Building The MasterBlaster From Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.

Back in 1985 I committed a crime, nothing major but a crime nonetheless. Along with a friend from school I sneaked in underage to the local cinema to see the final part of the Mad Max trilogy, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. I was 14 at the time and the film carried a 15 certificate and I remember trying desperately to look older than I was so I could get in and see one of my all time favorite cinema characters bang some more post-apocalyptic heads together. Cool.

The movie is filled with great characters and one of the best is the two-person entity that is the MasterBlaster. Master is the brains of the outfit, Blaster is the muscle. Together a formidable partnership not to be crossed, as Auntie Entity (portrayed brilliantly by Tina Turner) has found out on numerous occasions.

Sadly the model world has not been served too well with kits from the Mad Max films. There's a version of Max's V8 Interceptor for the hardwear builders and back in the early days of garage kits there were some rather badly sculpted versions of Max himself, none of which captued Mel Gibson's likeness at all well. Now though, this injustice is somewhat reversed with a kit entitled "Little Big Man", sculpted by Toi Ogunyoku and available direct from the sculptor at his website . It is an amazing study of the MasterBlaster character, and one big chunk of resin. So lets take a look and see what we get:

Box art is a photo of the finished kit and does little to prepare you for what gems are hidden inside under the masses and masses of bubblewrap. There is a single printed instruction sheet but to be honest this kit goes together so easily any competent builder shouldn't need it. Kit parts are broken down into 3 main sections.

Blaster with torso and arms:

Master with two arms, feet and head:

The harness which Master sits in upon Blaster's shoulders:

The level of detail in the sculpt is amazing. All the parts are cast exceptionally well, with little or no clean-up required.

Building the Blaster

Construction starts with the biggest part of the kit, the Blaster. He stands an impressive 12.5 inches tall on his own without Master . Build-wise there is not much to do, simply glue the two arms into position. I glued his left arm into place but left the right arm off as it gets in the way during painting.

Building the Master

Construction of the little guy is a bit more involved. Firstly I drilled a hole in each of his feet then cut a small piece of brass tube and glued this into place.When dry I drilled another hole into his ankle area and glued the feet onto his legs.

Any small gaps that were left were filled with Squadron Green Putty and smoothed over with a fine paintbrush dipped in some nail varnish remover. Both his arms were glued in place and again given the filler treatment. On to his head, and the rear of his hat has two neck protectors which need gluing in place. These locate with a small tab from one part to the other, one pair worked fine but on the other the small tab was missing. I didn't think that the piece would have sufficient strength if it relied on just the small glue line so I fabricated the missing tab from a piece of styrene card cut to the size of the opposite locating hole. This worked well and made the joint much stronger.

Painting The Figures

On to the painting of the figures, and the flesh areas first. All the flesh was given a coat of white primer and allowed to dry. The paints I use are Vallejo Model Colour ( VMC) or Vallejo Game Colour (VGC). With the characters spending their lives in the wastelands of Australia I wanted to go for a fairly tanned look but not too sun-burnt. All the skintones were airbrushed on, in fact it's the only time I used the airbrush on this kit, everything else is hand brush work. Base flesh was VMC 021 medium fleshtone. Highlight colours then added were VMC 020 sunny skintone, 018 flat flesh and finally 006 light flesh. These colours were then sealed with a coat of Testors Dullcote.

The final part to the skintones was to add some chalk pastel pigment. I've just purchased a new set of Windsor and Newton fleshtone pastels and never having used the brand before I was really impressed with their performance.

For anyone who's never used pastel on a kit before here's the basics: rub the pastel on a piece of coarse sandpaper, this produces a fine pigment powder, then using a small stiff brush brush the powder onto the flesh areas. Start with the lightest colour then keep adding the darker shades untill you are happy with the look. The process is really easy and produces some good looking results which even an airbrush will struggle to do.

After the pastels are finished seal again with a fine misting of Dullcote.

Onto the next stage and the start of Blaster's costume. The box artwork shows him head-to-toe in one colour: black. After watching the movie again for reference I decided to use a bit of artistic licence and do a couple of areas not quite black. The first of these is his impressive looking helmet. First up I coated it in VMC Oily Steel then let this dry. Then a coat of VMC Black/Grey was applied on top and again left to dry. To get the battered look I used my dry-brush dipped in a small amount of paint thinner, then simply "dry-brushed" away the top layer of black/grey to reveal the steel colour below. It's a great technique and produces a more convincing look than simply adding the steel colour on top of the black. The metalwork to his arm, shin-pads and boots was treated with the same colours and technique.

The black leather of his costume was base coated in Revell Aquacolor Matt Silk Black. This is a very nice paint which leaves a really nice sheen to it. Thin this paint when you use it as it is rather thick. To age the leather I then dry-bushed on some burnt sienna then ontop of that burnt umber. I didn't go too heavy with the aging of the leather as I wanted to give the whole piece a really sandy, dusty look to signify the desert enviroment that the characters live in, so out with the weathering pigments. To do this I used some MIG Productions Desert Sand brushed on lightly over all the kit and then more heavily in the areas where sand would gather, inside the knee-pads, boots, etc. This was then sealed with some MIG Productions fixer.

Master was painted in pretty much the same colours and techniques. The main difference was I used a lot more Burnt Umber to give his leather a bit more aged look to it.

Construction of Master's seat was really easy, it all fits together with no problems.

I did have plans to do a small diorama base for the finished kit but time is against me at the moment so a plain English Oak base will suffice for this space! ......

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By SFMuk Admin
Added Feb 11 '14



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