Attack of the grail kit part 4

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Warning: RANT :mrgreen:

I have been having a bad week trying to figure out what I want to do with the frame… seriously, that’s perhaps the least important part of the kit and yet consumes the most thoughts!

There are these couple of issues. First, the frame can’t be too detailed, since the girls are already in a pretty complex setup. Fancy stuff will tend to clutter up the whole thing even more. Secondly it can’t be too bright or too dark, either will disturb the pretty harmonious theme. The original leaf-motifed decorative ridge on the frame creates the first problem, having all those decorations, while neat, is a big distraction. Not to mention that the frame is so steep, it seems to make a scene a bit claustrophobic. It seems if I do away with the decorative ridge, at least I have more options. So after some heavy dremeling, it’s gone! The resin dust traveled far, spreading over absolutely everything in my apartment, grrrr… after vacuum them off and then some tedious hacking and sanding, I’ve basically removed the frame; now I have to make one myself.

There are many options on what to do next. One thing I really want however is to extend the “pool bottom” background a little bit, because space was too tight before. I could extend it all the way to the edge, but then it’d make the girls look like they’re isolated in the middle of nowhere 🙂 So I thought some sort of frame is still necessary. After some long discussions with Masa (THANKS!), it seems some metallic motif would fit pretty well given Silent Moebius is futuristic. But I thought a silver/aluminum frame would be too bright, so we still have problem 2. Stones motif was suggested as well (Thank you all as well!), but it seems like the solidity of rocks would contrast with the softer theme of the kit; the only way I thought rocks would work is to have some roman columns lining up on either side, supporting an arch above and some structure below. That’d be nice, but quite involved.

Anyway lacking ideas, I wandered into a local hardware store, and found some very interesting paints that I could use. There is this “Hammered Surface” line of paint that creates a texture that looks like the surface was pounded on, creating lots of uneven dull undulating relief. There are also many choices of colors as well, and I was taken to the “Light Blue”, which doesn’t look light blue at all, but a dull metallic greyish blue. So I bought it as well as a “Dark Bronze” can and gave it a shot. I created the new frame with pla-plates, and shot a few coats of hammered light blue on it, and here we go.

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It’s not perfect, but it also doesn’t look out of place with the rest of the kit. I’m starting to wonder if I did myself a disservice by trying to be too fancy (I spent a lot of time looking at stained glass for instance… which by the way would perhaps create the most fantastic frame ever :mrgreen: ) For now I’ve Bostick’ed the new frame onto the plaque, lest I come up with some better ideas later and want to redo the whole thing. Or may be I’ll drybrush some aluminum on the textured surface later. Or not. The paint has some weird semi-metallic reflective properties, so it’s not clear whether it’s metal or not. The outer frame has the hammered dark bronze on it, but you can barely tell it from gun metal. The texture is also much harder to spot on the dark surface.

I’ve also done a lot of touch up works on the girls which took approximately forever… every time I thought I’m done I found more flaws… and dude, even a week after proclaiming I’ve pulled all the liquid masks off, I’m still finding leftovers 🙄 Then there are numerous fixes, like darkening Kiddy’s skintone (lower right), since I felt it was too close to Kasumi’s before (lower center). Now Kiddy is clearly different from Kasumi, and yet doesn’t stand out too much.

Now I’m moving on to detailing. To avoid smudging oils I’ll be going top down, so Rally gets some cosmetics and accents first. Anyway right after I’ve taken the pics, I think removing the ridge is a good trade off (not that I can undo it :mrgreen:) The girls are now better illuminated compared with the pics in the last post, as they’re no longer inside the tub created by the ridge. But I might have lost some of the “antique grace” of the original leaf motif.

Boy this is perhaps the longest blog post so far 😉

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