Originally published July 5, 2006, at GJSentinel.com.
“EDGAR ALLEN POE”
Sculpted by John Dennett.
Produced by Moohead Models, Mooheadmodels@aol.com.
Designed to be the same size as the classic 1/8 scale Aurora monster kits.
Made of resin, 13 parts. (Parts breakdown: Chair legs, 4; chair with Poe, 1; Poe legs, 1; Poe’s hands, 2; base, 1; cat, 1; book stack, 1; inkwell, 1; post with raven, 1.)
$90 plus shipping.
Edgar Allen Poe wielded the pen behind some of literature’s creepiest moments. Here’s one most readers will recognize:
Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore.
“Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,” I said, “art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore-
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night’s Plutonian shore!”
Quoth the Raven, “Nevermore.”
– “The Raven,” 1845
Or how about this:
With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once – once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But, for many minutes, the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eve would trouble me no more.
– “The Tell-Tale Heart,” 1843
Poe’s work was responsible for the kind of chills bound to earn the respect of monster-model-lovers such as myself, so I’m one of many who took notice when Scott Johansen’s Moohead Models reissued John Dennett’s classic “Edgar Allen Poe” garage kit.
Scott, 43, lives in Frankfort, Ill. He describes himself as “happily divorced for 14 years.” He is still friends with a former girlfriend and considers her daughter his own stepdaughter. Scott works as a millwright in a Ford assembly plant in Chicago.
“I’m sure there are those out there that will ask, ‘What the hell is a Moohead?’ ” Scott wrote in an e-mail. “Well, that is simple. My stepdaughter nicknamed my dog that and it stuck. So the company is named after my dog! LOL.”
Q&A WITH SCOTT JOHANSEN OF MOOHEAD MODELS
Resin the Barbarian: I know this is a licensed reissue of John Dennett’s Poe kit. Can you tell me a little about the background, such as when it was sculpted and who originally marketed it? Did John sell it himself or through another producer?
Scott: The kit was originally produced by a gentleman named Mark Stehlik. Those of us that were in on the early days of the garage kit hobby will remember him. I had lost track of Mark for several years and then through a series of coincidences I was put back in touch with him. He had given the rights to the kit to a friend of mine and we are producing it together.
I believe it was originally available in 1993. Shortly thereafter, Mark disappeared for over 10 years! I am glad to have been able to reconnect with him. Anyone that knows him knows what a character he is!
RtB: I think the raven in the kit will be familiar to anyone who knows Poe’s work. What about the cat? Are there any other things in the kit I should recognize from Poe’s work?
Scott: That is all for now. We are discussing updating the base at some point with a plank missing and a “Tell Tale Heart” in its place. I can’t say this will happen for sure but it is possible.
RtB: What led to you becoming the producer of this kit?
Scott: See above! LOL.
RtB: What other kits have you produced or do you plan to produce?
Scott: Well, other than the “Boy and Tiger” and the “Destroyer” kits, there are a few projects in the works and in the planning stages. One will be a small Muttley figure that used to be a dog toy! I have cast them up and sold them at shows for $10 but now we’ve actually cleaned it up and it will be remolded with a small base.
I also have an Igoo the rock ape kit that was sculpted by Shawn Nagle. You can see a pic in the latest Kitbuilders or a few AFMs ago.
My next project is under way and all I can say is it’s a BIG one! I also am planning some bases for the Aurora/PL Monster Rods.
RtB: Do you produce kits entirely on your own, or do you have help?
Scott: I do all the work myself. It takes up a lot of time and room is at a premium but I manage.
RtB: How much of your time to producing kits require in an average week, and what basic steps are involved?
Scott: Depending on the kit, it can range anywhere from 15 to 40 minutes per kit. I have to set up all the molds and pour the resin into all of them. Some of them I have to pre-fill and that takes a little more time.
RtB: Obviously, you are interested in model kits. Where did that interest begin? Has it been a lifelong thing? Perhaps a childhood interest that was revived in adulthood?
Scott: Oh definitely! Back when I was a kid, there were no toys based on the Universal Monsters so if you wanted a figure the Aurora kits were the way to go. I sort of got my interest back around 1981 and discovered John F. Green. The rest is history?
I went to my first WonderFest in 1993 and have gone every year since.
RtB: What’s your “grail” kit?
Scott: Well I don’t really have one that I’m looking for but I have a few that I own already. The list always changes, but no matter what the Janus Dracula diorama and the Horizon Joker (first one) will always be two of my favorites.
RtB: Anything else you’d like to add?
Scott: Nothing other than my hat is off to those of you that actually have and/or make the time to build and paint these kits. We may all want to be great painters and builders and some of us are and some of us aren’t, but either way you are enjoying the hobby! I haven’t built or painted anything in about six years! And long to do so soon! Happy modeling!