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Posts Tagged ‘wolverine’

Polar Lights Model Kits: Superhero Modeling Favorites

posted by JamieH 8:42 AM
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Superman-comparison The popularity of mainstay pop-culture characters can be tracked back to the earliest instances of licensed merchandise. Superman debuted in the comics in 1938 and less than a year later, the first merchandise was offered to the burgeoning crowd of fans. The Supermen of America Club supplied members with a button and official membership card. Supermen of America rings were offered to new members in 1940 and over time have become one of the most sought-after collectibles ever. In the early years, trading cards were introduced. They were followed by nearly anything that could have a Superman logo applied to it from lunchboxes to puzzles, books and records, action figures and of course… today’s Superman model kit.

Characters like Superman change with the times, but still resonate with every generation. As sensibilities evolve so do the characters and the various Superman-figuresinterpretations of them. Technology allows our look at the characters to become more defined. In the comics, the original interpretations offered on pulpy page stock by his creators Joe Seigel and Jerry Shuster gave way to the visions of Mort Wiesinger and Curt Swan (among many others) to the more contemporary renderings by Neal Adams and John Byrne to the version offered on today’s glossy page stock or the subtle glow of a tablet. The big and small screen offered a range of interpretations from the shorts created by the famous Fleischer Studios which put still images into stunning motion in a series of cartoons to the live-action serials starring Kirk Alyn to the TV series starring George Reeves to the most fondly remembered depiction supplied by Christopher Reeve in four films to last summer’s blockbuster film.

Every time we see a character depicted in a new way, we are biased (whole-heartedly or in part) by the previous interpretations of him. Some people are die-hard fans of the old stuff, the stuff they grew up with as kids and have loved ever since. Some people are coming to the party late and they latch on to the version being offered at that time. Some are into it for a while and eventually let it go. Others are life-long fans.

For sci-fi and pop culture modelers, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. You know if you like Star Trek better than Star Wars. You know if you like STAR TREK: The Original Series better than STAR TREK: The Next Generation. You know if you like the Curt Swan interpretation of Superman better than Jim Lee’s. Classic TV show Batmobile or the Tim Burton version?

Our recent Superman and Wolverine super-hero kits were created with the mindset of appealing to the widest audience possible. The Wolverine kit offers optional heads to appeal to guys that want something a step closer to the recent movie versions. We chose the costume to depict his iconic early appearance, but it was engineered to allow easy modification to create other later versions. Superman depicts one of his most iconic comic book covers, but with a little adapting he can look more like any of his various incarnations.

So, my question to you, the modeling public, is what do you like? (Please don’t misinterpret the question as “what do you want?”) Did you like the Man of Steel movie? Did you like The Wolverine? Do you like what Marvel Comics is doing right now or do you like DC better? Are you into the Arrow TV show or are you more excited about STAR TREK: TNG being remastered to be released on bluray? While you are at it, let us know what you think of our recent figural model kit releases. Feel free to let us know by responding here on the blog or on our Facebook repost.

Polar Lights models: Wonderfest is right around the corner

posted by RJ 4:56 PM
Friday, May 10, 2013


One of my personal highlights each year continues to be the annual Wonderfest show in Louisville, KY. This year’s show is coming up the weekend of May 18 & 19 and it seems to be shaping up to be another great one. Seeing all of the great product available and seeing the work of all of the great modelers out there is a rare treat. Most of all though, I look forward to seeing all of the familiar faces and the chance we get to have to talk about our kits, the hobby and what you guys think.



Even though we won’t be unveiling big news like the 1:350 TOS Enterprise, there will still be tons to talk about. We look forward to showing off our brand new buildups of our 1:144 C-57D, Robby & Altaira, Wolverine, the U.S.S. Enterprise bridge set and plenty more. We’ll give some info on development of the Galileo, Superman and all of the other all-new model kits we have brewing. We’ll have some surprising licensing announcements including hints at our plans for the ALIEN license. As always, we’ll have our annual survey ready to fill out to supply us with your feedback. We’ll be sure to fill in everyone that misses the show with our usual follow up youtube video of our booth and announcements.


We look forward to seeing everyone at the show!



Polar Lights Model kits: Wolverine model kit development

posted by JamieH 9:00 AM
Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I’ve said many times before I’m a lifelong comic book collector. As a young kid, I was into the standard Superman, Batman and Spider-Man fare. I loved team books like the Justice League of America and the Avengers. If I already had the current issue of my favorite solo characters, I’d buy the book that had the most costumed heroes in it. As I grew older, I started actually READING the books instead of just looking at the pretty pictures. One day I stumbled across a comic I hadn’t eve noticed before and picked up X-men #136. My fellow readers can probably tell you that this was at the point where the X-men were growing in popularity among readers due to the classic work of writer Chris Claremont and artist John Byrne whose run on the title was building to a crescendo. No one outside of comics really knew about the X-men. They could point out Superman or the Hulk, but they wouldn’t be able to tell you who Colossus was. This issue hooked me and I loved every character in the book. A few years later Wolverine was got the spotlight treatment in his own mini-series and the story presented him as a deep, but savage and ruthless character. Over time, the X-men and especially Wolverine continued to grow in popularity until the rest of the world caught on. I still read Wolverine and X-men comics and they are all in incredibly different places now, but some of my fondest comic book memories are of the guy that claimed, “I’m the best there is at what I do… but what I do isn’t very nice…”

So it was with those fond memories in mind that I began our Polar Lights Wolverine model kit development. I wanted to keep him in his 70’s/80’s era look and landed on the yellow version of the suit mainly because that’s the one he started gaining popularity in. I also figured that anyone wanting to see a later version costume could omit the shoulder cuffs and with a little putty filling and sanding could make the brown suit version or with further mods create a more contemporary look. My goal was to make a great looking kit in his classic costume and keep it in reach to make any other version a modeler might want.

