'Chiduru Kasiwaki Drunk'
1/6 Anime Recast
Kit # ??? Original Cast $100.00, Recast $39.00 and up
Images and text Copyright © 2005 by Matt Swan
Sometimes I need to take on something totally different to keep the creative juices flowing. I ran into a creative dry spell recently and was looking through various aspects of modeling when I came across some rather risqué Anime figures. After some 30 odd years of painting hardware equipment I thought doing something organic could be the challenge I was looking for. I have done figures before but they were all 11mm Dungeons and Dragons figures, nothing of this scale or that would need this level of tonal work.
I begin this adventure knowing absolutely nothing about Anime figures or large figure painting. This is truly going to be a learning experience. I began my search for a subject on E-Bay and found quite a few figures – this one of the topless girl with the beer can really caught my eye. What I did not know at the time was that most of what I was seeing in this search were garage recasts and of suspect quality. In my blissful ignorance I bid a whopping eight dollars, won the auction, added another seven bucks for shipping and had my first Anime figure. Turns out I got lucky, while this is a recast the general quality of the parts is good, there are very few micro bubbles in the resin and the primary parts fit together quite well. On the negative side of the equation the figure’s bra has a massive amount of flash on it and the three beer cans are all warped and of uneven casting. While checking these parts out and performing some research on techniques I came across a picture of the original figure with a parts breakdown. From this I could see that the inner connection areas of the limbs were much rougher on mine and the original accessory pieces were a much cleaner casting. Oh well, could have been worse and there is nothing here that a little modeling work will not fix.
With all things considered I was pretty excited about starting this build and jumped right into part preparation. Just like working with any other resin kit certain items needed taken care of like the removal of pour stubs and basic sanding. As I mentioned before there were a few micro bubbles and I did find some slightly rough areas on the models skin. All these points were taken care of with Mr. Surfacer liquid filler and sanded smooth. A few of the more severe areas required multiple applications but over the course of two evenings modeling these were all dealt with.
In order to make surface preparation easier I mounted each large piece of the kit on the end of a bamboo skewer with some super glue. This allowed me to fill, sand and prime without getting messy fingerprints all over the parts. By time I had acceptable pieces I had actually put three coats of primer on the model. For primer I am using Mr. Surfacer 1200 thinned 50% with lacquer thinner. While this was curing I worked on her bra removing flash and pour stubs – that piece will need even more work before it is presentable.
After letting the parts set for a few days to fully cure I felt I was ready to begin the assembly process. First I selected some 3/32 copper wires from my parts drawer and a matching drill bit. Each joint at the hip and arm were drilled and had wires inserted. These were secured with small drops of super glue during test fitting then heavier amounts of glue were used to permanently attach the limbs. I should have used something like Milliput to fill my gaps with but I had run out of that product. In place of it I used several applications of thickened Mr. Surfacer 500, which seemed to do the job quite well. During my planning stages I thought about painting the left hand and left foot separately then attaching that limb. After further thought I decided to attach the limb and worry about the paint later. Each limb joint took several coats of Mr. Surfacer 500 and several sessions of wet sanding before I could get the seam to disappear. In the images below the hairpiece is simply resting in place – it will be painted separately then attached.
This concludes the surface preparation phase of the model. It’s time to start working on the painting aspect of the kit. Let me state a couple of objectives here so there is no confusion on the final product. My original intent was to practice painting flesh – human flesh. Now this is an Anime figure and the general painting techniques for Anime result in a fairly cartoonish flesh – very pale with minimal tonal shading. So even though this is an Anime figure I want the flesh results to look as real as possible. Next let’s talk about paints. I am not using the regular aircraft modeling paints for this project. Most of the standard paints like Testors, Polly Scale and Tamiya are opaque colors designed to provide solid color density. For this project I want you to be able to read color layers and to accomplish that I need a semi-opaque paint. Delta Ceramcoat paints are the answer and this is the first time I shall be using these acrylic paints.
Ceramcoat paints are very thick and must be thinned nearly 60% with a water/Windex solution. I also add a few drops of Liquitex flow aid to my thinned paint. To create my base flesh tone I start with a small amount of base white and mix very small quantities of Burnt Umber and Tangerine. I need to divert for a moment and let you in on a secret here. You may wonder just how I can get away with building a model like this and not have the wife getting a little ticked off. First thing is to let the wife know that she is the inspiration for the kit then get her involved by using her for skin tone reference. With this in mind I compared my paint mixes to my reference material :o) until an acceptable tone was achieved. This is only preparation though; we are not ready to paint. Remember – these paints are semi-opaque so a suitable base color needs to be put down. This is simply White – the entire model is coated with a base of Titanium White and allowed to dry.
Now we are ready to paint. The figure gets two good coats of the premixed base flesh tone and is allowed to dry. Some base flesh tone is placed into a mixing container and more Burnt Umber is added to darken the mix. This is used to add shadows under the breast, around the armpits, thighs and stomach. Once again Burnt Umber is added to this mix to darken further and another light application goes on to enhance the shadow effect. To this darkened mix yet more Burnt Umber and now some Red is added and this makes the color for the nipples. See how the base flesh tone is used throughout the figure? This keeps all colors very compatible. Once this has dried I return to the base flesh tone and airbrush some lightly over the nipples to help them blend in.
I’ve been away from this build for a little while getting some other projects wrapped up and figured it was time to do the same to this. I glued the two primary hair pieces together, fixed the seam with Mr. Surfacer 500 and airbrushed them with an acrylic black/green. The small side hair pieces were airbrushed separately then installed after the main section was attached to the figure’s head. The resulting seams were carefully cleaned up and touched up with a fine brush. I cheated with the eyes – I studied what other figure modelers were doing to paint eyes which seemed to be about a four or five step process then I came across a sheet of eye deals from Archer. My inspiration for aircraft had pretty much returned and I wanted to get back to those subjects so the eye transfers were a go.
The beer cans were the next thing to deal with. Each can was mounted on a sharpened toothpick, two from the bottom and one (that will go into her hand) from the open pop-top. These were airbrushed with Alclad aluminum and allowed to dry. I went to the store and bought a six-pack of Heineken Beer, drank the beer and still had enough mental resources left to scan the empty package (hic). I also scanned one of (hic) the resin beer cans for a scale reference. The beer package scan was reduced to fit the can, copied several times onto a single image then printed at 600 dpi to some Bare Metal Foil white carrier decal paper. A decal fixative was applied, the sheet dried for an hour and the decals went onto the cans (hic).
The open can was then mounted in her hand with care being taken that the open top was properly aligned with her thumb for drinking (don’t want beer running down her chin do we) and this basically completes the figure. For display I used a 5” X 7” picture frame filled with grass and sand material from the model railroad department. Now she sits on my modeling shelf, drinking beer and watching me build models. She also tends to attract quite a bit of attention from visitors – not sure why.
You may click on the images above to view larger pictures