Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Let's Build Moebius Model's Iron Man 2 Black Widow!

Buying a model kit is a treacherous business. Have you ever been lured by the Siren song of the pretty pictures on the box, only to have that tiny voice at the back of your mind sternly remind you that you are never going to get it looking like that and, in fact, will most likely mess it up? It's a total gamble and your prize purchase could just as easily wind up in a forgotten box of shame at the bottom of your cupboard.

Well, back at Supanova, I couldn't resist picking up Moebius Models' Iron Man 2 Black Widow model kit, featuring what is almost the likeness of Scarlett Johansson, to add to my burgeoning Scarjo Black Widow collection. The box art is certainly pretty, although it gives away little of what we'll actually find inside...

Well now it's the moment of truth! Let's crack it open and build her together! Will it be victory or crushing defeat! Will we add value or devalue? You'll see it all... after the jump!

I think the next level of shock/dismay when purchasing a model is opening up the box. Up until that point you've had lofty dreams of the dazzling finished product. But inside the box is the startling reality. You're going to find ugly sprues full of single-colour plastic pieces and it is going to be heart-breaking.

Now I've put together my fair share of Warhammer models so this isn't too much of a shock, but it certainly doesn't look like much at this early stage. I think I paid $35 for her and it certainly doesn't look to be $35 worth at this stage. When I bought it there were two guys at the stall. I said, "How much for your Black Widow?" and Guy 1 goes, "Um... $35" and Guy 2 goes, "35 dollars?!" like he's in shock. This is really disquieting during a sale. So I go, "So is that a lot more than you thought or less than you thought?" And he goes, "I thought we were charging a lot more." Well... I'm not so sure....

(Sidenote: I just got a call from a well-known Hollywood producer who would like to develop that riveting story into a series of films).

So it all seems like a confusing jumble of flesh-coloured plastic at this stage but if you look closely you will see recognisable details in there, like Scarlett's face...

It's all a bit of a mess. I'm going to have to cut them off the sprues and file down all the jagged excess parts. OMG this looks like a lot of hard work...

So I get it all filed down and nice looking and then I super-glue it all together. I don't know why but I used up a whole tube and managed to completely erase two of my fingerprints. Looks like it's a life of undetected crime for me! The good news is that she looks far, far better assembled. Now we're actually getting somewhere! So take a good look before I go on to mess it up! 

I should mention that scale wise she's about 8 or 9 inches. Not bad and perhaps a bit more in line with the price. Her base is massive though. Considering how flat and bland it is, it's difficult to justify the space it takes up. I guess I'll have to stand other smaller figures from the collection on the base around her.

So now the painting begins. I'm using Citadel Warhammer paints which are pretty superb. In the model-making/painting days of my youth I never used quality paints so this should really make a difference. But first we're going to have to prime her. Like a pro. I'm priming her in black even though that may cause havoc with her face. But I am devil-may-care. I'm rolling the dice! Here's the black Scarlett Johansson...

Should we quit while we're ahead? No! We are foolhardy! Next we're going to paint on all the block colour stuff. This is the messy base coat of all the main areas before we start adding details. So far so good:

She's actually taking shape. I know I've made her hair super orange but I'm going to attempt to fix that shortly. At each stage I frantically photograph in case the next stage completely ruins it. Model kits are harsh mistresses. You can lose it at any moment. It's like reeling in a difficult fish. 

So now I start adding the washes and highlights to the base paint, putting in the details like her make-up as well. The flesh coloured paint get get a little gritty sometimes... it's hard to keep the texture smooth but we're doing okay. Except for one thing that I only notice now...

Why the hell have I glued her right arm in that position?! Look at the box behind her! Her hand should be positioned coyly on her waist! It's taken me how long to realise that I've messed this up, even though the picture is right there looking back at me? I've made her look like she's reaching for a beer that will never arrive. This is a problem.

So with much effort I manage to yank off the arm. It leaves a bit of paint damage but I'm able to reposition it correctly and then touch-up my mistakes. And then we're finished! Sort of. It's like painting a picture in many ways. Like when are you really finished. I mean REALLY finished. There's plenty of details that I could still touch up, especially on the face. And if I was totally hardcore I'd freehand a SHIELD logo on her arm. But I am totally softcore. And all my thin brushes are moulting like diseased birds. So this is as good as it gets... for now...

So it kind of looks like Scarlett? The hair is a little big and the face looks a little pinched from the front. But from certain angles I think the likeness is a lot better:

I think they've really managed to get her nose right. And I think her hair paint turned out pretty good.

And this all seems to check out...

I feel like they've short-changed her some weapons though. Did she really only have one gun? Seems pretty odd to me. 

Oh and I don't know if the base was still drying in those above shots (looks like the black wash is still wet) but here's a better look at it. It's all weathered and stuff. Woo!

And that's pretty much it! I haven't yet integrated her into my other stuff because I don't have the space.

So I'm not regretful and it was actually a lot of fun to make, even though there isn't really a lot to it. It did get me curious about what other models are on the market, but that little voice is reminding me again that I could very well mess them up. All in all though I think Moebius did a pretty good job. I hope they're going to make some tie-ins to The Avengers film because that could be really cool!


  1. I think you could have just painted over the flesh color instead of using flesh paint

  2. Could you place what colors you used for what parts ?