Making of Wet Rei

Making of Ayanami Daioh Copyright (C) Cody Kwok

This small conversion of Rei had been cooking in my brain for a while now, but it wasn’t until recently when it resurfaced. This time I did a little conversion on her pose, and tried a few new techniques.

This kit was originally done by Katayama-san for WF2000 (left), later modified for wide release (right). In the first version, Rei’s kneeling with her thighs together, the body had no twist and she was flipping her wet t-shirt up. I didn’t really like the first version, and this modified version is much better. Katayama-san’s body dynamics are in generall pretty good. But the reason I bought this kit was because I wanted to modify her so that she’ll do something with her navel ^_^;;; Afterall, I’ve built quite a few of his Rei and Asuka, and it’s a little boring.
The kit is sexier with her swimsuit converted to a bikini bottom (unless you have those school swimsuit fetish ^_^;; ) I’ve seen a while ago someone had already done it, so that’s not new here. Rather than just sanding off her suit’s wrinkles and create the line for her bikini bottom however, I wanted to make it really tight. I’ve always been a big fan of K. Piero-san’s tight clothing digging into flesh effect, so besides creating a deep groove on her butt, putty were applied to the top of her butt to create that squeezed effect. In addition, the bikini lines around her groin has to be smoothed out, because the school swimsuit is cut at an angle where as a bikini’s line is smooth. Finally the original T-shirt is reduced in length so tht she’ll show more midriff.Another thing I discovered accidently was twisting the body sideways would make the kit even better. I was applying Mori2 to make up for the removed T-shirt, but the putty was soft before it cured and I accidently twisted it around and viola, a Sports-Illustrated Swimsuit Caldendar ™ sort of pose! This created a whole new batch of work which involved resculpting the top of her shirt so that I could have her head turn sideways…

… and in the process I decided I don’t like the tall neck line of the T-shirt anyway and thus they were removed. But this means I had to create a whole new neck/shoulder area for her. These stupid kit conversions always explode into more and more work ^_^;;; On the left is the final pose I set on.Since I wanted to change the one-piece into a bikini, it’d be nice if I can have the bikini top’s lines show through. I did this by simply applying a thick layer of Mr. Surfacer 500 (right top), and then use a knife to chip the surfacer off after they’re dry to create the line (right bottom). Then I brushed thinner on the surfacer to smooth out the edge because the bikini is wrapped inside the T-shirt.
The left arm I could leave alone but had to change the right, which I planned to had her squeezing part of her belly. The original fist was modified by removing the thumb and index finger. Brass wires where used to base the new fingers on, and SSP-HG was used to create the fingers. To fix the pose, the index finger’s brass rod would connect to a hole in the belly, which is why it looks too long here.
The resculpted upper body. Later I found that the right arm didn’t attach naturally to the right sleeves of the T-shirt and created an awkward angle. You can barely see in the left picture two rows above, so it had to be fixed.The bikini straps on the back were also done with the Mr. Surfacer method above.

Now I can start painting the wet T-shirt. The idea is areas where skin contacts the T-shirt will look more skin-colored, and area that doesn’t, or where T-shirt fabric piles up, would be more T-shirt colored (in this case white).First I airbrushed the skin color on the T-shirt, leaving some white areas where they would look white. then I airbrushed the bikini freehand, since I don’t want the edges of the bikini to be hard. It was a mistake to use flash against a white background, the object shot has darker color than it should, so you see a very dark skin color here.
Next I misted white on top. This is the default transparency.
Then I airbrushed artist oil (titanium white) to completely cover the T-shirt.

After the thinner has evaporate, I took a filbert brush and wiped off the white in areas where the skin comes into contact with the T-shirt, e.g. crevices of the folds, etc. There’s actually an advantage to this method I didn’t forsee, the wiped paint naturally deposit around grooves, such as the outline of the bikini. These are in fact areas where it’ll be white, because the raised bikini line will create an area of fabric that is not in contact with the skin, thus appearing white. Wiping the paint off results in hard edges. They’re not necessarily bad because some edges are in fact hard on a wet T-shirt (check your wet T-shirt references ^_^). For other areas, I blend the edges a little so that they’re softer.At this stage the wet T-shirt is pretty much done. There are some areas here that are too transparent, but they can easily be fixed by misting a little white. Also it’d be a mistake to gloss coat the T-shirt, because a wet T-shirt is never glossy; but it’d look too dry if flat coated. I think the oil’s sheen works ok.

The next highlight of the kit are the wet skin effect with water droplets. I’ve seen so many kits done with glossy skin to try to achieve the wet effect, but in fact the only time I see glossy skin is in one of those soapland videos (don’t ask ^_^;;; ).Anyway the reasoning I have for applying the droplets are, first, they’re randomly sized and located, but like any random phenomena they should also vary in sparseness. Second, the raised areas are least likely to keep droplets, either because they rolled off or evaporated faster. Third you tend to get a lot of water around grooves which is where they tend to deposit. And finally, depending on the area, there can’t be too many droplets. Unless the area is in contact with sources of water (such as the wet T-shirt), there aren’t going to be a lot of droplets on the surface, otherwise the figure looks like she’s getting showered on ^_^;;The droplets are done with acrylic gel. The tricky thing is the size and the shapes of the drops are determined by how light you touch the gel onto the body, and they need to look natural. The running droplets are particulary hard to make. It’s also easy to overdo it, if it isn’t for that fact that the part above is the wet t-shirt and would constantly drip water, this would be overdone.

