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

Making of Kirika - Part 7 / Painting

After all these drudgery she's finally ready for painting. Actually she was painted and reworked repeatedly at the end... anyway the painting isn't so much different from my other kits so I'll just highlight some aspects of it. Painting of specific parts were also mentioned before in other sections.


Mixing Kirika's skintone was quite challenging, and so far no GK buildup I've seen tried to get it right. Mirelle is caucasian so she's quite white, but Kirika is darker - kind of have that islander-look. When they stand side-by-side and you see same skin color, something is wrong.

However she's not that dark when she's on her own. The top was one version that was too dark, but it also didn't help that I was using flash lights. The bottom one is quite close to the final version. Those anime magazine references were no help, sometimes she's almost tanned dark, sometimes she's just dulled down, and in the anime her skintone is just like those of the anime guys' - stale and greyish ^_^;; In the end I go with something that's islander-ish, not too dark but definitely not pale.

The jacket I'm planning to drybrush to bring out the ridges, so the base is base white misted with FS36495 which is a nice weak grey. I also use it for shading.

Her vest is handbrushed, masking it is too troublesome for me :P Mr. Color Levelling Thinner works its magic once again. I'll use oil to shade it in the final stage. The color follows one of the illustrations, in the anime it's a very bright sky blue/green.

Here I use Parafilm M to mask the cuffs to airbrush the hands. Here I wrapped the film around the cuffs and over to the hands, then carefully peel back the film up to the cuffs.

The guns are base coated with silver and gunmetal would be applied later on. Gunze gunmetal is a rather difficult color to apply because it's basically smoke and steel particles, making it not very opaque. The silver would solve this problem a little and help bring out the shine. If you prefer a darker color however, black would be a better base coat.
Ignore the light leg skin color due to flash :)
The skirt was painted and has a very rough texture which I can later drybrush and create some fine denim effects. I used Mr. surfacer 500 thinned with very little industrial lacquer thinner. This mixture will almost make your airbrush start shooting strings :) The paint dries right after it leaves the nozzle and deposit solids on the surface, which is perfect for this case.

After all that talk however, her bending pose doesn't show much clothing details. I applied shadows and drybrushed highlights on the vest almost to the point of overdoing it... I should've taken some shots directly underneath her, then it may finally show. (the body isn't this short ^_^;;

The rough texture on her skirt didn't work out because I have some uneven spots which holds a different amount of paint when drybrushed. In the end I drybrushed some to show the highlights but gave up on the denim idea. I paid more attention to how to effectively show her waist was twist quite dramatically; after the skirt was wrapped around her thighs the effect of this diminished, and had to be enhanced using shading.

As I mentioned before the jacket was painted with a light grey and drybrushed with titanium white oil, with a little darker greys for shadows. I personally hate using blue to shade white, it may look "pleasing" but it's very fake if the white isn't supposed to be tinted.

Her shoes were also handbrushed and highlighted with napthol red+white oil for highlight and indian red for shadows. She's pinned onto the base with a long 1/16" solid brass rod.
Her hair was base coated with navy blue, then drybrushed with a blue-greyish highlight. The problem with highlighting black is they may make the character look old, so as a final step an ivory black was was applied to blend everything together, so that the highlights don't stand out so much.
That's it, click here to see the buildup. I've learnt a lot of lessons from doing this conversion, most important of which are to plan more thoroughly in the beginning to avoid work later on. I really underestimated the difficulty of getting a good likeness as well as the lower body proportions, and paid 1.5 week fixing them when I discovered the problems too late. But I think it also takes experience to envision how the final kit would look like, and that's something I hope I can do better next time.

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