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
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
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
||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
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
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Revised: November 26, 2007