Saturday, November 27, 2010

Modelkit: 1/8 Nia Teppelin in swimsiut

And on it goes :D

I talked more than enough, so now enjoy the pictures.
And because it´s such a lovely shot and the more because I forgot to make more front shots; once more the same pic XD

Btw, before I forget, I bought Nia from e2046. It is a site that sells recasts of kits, of course cheaper than the original. I hope that I will be able to buy some original modelkits trough someday, but for now I am happy with recasts.

Remark: If you are interested in this hobby I recommend to look for a forum that will provide you with some information. It is better than starting without any clue, believe me.
In case you happen to be German-speaking I can recommend you the modelkituniverse forum. It helped me a lot and I am sure it will continue to help me :3


Modelkit: 1/8 Nia Teppelin in swimsuit

As promised here finally comes my talk about my first kit Nia.
You may have noticed (if you are a regular reader) that I already built a small kit at a conventions workshop. Still I can´t bring myself to see Nia as my second kit, because there simply were too many questions left open and too much material still to be bought. And figuring it out all by yourself is quite some work, I tell you.

I am very tempted to talk about this new hobby of mine, befor showing more shots of the finished Nia.

So let´s start from the beginning:
That is -somehow- what you can call my transportable working place. The tablet was given to me by my mother and it is very useful to carry around the parts and the other stuff. Since I do not have a lot of space in my room it is good that this speeds up the cleaning and helps to store the parts away quickly.

Btw. don´t buy that "Revell Plasto" stuff, it´s horrible to work with. It dries very quickly and so you can´t really use it. (it dries away while you are still applying it >.<)

This are the work-steps you go through before painting:
1. make sure all the parts are there and that they all are unharmed
2. pinch off the molding grates and biger plastic thingies that don´t belong there (whatever you call these)
3. sanding the seamlines, make sure everything is smooth at the end
4. correct big caps with putty; sanding
5. (can also be done earlier) drill holes for wire-pieces that will later hold your model together, and also can be used for pinning it on skewers for painting.
6. Pinning; you put your parts together to see how the finished kit will look and to see if there are gaps that need putty. I am still not very good at pinning (didn´t manage to do it with Nia), so I can´t really tell how it exactly works..

7. Everything sanded and no gaps left? Time to pin the parts on the skewers. I used a bit of glue to make sure they stay in place. (It wasn´t a problem to remove them after painting despite the glue, simply don´t use a too strong one)
8. Priming (already done with the parts on the above picture)
Don´t try to paint a kit without using primer; I tried it a long time ago with Nia and the paint slipped of like nothing. I used a no-good primer; will need to buy a better one. Also I did use far too much of it *sigh*

After the pieces dried we can start painting

In general all acrylics can be used, though professional painters recommend the one or other brand and of course some are alot better suited than others..
What I got told alot is that it is important to paint very thin layers of paint, to make sure you won´t see too many brush strokes.
Oh, by the way; since I am a newbie I paint by hand using different brushes.

Many people use an airbrush for painting, but I can´t tell you if that is easier or not.
I may be able to try it out in February next year, because I will visit someone who uses one then. In case I like it I may buy one for myself.
The biggest + for the airbrush, I guess, is that you only need one layer of paint, while when doing it per hand you will need many..
As for - I believe the maintenance of the airbrush will take more time than washing regular brushes..

Close up of the eyes (of course I gave Nia her trademark pink-dot-thing-eyes :P)

If you look close you will be able to see the sloppy paintjob of the skin >.<

Those curles gave me hell @.@ It was very hard to paint them properly.. (on this shots there are still some bigger  mistakes, I later corrected them)

When you are done with painting:
You can add some shading with pastel chalk, or with the brush.
Not really my strong point; my 3-dimensional thinking sucks even on a 3-dimensional model >.<
Btw. I needed a lot of chalk to make some effect. You can see the outcome on the drill. (Skin and swimsuit is shaded too, but you can barely see it on the pics.

After you are done with shading you use varnish to make sure the colours don´t rub of and, of course, you can finally glue+pin everything together!

Since this post is already very long I will continue in a seperate one. A lot of shots of the finished Nia await you!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Proxy Service Experiences: Goody Japan

I always tried to keep away from using proxy services. It all looked far too complicated and too expensive. Some weeks ago I gave in. Curse all the interesting Doujinshi releases from Comiket 78.

For those of you who don´t know what a proxy service is/does:
In short it is a middleman (company) which will help you to buy goods you wouldn´t be able to buy by yourself. It is mostly used for shopping on I guess.

However I used it for buying some Doujinshis from Toranoana and Melonbooks.

The proxy I decided to choose is Goody Japan.
Why did I choose them?
The site looked easier to navigate through as for example shopping mall japan ones. I also heared good things about their service and that they aren´t overpriced.

The procedure:
1. Ordered doujinshis through the form on their homepage. At the very moment you do that you will have to pay the goods worth with paypal. (They only process your order when you paid.)
The rest of the cost (Bankwire fee, domestic shipping, commission and international shipping) is to be paid when the goods are ready to be shipped to you.
2. One day after I ordered and paid I got a confirmation mail which declares that they ordered the goods for me.
3. Waited about 2 weeks, then I decided to ask about when the items will arrive at their office. Got a reply two days later which said they will be ready soon.
4. Three more days waiting and I got my final bill. After payment the goods shipped on the next day.

What I liked about them:
+ Good service, they always replied in an accurate time to my mails
+ I like their system of payment; first pay for the goods and then a seperate bill for the other expenses. That splits up the cost and, for me, make payment easier.

What I didn´t like so much:
- I had to wait over two weeks for the goods to arrive at their warehouse; I don´t think domestic shipping really takes that long
- The commission, but thats something every proxy has :(

I guess the next time I need some Japan-only goods I will use them again.

And now my statement of costs:

Doujinshis from Toranoana:         9.490Yen
Doujinshis from Melonbooks:      3.445Yen
Sum Goods (13 books):            12.935Yen (115€/157USD)

Bankwire fee:                            300 +300Yen
Domestic shipping:                    600 +625Yen
Commission:                          1.424 +750Yen
Sum Service:                                         3.899Yen (35€/48USD)

Doujinshis+service:                   16.834Yen (150€)
International shipping (SAL)       1.980Yen
Total sum                                18.814Yen

So what I paid through paypal for everything together were 170€ (~233USD) @.@
I shouldn´t think about it too much. Doujinshis are far too expensive >.<

I am currently thinking about reviewing the one or other of the books. However some family issue will consume some of my few time, so please be patient.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

I am still alive

The last weeks have been busy for me. Even now I should already be doing some studying..

I thought it would be a good idea to let my readers know that I still will be writting post and that I even have some nice ones planned already^_^

I hope that next weekend I will have some time to post something.

This is planned:  My first real take on modelkits - Nia Teppelin in swimsuit
                         My Experience with Goody Japan (proxy)
                         Review of Sai Nyan figure (Queen´s Blade Rebellion)
And maybe some Artbook or Doujinshi review.