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Mirei-san Build (Jamies Version)
JanusAust
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Victoria, Australia
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Posted: Saturday, May 01, 2010 - 11:33 PM UTC
Hi all,
after being inspired by Bob (aka Old Dragon) i decided to drag a kit out of Grey Army Storage, and have a go at doing a sensual anime figure.

The figure is based of a Office Lady illustration by Shunya Yamashita (I think that's the right spelling)

Here is the artwork in question.....



Something highly sensual about that illustration......

Here is a shot of what a completed kit looks like


So a very good match to the original.

The original piece could be bought as a finished PVC kit, and then became a cast kit. (Or it could be completely reversed) and have become a popular item amongst collectors.....

Mine is the garage kit version, and garage kits can be a real mixed bag. Sometimes excellent, sometimes so rough it's easier to build the thing from scratch......

This version is cast in a ivory - white resin, fairly hard, only a few air bubble present, and a few areas that either suffered during transit, or were 'short shots' (fine details not getting a full load of the resin)

Here is a parts over view of the figure - kit parts of the chair currently omitted, but they came in the box too!



And a close up of the face and upper torso.



Please do note, I have already attached the head and upper torso to the hips/ skirt region, these did come separate. (I was working on this kit when I had to pack up and move interstate)

I am trying to work out a build order, as well as how I am going to base it, so I'll keep you posted on the progress of that too.

questions, queries, comments welcome, and when I start painting, critiques too!

Cheers

Jamie

old-dragon
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Posted: Sunday, May 02, 2010 - 01:48 PM UTC
Oh cool...this is gonna be good! I like the box art, but I question what I had already thought of...a pair of glasses in her hand. The box art shows it but the kit doesn't...they include a pen instead. Interesting.
Build on sir! I'll be watching!!!!!!!!
JanusAust
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Posted: Thursday, May 06, 2010 - 12:56 AM UTC
Hi Bob,
a pen is included rather then glasses.

I guess that a pen is easier to make and copy, rather then glasses......

there comes a point in time, when making a sculpt, part of the brain goes..."dammit, that will do!"
(been there, done that, can understand the logic)

Tonight's efforts were pretty unexciting; just going over the figure with some wet and dry sandpaper to smooth off some casting lines. Use wet, as this will keep resin dust down (not good for inhaling)

After that, I went and inspected the figure for air bubble, found a few, Filled them with Vallejo acrylic paste, rather nice stuff.....fine grain, can be tinted, sand-able.

I also scribed some lines that were soft in detail, just to bring some definition back.

I did have to get out my little battery powered dremel, and the finest round head burr I could find, and get rid of some poor moulding, between some fingers. (hers, not mine) Couldn't be avoided, due to the complexity of the cast, and the small size.

I will post pics, likely Sunday night

Paint order.

This is the plan so far.

Because of the nature of the kit, I am thinking that I will do the inner areas, such as legs, torso and face, first. Then the stockings, bra etc.....

Followed by the skirt, inner, then outer.

then I will paint the inner edges of the shirt an jacket, and then put the two jacket halves together.

fill in the seams, tidy up the joins, prime and paint. (all preceding areas will be masked as I go along)

Then put on the sleeves, prime and paint.

Then fit the legs.

Meanwhile, I'll still be fiddling with the chair, and wondering if I should make my own glasses for her......

that's the general idea, for now. It may need tweaking and definitely revising, later.

Pics soon, thanks for looking in!

Cheers



JanusAust
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Posted: Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 12:34 AM UTC
Ok, a quick word on tools while I am still at the start of this project.

True, some are a little bit purpose specific, and I have collected these over the years, so don't feel the need to race out and drop the $$$$ if you don't want to, basic tools will work fine - which is great, because that's what most of these are!



Starting from left to right,

a pair of scalpels, one with a curved blade and stout handle, for general carving and rough tidying up. the second is a fine handle with pointed blade, I use that for cleaning up in fine areas, or doing light work.

I will change to a different shape blade if need be.

Next is a hardened steel pin mounted in the jaws of scalpel, great for cleaning out, picking out, a light re-scribing of some sculpted detail.

Next to that is a Micro Chisel, great for heavy duty cleaning up. No, I don't use a hammer, just hand power, and take off thin layers as need be. Better control that way.

