March 3rd, 2010

Zen and The Art of Mule Maintenance

With Serenity now safely on her way through The Black to Browncoats everywhere, it’s high time we talk about our next replica: The MF-813 Flying Mule.

For our second Firefly/Serenity vehicle, we wanted to deliver to you the expert craftsmanship you’ve come to expect from our studio-scale works. And who better to make your Mule exactly the way you want it than you? That’s right, our Flying Mule replica will be the first authorized, pre-painted replica kit from The Verse. Every part is hand-painted resin and keyed so it can only fit in one place. All you need is a little glue and about a half hour and you can build your very own Flying Mule.

The Mule replica was designed by the same team that created our Serenity, and you’ll notice in the gallery below the same attention to detail and screen-accuracy. The major difference is this time you get to supply the muscle putting the roughly 30 pieces that comprise the kit together. Everything from the controls to action-figure-scaled seating is there. We even include a sculpted diorama base with simulated sand.

Heck, we’ve even designed her so she can be displayed in two modes – the special effects mode where the Mule hovers over the sand on two clear acrylic risers and the propmaster mode where you can place her on a prop dolly, just the way she’s currently stored on Universal Studios’ backlot.

There are a couple reasons we decided to make the Mule our first prepainted kit: First, it’s fun build, not too challenging for novices but with enough complexity to entertain even experienced model makers. Second, the paint master for the Mule looks picture-perfect when assembled. There really is no qualitative difference between you building her and us, so why should we have all the fun?

The third – and perhaps most important – reason is we really wanted to support the hobbyist. There are tons of talented Browncoats out there we just know are going to want to add their own touches to their Mule replicas. Lights, photoetched details, grenades…

So, what do you think? Like our latest replica? Like that you’ll have a chance to build her yourself? We’d love to hear what you think.

Edit: Sorry, didn’t put the dimensions or pricing in the article. Posted a note below, but here it is in the story in case you missed it:

The mule itself is 13″x6″x4″ (not including the side fins) and the base is 15″x11″. The development work is done so all we gotta do is make ‘em. I’m going to guess and say we’ll be shipping by this summer.

As for the price, nothing’s final yet. But it will be *much* less expensive than the BDR (of course). Keep in mind it’s heavy resin, not lightweight styrine like most prepainted kits, so it costs a bit more from a raw materials standpoint. But having said that I think you can expect it to price out in the range of other high-end, licensed prepainted kits you may have seen from folks like Kotobukiya.


 

22 Responses to “Zen and The Art of Mule Maintenance”

  1. Jim in St. Louis says:

    Why you sneaky little devils,,,,,,, You really kept the wraps on this one! And WOW, it looks great. But we don’t expect anything less from QMx. You’ve set the bar incredibly high didn’t you. And what a great idea making it a kit. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

    jim

  2. Is it scaled to fit the 6″ action figures. Sadly on Mal and Jayne, but better than nuthin’

  3. john vaughan says:

    Now that is shiny!

  4. Anthony says:

    Well that looks pretty cool, and gluing something together I can do. But you have left out two very important bits of info, how big is it and what will it cost.

  5. Andrew says:

    Awesome. Truly awesome. I was hoping there would be a Serenity kit – but I don’t think I have the skill to put our girl together by myself. The mule, however, I think I could tackle. Also, having it be a kit should save us some money (hopefully). Very cool, guys. Keep up the awesome work.

  6. micjwelch says:

    That is awesome! I know you had to see this question coming, but any ideas on a release date or a price?

  7. Scott says:

    You are many flavors of awesome.

  8. Stephen Morton says:

    Simple questions: How big (scale/length), How soon (to pre-order) and How much ($)? :-)

  9. Therese says:

    I love it! Gotta find some miniature goggles and grenades!!
    I built my first model when I was 12. It was a dune buggy. My brother laughed at me, saying model making was for boys. After I was done, he began to ask me for help gluing and painting. I can hardly wait to build this one!!! When will it be available, and at what price, and most important, how many are you fellas making?

  10. Joe says:

    You guys are bound and determined to make sure my daughter attends community college, aren’t you?

  11. admin says:

    Hey guys, glad you like it :-) The mule itself is 13″x6″x4″ (not including the side fins) and the base is 15″x11″. The development work is done and now we just gotta make ‘em ;-) I’m going to guess and say we’ll be shipping by this summer.

    As for the price, nothing’s final yet. But it will be *much* less expensive than the BDR (of course). Keep in mind it’s heavy resin, so it costs a bit more from a raw materials standpoint. But having said that I think you can expect it price out in the range of other high-end, licensed prepainted kits you may have seen from folks like Kotobukiya.

  12. darthviper107 says:

    That’s pretty cool, also interesting the actual prop still exists

  13. Atom says:

    I was wanting the Firefly as a model, but this is a good place to start. I didn’t realize how… utilitarian the mull actually looks. Is there really much else you could do after this (said it is the first)?

  14. Yama86 says:

    NICE!!!!
    I love it. Can’t wait till this is available. I just have to have one.

  15. Dan says:

    love it

  16. El Franco says:

    Will the old Serenity Action figures like Mal, Jayne, and the Reaver be in scale with the Mule?

  17. Rich says:

    Cool..
    Might get me one of these.

  18. Anthony says:

    That’s some what larger then I was expecting and have display space for. No doubt the detail would be great, but is there any chance of getting one a bit smaller (completely pre-built, etc).

    Around the same scale as the Serenity BDR would be nice, but if that’s just too small, the a base around 5″ x 3.5″ would be great.

  19. History says:

    Shiny! However…having just designed a place in my crowded library / home theater to display the BDR (eagerly awaited), you’ve now created another beautiful replica (if my childhood modeling skills are not forgotten) for me to struggle to find an appropriate place for its display. Not that I’m complaining. As Oliver Twist said, “More, please” >many smiles<

  20. Sean Kennedy says:

    That is really dang cool Andy!

  21. Joe F says:

    El Franco, QMx have said elsewhere that the old Serenity action figs will fit the mule, but suggested that they weren’t optimal. (I’m guessing du to the limited articulation and such.)

  22. YoBigB says:

    As long as you remembered to put grenades in the storage compartment, everything will be shiny.