Kit Review – Frank Von Stein (Terrible Kids Stuff)

PRELUDE

Concept

Concept art from Karl Kopinski

Quick on the heels of their last release, Terrible Kids Stuff has come out with two more fantastic figures: Frank Von Stein and the Soul Hunter.  The subject of this review is Frank, a 75mm resin figure.

Frank Von Stein is a great re-imagining of the classic creation of Dr Frankenstein, within the world of Paolo Parente’s DUST.  This is the third DUST inspired release from Terrible Kids Stuff and the first male figure for that line.  This figure is another limited edition release with only 120 copies available.

The figure arrived in the easily recognisable brown Terrible Kids Stuff box.  Upon opening the pieces of the kit were in great condition.  Securely packed so no damage or warping occurred during the shipping process.  The kit was sculpted by Joaquin Palacios and based on concept art from Karl Kopinski.

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Terrible Kids Stuff’s typical box

REFERENCE

The world of DUST takes us to an alternative timeline.  Set around the year 1947 with WWII still raging.  The discovery of an extraordinary and mysterious ore, Vk, has allowed for the creation of gigantic combat robots and other advanced military technologies.  The axis powers have been conducting all manner of unnatural experiments in their labs and, after the losses during the invasion of Stalingrad, they developed the Wiederbeleben Serum.

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This serum is capable of reanimating the dead and is responsible for the Axis Zombies seen in the DUST Tactics table top miniatures game.  While Frankenstein does not currently appear in the game, the presence of undead units on the axis side means this character makes sense in the world of DUST.

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WWII era photograph showing German’s wearing Jodhpur style pants.

Although set in an alternate timeline, the piece and that world, are based on actual WWII history and styles (with obvious liberties taken).  Without going over the top with Nazi imagery, this clothing and the more realistic pieces of equipment on this figure clearly tie it to WWII era Germany.

What immediately jumps out at me are the pants.  At that time, these Jodhpurs style pant (flaring out on the sides) was common among the German officers.  The figure also has, tucked into his belt, a model 24 stielhandgranate.

This is the ‘stick grenade’ widely used by the German forces in WWII and is instantly recognisable as such.  This all works to tie it into the DUST world as well.  As mentioned the Jodhpur style pants indicate that Frank Von Stein could be an officer and who better to command a unit of zombies than Frankenstein’s monster?

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German with the easily recognizable stick grenade

SCULPT AND CAST

This is another wonderful sculpt from Joaquin Palacios.  The figure is imposing, with the bare arms and chest clearly showing the strength of the figure.  The muscles are well sculpted with attention to detail that helps conveys as much realism as one can for a fantasy piece.

The scars and stitches clearly show a body that has been reassembled.  The implants in the chest and neck are also great touches, helping to show this figure is the result of unseemly experimentation.

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Front and back of the upper torso. Notice the fine details like the stitches, implants, and even the texture on the suspenders.

The amount of skin on show offers a fantastic opportunity for the painter to be creative with their interpretation of undead skin.  The stitched together sections, the implants, and underlying veins could all add areas of colour and variation to the skin tone.

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Front and back of the German WWII style pants and boots.

The kit is made up of 11 pieces (6 of which are the individual claws).  Relative to other 75mm figures, it’s a moderate number of pieces and looks to be relatively simple to assemble.

The body comes in two pieces separated at the waist.  Even before cleaning up the piece, the two halves of the body fit together well with only a small seam visible where the belt meets the pants.

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The 11 pieces making up the kit.

The rest of the pieces consist of a simple base, a cylindrical container that hangs off the back of his belt, a sheathed knife hanging from the front of his belt, and the 6 claws that need to be attached to his hands.  There should be no issue in attaching any of these pieces to the figure.

The kit can be fully assembled prior to painting without creating any areas that would be difficult to reach with the brush.  It may be slightly easier to paint the hands prior to attaching the claws, but I imagine most will glue those on first and deal with the minor inconvenience of working around them.

Speaking of the claws, be wary with them.  They come attached to a single cylinder of resin and must be clipped off before attaching to the figure.  There’s no ‘clip here’ indicated on the sculpt and, comparing to the pictures of the assembled figure on Terrible Kids Stuff’s website, I believe they should be clipped as close to where they meet the cylinder as possible.

The modeller should check to make sure that they are clipped to an equal length, so none appear to be shorter or longer than the others when attached.  I did not notice any warping to the pieces that came with my kit, but if any part is susceptible it would be the claws.  Check to make sure they are straight/flat before attaching them to the figure.

DESIGN AND ORIGINALITY

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The classic Boris Karloff version of Frankenstein

This is a well-designed piece.  The neck bolts and assembly scars immediately identify this figure to almost everyone as Frankenstein’s monster.  While the neck bolts were not in Mary Shelley’s book, they first appeared in the 1931 Boris Karloff version of the creature and have been synonymous with him ever since.  As previously discussed in the reference section, the equipment set the piece as a WWII era German soldier.  Without a word of text, the visual alone is enough to tell you who and what this figure is supposed to be.

The pose is well done with a slight twist to the body, the shoulders rotated opposite the hips, which adds interest to what could be a very static pose.  The figure appears tense and ready to jump into action at a moment’s notice.

In terms of originality, Frankenstein’s monster has been adapted countless times in novels, movies, tv, video games and other areas.  However, this is the first time I’ve seen him adapted into a WWII setting.

DESIRABILITY

This is a piece that would interest fans of the game DUST as well as those who appreciate the classic character of Frankenstein.  Like Terrible Kids Stuff’s other kits, this one is a limited edition run.  The other two figures in their DUST line quickly sold out, so I wouldn’t expect this one to be available for too long!

AFFORDABILITY

This piece is reasonably priced for a 75mm resin kit.

DATES, FIGURES AND STUFF

Cost                                      €45

Material                              Polyurethane Resin

No of Pieces                       11

Release Data                     Available Now

Where Can I Get It?        HERE

David Powell

David Powell is an award-winning painter. He's taught painting workshops and written numerous tutorials for publication in magazines and online. While he's best known for his work on historical miniatures, he's got a soft spot for fantasy and sci-fi subjects as well.

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