Frankenstein - The Brain Thief

The box art for this kit.

For those not that familiar with classic horror cinema, this scene depicts a pivotal moment in the 1931 film, “Frankenstein”. Though not in the novel, this scene shows how a botched robbery ultimately becomes the reason for the Frankenstein's monster being evil. Frankenstein's humpback and not too bright assistant, Fritz (as played by Dwight Fry) is sent to the local university to steal a brain from the human physiology lab. After breaking what has been determined to be a “normal” brain, Fritz steals the criminal brain on display to escape the wrath on Dr Frankenstein along with not really realizing that there would be a difference between the two organs. What follows is a wave of disaster & horror across dozens of films to come.

The 1/6 scale resin kit is from Resin Crypt Models from a sculpt by Robert Price. The kit is quite heavy primarily due to the scale and I found it to be of average quality. It required the usual amount of clean up and preparation and assembly was pretty straightforward although no instructions were provided or needed.

The cause of all the trouble about to ensue. If Fritz had been a bit less clumsy, dozens of films would never have been made.

The Fritz character was very well done and had a leering yet furtive expression on his face. The skeleton was another matter entirely. Cast in a glow -in-the-dark resin, the quality really wasn't that good. Because of the amount of repairs required, the glow in the dark feature became moot since it forced me to paint the bones in off white hues. I'm not really sure why the RCM decided to go down the “glowing bones” path since it harkened back to the plastic monster kits that Aurora put out years before which I had always thought to be a little silly. But that's just me.

The stand that the skeleton was to hang from just wouldn't do. It was very clunky looking and just seemed to be totally out of place, I ended up salvaging the base and making my own stand out of metal tubing I had. I also had some scale chain that I used to suspend the skeleton by its skull.

The kit also came with a passable wooden table with various flasks and lab equipment along with two brains, one intact and the other damaged. The 'glass' equipment was cast in a bubble filled translucent resin which looked terrible so I substituted my own equipment. I happened to have a glass vial that was the same size as the jar used to hold the damaged brain so I broke it up and placed it and the damaged brain on the floor along with a splash of clear gloss paint to show the “Oops!” moment in the lab.

For the intact brain that Fritz is holding, I fabricated another jar from my junk drawer stash. I placed the painted brain in the jar and applied several layers of acrylic “water” medium to represent it floating in some sort of preservative medium.

The very nice sculpt by Robert Price of the hunchback, Fritz, Click for a larger image.

Atop the wooden table, I added several from my mini-jar collection that I inserted various liquids, powders and bones with a couple books thrown in for good measure.

This is an interesting kit since it deals with a relatively obscure yet important scene in the film. It is also different since there are no monsters lurking about which these kits are generally prone to show so it is also unusual for that reason. I wish the quality was a little better but that is the nature of the business I guess but perhaps I am expecting too much from the resin casting processes in general. 4/15/20

A black and white image of the kit in keeping with the film. Click for a larger image.