Natsumi

Introduction

Scale
1/5
Sculptor
K. Piero
Maker
Realize
Completed
9/24/99
Parts
8
Retail
11000yen

Second in the K.Piero S.E. Asia girl series, character design by Yoshimitsu Asagi. Don’t know why this one is cheaper than others by 1000yen… perhaps less parts? In any case she has a tomboyish happy face, and tomboys are cute… but she has really disproportional breasts which is a minus for me (tho I’m sure others have different opinions 🙂 But she’s “special” enough for me to buy, and also to complete the series collection.

After I’ve got the kit, there are some surprising discoveries – perhaps because of her huge front, her tank top is torn in a few places on the left … this really makes it an excellent case of “clothes is better than no clothes” ^_^; I couldn’t really tell from the retail photo. Also she has two big incisors for teeth, HOW CUTE!

Kit Review

Seam lines: ?/5 Pinholes: ?/5 Casting: ?/5 Fit: ?/5 Part Break: ?/5 Help

Parts: left arm, right hand, l & r legs, body, hair back, front l&r.

Casting is fine, there are some pinholes which are easy to remove. Seam lines aren’t too painful. Fit is ok, I need to patch up the right leg a little bit to make the fit better to the main body; the left hand doesn’t really go into the slot well, and required removing some material on the male part of the slot and some patching is needed on the right arm to make the big gap between the body and the arm disappear. This is the first kit I build that doesn’t have the back hair fit perfectly with the head. I needed to shape the head a big to make the fit better.

Building

Building was pretty straight forward, I basically left all the pieces unassembled before painting to minimize masking. I wasn’t too satisfied with my previous mixture of flesh (for Misato) and so I did a lot of mixing and repainting initially. The problem is mostly due to the deeper shade are too red (actually may be too little blue, I’m not sure), so when overlay lighter tones are sprayed on the shade color turned red which looks weird.

Masking was a bit of a hassle since the tank top has a few torn areas. Eventually I settled with Blenderm tapes for masking… they have so much flexibility that it consistently amazes me. Unfortunately I still couldn’t cover the masked areas well enough, quite a bit of overspraying occured. Eventually I found a solution to remove the overspray – a little alchohol and a q-tip to “polish” the oversprayed area. I don’t know if Mr. Color dissolves a little bit in alcohol, but I think the polishing motion scratches off the overspray without damaging the underneath paint layer. Then the fixed area is misted with basic skin tone and the area looks ok. Could never do that to artist acrylics tho, since they’ll just scratch off.

Natsumi’s right hand is holding a pear and that’s the area that requires liquid masking. Actually I could’ve done without, since I used enamel colors for the pear and hence I can remove the oversprayed areas with mineral spirits without damaging the skin tone underneath. That’s what I ended up doing since I did a bad job of applying liquid masks 🙂

Finally the bikini bottom – I couldn’t really tell what it is, I thought it was a torn up jeans but doesn’t really look like anything. The instruction said white with some sky blue so I just went with it.

Like Nanami’, Natsumi has a pretty well sculpted belly so a lot of effort was spent on making it look good. But it can never be as good as Nanami’s 🙂

This is the first time I use electrical copper wire for hair strands – turns out pretty well! I took a piece of vinyl cord, remove the coating and get really thin strips of copper wire for hair. They work better than fishing lines which I have difficulty bending them in the right curl. Wires are easier to shape, although they’re also easier to get bent out of shape too. I think I’ll use these for hair strands in the future.

Disasters – I tried coating the finished Natsumi with satin matte varnish, but thought it wasn’t matte enough. Then I sprayed Gunze super clear flat on top before the satin coat completely dried. Miraclously it’d have work if I haven’t been so stupid pressing my finger on the surface… !@$@!$ After it competely dried I sanded the area smooth. This is an advantage of Mr. Color – you can actaully sand the color without peeling off the paint layer and leave a huge hole, something that artist acrylics does. The fix was pretty fast and painless.
Some paint was peeled off from masking… may be Blenderm was too strong, but most likely the surface wan’t washed clean! All the peeled off areas are in obscure spots that may not have been scrubbed during cleaning.

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