MARK McGOVERN seems like a friendly fellow, what with that soft smile and assuring gaze. And while there's no cause to doubt his pleasant exterior, we have to take a moment of pause as we consider his unusual work that has gained him induction into the Builders' Lair.

Originally an entrant in the "Make a Monster Scene" contest of 2009 (hosted by Amazing Figure Modeler Magazine and co-sponsored by Moebius Models), Mark delivered a creation that causes us to wonder if he has some unresolved matters with a sibling, an in-law, or perhaps just a brush with a dark character in society.

OK - we won't spend time attempting to psycho-analyze Mark's subconscious. Instead, we'll celebrate the skill and humor he imbued into his incredible - and winning - contest entry. Mark has delivered a twisted take on the eponymous Dr. Deadly -- a most unusual interpretation that might cause you snickers and giggles or possibly fits and nightmares.

So, without further ado, meet Sister Deadly...  

"The idea was to bend Dr. Deadly's gender, adding feminine features - a big hairdo, fuller lips, and 
(ecch) boobs..."
Mark McGovern


The "mother" of necessity? 

One look at "Sister Deadly" is enough to convince you of Mark's talent as well as his playfulness. But, as he explains his actual motivation to morph Dr. Deadly into a June Cleaver-esque nightmare, you appreciate his attention to pragmatism, too.

"By the time I heard about it, the Monster Scenes "Make a Monster Scene" contest was already underway.  Past experience has taught me some harsh lessons, one of which is, if it has to be done by a deadline, it has to be done simply.  So any idea of a big, showy diorama was out. Instead I gravitated towards a conversion of one of the Monster Scenes figures."

And while Mark determined he'd need to take a traditional kit-bashing approach to his entry, he nevertheless showed his knack for thinking outside of the box

"There was all sorts of mayhem being inflicted on The Victim already, so I shied away from her.  And I didn't think there would be much I could do with Frankenstein that would be very dramatic, at least not for a contest entry. 

That left Dr. Deadly.  The Doctor offered a lot of possibilities, but most of them seemed to require an elaborate setting.  So, I fell back on the classic idea of a gender switch, changing the Doctor into a woman. The more I looked at the model the more the idea made  sense,  and I  could use  the limbs from  The Victim to

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add comic 'girlie' arms and legs to the Doctor's bloated torso. His lab coat could become a woman's dress.  Best of all, I felt that if I could pull the conversion off, the figure would stand on its own without a lot of 'set dressing'."

"Mix 'em and match 'em - to the extreme!

"I assembled the Doctor's head and torso.  The arms with the gloved hands were also glued together.  When these assemblies were dry, I cut the Doctor's legs off with a razor saw and then cut the shoes off the legs. I cut the arms apart about mid-bicep and cut the gloves away.  

Next, I assembled the set of The Victim's legs that I thought would be the most stable.  The assemblies from both figures were glued with liquid cement. When the cement was dry all the seams were filled and sanded smooth.

The Victim's feet had to be trimmed off before her legs would fit into the Doctor's shoes. It proved to be necessary to separate the legs and glue them individually into the shoes, which was done with tube glue. I braced The Victim's legs in a standing position on Dr. Deadly's base so they would dry in a stable standing position within the shoes.  

When the glue was completely dry I reinforced the attachment by sculpting droopy socks from the Aves Apoxie Sculpt, which hid the transition of The Victim's slender ankles into the Doctor's heavy shoes. The socks also added to Sister Deadly's dowdy appearance."

"The locators of Dr. Deadly's upper arms were removed since the body halves could no longer be separated.  

I trimmed a little off the tops of The Victim's arms so they'd fit up into the Doctor's shoulders and super glued them in place. The gaps were filled with Aves Apoxie Sculpt two-part epoxy putty, which I sculpted to look like rolled-up sleeves. 

 The Victim's hands were cut away and the arms trimmed to fit inside the gloves; more super glue secured them. I didnít attach the arms to the figure in order to make painting the assemblies easier."

"Fitting The Victim's legs inside Dr. Deadly's big hollow body proved to be a big challenge. In order to remove the Doctor's legs I had to cut the flat bottom of his lab coat away. It took a lot of careful trimming and fitting to get The Victim's legs to fit so that the figure could stand on its own.  

Then I trimmed a piece of paper to make a template that would fit within the contours of the bottom of the Doctor's lab coat and around The Victim's legs. The template served as a guide so I could cut a piece of 0.015" sheet styrene that I glued in place to blank off the underside of Sister Deadly's skirt."

You make me feel like an un-natural woman...

By this point, Mark had become a bona-fide styrene surgeon. Even so, just when you think you'd seen it all, next comes the remarkable makeover. Mark continues:

"With the structural efforts out of the way I could turn to the fun gender-bending stuff. The first part of the conversion was subtractive. I re-sculpted some of the Doctor's facial features with a Dremel tool and X-acto knives. The goal was to soften his face and make it more feminine by thinning his eyebrows, reducing the size of the nose, and carving an iris and pupil into his left eye. A paint brush, moistened with lacquer thinner, was passed over this work. The solvent softened the cut edges of the plastic for a molded in appearance. 

