Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Laputa Diorama: Part 2

Hi everyone,

Today I start talking about how I built my latest diorama.  The ideas and methods, as you will see, are not new or innovative, nor are they my own invention.  Like most of us, I do my research, learn from others and put what I have learnt to good use.

First off, I want to show you the box and how the parts come in it.  This is a kit from a Japanese company called Fine Molds, and I have to say that they have some very nice kits for sale - especially Star Wars kits at 1/72 and 1/48 scales.  I am very tempted to get my hands on a few of them.

As you can see the robot presents the most work, especially the arms.  Be prepared to spend 2 or three hours putting it together and filling in the seams along the sides with putty and sanding down.  When adding putty filler try to be as accurate as possible.  This is because the robot's surface is not even but rather mottled. So if you spread out the putty too much, when it comes to sanding you will smooth out the sides and this will ruin the nice surface texture.

The girl is not so complicated.  She comes in two parts for the upper body and skirt and the legs are cast in one separate piece.  Once again you will need to fill in the seams with putty, but the fit is very good and this will not require a lot of work. The areas are smooth so sanding in this case will not be a problem. For those of us too lazy to paint eyes, the kit provides two sets of eye stickers for the girl and two sets of emblems stickers for robot.

Once put together the girl is completely static, and any re-positioning will require work.  The robot has limited movement.  It's arms  can rotate 360 degrees and they can also bend slightly but this is also limited.  The fingers don't move at all, and in fact I had to cut them up to re-position them.  The legs are the same as the arms in that they can bend slightly, but the feet are solid.

The accuracy and scale of the models are good in my opinion and look very reminiscent of the movie.  The only problem are the clothes of the little princess.  She is wearing the clothes you see her in at the beginning of the movie.  By the time she actually meets the gardener robot, she is wearing different clothes.  If I was not limited by time I would have re-modeled the clothes with putty.  This irritates me slightly but as the French say, 'C'est la vie!'

Overall the kit is OK.  It is very realistic and the scale is pleasing.  It is also not difficult or complicated to put together.  The only drawbacks are the mobility of the figures (anybody who has built a RG Gunpla kit can see the difference) and the inaccuracy of the girl's dress.  It would have been nice if the kit had both the girl and the boy - but this is something I cannot really complain about.

That is all for now, I will be back soon with how I can up with this idea for the diorama and a bit more.

Until then, farewell and good health,


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