Earlier in the month; I purchased a great condition 1998 Williams Monster Bash pinball machine from a local collector. This machine was restored in that it had a new Playfield and new set of decals but it was still an original machine (not a remake). Everything looked pretty good except it had the original unmodified set of figures for the Universal “Classic” monsters. There are some fellow pinball vendors which offer to paint these classic figurines as a set for north of $140. I am not one to shy away from attempting to do this myself; and this was one of those situations. Also; I didn’t really want to leave my machine in pieces and parts for that long.
I decided to take a stab at the Creature from the Black Lagoon since he was relatively easy to remove from under the PF. The original figure is really pretty nicely detailed; it just lacks a finished look. This creature originated in a 1954 as black-and-white film so the only real “color” representation is the Theatrical release poster from that movie. One could say that there was a modern film release in 2017 but I haven’t seen it… nor have I any real desire to look for images of this modernized monster. Using some vague recollection of the movie poster (before my time); and probably some influence from pictures seen of fellow pinball vendors; I set about painting my figure. In my minds eye; I wanted him to be green with a yellow chest outside of that; I just let the piece “speak” to me as I worked on it.
The first step I decided to do was to spray my figure with some Adhesion promoter so that the air bush paint would more easily stick to the figure. Here’s a picture of the figure attached to some scrap acrylic material as we wait for the promoter to partially dry per the can’s instructions:
While the promoter was getting ready; I custom mixed a light yellow color that I wanted to use for the chest. I mixed some transparent yellow with some pearlescent white and some Airbrush thinning reducer. I sprayed the chest area, face and hands:
I then mixed green for the body. When I painted my Romulan Bird of Prey for my STNG pinball machine; Michaels had some pearl green on clearance for $1.77. I mixed it with the reducer and sprayed the rest of the figure. I had forgotten the thermally set the yellow prior to applying the green so it wiped away when I got a little aggressive with the green:
This time I used a heat gun on low to thermally set the green and remaining yellow before moving on to the next color.
I used some Transparent Black I had on hand to fill (a small paint brush) in the mouth and eye pupils on the face:
I then mixed the transparent black together, transparent green and some pearl green to get a very dark transparent green. This was then applied to the thighs and sides of the body:
Finally, I used a paint brush to apply a little more black to the area between the legs. Once heat cured; I sprayed the whole figure with clear matte acrylic to protect the model from scratches and dust when back in the machine:
Overall; I’m extremely happy with how this figure turned out. Took about 3ish hours with all the heat treatments. One of the disappointments: now the Creature doesn’t actually show up very well in game. I suspected painting it would mean it wouldn’t show up behind the green acrylic in the PF – This is probably a secondary reason for leaving it white. I’ll post a picture of it later once I put some green led strips under the PF to light him up better.
Part 2 of this series; Painting “The Mummy” should be available shortly.