Articles:
Gremlins in the Garage!

Hammer Horror Tribute
by Michael Oprean
(opream@msn.com)
This whole diarama was a labor of love, I felt these were the films that finally captured the real essence of the "Vampires" created by Bram Stoker so long ago. The series faltered near it's end, but the majority of the series brought blood and sex to the genre. I'd wanted to do this tribute for a long time but getting the parts of it was impossible until recently. The base was not available anywhere, so I tried to duplicate it on my own. Here is the resulting Hammer Horror Tribute diorama:

Model: Dracula - Christopher Lee
Material: Resin
Price: $150.00
Parts: 5 (plus base)
Sculpted by: Jeff Yeagher
Produced by: Monsters in Motion

The "Dracula" kit is a breeze to build, with no air bubbles and only minimum seams it went together nicely. The cape did take some sanding to get it nice and smooth. I painted the head and hands separately and glued them in place after the body and base were finished. The cape needed some sculpting done on one of the shoulders where it attaches to the body, this was also painted seperately and attached when the whole piece was assembled. The building and painting instructions were followed closely as they matched the film nicely. The only changes I made were to paint the inside of the cape a different shade of black than the outside and I didn't add any red to it. The pupils are undercoated faith gold then overcoated with transparent red to make them appear to glow.

Model: Van Helsing - Peter Cushing
Material: Resin
Price: $l20.00
Parts: l0 (plus base)
Sculpted by: Jeff Yeagher
Produced by: Monsters in Motion

The "Van Helsing" kit was also easy to build and paint, no air bubbles and a very thin seam had this ready in no time. Again the parts were painted seperately, all components were assembled when everything was past the painting stage. The hardest part of this kit was to get the candlesticks to line up correctly when the hands are attached to the body, using pins and super-glue worked well. All the parts are pinned and then glued to the main bodies.

The bases for both of these kits go together to make a marble circle featuring the Zodiac. Therefore they were painted at the same time using the same colors.

Model: Hammer Vamp
Material: Resin
Price: $35.00
Parts: 9
Sculpted by: Mike Parks
Produced by: Mad Lab Models

The "Hammer Vamp" is a slab model, made to go in a coffin. A little sanding on the sides and bottom are all it needed to be ready for painting. The fangs were added after the inside of the mouth was painted. This is a bit tricky as thev are very tiny. I used Zap-A-Gap and Zip-Kicker and tweezers, a one shot effort. I got lucky, they lined up nicely. A small wooden stake that came with the kit was added to her heart after she was painted and I tried to keep the blood to a minimum.

Model: Crypt Coffin Base
Sculpted by: Michael Oprean

This was hand made by myself. When I could not find a issue of the original resin base produced by J.L. Crinnon l decided to make my own. It is based on a picture of the original in - Rescnue Of the Garage Kit That Ate My Wallet", a very useful resource. I used my own measurements and fashioned all the separate parts out of particle board and 1/4" plywood. The floor was made much loner to acomidate the two bases that came with the models and then cut out so they would appear to be inlaid. All the bricks and cracks were carved in using my Dremel with a pointed cutting bit .The base is assembled using carpenters glue and wood screws. It was then primmed, painted flat black. the drybrushed using several shades of greys to simulate the stone work. When finished this is a rather large piece, but it does showcase a series of films that I grew up loving to watch.

Once everything was painted assembly was quite easy. The Crypt Base had a circle cut out of it, the two character bases were droped into this giving it the appearence of being inlaid. The "Vamp" was placed in the Crypt then the Crypt was attached to the wall. The heads and hands were attached and the figures were pinned to their bases, finally the cape for Dracula was glued to his shoulders.

Well that's about it. It's a big piece and it takes up a lot of shelf space, but it was a fun project that I'm very pleased with. This is a good example of incorporating a number of kits to make a diorama of a favorite film scene or maybe to create a scene that you can envision but never made it to the screen.

Good Luck

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