Friday, December 11, 2009

Kit review: Bond. James Bond.

I've mentioned my friend the movie freak a few times; he's a James Bond fan, so this year for his birthday I hunted down and found a 1999 re-issue of the '63 Polar Lights James Bond model kit.

Polar Lights made tons of pop-culture, movie and TV-related kits, such as Dick Tracy, the Beatles (Yellow Submarine era), Sean Connery's James Bond, Dracula, and the Munsters' living room.

The kit's pieces were well-detailed, but the sprue "trees" are a bit thick. It's very easy to cut too close to a part and damage it, which makes for more work later on. Assembly went quickly. None of the parts were warped and needed only minimal cleanup, but I did need to hit the seams with a file to smooth them out.

I hit all the major subassemblies with primer--and that was probably a mistake, since I used filler primer. It went on heavy and helped to obscure some small details.

My next mistake was in painting; it's been several years since my last model and I had some issues with my several-years-old flat paints coming out glossy (especially the Humbrol "flesh tone," which made Bond look like old wood). It took days for the Testors flats to dry out.

Don't use cheap brushes! I kept having to pick bristles out of fresh paint.

The instructions called for the model base to be painted green and the dead tree was to be brown. Very realistic. I left it all primer-gray, then dry-brushed with flat black, brown, tan, green, and olive drab to pick up details. Then I laid down some Woodland Scenics turf in patches.

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