So, many years ago, I bought a two pack of model kits on eBay for my kids for Xmas.  One was the Hulk, and the other was Spidey.  I remember these ads from the backs of silver age Marvel comics, but I never bought nor built one.

My kids turned their noses up at the kits, and I still have them, unaopened. So recently i bought some airplane glue/plastic cement, and decided to take a whack at them.

Spidey is first up...since I figure all i have to do  is paint in his blue elements, and leave the red plastic alone, right?  Wrong.  The kit is entirely white plastic.  Arrrrggghhhh!

So, I'm about to start painting with orange that I have left over from something else...and I am looking for images of Kraven, laying on the floor, and I find them with a Google search, except everybody has painted him differently..... blue pants, green pants, tan pants, orange pants.

Now I'm beginning to wonder whether this scene actually appeared in any comic book I could reference. But the image search has turned up an 8-page Aurora kit comic with the splash page reference for the kit....BUT it's not in  my kit.

What's going on here?

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It was first released in 1966 and then again in 1974 with a few changes, and that probably is the one that had the comic. It's still available today in a new reissue, but it's in a larger scale:

If yours is 9 inches tall, it's the latest version; since it didn't have the comic, it's not the second one (if it was sealed). The first one's original color was a "flesh" like beige. They sometimes molded them in colors that were helpful, like making Superman and Superboy in blue and the Hulk in a cool semi-metallic green. But not always.

I was a big Aurora model fan growing up, and I was just the right age when they first came out. I've still got quite a few that I did on the shelf in my office, and I checked Spidey to see the original color:

So if you're looking for a sample to use as your color guide, there he is. I don't think I used a comic to be sure my Kraven was spot-on in coloring. There were so many variations, I probably just used whatever looked good. Unless you see it from overhead, he's not that significant anyway. 

I was pretty shocked that Spidey didn't come in basic red would have made it so much easier!

Yes, the packages are all sealed, with white plastic.  The box was originally sealed, but I opened it. I've started painting Kraven's costume orange, but I see that I'm going to have to find tan, brown, black, blue, red, gray and perhaps green and light blue as well as some thinner to clean the brush in.  Also white highlights on Kraven's pants pattern.

I was surprised to find that they still sell the little kits of paints that I used when I painted kits as a kid:

I actually still have one around, although I'm not sure the paint is very viable in them. There are a variety of options if you look for "paint sets" on Amazon. You can probably get enough of the colors you need by mixing a couple of colors until you get the right blend. I used to do that for smaller parts like Kraven would have. 

I've also discovered recently that "paint thinner" is tougher to find these days, especially in small amounts. But it's actually mineral spirits, which is readily available.

All things considered, you probably should have started with Hulk. It's likely he's still molded in green, which is probably a larger part of his model than red would've been for Spidey. For some reason, they never did Spidey in either blue or red, which would've made things easier.


By an amazing coincidence, a friend of mine just posted mucho photos of his version of the 2003 Spidey model to his blog. They should give you lots of views to work from:

I see from his that they redid the webbing with a McFarlane feel, which I don't think works as well as the wide-spread Ditko look of the original. And the new version doesn't have the little "Spider-Man" nameplate that was a mother to paint (on the stair post in my shot).

And, frankly, I would've--and did--make the contrast between the background and the webbing on it bigger so the webs stood out more. Maybe it does in real life. He does have a nice fade to the background that I'll bet wasn't done with a tiny paint brush.

-- MSA

I read the captions below the photos. He has abandoned the plastic/cartoony webbing supplied with the kit in favor of his own creation...a fiberous thead-like webbing concentrated one point to point, instead of a wide broom effect.  I knew that couldn't be how the kit had been supplied.


I am quite jealous that he got a red plastic kit, where as mine is white. Bummer. LOTS more painting.

Also, I don't think I have the name plate, but I do have the gun, so I think it's this re-issue that I have.

I'm going to go shop for shades of Testor's model paints, a couple of brushes and some thinner tonight during my dinner hour at work.  I have this funny itch that wants to paint it...and quick!

I could never  figure out why Kraven was so much smaller than Spidey, and half-flattened lilke a half-deflated balloon....(NO, really, go check out the comparative sizes of the two figures!) 


And in addition, they couldn't even call Kraven by his name...he's just "villain" in the anybody who bought the kit wouldn't know who he was or what his name was. (remember, he had shown up in Spidey #15, and then didn't show up again until "The Thrill of the Hunt" in #34...and then returned again, in full figured John Romita style, in #47-49 teaming up with the new Vulture).  I always thought he was selected as the "villain" portrayed because of his much improved appear and prominence in those late 40s Spider-Man issues!


Does anyone know when those Aurora kits started showing up on the back pages of the Marvel Comics?

Who's got an early Spider-Man collection that can flip over these copies and look to see when they started and how long the ads ran for?  Rear cover, as I recall, in full color ads...


Looking at your photo, I remember having the Superman-Breaking-Wall kit. It was actually pretty good. I wanted the Spider-Man and Batman kits but never could find them.

Mr. Silver Age said:

I was a big Aurora model fan growing up, and I was just the right age when they first came out.

I don't have the original comics anymore, but I do have the CD-ROM set "40 Years of the Amazing Spider-Man", which includes all the ads. I'll look at the back covers for 1966 and tell what I find. 

Kirk G said:

Does anyone know when those Aurora kits started showing up on the back pages of the Marvel Comics?

Who's got an early Spider-Man collection that can flip over these copies and look to see when they started and how long the ads ran for?  Rear cover, as I recall, in full color ads...


It wasn't that much trouble, and I'm glad to contribute. I found the ad showing Spidey, Captain America, and Hulk on the back covers of ASM #44(JAN67), #45, and #46. Whoever wrote the copy seemed to think they were three of the Fantastic Four.

I found the ad showing multiple kits on the back cover of ASM #47(APR67), which coincidentally has a great Kraven cover. As far as I can tell, this is the only time this ad appeared on the back of a Spider-Man comic. It probably appeared on some DC books. In a few cases I don't think they look anything like the actual kits. They usually had a back cover ad of the Famous Artists School, featuring a picture of Norman Rockwell.

I was more successful with the Aurora Universal Monster kits. I had Frankenstein's Monster, Dracula, The Wolfman, The Mummy, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Phantom of the Opera, Hunchback of Notre Dame. I passed up Mister Hyde because it looked too much like The Wolfman.

I had 12 of the 15, and all of them are still on my shelf. I also still have Flash Gordon. At one time, I had the Phantom and Tarzan, who got lost somewhere along the way. I also still have Dick Tracy--I wish they'd done more comic-strip characters.

-- MSA

I'm thinking that back cover copy about the Fantastic Four meant that additional models OF the members of the FF were in the pipeline...but never realized.  I would have thought that Ben as the Thing...and Mr. Fantastic and Torch would have been obvious sellers... not so much Sue (think about it... "The Invisible Girl"...and "The Visible Woman" was already in production by a competitor...We had one, as I recall).

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