Wonder Woman – The Second Prototype: an article by GF Willmetts (model kits).


For documentation and comparison purposes, I’ve decided to record my process the second time around, which may help illustrate any modifications I’ve made to my initial approach.

In this iteration, I cleaned the pieces prior to drilling holes. This isn’t absolutely necessary, but it’s beneficial to remove any remnants of the manufacturing process that might linger on the mould.

Ever wondered why model builders seldom recreate the same model? Beyond space constraints, it’s primarily due to the repetition involved. Despite awareness of previous mistakes, some issues still arose: the arms didn’t fully close, though the torso did. Consequently, I had to resort to using putty again.

Unlike the previous attempt, the wires through the leg didn’t connect as well to the junction box. This led me to solder the ends together, wrapping the black wires with insulating tape to prevent short circuits. I regularly checked that everything was functioning, which is how I identified the junction box issue and swiftly soldered the core. This was critical as the torso’s glue was drying. If you opt for this method, take care not to pull the wire out any further to avoid damaging the core.

Perfection is elusive, especially when navigating wires and joints within the arms. While I contemplated taping them down, it would have limited my ability to make corrections. For instance, one wire missed the arm hole and I had to pry the arm open to place it correctly while the glue remained pliable. If you choose to use micro-files to eliminate excess putty, the bevel side may prove more effective than the flat one for sanding. Despite careful attention to this stage, applying the undercoat will still reveal occasional imperfections, so don’t rush. It’s better to tackle a bit each day and double-check your work.

Eager to achieve a more uniform skin tone than the patchiness visible on the first prototype, I chose to use fresh brushes. A few dabs of glue helped keep the head steady during undercoating, ensuring consistent colouring. The head can be removed for detailing. For the skin coat, I maintained the same mix of PVA glue and burnt sienna, dabbing with water. It dries in about 20 minutes, but remains workable on the palette. As you can see from the photo, the model appears paler, but further layers can be applied once the costume is painted. Ultimately, it took four washes and turned out darker than intended, yet it resembles a Californian tan from afar.

Achieving the same skin texture may pose a challenge, and be cautious not to overdo it on the palms as they should be lighter. A point to remember from the first round: when using enamels, always stir the paint and use the tip of the brush to transfer some paint to the underside of the lid. This prevents excess paint from loading onto the brush tip. If you happen to apply too much paint, spread it evenly until used up and smooth out any lumps.

This time, I obtained a new can of gold enamel paint, which only appeared golden once applied to the model. The formula seems to have changed over the years, so never discard old cans. The gold effect is present, but lacks a certain shine. A Pentel Fountain Pen was used for the eyes and eyebrows, providing better results than my previous work on Ripley with the Powerloader.

As it’s available in various colours and won’t run unless covered with PVA glue, I intend to use it for detailing future models.

I’ve yet to add lassos to either model, but that’s a minor detail. If I choose to use the provided string version rather than the plastic piece, it may need more securing. Regardless of my choice, I plan to upload a photo in due time.

For the second prototype, I stuck to the colour scheme provided in the instructions.

The LEDs were only tested after painting was completed. One malfunctioned, but three operational LEDs are better than two. When flashing, they seem to synchronize, but it appears scattered to the eye. For those curious about the switch, the Long River website provides two similar types. Essentially, it’s a screw-in switch secured by a washer and rubber cap. Cut the wires to an appropriate length, solder one wire to the black wire from Wonder Woman’s foot and the other to the battery holder.

Connect the red wire directly to complete the circuit. To prevent a short circuit, cover each joint with insulating tape, otherwise, the LEDs will continue to flash until the batteries deplete. Photos should accompany these descriptions for visual aid. If you’re adept at improvisation, you might surpass my efforts. Hopefully, there will also be a video showcasing the flashing lights on both models. The gold-based one is the second prototype.

One wonders why Black Canary or Zantana have never been modeled into kits, but the challenge of replicating fishnet stockings comes to mind. Drawing them would be a daunting task.

© GF Willmetts 2023

Construction is yours to follow if you choose

Any liability is yours not mine.


Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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