Janaury 4, 2008: The Yoko kit by Pearl arrived today. She is the biggest figure kit purchase since I got into anime figure model building. Parts break down is pretty simple so it didn't take too long to get her all pinned together. Right out of the box, I had to snap a quick shot of the kit's bag wrapped up... absolutely huge! The single parts are pretty big. A quick glance and it looks like the casting is pretty crisp and clean, once we get sanding and the inital primer layer down, I'll know more.
Pinning didn't take too long, most of the areas had guide holes on both sides, some only had guide holes on one side, so a little guestimating was done. I used 3/32" brass rod to pin most of the bulkier areas such as the thighs, and main hair piece to the head. The rest of the kit was pinned with 1/16" brass rod. The hair came in a couple of pieces and some putty work will be involved, but other than the left arm and the gun, there are no other areas that need putty. Pretty straight forward kit.
Below are size comparison pictures, first with Mr Keroro G3 and next with the 1/6 scale Young Hip Cover Gal, which is a sizable kit on it's own.
February 5, 2008: Now that the commission job is done, I can focus full attention to this kit. I cut out and puttied a few of the bad areas of the kit. With this big of a resin kit, it's expected to have a few areas of uncured resin or pinholes. The kit is surprisingly well designed and until I finish the initial sanding and prime it, I don't know how much more filling I'll need to do, but as of now she's looking pretty good.
That said, I'm not overly thrilled with how the gun looks using the stock parts of the kit. The resin barrel isn't straight, and it's rather plain looking. So, time to rebuild the barrel and add some modifications.
First up is the barrel. Using some styrene tube, I'm creating an outer barrel, and using some aluminum tubing for an inner barrel. I measured and drilled out vent holes. Going to be building a RIS system for her gun. Granted the holes are not overly straight, but this is done by my hand and pricision isn't too big a deal with me.
I also hollowed out the muzzle for the gun. It was a solid piece of resin, so once built, it'd look just silly as a solid chunk. I'm still undecided on what I want to do with the muzzle. I want to port out some vent holes, but the muzzle is rather oddly sculpted. I may just scratch it and redo the entire muzzle. I'll have to think more about what I want to do with it.
The scope also needed some work. I'm not too big a fan of the anime scope end with the three cylinders at the end. I watched the anime but I don't remember any specifics on the front of the scope. That said, I just lopped it off. I hollowed out this end as well, then cut into the scope so I can slide some mesh into the scope front to create a anti reflection device placed on many modern sniper rifles.
I also replaced the tube for the scope with aluminum tube. The original didn't look too impressive. Using styrene strips, I created some clamps for the scope.
February 12, 2008: Sick day updates. Been a little slow for updates because of a stupid virus. But here is the continued progress on the gun barrel. Using styrene, I built the rail system.
What I thought were the strap parts for the gun are actually the parts for the bipod. The original configuration fits over the barrel but since I swapped out the barrels, I needed to make some changes. So I'm using styrene, brass rods, and magnet wire to create a more realistic bipod setup.
There are several pinholes that got uncovered during the sanding process. Hopefully the initial primer session will not expose too many more pinholes. But I'm not overly optimistic.
Februray 19, 2008: An odd update of sorts. My friend Mark W came into town and brought along his Sazabi to paint. For the past couple of months, when Mark needs to come out to meetings and such, he brings along parts of his Sazabi and works on it here. Every now and again, the parts are messed up because they were not given adequate time to dry/cure properly, so I've had the pleasure of seeing some of the same parts return after being gone for a month to get repainted as they were the previous trip out. Talk about some broke back model building.
Now for the real meat of the update. Coming off the ski trip, I'm still fairly tired so I continued to wash and sand some of the primed parts. I am finished building the gun. I finished the bipod assembly and with the rail system, I can freely attach the bipod to any location along the gun's RIS system. I still need to finish sanding the hair so I can soak that in cleaner and get it primed. This week should see a steady climb in activity with the kit.
Februrary 21, 2008: Steam is picking back up on the kit and I'm getting into the "prime -> sand -> putty -> sand -> prime" repeat cycle. This is where the beauty of any kit is centered. The surface prep is most important as everything else builds ontop of this, so it is very important to take the time and do things correctly. Below, you can see the main body part after some initial putty and sanding. The part was washed and then from the next picture, the initial layer of primer was sprayed. You can clearly see that there are some pinholes that show up very clearly in the primed surface. Time to open up these pinholes and putty, for which the third picture has done. Sanding this down, this part is now ready for the second priming phase. This process can repeat a couple of times until the surface is perfect.
Here are a few quick snaps of the kit primed. I still haven't finished sanding down the main hair piece, but the kit is fairly large so I'm taking a different approach to work on different sections at a time to keep interest going.
Close up picture of the primed gun. The bipod is movable to any rail position. Fun little gimmick. The next picture is a close up of the main body.
February 28, 2008: Below is the continuation on the sand -> prime -> putty -> repeat process. And after a while, the surface gets to the point where it is finally ready for paint.
And with that, a few of the parts are starting to get some paint.
March 2, 2008: Weekend update. I got quite a bit done this weekend so far. I painted the whites for the eyes and then masked them off with blue sticky tack before painting the skin tone. The neck sweater thingy was painted white, masked off, presaded using bright red, masked off again then shaded with a lumi pink that was lightened with white.
I made some modifications to my skin tone mix to darken it and add some brown and red to it, as with the Young Hip Cover Gal, it was noted that the skin tone was a little too pale and possibly a bit on the grey side. The first two shots are with the darker skin tone for shading purposes. This is followed by a lighter skin tone to highlight and shade.
A clear gloss was applied to all the skin tone areas since I want to apply my standard "tattoo" signature. Once I have a nice glossy surface this allows for the decal to adhere very well to the surface. Decal softener was used to soften and meld the decal onto the surface, then the excess was trimmed away. Another layer of clear gloss was sprayed on top of the decal to sandwich and help hide the decal flim edges. And finally a clear flat coat was applied to remove the gloss.
More work on the main hair piece. This is after the initial priming session. Some more sanding and more putty is needed and but I'm making progress on this piece. I'll wait until I finish this piece before moving on to painting the hair. The legs were masked off and bright red was used as the first color layer. This was followed by the same lumi pink mix sprayed over the bright red. A semi gloss was then sprayed over the pink stockings.
For the arm stocking, I decided to use some interference violet pearl powders over gloss black. The part was sprayed with gloss black first. I mixed a small amount of the pearl powder with future floor polish, then sprayed the over the gloss black.
Below are pictures of the arm stocking after the spraying the pearl powder mixture.
All the skin areas received a flat clear coat, once this cures, I can mask and paint the rest of the main body. Getting pretty close to completion.
March 7, 2008: This will be the last update as I'm about finished with the kit. Below are some pictures of the hair, and detail painting progression.
Below is what the gun looks like. I sprayed a base coat of gloss black, then sprayed on alclad jet exhaust, and then lightly coated the gun using some clear blue to slightly tint it towards the anime colors. The buttstock was then masked and painted.
Next is the work on the eyes. The eyes are fairly big so I went to the airbrush to do most of the eye painting. The white detailing was done on with a brush, and the black was done with a rapidograph pen.
The next update should have completed pictures and a link to the completed page.
Janaury 4, 2008: Pinned the monstrosity of a kit that she is. Painting is going to be an interesting task...
March 8, 2008: She's done. Click here for the completed page.