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Jonny Quest Model Diorama

Introduction to Garage Kits
By Terry J. Webb

For those in the hobby, collecting Garage Kits has become one highly addictive form of entertainment!

This new category of large-scale figure models has emerged from a small, grass roots following to become the fastest-growing segment of the figure kit hobby. These new wave models were originally tagged with the label "Garage Kit" because of the need to confine their messy casting process within a garage or similar workspace.

Garage Kits originated in Japan around 1979, when restless Japanese modelers grew bored with the selection (or lack thereof) of movie-related figure kits. After creating sculptures in clay, they eventually learned to produce silicone rubber molds from their pieces and then started making castings of their handiwork in resin. Resin is a hard form of plastic that starts out as a two-part liquid that--when properly mixed--creates a chemical reaction, which causes the mixture to solidify or "cure."

This same process was slowly adopted here in the States by American modelers nostalgic for their childhood memories of slapping together styrene models during the 60's and 70's. Heavily influenced by both the Japanese kits and the now-legendary Aurora figure kit line, the Americans have gone all-out in starting up both big and small operations to crank out a seemingly endless run of movie and fantasy-related kits.

Wind Shear's Robyn Hood Garage Kits can be made up of different materials: they range anywhere from home-brew resin and white metal parts all the way up to advanced vinyl castings. Box art and instructions run the gamut from nonexistent to sophisticated, full-color art and photography.  Also, if you've never been exposed to Garage Kits before, you're probably shocked by the prices. These models are individually cast, short-run editions…and you pay for it! You know you've been bitten by the "garage bug" when $30 sounds "really cheap" for a model.

Today, the Garage Kit hobby spans numerous countries and shows no sign of letting up. New licensed and unlicensed releases are reaching out to entice and recruit new and old figure kit builders everywhere.

Terry J. Webb is editor and publisher of Amazing Figure Modeler magazine and has written three books on the Garage Kit subject: "The Garage Kit that Ate My Wallet," "Son of the Garage Kit that Ate My Wallet," and "Revenge of the Garage Kit that Ate My Wallet."

"Jonny Quest" (licensed) was sculpted by Steve West and produced by The Shape of Things, and "Robyn Hood" was sculpted by Sam Greenwell and produced by Wind Shear Inc.  "Jonny Quest" is TM Hanna-Barbera, Inc.

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