Hello everyone, I’m back again with another work to share. This time it’s something a little special (at least to me lol) so this blog is a little longer...this figure was a commission built over five months and is the most complex figure I’ve painted to date. Yes, that’s right...I am now accepting commissions although it really depends on the figure since I don’t intend to do it full-time. I’m also booked through most of 2020 and am not accepting new orders atm but if you’re interested, check out the details here: Commissions
More pictures are available on my website Plum Workshop or my Facebook page (lower quality ver.) I also have many more WIP photos available in my Facebook album here.
Miyazawa Kenji is a fictional character from a popular mobile game series in Japan named “Bungou to Alchemist.” This figure was sculpted by the circle Gomashio Koubou and sold at both Wonder Festivals in 2018. Gomashio Koubou is a relatively new artist with only two finished figures but the sculpting detail and parts breakdown of this kit is fantastic. I actually had my eye on this figure when he was released so I jumped at the opportunity to work on him.
Unfortunately for me, the cast had a fair few issues which led to some delays. Over 8 of his little cape tassels were damaged on arrival and needed pinning with 0.3 mm jewelry wire. Puttying wasn’t necessary in most areas except for his hairline and the little book bag. The biggest issue, however, was the resin quality; although the resin is a soft white, almost all of the pieces were riddled with air bubbles which took multiple passes to fill in. After all of this putty work I’d like a nice, easy kit to work on next haha…
Another reason I accepted this commission was because I wanted to test my build time professionally and feel comfortable taking on complex paintjobs for other work later on. Kenji definitely falls in the complex category...besides some matching parts of his outfit no two colors are the same. Everything you see in these photos is custom-mixed to match the reference artwork. His outfit and bag are painted with over seven different shades of brown! He is also equipped with magnets in his bag, the cape, and hat so he can be displayed a few ways.
The two most difficult pieces to paint were the plaid pattern on his hat/arm cuffs and the galaxy pattern inside of his cape. This was my first time painting patterns without a guide and both took a lot of planning so I am pleased with how they turned out. The plaid in particular was a little stressful since it required six layers of masking tape and I only had one chance to get it right.
Kenji’s cape is one of my favorite parts of the kit and I only wish that the galaxy pattern was a little easier to see in these photos since it looks amazing in person. The inside of the cape was painted with around 8-9 different blues and purples (including 2 pearl colors). The small “stars” were added by spraying white lacquer through my airbrush while the larger ones were hand-painted with enamel.
I don’t have anything too special to say about his eyes since Gomashio Koubou was nice enough to sculpt them. I did end up spraying enamel through my airbrush to get the nice gradient effect on the edges of his eyelashes. The rest was done using the eye painting method I’ve shown in many other blogs.
Additional touches such as a custom decal on his book and hand-painted stitching were also added. I’ve used decals before on Coco (here: BLOG #41376) but this was my first time creating one from scratch. The only reference I had was a CD cover so the book cover doesn’t match exactly but since it hides in his book bag I wasn’t too concerned.
Finally, his base was constructed to mimic a library floor. The greyish white floorboards are intentional to contrast all of the browns of his outfit. This was built easily by lining up skinny sticks in a floorboard pattern, priming/painting the whole thing in a warm grey, and then dry-brushing and washing the wood with various whites, browns, and greys until the desired effect was achieved.
Kenji stands about 19 cm tall so he’s still a relatively small cutie meeting my criteria ;) My client was very happy with him upon arrival and since it meets her standards I consider it a job well done. Overall he was a huge learning experience as I’ve never tracked how long it takes me to prep and paint my figures so going forward I’m happy to use this data to speed up my build times and give better estimates. It was also a huge confidence booster on my end since I didn’t need to strip and repaint anything. Use your spoons...anyway, thanks for reading!