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Monarch's Sinbad a pleasant voyage

By Tim Kidwell
By Jay Smith
Published: December 13, 2010
Sinbad Monarch Model Co.

Product: For years, in books, movies and TV series, Sinbad the Sailor braved uncharted seas and battled evil sorcerers and their vile henchmen, all to save beautiful women and load his ship with chests of treasure. Now, Sinbad comes home to modelers in this plastic kit from Monarch Model Co.
Sinbad includes 40 fantastically molded parts, in gold, copper and jade-colored plastic. The instructions, printed in full-color, are rendered to feel like the old Aurora kits, and include a painting guide.

Assembly: Assembling Sinbad isn’t so much an adventure as it is a pleasure cruise. The engineering is as straight forward as you can find in a kit today, with parts logically matched on sprues and easily paired. Experienced modelers could build Sinbad by simply looking at a picture of the finished kit.

No matter how well engineered a kit is, manufacturers must make compromises, and there are a couple of significant ones on Sinbad that require particular attention. The first is that since Sinbad is depicted with a bare chest, there is no natural seam to hide the join between the chest and neck. Similarly, Sinbad holds a lamp in his left hand. To accommodate the lamp, the thumb was molded separately. Again, with no natural folds to hide the seam, the join is prominent.

A two-part epoxy putty, such as Milliput, should be used to fill these. Epoxy putties can be shaped with sculpting tools and allow modelers to create natural contours that normal modeling putties simply do not allow. Another plus is that epoxy putty doesn’t shrink as it cures, and it can be sanded once dry.

The best course for painting is leaving the model in two major subassemblies: the figure and the base; scenery dressing like the spider, severed arm and trees should be painted separately too. Once these pieces are finished, the modeler can put them all together and do any required touch ups.

Marketing: The third release in Monarch’s lineup, the company is concentrating on subjects that are public domain, therefore avoiding hefty licensing fees. This means that Monarch is hitting touchstones with an older audience, but still picking subjects that can play with a younger crowd.

While figures are considered one of the hardest model types to finish successfully, Sinbad is one that novices and advanced figure modelers should enjoy. Its simple design and build will give beginners confidence while learning to build. Experienced builders should enjoy the detailed parts and a build that allows them to show-off their finishing techniques.

We finished our sample model with acrylic paints from Liquitex, Dr. Ph. Martins, and Golden; Testors gold lacquer; and Alclad for the scimitar blade. Other lines, such as Acrylicos Vallejo’s Game Colors, would work very well.

With so many of these fantasy and sci-fi kits hitting the market, it shouldn’t be too hard to create an endcap devoted strictly to these models. Sinbad’s box art is exciting, if a little dark, and would display well among similar kits.

In figure modeling, the fear of an unsatisfactory result is often the biggest deterrent. To support figure sales and help customers succeed, consider creating an e-mail “class.” You, an employee, or a customer who is interested in helping out, can do a weekly newsletter that provides advice regarding tools, glue and paint, and step-by-step walkthroughs about building and finishing, complete with photos. Make an event of it and call it “Succeed with Sinbad” or something along those lines. Announce it to your store’s e-mail newsletter list, post signs in your store and automatically enroll every customer who buys the kit to the class e-mail list.

The beauty is, once you’ve done it, you’ll have all the pieces to the class. Post it to your website as an online extra to help future customers succeed. Then announce a second class featuring Monarch’s Nosferatu, or maybe Moebius’ Iron Man.

Product: Sinbad
Maker: Monarch Model Co.
Scale: 1:8
Stock No.: 201-98
MSRP: $27.99
Availability: Check your favorite model distributor

Beautiful tooling
Intuitive build
Some difficult joins to hide

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