Alita is a Japanese anime character from a series of books called Battle Angel Alita written by Yukito Kishiro.
I found the kit on Gremlynz.com (it is titled on the website as Alita fallen Angel) as I had been after the kit for a long time and had a hard time finding it. I ordered the kit and it arrived a day later well packaged and protected. On opening the box I was not disappointed with the quality of the kit.
Inside the Kit Box
The kit consists of 18 resin pieces (1 base, 4 egg pieces, 2 arms, 2 legs, body, mechanical wing, a two part feather wing, head, three pieces for the hair and an umbilical cord) which are well cast and require little in the way of cleaning up, the detailing on the real and mechanical wing is superb which gives a lot of scope for weathering and detailing.
I opted to build Alita in five sub sections as this appeared to be the easiest option and test fitting on this model is a must especially the body.
The Egg and Base
I opted to construct the egg first. This consists of four pieces which can be tricky to hold in place while the glue is setting so quite a bit of masking tape was required. Once the glue had set I decided to fill some of the join lines and gaps as although the egg is ment to appear cracked and broken I wanted to make it appear smoother like a real egg. Once the filler had set I sanded the areas down and gave the egg a base coat of Halfords white primer. Next the egg was attached to the one piece base using two part epoxy to achieve a strong bond. Certain areas of the base were painted Tamiya silver, titanium gold and copper to represent the mechanical parts. The organic areas of the base were painted Humbrol 119 (light earth) a dark wash was applied and once dry a coat of Humbrol 63 (sand). The tubes coming from the bottom of the egg were painted Humbrol 56 (aluminium) and then dry brushed using Tamiya’s Titanium Gold. The second tube was painted the same way as the organic areas of the base.
The egg was then brush painted Humbrol 71 (oak) which allowed the egg to look textured rather than being smooth which would have happened if I had used an airbrush. Cracks and chips were painted onto the egg using Games Workshop mirthril silver this was done both on the inside and the outside. The finishing touch was added by subtle dry brushing in certain areas using Tamiya titanium gold.
The umbilical cord was painted using Humbrol 56 (aluminium), Humbrol 16 (Gold) and Games Workshop mirthril silver. A black wash was then applied with the original colours being dry brushed over the top and wiring detail being picked out using Humbrol 12 (copper). The umbilical cord was glued into position into the egg. It fit well and I decided to use milliput to create a rough seal round the umbilical cord to give the impression of a welding seam.
When it came to constructing Alita a lot of thought had to go into how to build and paint her as some problems could arise from having her human arm crossing over her body and clutching her mechanical shoulder. I decided the easiest option was to attach her mechanical arm and leg and paint these before attaching the human leg and arm. At this stage test fitting was extremely important especially when working out how to get her human arm into place once the mechanical parts had been glued into place. If any changes need to be made to position of hand, fingers etc then the resin can carefully be re-shaped using hot water.
The mechanical arm and leg were glued into place with no major fit issues just a small amount of sanding was needed to blend the leg onto the body. Next the areas that would eventually be flesh were masked off, once this was finished a base coat of Halfords grey primer was applied to the mechanical area. At the same time the mechanical wing was given the same treatment. Next shades of Alclad dark aluminium, aluminium and magnesium were applied to different areas on the leg, arm and body to give some depth and colour. The wing was sprayed Alclad pale burnt metal. Once this was dry a wash was made using Humbrol 33 (black) and thinners this was applied to all the sunken areas on the body to create a look of use and dirt taking care to avoid the Alclad. This was left to dry for a few days.
With the leg, arm and part of her body being mechanical there are different struts, bolts, wiring etc that I wanted to pick out using different metallic colours to show the amount of detail that is offered with this model. I used Tamiya gold leaf, Tamiya silver, Tamiya copper, Humbrol 56 (aluminium), Humbrol 11 (silver), Humbrol 12 (copper) and Humbrol 16 (gold). A very suttle dry brush of Tamiya titanium gold was applied to the areas that had been sprayed with Alclad this looks amazing when the light catches the model. As the shades of colour are slightly different between the two manufactures it gives greater scope of colour without having to lighten or darken the original colour. The black was applied to the mechanical wing and again left to fully dry. The wing was the given a slightly heavy dry brush of Tamiya titanium gold and chips were added in outer areas using Games Workshop mirthril silver. The articulated joint at the top of the wing was painted Humbrol 12 (copper) with bolts etc being picked out using Tamiya gold leaf.
