Gryphons Wing 1/8 Aloha! Kit First Look
By Tom Grossman
|Date of Review||August 2006||Manufacturer||Gryphons Wing|
|Kit Number||-||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Very nice, light-hearted subject rendered in a shapely cartoon style.||Cons||Some modeling skills required|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$70.00 + S&H|
While searching through the new kits listed at Buc Wheat’s Modeling World, I chanced across this jewel of a kit among the other great listings for 2006! Aloha is sculpted by Tim Wollweber, owner of Gryphons Wing. This hula girl sculpt has a great dynamic posed developed after study with a real hula dancer. Each move in the hula dance has a meaning. Tim’s hula girl is caught mid-sentence on a nice sandy beach base with a tiki head to keep her company. Her pose and warm facial expression could only be part of a pleasant thought. Having a little extra cash from my birthday, I clicked on the link and got in touch with Tim. A quick Paypal transaction including the $12.50 optional Priority Mail shipping and my Aloha kit arrived in a few days!
True to garage kit form, no time or energy was wasted on unnecessary packaging and instructions. The four parts of the kit were all safely and conscientiously packed in bubble wrap and buried in packing peanuts in the shipping container. Instructions? Who needs ‘em for such a simple build up! The peg on her left foot fits in the hole in the base with her other foot going into the depression in the sand. The piece of grass skirt goes on her exposed hip and the tiki head fits into the large socket. Painting diagrams? Well, that’s what your imagination is for.
As to the figure itself, the sculpt is on the caricatured side which is fine with me! The casting was very well done. I had to look hard to find any bubbles. There were two on the loose piece of grass skirt, one on the palm of her outstretched right hand and a few small ones on the underside of her right elbow. These can be quickly filled with some Aves Apoxie Sculpt. Some of the mold lines are a little harsh, particularly where the grass skirt moves away from her legs. That would be a tough spot to work for the mold! There were also a few surface flaws in other spots on her arms. Nothing major by any measure! (This is a garage kit for heaven’s sake!!! There will be some prep work!)
The loose piece of grass skirt will need the thoughtfully placed pour spouts removed prior to assembly. Some small pins could be used to make that joint more secure. The base is nicely done with a great sandy surface for her to be standing on. The peg on her foot fits into the hole but will need some filling to make it perfect. The tiki head is very nicely sculpted and fits nicely into its socket and looks like great fun to paint. The whole kit looks like great fun to paint!
Her face is very well sculpted with a warm, inviting expression! Her eyes have been rendered with irises and pupils reminiscent of great works of art. The lei around her neck and the floral bands at her wrists and ankles are also nicely done. What a fun piece!
One of the nice things about working with girl kits is doing the research! A quick Google search for hula girl images took 0.10 seconds and brought up over 3000 images to stroll through and use as inspiration! Plenty of room to work in as far as skin color since there are pictures of all kinds of hula girls. That’s what I like best about this type of subject. So much of the finishing left to one’s imagination! I myself will be going for a nice deep Polynesian coloring with dark hair and brown eyes! I’m not at all sure what her pose is in the process of saying but I’ll bet its something nice! I know building and painting this kit will be!