I started with a toothpick for applying the gel, but it’s hard to do running drips with it. A fine
brush works better. Anyway I changed to a darker background and the skin color looks more accurate, and you can see the squeezed butt ^_^ I did some work to pad out the stretched fabric of the bikini bottom in the back. Whereas a one-piece may get pulled upward and the fabric will get caught in the groove, a bikini bottom is stretched horizontally.

The big hole in the belly isn’t the navel, but the place where the right index finger will be squeezing the belly, in case you’re wondering…

There was a big gap between the midriff and T-shirt, so I rolled some Magic Sculpt and padded it up as part of the T-shirt. The eyes were also whited out here. The kit has sculpted grooves to indicate where the eyes are supposed to be, but after the lesson from one of the earlier kits, I filled the groove and drew my own. After all, who knows whether the old lines would still be applicable given I’ve modified the pose?
Here’s another example sequence of painting eyes. First I draw the outline of the eyes with artist oil (enamel is more commonly used). It’s also helpful to draw the pupils so that you have a better idea of whether your eyes are lined up. I did that but have wiped it out for the next stage. Remember eyes staring sideways are asymmetric in the sense that the irises don’t sit in the same place inside the respective sockets. They’re probably symmetric that way in anime, but in 3D your figure will look unfocused.
Rei’s eyes are red, here I handbrushed shine red for that. Levelling thinner is great for handbrushing, and it’s a pretty good skill to have since you don’t always have to mask every little thing. The eye brows and socket shadows were also drawn.
The lighter part of the eyes were painted pink. Another variation of anime eyes have the inner irises lighter color. Recenly I found that you can somehow blend Mr. Color a little. First paint the color thinned by the retarder, then dip your brush in the retarder and wipe it so that it doesn’t drip. Then jab the color boundaries lightly, and the paint will feather a little. It’s nowhere as blendable as oils, but it works for softening edges.
The main highlight is painted. Normally Eva characters don’t have very big highlight, but this kit has Rei’s hair obscuring most of her face, so her eyes would be very dark. Therefore I’m trying to brighten them.
Then the pupils are put in, and the upper part of the iris was darkened with a reddish brown. Eye brows and a little “mascara” were also drawn. This kit has the brows sculpted in so it’s pretty convenient. The shadow in the eye were also blended at this point.
A little dark skin color to line up the “eye lids” and the mouth. The lining in the mouth is especially important to give the mouth depth.
After I did the water droplets for the face I assembled the hair. There was a very visible gap between the front hair piece and the back. Here I’m filling the gap using acrylic modeling paste; it doesn’t attack paints and you can smooth it out with water. The fact it’s white also makes it my favorite for this kind of job.
Head’s done with the front hair attached, puttied up, and painted. With the wetness I can go with more shine on her hair this time. There are dripping droplets on her chin and hair ends and they’re quite nice, if the picture actually shows it ^_^;; The shading on the front hair makes the droplets on the face invisible too, what a shame. Katayama-san did a really good job with the hair to make it look wet, it’s different from the relatively “fluffy” anime hair and looks a bit gelled together.
The navel area turned out to be the vile of this kit. My original modification didn’t work because her fingers were not pinching her belly but only touching it, and the pose will not work. It’s quite miserable to have to redo it after the droplets were applied, and even more so when the index finger cracked because of some stress in the right hand. The pin in the index finger that attach to the belly may not be such a good idea after all…
I don’t have much idea for the base (beach – done too many, pool – bleah), so one of the pretty acrylic blocks will do. Some water landed around her. Here you can see the gel before it dried in its milky form. The one thing that take a bit to get used to is when working with the gel, you don’t immediately get what you will see. This sometimes makes it hard to predict the outcome of an application. Also the gel is viscous, and it’s a bit annoying to shape it, since you can only move it around. But I think it still beats epoxy glue for this kind of work.
You can see the finished piece here. Overall I’m very pleased with the finish and quite excited about how the droplet application turned out, even though it’s still not perfect. However I’ll need to work on the camera lighting more to capture them more prominently, and this is one thing I’m not satisfied with.


  1. I’m revisiting your Rei wet shirt girl with a new request. You’ve gotten much better at photographing kits in recent months. Probably a combination of technique and equipment, not just equipment.

    You mentioned in your comments – “However I’ll need to work on the camera lighting more to capture them more prominently, and this is one thing I’m not satisfied with.”

    Will you be re-shooting this kit? Or is this a kit you’ve subsequently sold?

  2. Thanks for the note on photography! I’m still learning to work with the setup.

    Coincidentally I was giving her some test shots last week. She was still quite a challenge to shoot as I didn’t get the droplets to highlight as well as my old batch, using my current lighting settings. When I have more time I’ll have to try better ways of casting lights on her. On a somewhat related note, I’m also very tempted to do a wet version of Sorayama’s Amazon 🙂

  3. Thank’s for the insperationn Cody.
    I have built converted and painted Military figures for years and just recently started into Anime figures.I did not know they existed as kits until I accidentally came across your site. They are lots of fun to paint. I admit it has been a challenge painting cold flesh tone that is no blood coloring but you have been a great help in this.Just this week I discovered how to paint clear acrylic to look like lace. What a great expansion of my hobby. Thanks again.

  4. Without your amazing site and tutorials, I would have been to scared to even attempt a resin kit, and now I’m about to start work on my first one! (Ayanami Rei’s Reflect) Thank you Cody, for helping an inexperienced modeler and I hope to produce something even remotely close to your awesome works! <3

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