Tag Archives: playmobil

Scooby Doo Haunted House – Part 3

The next step in building this sort-of diorama is constructing the staircase and first-floor level.

The stairs themselves are made from small wooden sticks purchased from a local craft shop – essentially, these are lolly sticks. Then, I add a framework of thick card to give the structure some strength.

Now that it’s in place, I can see that maybe the stairs are a little narrow and a bit steep. But do you know what? I don’t really care! One of things that I’m enjoying most about this build is that it’s completely freestyle. There are no instructions to follow and in truth, what I’m building isn’t really a scale model at all – it’s a movie set for the Playmobil characters.

I add the first floor level and a simple balustrade, and with that, the staircase and first-floor are pretty much done.

The door under the stairs opens (and the portrait hides a clue, too).

With that, it’s time to finish the last few details. A large dresser will hide the secret door on the ground floor.

A bookcase on the first floor has a clue in it too…

And here’s the finished haunted house (except, in the best Scooby Doo traditions, it isn’t really haunted at all…).

Usually at this point, I’d be showing you more pictures of the completed model. Instead, here’s a link to my completed Scooby Doo YouTube homage video, made by joining together photographs of the Playmobil characters on the completed set. It’s just 3 and a half minutes long, so why not take a look:

After Action Report

You know what? This was fun. I found it less stressful than many of the kits I have built recently and the fact that it was completely freeform and built mostly using stuff I had around the house meant that if I messed anything up (which I often did) I could simply make a new part.

Does that mean that I won’t be building any more kits? Not necessarily, but it has made me rethink my whole approach to making stuff and especially about the fun factor. I found some of my recent attempts at kits frustrating and a little negative. This was entirely different and it turned out to be a positive experience, and that’s what I look for most of all in a hobby.

So, if you’re feeling a little jaded with kit-building, maybe it’s time for something completely different? That doesn’t mean that you too have to revert to your childhood as I did, but perhaps something just for fun might not be too out of place?

Go, give it a try!

Related Posts

Scooby Doo Haunted House – Part 1

Scooby Doo Haunted House – Part 2

Scooby Doo Haunted House

Zoinks gang! It’s time for a very different bit of modelling to start off 2022. I mentioned in my last post (a review of a set of 1/35 German infantry from 1914) that I was getting a bit jaded in my kit building. My jadedness (is that even a word?) was increased when I messed up a shadow wash while painting those figures and ended up dumping the all-black figures in the bin. Sigh…

So, I’m now going to attempt something very different indeed. It’s a kind of, sort of, vignette in approximately 1/24 scale featuring Scooby Doo and friends. No tanks, no military stuff at all, and not a kit in sight… This is just about nostalgia-fuelled fun. I hope!

OK, now that most of my regulars have gone elsewhere for their fix of regular military-themed kit-building, what’s this new project all about?

Background

Way back in July 1969, man first walked on the Moon. Which I, as a ten-year-old, regarded as surpassingly cool and exciting. But just two months later, something else happened that had a huge effect on my pre-teen self: the very first episode of a new kid’s cartoon series, Scooby Doo: Where Are You? launched on CBS. Produced by  Hanna-Barbera, the show featured a truly Gothic aesthetic supported by wonderful painted backgrounds (even if some of the foreground animations were a little creaky).

How can you not love this? Like most of the art from Series 1, this painting was created by Walt Peregoy, a background artist who had previously worked for Disney.

The show was produced in an attempt to create a non-violent kid’s show that would avoid the criticism that many existing superhero series were attracting from parent’s and media groups. The outcome was utterly formulaic: in each of the 17 episodes of the first series, the four teenage protagonists (Velma, Daphne, Shaggy and Fred) plus their Great Dane Scooby Doo would turn up at a new location in the Mystery Machine.

When the Mystery Machine arrives in town, bad things are going to happen…

They would encounter some sort of paranormal (ghosts, zombies, etc.) or cryptid (Yeti, sea monster, etc.) problem. The gang would uncover clues and set a fiendishly complicated trap (that usually failed) before finally discovering that the ghost/monster was really a baddie in disguise. Nothing startling really, but the atmosphere (at least until the final unmasking) was rather dark and scary for a kid’s show.

Another of Walt Peregoy’s wonderful backgrounds

There were jump scares, a brooding atmosphere of menace and lots of scary establishing shots. As a ten-year-old, I found some of the episodes genuinely scary. But here’s the thing: I love the horror genre, whether it’s books, movies or television. I’m certain that my enthusiasm for this began with Scooby Doo and I still retain fond feelings for the original couple of series (but not anything that features Scrappy Doo, OK?). You could argue, if you were so inclined, that these cartoons introduced a new generation (including yours truly) to the tropes of Gothic horror – from a creepy house on a remote island to an abandoned airfield, all were laden with dread and the unspoken promise of very bad things.

If you want to remind yourself about just how great the early episodes were, the YouTube video below provides the first five minutes of the very first episode of Scooby Doo: Where Are You? from 1969, What a night for a Knight.

The Plan

Jump forward over fifty years and I was in a toyshop in a large town. I was hoping they might stock model kits (they didn’t) and instead I found myself captivated by a new range from Playmobil featuring the characters from the original series of Scooby Doo. I grew to love Playmobil when my kids were growing up – the sheer quality and diverse design of everything they make really impressed me. The combination of Playmobil and Scooby Doo was almost irresistible, but my kids are now rather too grown up to appreciate these as presents and as yet, there is no sign of grandchildren to allow me to indulge my joy in train sets and Scalextric.

My latest kit failure made me think about this again. Of course, I could simply buy the Playmobil Scooby Doo Haunted Mansion, but where’s the challenge in that? Would it be possible instead to use the Playmobil characters in a home-made haunted house that reflected the cartoon aesthetic of the original? Could this then be used as the basis for a series of photographs that can be presented as a comic-strip or even a video? Essentially, can I make a new episode of Scooby Doo using these models?

That’s a lot of questions and I really don’t know the answer to any of them. I’m not even sure whether this represents revisiting my childhood or the first signs of approaching dementia. And I don’t really care, I am looking forward to something that’s a little more light-hearted than my usual modelling subject. There’s a fair bit of work involved, so I’ll be updating progress in several parts. If I ever get the comic strip/video done, I’ll post that here too. Let’s start by looking at the cast for my new episode.

The Cast

Playmobil offer all the main characters from the original Scooby Doo as well as most of the monsters/ghosts from the early series. The monsters are particularly nicely done, because all can be revealed as being other characters in disguise…

I want to keep it as simple as possible, so I went for set 70287, Scooby and Shaggy with Ghost. This provides the figures fof Scooby Doo and Shaggy as well as a third character who can wear a glow-in-the-dark ghost outfit. I would have liked to have the other members of the gang, but they are only available as a large set that includes the Mystery Machine.

Scooby and Shaggy are presented in the traditional Playmobil semi-cartoon style and the ghost is particularly nicely done with a separate hood (complete with eye-holes) that can be removed to reveal the person underneath. It really does glow in the dark too, and how many 1/72 tanks can you say that about…

There are also some accessories including a bag of Scooby Snacks, a flashlight, a burger and a lead (though I can’t remember Scooby ever being on a lead in the series).

The next step will be to start to create the haunted house set and I’m looking forward to it. What do you think? Am I losing my mind or would you also like to try something completely different in terms of model-building? Stay tuned for the next thrilling instalment…  

Related Posts

Scooby Doo Haunted House – Part 2

Scooby Doo Haunted House – Part 3