Dark Gallery #6 – Model: The Phantom of the Opera

Aurora Phantom of the Opera Built Up

This Phantom of the Opera was the first monster model I completed as an adult. It’s a styrene plastic kit which means that it’s a bit of a challenge to assemble without encountering some unwanted gaps or jutting seams. I have some dental-sized rasps to even out the pieces that stick out. I used Squadron’s “Green Putty” gap filler for the gaps and a little extra fine sand paper to make everything smooth. I primered the kit with grey sandable primer, and boy howdy, shooting on a coat of primer REALLY reveals any surface flaws so I sanded more after that first coat.

Painting this kit was a blast since I finally had the patience of an adult, not to mention the ability to get the right materials. Acrylic paints are SO much easier to work with than the goopy enamels I used as a kid. Not to mention that hard, glossy sheen of the enamels is better suited to a hotrod than to a monster model. And another aspect of adult-level patience is that I looked at the model carefully before I assembled it and determined which parts should best be painted BEFORE they were assembled (the prisoner, the underside of the Phantom’s cloak…) I tried different techniques to make different areas of the kit feel like different materials, like dry brushing for highlights and washes for contrast. I sprayed a couple coats of flat lacquer on the model once the color was pretty much how I wanted it but then I brushed on a bit of high gloss lacquer to certain areas near the jail cell to make the stone look wet.

I only had memories of assembling a model as a kid, mostly of botching up something here or there, so I was really pleased if not amazed to watch this kit almost assemble itself.

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