The Black Widow

Published: April 8th, 2012     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Dave Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/8
Company: Moebius Models
Price: $29.95
Product / Stock #: 0923

I want to start the review by saying this is my first journey outside my comfort zone of building aircraft, so keep that in the back of your mind. What may be very obvious to the hard core figure modeler may not be to me. Anyway, the Moebius figure is a wonderful representation of Scarlett Johansson, AKA "The Black Widow," as she appeared in the Iron Man 2 movie. The kit is touted as being for ages 15 and up and is presented in 23 pieces molded in a fleshy-colored polystyrene. The base of the kit is a nice representation of a simple tile floor. The various figure parts are generally broken into halves and are assembled as such. Like building an aircraft, it seemed necessary to plan out how far to take the figure before painting the parts. My logic path led me to think it would be a trade-off between masking for the painting process and working on filling the seams. So here we go.

Assembly begins with joining the front and rear halves of the main body. The fit is good but it was necessary to apply some serious clamping power to the midsection. The remainder of the body fit well and minimal filler was needed to achieve a good look. The face of the figure attached to the main torso and, again, the fit was pretty darned good. Her face needed only a tiny bit of sanding and filler to achieve a good finish.  Her utility belt (front and back half) attached independently of each other to the body. The utility belt seemed to have a minor fit issue but, after removing a tiny piece of the cavity, the belt snuggled in and things were looking up. I ran a little Mr. Dissolved Putty around the belt edges to fill in the gap created between the body and belt. Likewise, the seam between the front and back half of the utility belt was taken care of at this time. The boots, arms, and gun halves were then joined together with minimal fuss. I used a stronger cement with a bit of added pressure so a little of the polystyrene seeped out of the joints. This made cleaning up the seams a snap. All the pieces fit very well but I did find a small goof in the instructions with the part numbers referenced for the boot halves. It's not a big deal, since the way the boots are keyed together makes it impossible to join them incorrectly.

Dry-fitting the boots to the body showed me they fit very well and, since the boots are painted a different color than the body, I decided they could be added to the main body after painting. The arms would require a little filler where they joined the body, so they were attached to the torso at this time. The only error in logic I made was to attach the hands to the wrist gauntlets. In hindsight, I should have attached the gauntlets to the arms and added the hands after painting. The left arm fit well and only required minimal filler. The right arm took a bit more work but neither was too challenging. Using my aircraft gap-filling techniques, I inserted thin polystyrene to fill the gaps left between the arms and shoulders. The final result looked good. What I didn't realize at the time was that I had her right arm too far forward. This would impact how the hair looks where it drapes over the right shoulder. The right hand should be positioned so it is resting on the utility belt.

This was a good time to primer the various pieces and help identify my seam-finishing deficiencies. With the seams cleaned up, I moved on to painting the flesh areas first. When the flesh areas were shaded and complete, I masked them off and shot burnt iron on the body suit portion of the figure. The boots were sprayed in gloss black and further received a second coat of clear gloss while the suit received a clear dullcoat finish. I switched to my trusty tiny brush to paint the gloves, belt and utility belt. As far as finishing the face, I painted the eyes a gloss white and finished the iris with some Tamiya clear green paint. The lips and fingernails were painted with the Tamiya clear red and I have to say I was pleased with the results. The eyes especially are molded very well and lend themselves to being painted even by a figure novice like myself.

The hair is comprised of three pieces and, even though the finished product looks good, fitting the right section to the head left me scratching my own head for a few minutes. The lower alignment pin on the right hair piece is designed to fit from the right side of the figure. Makes sense, right? The hole on the torso it is supposed to fit into is molded in such a way to receive an alignment pin from the front of the figure, as opposed to the side. (In essence, the alignment pin and its mating hole are 90 degrees off-axis from each other.) Even with this oddity, the pin and hole lined up well enough with each other. My solution was to start trimming the pin until the hair fit correctly. With the dry fitting of the hair complete, I removed the pieces and tackled the trademark orange hair. Orange is not a color I normally keep in the paint box. My solution was to make a trip to my local Michaels craft store. Small bottles of acrylic paint were on sale for 50 cents each and, at that price, I was able to grab a handful that I felt could be used to yield the required "burnt orange" color. The three hair sections were painted and then attached to the figure. The fit was decent but again required some filler work. With that enjoyable process complete, the hair was touched up with my custom orange mixture and then followed with a wash and some dry-brushed highlights.

The base was primed along with the rest of the model earlier in the assembly process. Again, borrowing from my aircraft techniques, I pre-shaded the grout lines with gloss black to make them stand out a bit on the finished product. The tiles were shot with a duck egg blue and finished with a coat of clear gloss. The edges of the base were painted with gloss black to finish the painting process. To make transporting the model a bit easier, I decided to take a small piece of brass tubing and fix it into the right boot. I drilled the boot and base then glued the tube firmly in the boot. Nice and easy and it does the trick. The boots were then attached to the figure using a little super glue. To finish the figure, a bit of wash and dry-brushing were applied here and there.

Even though building this fine rendition of The Black Widow figure model is well outside my established comfort zone, it was indeed a pleasure to build. As stated up front, the kit is advertised as a kit for ages 15 and up and a skill level three. I'm not sure exactly what the skill level the scale indicates is, but anyone with some basic modeling skills should be able to build a very fine representation of Ms Johansson. Despite the one or two small issues I found with the kit, it should not be overlooked and would make a great addition to any figure collection. I'd like to thank Moebius Models for the review kit and IPMS/USA for the opportunity to review it.

  • Smaller parts
    Smaller parts
  • Instructions, base, and body
    Instructions, base, and body
  • Sub-assemblies complete
    Sub-assemblies complete
  • Completed 1
    Completed 1
  • Completed 2
    Completed 2
  • Completed 3
    Completed 3
  • Completed 4
    Completed 4
  • Completed 5
    Completed 5
  • Completed 6
    Completed 6