For the base, I originally considered making it out of a mass of dead Hellfire Club goons or ninjas. I felt ninjas would, by design, cause too many trapping problems on the tool. After thinking about how much more it would probably costs to sculpt several figures lying in a pile, I abandoned the Hellfire Club goons pretty quickly. Besides as villains, they weren’t terribly recognizable by anyone but longtime X-men fans. I landed on doing a Sentinel head. Even though they aren’t considered Wolverine’s arch foe, they were the villains in the classic “Days of Future Past” storyline in the Claremont/Byrne run in which Wolverine played a key roll. They would return to battle the X-men on several occasions. Besides, robots are cool and anyone who isn’t a die-hard would accept it as a normal occurrence for Wolverine to have taken down a big one.

So here I show my original control drawing of the model. I wanted to capture a pose with plenty of movement for plenty of great views in the round. It was important for m to have the Sentinel look like he had lost a fight and supply plenty of room for additional detail in the eyes, mouth and other wounds. (I can’t wait to see someone add some fiber optic spark effects) We’ll be including the unmasked head, but the second set of claws has gone by the wayside.

We hired Erick Sosa to sculpt the kit for us. If you are familiar with the many licensed resin statue products on the market, you may know his work. He has sculpted some great ones including iconic Punisher and Deadpool figures. Erick sculpts digitally in Zbrush and works on the look of the figure before posing it. This shows his initial sculpt which I deemed to be too contemporary for what I intended for this kit. The look of the character was too close to how we see him in comics today rather than his “bronze age” appearance. I wanted to stylize him slightly to make him look more like a character from a comic book rather than a real guy in a suit. We had to weigh the realism we can achieve today with the flavor of an Aurora-style figure. I think we ended up striking the perfect balance.

Here is a look at the Sentinel head before getting battle damaged. Figuring out the “waterline” was no easy task. As with all comics, the drawing allows any number of cheats, but translating it into real life gets tricky. I had designed it with an exact angle in mind that would result in a clean pull from the steel tooling. Conceptually, besides the rectangular shapes around his head and the structural damage protruding from the eye socket, it could be made as one piece. Whether or not this will be the case remains to be seen.

A look at the sculpt and images of the factory’s digital mockup next time…

Round 2 Model Kits: And away we go…!

posted by JamieH 2:31 PM
Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A month has gone by since Wonderfest and this is the first sliver of time that I’ve been able to quickly jot down some vital info to recap. (as usual, things are super busy in my wing of Round 2 Models) I know everyone has been waiting to hear the details of some of our announcements. Right now, I’m going to give a quick rundown. I’ll be able to go into more detail later on as the kits progress. So without further delay away we go…

New kits-

Dirty Donny’s Two Much – As announced in our last enewsletter, we will be producing a kit based on this Kar Kulture artist’s character design. He’s a crazy-kewl creature that will include several decal options to decorate him with.

Forbidden Planet Robby the Robot Movie Poster Edition- This kit will recreate the classic poster. It will consist of several parts from the existing kit, but with new legs, Altaira (as depicted in the poster) and base with cardboard standup.

Forbidden Planet C-57D 1:144 scale- We are happy to offer the classic flying saucer in a size that will fit on your bookshelf. The model is based on all new research and will not be based on our 1:72 scale kit. It will feature parts for a landed or flying pose including opening and closing landing ramps.

Marvel Comics Wolverine- The fan favorite character gets the treatment he deserves in a plastic model kit. He will be offered in his yellow costume as depicted in the early days of the character. He comes with two head options, masked and unmasked.

Star Trek TMP Cadet Series 3 ship set featuring new tools of the U.S.S. Enterprise Refit, U.S.S. Reliant & Klingon K’tinga as 1:2500 scale snap kits. The Refit and Reliant will come with the surface decals just like previous Cadet kits. The hope is to release at least one kit or themed set like this one each year to expand on the Cadet Series.

New licenses-

Elvis- Yes, he seems to have returned to the building. We are exploring an HO scale Graceland and possibly figural kits. We will see what the future holds for the king.

Wizard of Oz- The first kit we will look at doing is the Wicked Witch of the West in 1:8 scale. Depending on the reaction to this kit, we will take a look at doing the rest of the cast of characters from the iconic film.

DC Comics- Our approach to the Wolverine kit should give some indication into how we plan on creating new figural kits of some of the most widely recognized characters in the world. They will be well posed and detailed, but with a hint of nostalgia mixed in. Our initial ideas are for Superman and Batman kits inspired by some classic comic scenes and artists.

Iron Giant- Though this isn’t technically a new license for us, it was the first we had announced the possibility that we could do a kit form the animated film.


What comes next?

Our biggest announcement is that we are reaching out to the modeling community to decide one of our 2013 kit releases. The audience in attendance at our presentation took an active role to determine who the candidates will be. Everyone is eligible to cast their vote. Go to answer a few questions for us and vote for one of the following kits

1:1000 scale U.S.S. Reliant

1:1000 scale Klingon K’tinga

1:32 scale TOS Galileo shuttle

1:2500 scale U.S.S. Akira

I2” tall Iron Giant

We are putting the finishing touches on our youtube video of our presentation. We have a lot more in the mix this year so please be patient as we get it all tidied up. We hope to have it ready in the next couple weeks. I’ll let you know as soon as it is finished.