For this project, my new best friend is a bottle of Vallejo plastic putty. Great stuff, effectively odorless, binds well, close to zero grain. (some fillers I've used in the past could flake away, due to grain, and other factors)

My Games workshop putty tool, actually became useful once I spent a weekend polishing the surfaces to a mirror finish. Tip to you budding sculptors out there, polish your tools. You'll be forever cleaning up rough finishes until you do!

Some rat tail files, some wet and dry sandpaper (in the upper corner) and....

the tool on the right is actually a dedicated scribing tool. Had it that long, cant remember which brand......may have been Squadron, or Micro mark, or someone completely else....
But I will be using it to re-scribe some lines that are soft/ missing!

Enough about the tools, back to the clean up!
JanusAust
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Posted: Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 12:46 AM UTC
Air bubbles and Shipping damage!

two of the areas that will need work before even thinking about laying down paint.

Plus the general fit and seam issues of a resin kit
(resin will have a shrinkage factor as it sets. This is the bane of both the caster and the builder, as some parts wont fully line up, have slight gaps, that kind of thing - however, hopefully I can show some ways around these challenges!)


Front of the jacket



The left hand side (as we look at it) has had the lapels either suffer some chips, or a short shot; either way, there are breaks where the tips of the lapels are.

Plus, the gap in the back of the jacket. Speaking of which...

jacket rear



Ok, the seam I can fill, and I will cover that in a future step.

Please not the line up of the collar - yep, it doesn't.

When I finish the torso and legs, I will be fixing and re-sculpting the collar and jacket rear. Which is actually pretty simple, no harder the aligning a door on a vehicle, a wing on an aircraft, that kind of thing.....

However, I am getting ahead of myself.....having covered future challenges in alignment, I will proceed to the actual (ongoing) clean up
JanusAust
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Posted: Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 01:03 AM UTC
Air bubbles-

the legs had quite a few, luckily mostly on the back of the calf, or behind the knee.

there were some on the heel, too. To fix, I applied a thin layer of Vallejo putty with my sculpting tool, let it dry (for a few days, preferably) then came back.

Sanded back with wet and dry.

reinspect, and apply a bit more filler.

Here's the results so far....



Chips (/ travel damage)

The skirt had a ding in it (probably from shipping damage) so a small chip was lost.

Bit more fiddly this, so here is what I did.



I grabbed some styrene rod (any soft material will do, so long as you can sand it) and super glued it across the chip. It is to act as a bridge, adding support to the next layers of filler. Let set.



On the left of the image, we can (kinda) see what I am trying to do.

I advise you to use a material that will be similar is softness to your putty. On a recent project, I built something up with some aluminium sheet, and that was too hard to sand! Which caused a rebuild....

It may be a match, a piece of chopstick, something of a similar density in nature.

I then applied more putty to that, and let set.

Spent about an hour tonight (after helping out with Mothers Day) sanding, inspecting, filling......

which is unexciting and repetitive, however, when I get around to painting, I want a nice smooth surface for those satin finish Thigh High Stockings! They will be a strong focal point, so any blemishes (from poor finishing) will be quickly spotted!

And to finish, here is a (slightly blurry) pic of the hand cleaned up. This is about the limit for my hand held digital camera, my apologies guys! But by getting rid of that flash (in injection moulded terms) and re-adding some definition to the hand, I will be that much better when I am done.



So this is this weeks SBS so far.

Remember, your painting efforts can never be any better then the finish of the surface!

Hopefully, more next weekend!


Cheers for now,

Jamie
JanusAust
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Posted: Sunday, May 09, 2010 - 11:16 PM UTC
By the way, everyone....
If you wish I can do this a fairly involved Step by Step, covering basic techniques as well as you like......

I've already touched upon clean up and preparation, as well as basic repairs (and materials) used.

I'll also touch upon pinning, priming, airbrush work, and masking.

Now, do chip in with questions and queries at any time, I'm quite happy to answer questions......

So I'll also answer anything you ask about!

