Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mecha King Ghidorah by Bandai

Khayos Kustom Korner

One day out at the flea market I was talking with a vendor and associate John. John owns a diecast and sports collectibles booth but occasionally picks up toy collections if they're cheap. One day while trading stories with him I saw a fluorescent metallic Mecha King Ghidorah sitting in the corner behind his front counter. I eventually shifted the story to where did he get such an oddly painted figure; he told me he picked up a few things off of an older Godzilla collector. Mostly comics and magazines but he had a few models and toys. He then told me after buying it he got bored and was trying to fix the chipped paint but decided to completely repaint the whole kit. To make a long story short, the silver parts were rose-gold and the skin was almost the same color green that was used on the Family Truckster from National Lampoon's Vacation. All in all fairly easy to rectify and it would give me a chance to practice my rusty painting skills.

$25 later after buying the King Ghidorah and an assortment of paints I was ready to tackle this daunting task. My first step was to warm up the figure enough to separate all the limbs from the body to ensure I could get a solid and fairly seamless paint job started. My older car had no air conditioning in it so the time it took to drive to the park to begin spray painting the figure was more than enough warm it up. Once at the park, I laid out newspaper on the back of my car and got ready to lay down a base coat of bumper black paint. Bumper black is an auto part spray paint used for refinishing bumpers of all things and can be picked up at Walmart or any Discount Auto Parts store for around $4.50. It was a tip I was given by one of my friends at Gonzo Universe Productions, the paint is made to stick to plastics and gives your upper layers of paint something to grab onto.

After my double coat of bumper black was dry I began taping off whatever going to remain “skin” colored then went over the figure with mirrored chrome spray paint, making sure to go over the figure short and even bursts at a 5 inch distance from the figure's body while shaking periodically. Doing such gives the figure a more smooth and shiny finish. Some people might actually take a shammy cloth and buff the figure's exterior after the paint is dry to give it an almost flawless finish, I did not because we are talking about a robot that is exposed to the elements and fierce battles. After the spray paint process was finished I mixed together a brown/gold/tan paint to dry brush over the scales, trying to give the figure equal parts movie authenticity look with my own artist liberties. One thing about repainting a Godzilla figure is to not change it too much from the original color scheme, customizing it too much will lead to a bulk of the viewers panning the figure altogether. After dry brushing was complete, I spent the next 3 days using fine point Sharpie paint pens to detail all the edges, lines, panels and folds of Mecha King Ghidorah's robot body to bring out what I felt was lost detail.

So roughly a week later, I went from a neon horror to a respectable representation of Mecha King Ghidorah for my growing Godzilla collection. At just over 10 inches tall, the figure towers over every previous version I own and the wingspan is almost equal to it's height. This particular version was produced in 2006 by Bandai and never saw a US release. As far as my research shows, this is the largest version of King Ghidorah ever produced for a commercial market (mind you some store displays from Japan can be almost 5 feet tall.).

The mythology behind the cybernetic version of King Ghidorah is in the not so distant future, a race called the Futurians locate the carcass of the defeated 3 headed golden dragon and decide “they have they technology, they can rebuild him! He will be the 6 zillion yen Godzilla stomper!” One thing leads to the other and in the end Mecha King Ghidorah is unsuccessful and Godzilla flattens him like a knock off Sony Walkman. Needless to say, nothing beats Godzilla. Not even one of the top favorite characters under Godzilla himself, with or without the cybernetic refitting.


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