Index: Introduction - Jacket - Weapons - Base - Face - Lower Body - Painting

Making of Kirika - Part 5 / Face + Hair

All the previous works will mean nothing if I don't get a convincing head. Her face can pass as a Kirika, but her hair needs quite a bit of work.

 

The area surrounding the neck was created from Mori Mori; the original piece was wedge-shaped to fit into the sailor fuku.

Here I have already did some MS hair but more is needed. I have a collar bone fetish so they have to be made :) I scooped the bottom of a bottle of Mr Surfacer 500 which has denser mass, and applied them for the basic bone structure.

Then I flood filled the area and the surfacer leveled off and formed a pretty natural set of collar bones. Some sanding afterwards would help even more, of course.
Hair is anime's way of telling who's who, so they are quite important. For Kirika, her has long and thick sideburns and a lump of front hair. Her back is rather short. This is somewhat different from Ein which has fuller back hair, so here I already dremeled out quite a bit of back hair. I iniially made the hair very fine, while they look very nicely detailed, they weren't harmonious with the rest of the hair, so eventually I went with more coarse pieces instead.

Primed. She's not done yet, but some work I defer to after assembling the front hair piece.



Some of the later additions.
In fact I had to change her right sideburn quite a bit after this, because as you see on the primed pictures above, it didn't look smooth at all.
I didn't realize her eyes were such a challenge! Ein's eyes were quite different from Kirika's. Whereas Kirika's eyes have their outer edges slant downwards, Ein's is more or less level.
Here is my first stab at the eyes following the contours of the original kit, minus some black to be applied later on. But it's not even close.
Another 4 hours of messing around produced something more reasonable. Some characteristics are still missing, and Masa pointed out (THANKS) that the bangs are not long enough.
Little Kappa Kirika! ^_^;;;
It's always a scare when you have to break off a piece you epoxy glued with, but it was extremely difficult to create more bangs without removing the front hair. I also examined the character design more closely and determined that Kirika is always a little cross-eyed when looking straight, which is one of the many reasons why she's so adorable ^_^ So I moved the outline a little to achieve that. Now she's just kawaii... it may not be a good thing given this kit's emphasis on cool.
A little reshaping is also needed on the front hair. Her top of the head always looks too retangular; while it's caused by a few strands of hair floating a little due to the dynamics, it just doesn't look right, so I worked on it some more.

Another examination of the character design reveals that Ein's mouth is too big for Kirika. Actually Ein's mouth is pretty big for anime kits ^_^;; So I reduced it by about 50%. At this point she's a lot closer than before.

Although she's cute with those big eyes, I thought she can be closer yet. So I narrowed her eyes and adjusted the bangs. These are officially the hardest eyes I've ever painted ^_^;;;

The face continued to haunt for another day or so. This is the final version of her eyes, with smaller main highlights, and redrawn eye lids. The problem was since I reshaped (via painting) her eyes from the original Ein kit, the eyes and eye lids are not symmetrical anymore, and her left eye appears to have a different expression as the right. It's not very evident in the pictures in the row above, but in the actual object the problem was more obvious. Of course it could be I stared at her too long :)

I also made small downward-curving shadows around her lips. Even though her lips are more or less in a neutral position, it looked like she could be perceived as smiling just a little. It went against the very serious and emotionless expression that Kirika has when she does her job. These little shadows make sure that this happens.
Here I have all the colors in, but ouch, she isn't looking at where she's shooting at! I knew something was wrong but my impending sense of doom denied it. I can go fix her eyes again but NOOOOOOOOO! Not another 3 days. It seems like I can move her neck around just a little to fix this problem.
The fix involved cutting up a part of her right chest and buffing up her left shoulder with more of that head cover on her jacket. In fact this fix allows me to make changes to that shoulder which I wasn't very happy about in the first place.
Now we're shooting and this concludes the terrible saga of the head, or so I thought...
Then I started nitpicking on her hair... her sideburns were too thick, too much and too short! It's the "let's add more... until it's too much too late" syndrome. It took another couple of evenings of adjustments, involving removal of her right sideburn which was pretty crude to begin with and built another one from scratch; and lengthening and thinning of the left. The left top part of the hair were also thinned a lot because I still didn't like the more or less rectangular shape of her head. I find it hard to work a piece of epoxy putty into the shape I want for her sideburns, so I made a number of thin putty and let them group together to form the desired shape.

Anyway I'll spare everyone the digusting details and present the final version. That is, until the next time I go insane and take everything apart to rework them ^_^;; She has really come a long way to where she is, but it's still not perfect :(

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