Cheers for now,

Jamie
old-dragon
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Posted: Monday, May 10, 2010 - 02:46 PM UTC
My hand is raised{yeh that's me playing arnold horshack in the background}, show us everything!
My kit is at the post office and I'll pick it up tomorrow!
old-dragon
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Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - 02:07 PM UTC
Interesting...mine is cast differently than yours or what was shown on ebay. I'll post pics on the other thread...Lost is on - gotta go!
JimMrr
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Posted: Saturday, May 15, 2010 - 12:05 AM UTC
I have just started my first ever figure. I am doing Vispos "Morte" figure. I want to tell you how hapy I am to have found your thread, and I will be following right along with you, as we seem to be at the same place in the build, and you are pointing out all of the same issues I am seeing here.
JanusAust
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Posted: Sunday, May 16, 2010 - 12:13 AM UTC
Hi all,
First,

Bob, great to hear from you. There are slight differences between our kits, which is interesting, however I suspect the differences to be so small as to not present any particular challenges.....

Jim,
Welcome Aboard~ For a first figure, yours is actually fairly friendly in many respects; skin tone fairly even, choice of colours is open. What we do on here should be easily usable for yours.

Tonight was unexciting, yet necessary. More sanding and fitting. Of Mirei's Chair.

I am going to need to change a part or two over, repair more travel damage, and do some pinning. (of the chair, for strength)

Seeing as this has evolved into an SBS, I'll take some better shots, and post tomorrow evening.

Cheers for now,

Jamie
JanusAust
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Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 - 11:42 PM UTC
The Chair; unexciting, yet still part of the figure, in a way......

Here are the parts of the chair all laid out


Seat, back, rollers, five arm base, and shaft.

the upright shaft is seriously out of round. More of a consistent oval shape. I could spend forever sanding it to roundness. Or I could save myself many hours of effort, and just replace it with some brass and plastic tubing.

which is what I will be doing.

Parts and materials laid out


I wont actually do that yet, as I want to get the height right when Mirei is sitting down on the chair.


Now, Pinning.

Pinning is done to add strength to a possible weak joint, reinforce a load bearing joint or point, or to make workable what hay have been mis-moulded.

I drilled out the rollers, added brass pins (cut down bits of brass wire) with enough left over to allow for sticking into the base of the chair.


Oh, another set of tools added to the list. Sanding sticks. Not the you-beaut brand name $25.00 for three set. No, these are merely nail shaping files and nail polishing pads form the supermarket. For about $3 - $5. Feel free to carve down if they are too big! As can be seen below on the pink pad.


More pinning may have to be dome of the figure, I'll expand on figure pinning later. The above was only an intro.....
JanusAust
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Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 - 11:50 PM UTC
Priming of the figures face and legs

...or..."How to find previously undiscovered pinholes!".....

well, pinholes, and some areas that will need a bit more of a polish with the wet and dry sandpaper.

For example, the pinholes on the back of the left leg.



Nothing huge, just irritating, and yes, I want to do a good job, so I will go back and rework these. Plus the others I have found.

Lets face it, the focal points the people are going to focus on will be, roughly, Face, legs, eyes, legs, legs, legs,cleavage, cleavage, face, rest of the figure. Something like that. So best get these areas pretty good.

So here is an overview of the face and torso.



I would have had more done today, except I had to strip down and clean out my airbrush. Put away dirty after after a insufficient clean up, no one but myself to blame. It wasn't put away dirty a second time.

One last post for the night.


JanusAust
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Posted: Saturday, May 22, 2010 - 11:58 PM UTC
face;
a quick lesson in base colours, highlights, and shadows.

While still in primer grey, I wiggled and waggled the torso and face around till I could get the right photo.



Because of the way the light behaves, we can see how the highlights are on raised features, such as the nose, the forehead, and the cheeks, as well as the collar bones.

On the breasts, the upper surfaces catch the light, while the cleavage has a bit of shadow.

the under area of the chin has a dark shadow.

When I get around to painting this part, I'll refer back to this photo, and do a face SBS (in this thread) with acrylics.

Cheers for now,

and thanks for your patience.
JimMrr
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Posted: Sunday, May 23, 2010 - 01:53 AM UTC
Its a great start Jamie! I am paying rapt attention here..
JanusAust
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Posted: Wednesday, June 02, 2010 - 10:13 PM UTC
To the watching public

(and my co builders, Bob & Jim)

Sorry for the delay, have started a new job, and have some other areas in my outside life that need some love and/ or attention.

Hopefully, can post some updates this after this upcoming weekend!

