In 1932, Boris Karloff starred in Universal Pictures The Mummy where he portrayed the ancient Egyptian priest Imhotep who is revived when an expedition finds his mummy and accidentally reads an ancient life-giving spell. Although Karloff’s mummy is only on the screen for two minutes, his amazing makeup and incredible performance made The Mummy an iconic horror character; just as he did in Universal Pictures 1931 Frankenstein.
Fast forward to 2009 where Frank Winspur and Moebius Models has released a 1/8 scale rendition of the classic monster. Molded in light grey, this big kit comes complete with a base, wall, cobra, mummy and sarcophagus. The detail is amazing; all the way from the sarcophagus lid to the likeness of Boris Karloff. The box art was done by famous monster artist Basil Gogos who’s remarkable portraits of movie monsters appeared on the covers of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine in the 1960s and 70s.
The first thing that strikes you is the size of the box: a “monstrous” 12.5 x 9.75 x 5.25 inches! Inside you will find 43 pieces cast in light grey styrene. The casting is crisp throughout with no visible flash. A nice touch is the 4-page color reference sheet by Jeff Bond and Dave Metzner. The design is very reminiscent of Janus’ long out of production “Im-Ho-Tep” and comparing the two really shows the detail.
Assembling the kit is a snap. The sarcophagus lid is two pieces and practically puts itself together. The inner and outer sarcophagus base is another matter – 10 pieces. The Mummy is nicely detailed in 10 main pieces with numerous bandages that hang off. The only noticeable gaps were on the head behind the ears and the back of the shoulders, but this was easily remedied with a little putty.
The cobra assembly is 6 pieces and the seams are nicely hidden on the belly and after a little putty and primer, it’s time to start painting the kit. The original movie was filmed in black and white so you can use your imagination when painting. I did some research on King Tutankhamen’s tomb and decided to use it as a painting reference.
First up is the Mummy. I base coated the body with Sand Yellow using Model Air paints by Acrylicos Vallejo and my trusty Iwata Eclipse HP-CS. The Model Air paints are specifically designed for airbrushing and use a very fine pigment that give you an even and smooth finish. The Eclipse is an extremely flexible and versatile airbrush; allowing me to spray anything from fine lines up to a 2-inch pattern. I layered Ochre and Sandy Brown over the bandages to give them a weathered look and once dry, I oil washed them with Burnt Sienna for some depth. I then drybrushed Yellow to pull out some of the detail on the raised edges. The head and hands were base coated Sandy Brown and then dry brushed with Yellow. A light coat of Gold Yellow completed the effect of leathered skin.
The sarcophogas interior was base coated with a mixture of Dark Earth and German Gray. Drybrushing Rust and Golden Brown brought out the texture and then I tied it all together with Wood and Golden Brown. The exterior was primed with Gloss Black and then base coated with Gold. Using reference photos of King Tutankhamen’s sarcophogas, various shades of reds, blues, and browns were used to bring out the fine detail. Once competed, a clear matte finish was sprayed over the entire sarcophogus to give it a weathered and faded look. Using an Egyptian Cobra as reference, I base coated the snake with Green Brown and then sprayed stripes of Olive Green and Dark Yellow. The cobra’s belly was painted Light Brown and drybrushed Gold Yellow.
Next it was time to tackle the base. The wall and stones were base coated Sand and then shades of Ochre and Sand Yellow were used to break up the color. Chips in the wall were painted Gold Yellow and the heiroglyphics on the back of the wall were painted with reds, yellows and browns and then misted with Sand to give them a faded look.
Finally it was time to put the whole thing together. After placing the wall and sarcophagus on the base, I added some real sand by mixing white glue with water and sprinkling sand over the mixture. Once set, I applied another coat of the glue/water mixture to seal the sand. To finish the effect, I sprayed Sand (go figure) over the entire base.
I have to admit – I haven’t had this much fun putting together a model since I was a kid. Although this was a fairly simple build, the attention to detail has to be seen to be believed. Congratulations to Frank Winspur and Moebius Models on another fine kit. This one is sure to become a fan favorite!