Sunday, June 27, 2010

Mirei-san; first steps, fit issues

Ok, here is an example of fit issues. While nicely sculpted, the drapery* being quite ok for a figure of this size and type (anime), because of the characteristics of resin, it will shrink as it cures. To a greater or lesser degree.
(there are some casters out there that have worked out shrinkage rates, and good on them)

As can be seen, there is a huge gap along the back. The folds line up quite ok, but the there is no way around the gap; I'll have to fill it during construction. This is perhaps the worst bit of fit on my kit; thankfully, it is easy to get to, and will be mostly hidden by the back of the chair she will be sitting on.

So dry fitting of the major and minor parts has been done, and now I can proceed.

* Drapery; the behavior of fabric/ clothing as it conforms, moves or settles around the body. For an anime figure, the drapery is acceptable to realistic. For a true to life figure, it could be considered perhaps a bit over done.

Mirei-san; tools for clean up

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!

Onto the build process!

Mirei-san ; parts lay out

Here is our subject - I have excluded the chair she sits on from the parts layout.

Please note, the torso/ skirt/ face were originally separate, I had glued these together before repacking and moving interstate.

So there are quire a few parts for this figure kit. It's not actually complex, however there is some clever engineering and thought that went into the kit breakdown, and how the parts interlock for construction.

I have been thinking long and hard (and doodling a work process on a note pad) and have decided on a the following build/ paint sequence.

- Torso, face and skirt glue together, prep, then paint
- Legs, leave separate, prep, then paint
- Match up legs to skirt, then construct chair
- Jacket, arms/ sleeves, paint
- Hands - complete and add
- Hair - probably do last
- Base, pinning.

Of course, no plan survives first contact with reality, so I will have to alter plans as needed.

Tools and equipment next post.

Mirei-san; A step by step

Ok, doing this as a step by step.

This is a resin cast garage kit, and like many garage kits, quality ranges from the superb to the rough and ragged. Mine is cast in an ivory/ off white colour resin. A bit hard when it comes to working it, but that means it will polish out scratches and take some surgery when needed. And this will need some surgery!

Generally speaking, fit ranges from great to huge gaps, usually due to the shrinkage rate of resin.

Some areas of the castings will need sanding and polishing, due to casting marks.

Air bubbles are present, and will need filling on visible areas.

onto the kit!