Cheers for now,

Jamie
JanusAust
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Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 - 12:31 AM UTC
At last, some time on the bench,. more work done on Mirei.

After starting a new job, and fending off a cold, it's nice to be back.

So re-examined my handiwork; hmm, there were some parts that still had rough finishes on them, missed during the final sanding prior to laying down the primer coat.

So I broke out the sanding stick,s, the nail file sticks, and the super fine sanding paper (wet & dry)

Here is what it looks like, mid way along



Nothing huge,just some rough marks from sanding with a coarse grit, that I didn't sand out.

Good to see how the primer coat does its job of filling in all those micro fine scratches!

I also test fitted the jacket to the torso; lots of power carving used; basically a carving bit, in a low speed dremel tool (keeping the revs low means finer control, the dust wont move as far, yet slower work. Quicker then by hand, slower then high power grinding - better to do a bit, test fit, repeat)

and this is how it looked after clearing some of the rough casting from the inside.



Please note; some of my resin parts have shrunk slightly, so I am going to have to rebuild the bit where the button does up on the jacket (on the front) and on the back, still a big, ugly seam. Plus a rework on the collar, due to a rough casting.

got that out of the way, and decided to have a bit of fun; so I loaded the airbrush up with some ochre colour, and laid that down as a flesh tone undercoat (mixed with white; 50:50 ratio)

Wish I had taken the time ahead of time to put handling pins on the back of the legs (poking out where the thigh bones would be) I have smudges where the paint rubbed off during handling, or when laid down to dry. My own silly fault. sigh.

So here is Mirei to date.



Oh, I undercoated Mirei in that paint tone ( 50% yellow ochre, 50% white) as a over coat to the grey, and as an under coat to the planned flesh tones. Makes for an easier transition grep primer ; ochre yellow ; flesh rather the straight grey primer; flesh.

I have also worked on the base for the chair, but that isn't really that interesting, just fiddly.

I will work form the inside out, painting and construction wise, simply because once I build the jacket, it will be very difficult to paint some of the inner details well.

I'll make up the legs as a unit, once painted, as a 'slot in unit' into the skirt.

One interesting thing I did pick up (happy little mistake) was that the nail buffing sticks I got ( top of the 4th photo, May 23 Post) has a side for final polishing.

Now, when I was finally polishing out some scratches, this did add a very nice sheen to the primer paint. So I took note of that, and share it with you, as it may be one of those little things that can be handy to replicate in the future. (such as a stockings, for example)

More updates on the way, less gaps!

Cheers,

Jamie


old-dragon
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Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 - 03:51 AM UTC
Jamie, she's lookin good! Keep up the great work. I'm dropping back and punting on my build;
1) cause I've already got too much on the table going on
2) mine will be my 1st figure build, so I'm going to watch this build like a hawk for pointers - which I will need!

On a side note for your build....when I work on painting things that I can't hold with tweezers or clips due to needing to paint the whole thing, I tack on a piece of rod stock to act as an attachment point for a holding clip when painting...I'm usually able to tack{CA glue} onto a spot that's out of the way and doesn't get seen or need to be painted....you simply knock off that rod when the painting is done and touch up the lil spot if needed...just a thought....
Build on brother!
JimMrr
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Posted: Monday, June 21, 2010 - 04:18 AM UTC
Ive been "lurking " here watching your posts, and learning...Im still doing cleanup on Mortes pieces in preperation for pinning..shes looking very good Janus, very good indeed..
JanusAust
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Posted: Saturday, June 26, 2010 - 10:34 PM UTC
First flesh tones laid down.

A bit of an experiment too.

OK, here is the background of the flesh mix I came up with.
A mix of ochre, white and burnt umber, in a ratio of 5:5:1 , approximately.

That wasn't warm enough, and a touch too dark, so I added some pink with a touch of white (approx 1:1 ratio) and added that to the above mix.

When I am doing a more "true to life" figure, I usually make my own flesh tones from mixing ochre, white and burnt umber; by missing those in the right ratio, I can duplicate 90- something percent of the worlds skin tones.

OK, first lesson (re) learned. Check your references!

Mirei is drawn with a pink tone. So I could have ignored the tri-colour mix, and gone for a light pink tone. (see Pic 1, first post)

So that's my lesson I share with you.