The body was left for over a week to be sure the paint had fully set and then the masking tape covering the flesh area was removed. The mechanical areas were then carefully masked out. The head was attached with no gaps to fill but a tiny amount of sanding was done to blend the join line in. Next the human arm was attached taking care to place her hand around the mechanical shoulder and remembering to leave a small enough gap to allow the masking tape to be removed at a later stage, the same was then done for the leg. Some mild sanding was done to blend the seams together. A basecoat of white primer was applied to the flesh areas. I airbrushed Tamiya flesh thinned using isopropyl alcohol on the model. It was quite tricky to airbrush the inside of the leg and arm as these were extremely close to the masked areas but with care and a lot of patience it was eventually achieved.
The flesh was gradually built up in several layers. Once the flesh had dried, oil paints were used to do a flesh wash. The base of this was done by mixing equal amounts of raw umber, burnt sienna and yellow ochre. This was liberally applied to the flesh areas and almost immediately wiped off using an artists ¼ flat brush. (Hint: When wiping the oil off remember to go in one direction) This leaves a dark base tint to the skin. Next cadmium yellow was applied to the raised areas that required highlighting such as fingers, cheek bones, forehead, nose etc. This was left for 40 minutes then it was blended into the base by wiping with a ¼ artist brush. This step was followed again using titanium white and repeating until a natural skin tone with highlights had been achieved. Once happy with the skin tone the kit was left to dry for over a week, as if the oil paint is handled to much while wet it will smudge or just pull straight off the model.
Once I was sure the oil paint had fully dried I painted certain areas with a band of Games Workshop mirthril silver such as the top of the leg, base of the neck and middle of the arm. This was then outlined using Games Workshop blood red. I felt this added more character to the finish of the kit.
The three hair pieces were then glued together and primed with Halfords white primer. This was then brush painted with Humbrol 29 (dark earth) at the same time so were her eyebrows. The black wash was then applied to the hair followed by a dry brush of the original colour. The hair was then attached to the top of the head. When the paint had dried a matt varnish (Humbrol 49) was applied to all the flesh areas. Before the varnish had fully dried the masking tape was removed from all the mechanical areas. Alita was then put to on side to finish drying.
Next the two pieces for the feather wing were glued together. There was a slight gap between the two halves which was filled with milliput. Feather detail were scored into the milliput which resulted in a very clever blend that is not to obvious once painted. The wing was then given a base coat of Halfords white primer. The wing was then brush painted using Games Workshops Shadow Grey over which the black wash was applied. Next Games Workshops Space Wolves Grey was dry brushed over the entire wing to pick out all the crisp detail. Once I was happy with the shades and the paint had dried the wing was given a coat of matt varnish (Humbrol 49).
The final touches were to glue the wings onto the back of Alita. The feather wing was fairly heavy so I opted to drill and pin the wing into position to give extra support. The mechanical wing glued straight into its pre-drilled hole with no problems. Before gluing the wing into place I decided on what position it would look best in and to make sure it would not hit the base.
Alita was then attached to the umbilical cord through the attaching points in the lower of her back. To begin with I was doubtful wether or not the umbilical cord would be sturdy enough to support Alita as she does not actually sit in the egg but is suspended just above the bottom of the egg by the cord. It turned out that it is indeed strong enough to support her weight with no problems.
The egg was then attached to a heavy base using a two part five minute epoxy. This was left in a warm place to dry for at least two hours to be certain it was set and safe to move. A final touch that I decided to add was to use the two part epoxy to create a tear running down her cheek to give some character to the face especially as her eyes are closed.
The kit can be tricky to make but as long as before you start gluing you think about what the best way of construction would be, it becomes easier. Overall it is a really nice kit to build and the detailing is impeccable which gives lots of scope for weathering and shading. It is an enjoyable kit to build and was worth all the effort before building and the time it took to finish the model. Alita looks amazing on the shelf and would be a great addition to any modeller’s shelf. Think I might have to look into getting the other kit of Alita that is also available from Gremlynz, which is called Battle Angel Alita Fallen Angel (kit no: KUl005)
Kit No: H116
UK importer/distributor: www.gremlynz.com