous, bug-eyed, scaly, or all spines and crackly surfaces, they remain a lasting tribute to Blaisdell’s furious imagination. They are 30s “Amazing Stories” covers sprung to life.


Ultratumba’s Angry Red Spider Resin Kit

At first glance, they might appear ridiculous. One modern horror director and movie aficionado Continue reading “From Mexico to Venus with Paul Schiola-Ultratumba Productions’ Mastermind Speaks!”

A Biography of T.L. Wardlaw, Jr. (1915-1977)-‘KC Terror’ Model Kit Designer

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By Sylvia Diane Wardlaw, Edited by Alan Bussie Google+ profile

Editors Notes – During the Golden Age of model aviation (1930s-1940s), the wood and tissue flying model aircraft was king. As rubber power yielded to gas in the mid 1930s, model aircraft design became more and more critical. The basics were well known, but gas power added numerous complications. The now-much-heavier aircraft needed to climb steeply in a stable fashion during the short but powerful motor run. During the rush for maximum altitude, it had to withstand the forces of the higher relative winds and the vibrations of the engine. When the engine stopped, the plane was required to suddenly fly level and and display a stable, high glide ratio flight pattern – one suitable for catching thermals. The men who could create successful designs from scratch were among the few, and there names are well known – Walt Good, Carl Goldberg, Joe Koval and Henry Struck, just to name a few. Now, thanks to Diane, we have the history of the creator of the Kansas City Terror. Alan BussieGoogle+ profile


Thomas Lamar Wardlaw, Jr. was born in Columbia, South Carolina March 28, 1915. His father got him started on airplanes when he was about 6 years old and so from an early age he was interested in aviation. By the time he was 11 years (1926) old he was building his own flying models. This soon became a passion for model airplanes and he was building them and also teaching others. While still living in Columbia he had a model airplane camp group where he taught young boys to build models.

T.L. Wardlaw, Jr. standing center, with the boys club

As a young man he enrolled at the Parrish Flying Service. He studied there from July 1934 and received his wings in February of 1937. Once receiving Continue reading “A Biography of T.L. Wardlaw, Jr. (1915-1977)-‘KC Terror’ Model Kit Designer”

Aurora’s 1/48 Scale Breguet 14 With Kit Release History

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Written by Fred Boucher (courtesy of Aeroscale)

Kit History by Alan Bussie Google+ profile

The Aircraft


Breguet 14

Built by The Société des Ateliers d’Aviation Louis Breguet, also known as Breguet Aviation, the Breguet 14 (often spelled as the Breguet XIV) is considered one of the most important French warplanes of WW1. Designed for reconnaissance and bombing roles, it was known for toughness and performance, thanks to Breguet Aviation internal structure of duralumin and steel, with a wood and fabric external construction. Powered by a Renault 12Fe water-cooled inline engine rated at 224 kW (300 hp), the Breguet 14 was fast (121 mph) and fairly maneuverable. It usually packed a fixed Vickers 7.7mm machine gun firing ahead, and single or twin 7.7mm Lewis Guns mounted on a scarf ring for the observer.

The Aéronautique Militaire used them Continue reading “Aurora’s 1/48 Scale Breguet 14 With Kit Release History”

Aurora’s 1/48 Gotha G.V Bomber Review with Kit Release History

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Written by Fred Boucher, courtesy of Aeroscale

Kit History by Alan Bussie Google+ profile

The Aircraft

Built by Gothaer Waggonfabrik AG, the Gotha G.V was a heavy bomber used by the Luftstreitkräfte (Imperial German Air Service) during World War I. It corrected a design flaw of the G.IV–mounting the fuel tanks in the engine nacelles, which contributed to three-quarters of G.IVs destroyed in landing accidents! Gothaer moved the fuel tanks to the center of the fuselage. Housing Mercedes D.IVa engines rated at 190 kW (260 hp), the smaller engine nacelles were mounted on struts above the lower wing, e.g., “floating,” between the wings. Thirty-six were built and began operations in August 1917.


Gothaer Waggonfabrik G.V Bomber

The fuselage was fully skinned in plywood. It was noted at the time Continue reading “Aurora’s 1/48 Gotha G.V Bomber Review with Kit Release History”

How to build Resin Model Airplane Kits-Resin 101

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Article and Photography by Ken Friend

Editors Note: It is my pleasure to bring you another article on modeling by Ken. Since Ken would never brag on himself, I must point out that his work has been featured in in FSM (Fine Scale Modeler) and he has won numerous awards in IPMS Competition. I know that I have learned an immeasurable amount from him and I hope you can too-Alan Bussie.

Some time ago I was asked to build a few models for display at the 2008 IPMS Nationals. The first of those was an Anigrand Mirage 4000, and while building the kit I thought back to the time when I built my first resin kit and of the changes in modeling techniques I had to adopt and/or develop. Other modelers I talk with are sometimes reluctant to build a resin kit, simply because they “don’t know what they don’t know” about building kits made of this different kind of plastic. I realized the Mirage would be a great beginner’s kit that could help new resin modelers get over their resin anxiety and open their collections to rare, one-of-a-kind, and unusual aircraft. First, a little history of just what the Mirage 4000 is all about:


The Mirage 4000 was a French prototype jet fighter aircraft developed by Dassault-Breguet from their Mirage 2000. The new aircraft was noticeably bigger and heavier, being fitted with two (SNECMA M53-2) turbofans, rather than the single engine found on the Mirage 2000. It also featured small canards above the engine air intakes. Despite the changes the two aircraft remain similar, sharing the delta wing design, semi-circular air intakes and general configuration.

The plane first flew in 1979. It was financed as a private venture by Dassault, possibly with Saudi Arabian money. The Continue reading “How to build Resin Model Airplane Kits-Resin 101”