Took Bob's advice on board about adding rod stock to the figures; I also had to think that I had solved one problem, but not the other; either I wait for the paint to dry, or I come up with some kind of holding device......

Then......



So Bob, thanks for that, worked a treat!

Laid down the first coat on the legs. The guidelines for sheer clothing (including stockings) are to paint the figure as though nude, then move onto sheer effects from there.

So here are Mirei's legs, in the first flesh tones.



I've held off adding the stocking effects, as that will require masking and concentration; something I couldn't quite get today.

Also did the face and cleavage today too.



Which came up alright, just a little flat so far. Plus the camera is skewing the colours, with the change in colour from the white background to the flesh tones.

I did also try adding highlights and so on, through the airbrush, results weren't worth it. Mainly due to my impatience, and lack of forward planning.

Merlin
Staff MemberSenior Editor
AEROSCALE
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Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 10:10 AM UTC
Hi Jamie

Very neat! This may be a little closer to the true colours:



I'll watch how you tackle the flesh tones carefully, because I still owe everyone the fantasy figure I promised to do last year!

All the best

Rowan
old-dragon
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Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 03:09 PM UTC
Happy to help...I use a few different things to hold the rods - I have a scrap piece of wood with a bunch of holes drilled in it, 2 lil 6 inch hobby clamps, alligator clip electrical test leads for hanging off the unfinished basement ceiling{staples on the joists to clamp to} or large clips. Any spare odd short length round or square rod or tube stock pieces are saved for 'Later use" as painting pikes.

She's looking good - keep up the great work!
old-dragon
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Posted: Monday, June 28, 2010 - 03:15 PM UTC

Quoted Text

... results weren't worth it. Mainly due to my impatience, and lack of forward planning.



Yeah that happens{I know that 1st hand all too often!}, but I'll tell you that once in a while that "flying off the seat of my pants" stuff pays off..it's just remembering what it was I just did that's the hard part!!!
JanusAust
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Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - 11:33 PM UTC
Bob,
thanks for that tip. Made everything that little bit easier.

Rowan,
thanks for the look in, yep, a lighter version of the colours I have done will be closer to matching. Given that I'll be doing a dark blue (-ish) skirt and jacket on her, too dark skin tones will rob the over all look of the piece.

Thanks for the photo shopped image, yep, can see where you're driving at.


Still not sure if I want to use the airbrush for the face, or just brush paint it.

As for doing things "seat of the pants' - Bob, I have to grin, and agree with you; occasionally, the results are just "Wow" - then "how the heck did I do that?"

Still, it's supposed to be fun!

Cheers,

Jamie
JanusAust
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Posted: Tuesday, July 06, 2010 - 12:26 AM UTC
Flesh tones, revisited!

While adding colours and trying to do things by the TLAR method

(That Looks About Right)

... sometimes less aggravation and quicker progress is achieved by some planning.

As a famous NCO said, "Prior Planning Prevents P*** Poor Performance"

So I got out some blank (matt) business cards, and started working out some colour options.

My flesh tone scheme is pinker then the illustration, which I prefer. Because of the dark skirt, jacket, stockings, I wanted to give the figure a pink healthy glow, rather then a pale complexion.

Besides, a warmer tone works better, for some reason. (Ever seen a pale looking centerfold? Me neither!)

Paints are Vallejo acrylic, colours are white, salmon pink, and sunset red (for the blush on the cheeks)

So here is the result.



Ok, it can also be seen where I added some ochre to my mix, and what the results were.

Plus, I experimented with working out how to do the stockings (Many steps away so far, still a little research )



The stockings test are fast and ugly brush tests. Quick, simple, sorts out what avenues to follow up.

Ok, one test was to use a "smoke' colour, often used for exhaust style stains, or for tinting windows/ canopies, windscreens etc...a semi transparent result.

The other was to thin down the black with a product called "matt medium' which generates different types of coverage. Using matt medium, I could 'dilute' the covering power of the black, without getting the runny effect of just straight diluting.

(If you just dilute a dark colour to the point of really thin, you end up with a wash, and that tends to just gather in corners and creases, not much control either; matt medium helps retain the control, and the degree of opacity/ translucence)

I also tried adding a tiny amount of black to the basic flesh tone, and all I got was a muddy colour. No use at all, better to find that out now rather then on the figure