The Blob: A Midnight Snack

This is a build of my own design based on the climatic scene from the 1958 sci-fi horror classic, “The Blob”. I hesitate to use the word classic because it really wasn't that good a film with poor acting, below par special effects and the “nobody believes the teenagers' story, a common plot device of the period. Perhaps its only distinction is that it was Steve McQueen's second screen silver appearance. Although later to become one of the most popular film actors of all time, it has been written that he little faith in the film and opted for a flat cash payout for his role as opposed to a percentage of the box office. If he had done the later, he'd have been a millionaire. Still his role as a misunderstood but 'good' teen (he was 28 at the time!) certainly livened up what was a mediocre plot as he leaped over grocery aisle displays and the like trying to avoid the Blob. There is no doubt in my mind that his performance was the ONLY reason this film realized the success that it did.

In any case, at the conclusion of the film, Steve and few others are trapped inside the local diner where it is finally figured what will stop the Blob, namely anything cold. I managed to get my hands on many stills from this part of the film which had images of the Downington Diner, an actual enterprise in Downington, Pennsylvania. I was lucky to find an S scale passenger car that resembled the diner very closely and, an added bonus, was the right size that I wanted to work with. The ambulance and police car are from M2 Machines (also S scale) which manufacture some very nice detailed automobile models. I drilled out the top lights and inserted flashing red LEDs to simulate the emergency lights of those vehicles. They are powered by a 9 volt battery mounted beneath the scene

Going to my old standby, I used flickering votive candle LEDs which cost me about a buck for a five pack at the Dollar Store. I mounted a few of them in the ceiling of the diner to copy flickering lights inside the diner because of its failing power supply.

The racing DINER sign I purchased online at Miller Engineering which offers dozens of lighted signs, primarily for model railroad applications. Here's the link: (https://www.microstru.com/index.html) As before, this sign was also powered by the 9 volt.

The telephone poles were scratch built from 1/8” dowel and the cross bars were 1/16” balsa. The insulators mounted on them are actual brass dollhouse 'nails' (really tiny suckers!) which I painted white to look like ceramic fittings.

The Blob itself was probably the more difficult part of the construction. I used a one gallon plastic milk jug cut to size so that it wrapped around one end of the diner. I had decided early on to use clear silicone adhesive for the Blob membrane but I didn't want to use a huge blob (sorry) of the material. The milk carton provided support for the silicone, it was essentially clear and it ate up a lot of volume so I didn't have to buy ten tubes of the adhesive. I made a rough application, hoping that the silicone would turn clear once it cured but it ended up as being translucent instead. I let it dry for WEEKS but it didn't get any clearer so I went with it. In some ways, this ended up being a positive outcome because I didn't have to worry too much about the detail inside the Blob simply because you couldn't see it.

Anyway, after I placed the Blob in its final position, I secured the edges with more silicone and, after smoothing the seams with a damp finger, I set it aside to cure for a few days. Once cured, I made up a 50/50 blend of red brick and clear red acrylic paint for coloration and finished up with a clear gloss dusting from a rattle can to give it that slimy look. In the film, the Blob was a dark orange color (I actually think they may have used axle grease for the effect) but my dark red looked fine.

Final detailing was accomplished with two figures and few parking meters from Arttista's S scale line. The running boy is an actually an HO scale man I had from a figure set I purchased years before during my model railroading days.

The background was hand painted by yours truly on reinforced foam board. I painted the moon separately on a piece of label paper which I had cut into a circle since it was just easier to do it that way and stuck it to the background. I used a micro-brush for my star field and hit the whole thing with a semi-gloss acrylic rattle can to kill the shine from the dark blue spray paint I used for the night sky.. The shrubs behind the diner are ground foam typically used in model railroading and the ledge was distressed builder's foam painted dark gray to look like stone.

So that's it. This build took me a long time because I was unsure of object placement but once I got that part figured out it went fairly quickly. I have to say I'm very pleased with how it came out. 7/1/18

Close up of the right side of the scene.

  • Long shot without any of the lighting effects turned on. Click once for a larger image.

  • A still from the 1958 film. Obviously a poorly executed drawing to the show the scene that I have modeled. It was 'scenes' like this that really detracted from the film in my opinion. Click once to get a larger image.

  • Close up of the left side of diorama. I actually made my own decals to copy the look of the actual diner that I describe in the text. Click once for a larger image.

A still from the film showing the actual diner used in the film.