Sunday, February 23, 2020

Science Fiction International: Japan/ Mobile Suit Gundam-Previously Unseen Fantasy Modeling #7 Article

I've recently had the honor and great pleasure to speak with Trash Bash Master Andrew Yanchus about his many articles for Fantasy Modeling Magazine as well as his time at Marvel Comics and Aurora Models. Andy has kindly offered to do an extended interview about his career in the near future, we're just trying to determine the best format for it.

In the meantime he has graciously offered to allow me to post these scans of his final article written for Fantasy Modeling from the legendary and unfortunately, mostly, lost Issue #7. This article, Science Fiction International: Japan delves into the phenomena of Mobile Suit: Gundam models and has to be one of the earliest attempts to cover the hobby of gunpla that Gundam helped to create and quickly took to incredible levels of popularity. At a time when any information about Japanese anime and models was incredibly scant, this article would have been an informative and compelling piece of hobby journalism.

First off it should be clear that this is not a perfect copy of the article but copies of xeroxes of the article. Andy included scans of the color images showing Dave Cockrum's gunpla diorama and these go a long way to showing how cool the final article would have been once published.

The caption explaining Cockrum's diorama is a bit hard to read but basically he conceived of the models as being humans in armored suits and not massive, piloted robots as they are in Gundam. Andy also shared that Cockrum's technique for the vine-like ground cover was to use boiled spaghetti to add texture and then painted it once it was completely dry. Apparently it looked really cool but was also very brittle. So duplicate this technique with caution!

So enjoy these pages that Andy has shared with us. They're more than likely all we'll ever see of Fantasy Modeling #7. Many thanks to Andy Yanchus for such an excellent gift.

These headlines show how brilliant this issue would have been. Instead the publisher decided the big money was in wrestling magazines. Jerks.

1 comment:

  1. Too flippin' awesome! Mega-cool! Thanks to everyone involved for sharing these images! I still have and enjoy the six original issues -- well, replacements for the few back issues I originally had. While the issues I have aren't the actual copies I once had bought, back when these were all brand new, back then I could never locate all six of them, either. (It being pre-eBay daze, and all, back then!?) Having found out, just now, that a seventh issue was partly finished, is news I loved hearing! I didn't previously know that a seventh issue had ever been worked on, at all; nor that any of that (wonderful old!) work was still extant, until I saw this posting. (And yes, the cynical part of me made me check today's date, just in case. No, thank goodness: it's not April Fool's Day. Whew!) Thank you, mister's Yanchus and Roe, for additions to those amazingly cool "memories" of that magazine; its contents; and its contributors!

    -- Ward Shrake --