Kaiyodo Godzilla 1994 – One Mean Kaiju King
Godzilla is probably one of the top contenders in the Sci-Fi world for the title of “King of the Monsters”. The other claimant is King Kong, and both monsters have met in the arena back in the 1960’s to hash it out. As far as giant nuclear radiation-induced monsters go, Godzilla has it all. Despite being able to communicate only with his characteristic snarl or the occasional atomic breath blast, His Imperial Lizardness has style (the stomping kind), panache (swinging his oponents by their tail), and even paternal instincts (see how he dotes on Junior G). Plus it does not hurt to be 400 feet tall and a super long tail to wipe out entire apartment blocks in passing.
This version of Godzilla from the 1994 movie “Godzilla vs. Space Godzilla” is one of my favorite incarnations of the Big G Lizard. He was hefty and mean, but fundamentally maintains the familiar classic Godzilla shape (as opposed to the USA Godzilla “98, or the Shin Godzilla which was super weird in a not-so-good way). In the climax kaiju fight, Godzilla faced of against his outer space counterpart with crystal ice columns shooting out of the ground on Space Godzilla’s summons. But as the counterfeit space interloper found out, it will take more than a few ice cubes to stop Godzilla after the former gets roasted by 2 atomic breath blasts and 3 atomic heat rays!
I picked up this vinyl kit of Godzilla 1994 at a store in the Asia Radio Kaikan building in Akihabara on my recent trip to Japan. It was available in the US for a short while in 2016 via HLJ but is no longer sold. The molding quality of this vinyl kit made by Kaiyodo Kochi Shimanto factory was outstanding with no flash, and crisp details. It almost could be mistaken for a resin kit instead except that it was pretty lightweight. The instruction sheet was entirely in Japanese so I made it a point for my own benefit to translate it all into English. Doing so also forced me to read through the entire thing.
There are some excellent online references on how to build vinyl figures, so I did a quick refresher to avoid teeth grinding, meltdown mode disasters (like using enamel paints on vinyl, virtual death by slow melting). Always start by cleaning the parts with soap water, toothbrush, and make sure not to use hot water (vinyl will soften and deform).
The first joint to be made is the big torso line between his lower tail and the torso. This is a big mean joint, and a very critical one. Notice the overlap insertion portion on the left hand side part. I only managed to get the insertion section in after cutting slots to allow the circle to collapse a bit, and then used a hairdryer to soften those portions to press fit.
Next, the long tails section is added to Big G’s tale.
All the limbs are joined in more-or-less the same sequence. First you cut away the largest section of unwanted vinyl sections using an all-purpose heavy duty shears (check instruction diagrams, as they remind you where the part proper begins and which insertion feature must be retained. Once vinyl is cut, it deforms and you are unlikely to be able to re-attach, so cut with lots of care. next, I cut closer to the final part line using a smaller pair of wire cutters, followed by the final clean up using a classic X-cto knife. For the legs, I also stuffed paper ballast for strength and to prevent collapse of the legs as time goes by.
Here’s Godzilla waiting for his upper arms shortly after the legs have been truly fitted properly.
I just told Godzilla that he does the right to carry arms…
Despite its very good fit, and using the hairdryer technique to optimize the joints, there will be some stubborn seams needing to be filled and sand-papered the old-fashioned ways.
Once the entire body has been properly glued (remember that it is virtually impossible to unbond vinyl pieces once they are set together with cynoacrylate adhesve), we can start with the dental work. Both jaws and a tongue piece require assembly and I also used putty to provide better joints between Godzilla’s upper and lower jaws.
Finally, I attached the rear spines plates onto Godzilla’s back. The pieces are numbered and the orientation of each piece carefully marked in the instruction sheet so that we can get each spine plate facing the correct way at the correct location.
Godzilla is ready to go and do battle against the Monster that spits al sorts of paints at it!
To start with Godzilla is supposed to be “black” in color. However over several movies, his coloration has ranged from green to dark grey to black. So a black primer is a good place to start. I primed Godzilla with Tamiya Flat Black spray TS-6. This is important as some paints and primers can attack vinyl and cause the whole model to be squishy and sticky.
I then used Tamiya Sea Blue XF-17 to provide the highlights for the body to provide some contrast on the raised muscle areas.
For highlighting the most prominent areas like eyebrows, knuckles, bony spikes, I used Tamiya Field Blue XF-50.
For the white of the eyes, and claws, I used Vallejo Ivory 70.918.
Godzilla’s claws then get a nail manicure job using Testors Glosscote Lacquer. Life’s good for Big G.
I painted the insides of the mouth first with a mixture of Tamiya Hull Red + Flat Red+ Pink. Then I highlighted the tongue with some oil paint Crimson+ Titanium White, and then the teeth with Vallejo Ivory. For the eyes, I outlined the irises with Tamiya Sea Blue, filled the iris with Tamiya Red Brown, a wash of Burnt Sienna oil paint, and then a layer of Testor Glosscote.
For the spine plates, I highlighted the spikes with Ocean Gray 2 XF-82.
I wanted to show Godzilla about to get his atomic breath so his spine plates get all neon blue. I used Tamiya Metallic Blue XF13.
After some final touches like shading the claws with a small amount of Burnt Umber oil paint, some drybrushing of Titanium White oil paint on the spine, Godzy is ready to face the big showdown.
For the base display, I prepared the “crystal ice columns” by using white crystalline foam (different texture from regular polystyrene). Cutting them into shapes resembling elongated pyramids, I arrange them around a square base to mark the relative positions.
Once I spread plaster on the base, I use a food wrapper liner to protect the plaster, and apply imprints of Godzilla and the “crystal columns”.
Once the plaster is dried, I apply a black primer (in this case Armory Black Primer).
I added some texture and shading of the charred city landscape using Tamiya Flat Earth X5-62, then Sky Grey XF-19. Once the landscape is suitably bleak, we can move on to the finale.
I bond the foam columns to the base using PH Neutral PVA Adhesive that does not attack the foam material. Godzilla himself is bonded with cynoacrylate to the base. Rooar-ruunkk!