The Bride of Frankenstein
Every time I open a Moebius Models box, I am more amazed than the last time. Frank Winspur and Moebius’ latest offering is a first for the figure industry, a two-figure diorama taken from the James Whale 1935 classic The Bride of Frankenstein, depicting the scene where the Frankenstein Monster is attempting to holds his Bride’s hand. This is one of those rare cases in the movies where the sequel is as good or better than the original, and that is saying a lot. The monster was played by Boris Karloff (born William Henry Pratt) and the Bride by Elsa Lanchester (wife of Charles Laughton – she also plays Mary Shelly, writer of the original novel, in the movie’s opening scene).
The first thing you will notice in the box is that is heavy – very heavy. Inside, there are dozens of pieces that make up two 1/8th scale figures of the bride and monster, plus a full diorama including the stone back wall, wooden floor, raised dais and a couch for them to sit on. There are also two shelves full of glassware and a name tag. Styrene nirvana!
The only way to tackle this is to break it into parts, and that was my method. First, I segregated things by material type, so I set the stone back wall to one side, the wood floor, shelves, and raised dais by themselves, and the settee to itself. The glassware was also isolated, along with the parts for each figure.
I stated with the base and sprayed the back stone wall with dark gray Alclad primer. After drying, the base received a black oil wash followed by a dark highlighting of the cracks with an airbrush. This was followed by dry brushing with multiple grays and browns. Last, pastels were used to add further highlights, and then a flat coat.
All of the wood parts (the floor, the shelves and the bottom of the settee) were all done the same way. I base coat with a brown color, then buff for the riser and the floor and dark brown for the remaining ones. Once done, everything received several flat coats. Once dry, I took three colors of brown Liquitex acrylics – raw sienna, burnt sienna, and dark umber. I used the most beat up brush I had and dipped it in a color and dried it, then pulled "wood grain" streaks onto the base colors. This was repeated with all three colors. Once that was dry, I mixed Tamiya transparent red and green to make a clear brown and coated the parts previously painted. This gives them a nice wood look that can have different washes applied, or even be flat-coated. I flat-coated the floor and enhanced it with pastels for an aged look. The shelves got the same treatment while the settee was left semi-gloss.
The wood part of the settee was masked off and the top given a nice dark red color, shaded with brown inks. The buttons were painted and then gloss coated.
The Bride is simple. Her body is three parts that fit well and is, basically, a sheet. I base-coated with a light tan and highlighted with white. A little slightly off-color pastel white, and the body was done. The arms are base coated dark tan and then washed with a dark brown and drybrushed with a white to represent the bandages.
The Monster’s body was simple, with the pants and top glued together and a little putty applied and sanded. I base-coated with black and then highlighted with Floquil grimy black (a dark gray). The shirt was given a liberal dose of grays to get it a different color. Brown pastels were used to show wear points on the sleeves and the knees and elbows. The boots were painted brown and washed black and drybrushed unbleached titanium. The boots were attached and everything was flat-coated.
I saved the piece de résistance for last – the head and the Monster’s hands. They are stunning and, without question, the best styrene figure parts ever produced. The fit is superb with a little putty being needed, but not much. Part of this can be attributed by Moebius’ selection of Jeff Yagher as the sculptor for this piece – he is truly a genius at likenesses and emotions, and they look alive!
I painted the Monster with a slight green tint, and using Garage kits Pale Flesh gave the bride a warmer color. Several washes and pastels were used as highlights. I have covered a lot but tried to include several detail shots.
The one issue I have with the kit (and, that being said, with many kits like this) is the glassware parts. I just cannot find any way to glue the two parts together and not get a seam that looks terrible. You can see the seams on the pictures below. There are several pieces which are single parts and these are glued. I will back-fill the shelves with a skull and maybe some papers and books when I can do so.
The kit was assembled with no issues. I did gloss the figures’ eyes and the Bride’s lips, and that was it. Can I recommend this kit? – easily. It is the best styrene figure kit ever produced and better than many of the resin kits out there now. It is an ambitious project that was pulled off perfectly and assembles like a dream. Go buy one – you won't regret it.
My deepest appreciation to Frank Winspur, Moebius, and IPMS/USA for a chance to review this classic!