08/10/15- I first became aware of Billiken's 1965 Godzilla garage
kit when I considered converting Medicom's
1954 RAH Godzilla to Jirass. The 1954 Godzilla conversion was
a no-go because that version of Godzilla looked very different from
the Godzilla suit used in the Ultraman Jirass episode. I've read that
Jirass was a 1964 Godzilla suit with a 1965 replacement head.
I came across two candidates for doing a Jirass conversion: X-Plus'
"Destroy All Monsters" 1968 Godzilla, and this one. I'd read complaints
that the DAM Godzilla was shorter than others in their 30-cm line.
I thought the Billiken version was 30-cm, but later info gave me
some doubts. I preferred the pose of the Billiken version, it was
a garage kit, and one happened to be available on eBay, so I took
It turns out that the Billiken version was a shortie as well,
measuring 26-cm plus a hair. ("30-cm" is a category, much
the same as "12-inch" figure.) After constructing and
painting the garage kit as 1965 Godzilla and comparing him to the
1954 Godzilla, I decided that I didn't need two Godzillas, and would
do the conversion. Hopefully, adding the frill collar would make
him appear to be a bit more massive, which might make him fit in
better with the collection.
The garage kit build was typical and uneventful. Installing the
roof of the mouth and moveable jaw took a bit of trial and error
trimming and test-fitting. The hardest part was puttying the seams
and trying to match the texture/pattern, and finding out after spraying
primer whether anything needed to be fixed (I let a some borderline
stuff slide). My "Doh!" realization was in not considering
that there was a textural difference between the putty and the vinyl,
which reveals itself after painting. I think this is something that
gets fixed if you lay thicker coats of sealant or primer, but again,
this was something that I could live with.
I used Rust-oleum auto primer, mainly because it was a dark charcoal
gray. It dried fairly quickly, but with a faintly tacky feel. Hopefully,
that wasn't a mistake that I'll later regret! After airbrushing
a basecoat of Vallejo German Gray and Grey Green, the tackiness
seemed to disappear.
Initially, I did the mouth flesh as lighter red-white-tan mix,
which seemed a good match to the reference photos. I later thought
it looked too bright and reddish-pink, so I applied a wash of a
darker maroon. Teeth, toes, and claws were given the usual brown/yellow
plaque treatment. After first doing it with acrylics, I remembered
that I had oils, which are much easier to blend smoothly. I used
a combo of the two and finished with a thinned mix of gloss.
It was gratifying to learn that I could still paint things like
eyeballs (granted, these are some huge eyeballs, scale-wise), even
though my 3-D vision is shot. The most frustrating part is not knowing
exactly when the brush tip is going to make contact, so you have
to go slow and steady with paint thinned just right. I've said it
before and I'll say it again: Aging sucks.