Making of Jun Kusakabe

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Making of Jun Kusakabe Copyright (C) Cody Kwok

In general I’m not a very big fan of G-taste figures; they are usually sculpted in weird proportions and the noses are often elongated. However Jun in this outfit is quite cool and sexy, especially when she looks like a boxer 🙂 The same reason I couldn’t resist Vanessa. The peeled off hot pants were a big plus too :D~~ The minus with this kit however is the plain standing pose, even though she’s standing sideways with some attitude. She also has a few other issues. Click here for the finished version.

Here’s a list of things I changed, with the picture showing the original version:(1) If you stare at her long enough, she looks very unnatural in the upper body. I think the biggest problem is her neck being too long. The size of her head is also slightly smaller than normal, but that’s how G-taste characters are. Anyway shortening the neck should help a lot.(2) To give her a sexier pose I want to make her peel off her pants with her hands. That requires changing the angle of her arms and elbows so that her hands can reach the peeled off portions of her pants. First, the shoulders have to be moved backwards.(3) Then the elbows have to be bent about 90 degrees. This arm-changing operation turned out to be quite difficult due to the coordination between the arms and the pants. I also wanted her to open her pants even more.

(4) The fingers were modified to be delicately holding the pant “flaps”.

(5) I dunno why the belt buckles that came with the kit were so tiny. I replaced it with one I made from brass wire.

(6) I always think nipple-showing shirts are silly, but it’s so common on the streets nowadays, it’s almost wrong to not do it for Jun’s tight sports bra ^_^;;

The shoulder and elbows were cut off and reattached. I’ll think twice before doing major work like this for a 1/5 kit, it’s much more work than a 1/8 or even 1/6.
Some of the main work is smoothing out the elbow so that they look natural, and the armpits were quite difficult too because they are hard to reach and sand. Somehow I managed to lose the lower left arm ^_^;; so I had to make a new one using magic sculp.
Although the original sculpt has a few problems, in general I like how the body was sculpted. So going through the operations on the arms gives me a lot of insights on how body parts should be shaped.
Pinhole galore!!Event-only kits tends to have worse casting than kits put out by the big names, and bigger scales are even more work than the smaller ones. The bigger pinholes I filled them with Mr. Surfacer 500, and the smaller ones I primed a thicker layer of Duplicolor Primer/Surfacer/Filler (they need a shorter name for this product ^o^). The latter fills smaller holes pretty well, at the cost of obscuring some details; but that’s not a problem for this kit since it doesn’t have much of that.
Originally I heated the fingers and bent them to the desired shapes, but a lot of bending was required and the fingers didn’t look natural at all. So I had to diced up a few fingers along the joints and reattach.
I didn’t really pay attention to the neck’s posture except I just shortened it. I ended up with it looking to the right a bit, but most importantly pretty orthogonal to the shoulders. Although the giraffe problem was solved, I compared it with the original kit and didn’t like my finish as much. Problem 1 is that she’s looking too much right, so any pictures with her looking at you would obscure her midriff, which I think is the most important part of the kit. Problem 2 is that the original kit appears to have the head tilted sideway slightly to the right, which makes her look sexier. So I decided to rip off her head and try a different pose.I also finished her with a very orangish-brown color, which is what I thought she looked like in the sample. But of course that was a misconception, and also her character design has a blondish color, so I took the chance to recolor the hair a little.
Hoooo-ra. I tilted the head a little bit more than the original even, and I like the new stare-pose. However, I think the head tilt is a trade-off, since she looks worse now from the left. Well I prefer to have the better view be better rather than two not-so-special views.To avoid having to remask the head when I recolor the hair, I lightly spray a more yellow-ish brown color on top 3/4 of the head to lighten the hair, and then after a coat of flat I dry-brushed cadmium yellow mixed with gold pearl powders. In fact I may do pearls in the future this way, it gives a more natural “shine” than a glossy pearl layer. Instead of going full blonde like the original character design, I went for a more orangish look as blonde doesn’t work very well with darker skintone. I went for a darker one for Jun to make her more tomboy-ish.
Finished! To be honest, I really didn’t expect much from this kit even with my mods. When you look at the in-progress pictures, they suggested a pretty mediocre kit. However, after the color went on, she started to take life, and after I fixed her head to be tilted a little, she somehow clicked. It might be her gaze, when in a tilted position, is softer and more titillating?If I were to do it again (not that I want to ^_^), I’d modify her left arm to reach down to the zipper tag and be unzipping her pants. It’d be even sexier! But such visions often come after the big finish. May be that’s why it’s difficult to come up with an original great pose the first time, while it’s often easier for me to come up with conversion ideas that’d make a kit better.

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