Next I used more Aves to add details: the bouffant hairdo, fuller lips, and boobs. As with the rest of the work I made these additions in stages, allowing an application to cure and then sanding it smooth. Believe it or not, Sister Deadly's chest was the most difficult feature to get to look right."

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Finding her a place on the fetid family tree...

"Now I had to think about her specific presentation; up to this point, I wasn't even sure whether the figure would be "Mrs." or "Sister" Deadly. I decided the family relationship was too evident, for all the changes I'd made, for my conversion to be anything other than the Doctor's sister. With that came the "I Only Have Eyes For You" idea that seemed to better fit the character of Dr. Deadly's love-starved sibling.

"I made the container for the eyeballs from a piece of clear plastic tube I found years ago at a now-defunct hobby shop. I heated the bottom of the tube with a candle and then I pressed the tube onto my workbench to flare it out slightly.

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I sealed the flared end with a piece of masking tape and then added a drop or two of 5-minute epoxy to make the bottom of the container.  

Some strands of fine wire were bent at one end into a hook, over which I modeled a tiny ball of Aves. 

I attached bits of toilet paper to the free ends 

of the wire with a 50/50 mix of white glue and water to represent 'ganglia.' The eyeballs were painted with Vallejo Acrylics. When they were dry, I added more epoxy to the container and pushed the eyeballs in."

Oh, and she's a plucky little thing.

"The 'Eyeball Extractor' in Sister Deadlyís left hand was made from 0.030" sheet styrene; it was a little thick for the scale, but I wanted the assembly to be sound.  The finger and thumb handles were fitted to the gloved hand, and then glued to the ends of the extractor.  

The scissor sections were held together with pieces of straight pins and are actually functional; they extend and retract, making it easier to get the final fit over the gloved fingers. While I had the extractor in place, I cemented the joints with liquid cement. 

The tiny scoops on the free ends were made from bits of soda can aluminum and super-glued in place."

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Every girl needs a home of her own.

"I built up the Dr. Deadly base on a piece of Styrofoam that was textured with vinyl wall spackle.  To make the Sister Deadly nameplate, I scanned the box ends from the Dr. Deadly and Frankenstein model kits.  Using MS Paint I cut and pasted the letters I needed to create the "Sister Deadly" lettering along with the title underneath. 

The nameplate was printed out on plain old copy paper and sandwiched under a piece of clear acetate and a frame made from Super Sculpy thermosetting clay, all cemented to a sheet styrene back with super glue.  The Sister Deadly base and nameplate were epoxied onto an old wooden trophy plaque."

As mentioned, Mark's "Sister Deadly" earned him a Second Place prize for best Kit-Bash creation in the 2009 "Make a Monster Scene Contest." He has a clever approach to his work and certainly has an eye for detail ... well, many eyes, that is. 

Thanks for sharing your work with us, Mark.


Mark is what we call a "vintage modeler." His father gave to him his first model - an Aurora B-26 Marauder WWII Bomber. Young Mark was noticeably less than enthused, not with the notion of modeling but, rather, with the subject matter. Christmastime arrived and so did The Mummy - Mark's first Aurora long-box monster kit. And while eight-year-old Mark had never yet seen a monster movie, he discovered they would become his passion. He's been enthused with creepy creatures and has been building monster models kits ever since.

When the 1970s arrived, so did Monster Scenes - Mark built 'em all (those available in the U.S., that is). Unfortunately, much of his early model collection was discarded during a move, something he still regrets to this day. In the late 1990s, however, he joined his local chapter of the International Plastic Modelers Society and also became active within the HobbyTalk modeling forums. Able to establish a camaraderie with fellow hobbyists, not to mention some healthy competition to help him sharpen his skills, has added to Mark's growth as a plastic modeler.

In the early 2000's, Mark was honored by an opportunity to contribute to Modelers' Resource magazine.  He has also been published in the IPMS Modelers Journal and FineScale Modeler magazine. Having contributed to two books, Rat Fink - The Art of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and From Graves to Caves: Modeling Your Diorama, one of the many projects on Mark's workbench is a book of his own, Fantastic Figures, Strategies for Modeling Injection-Molded Scale Fantasy Figure Models. He also maintains the web site for an IPMS Special Interest Group, the Black Swamp Modelers; the SIG is devoted to Science Fiction/Fantasy, Dinosaurs, and related types of modeling.

Most recently, Mark donated his build up of the Aurora Hunchback of Notre Dame to Polar Lights, his kit to be photographed for the company's newest reissue of the kit. "Just to be asked," Mark beams, "is a highlight of my modeling career.  At least, until the next reissue of a  monster model comes out."

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