HTK-09 is my third resin kit and another rough one due to low quality of initial mold (A Tawainese kit from eBay – a better version is listed here at e2046.com)
This took approximately 25-30 hours to complete, with a significant portion of that due to the low quality of the kit and extra cleaning, gluing, puttying, and taping required to build it. It definitely is a challenge and fun to work on though, something I fear I may lose a bit of by using higher quality kits from e2046 moving forward! They essentially come ready for paint with maybe an hour of cleaning / prep work, at least from the looks of the 5-6 kits I recently ordered and have waiting for me.
I used a couple previous tricks for this kit, although nothing too new. I had to bend an arm out to make room for the gun to fit and not be in the way of a leg. My main practice of new techniques here involved painting. I decided to make a chivette in honor of the Chive and gift this figure to a friend who loves the site (turns out his birthday was just days away which kinda rushed the process). To do that, I needed some text on a t-shirt. I used a Cricut Expression to make a template and airbrushed on the text (I have horrible handwriting and couldn’t possibly do it by hand). Luckily it went small enough to get it to fit, so that worked out. A few letters aren’t perfect, but overall it turned out alright I think.
I also spent more time focusing on skin tone. Rather than just use a Mr. Color flesh tone by itself as with the previous two resin models, I opted to use a technique involving clear orange for pre-shading topped with character flesh 1 to bring it all together. Looking back, I feel like I probably overdid the character flesh layer as it covers up most of the pre-shading I did, but something to work on in the future. Better lighting would help. More photos in the WIP section for the process.
- Painting letters can be a challenging task, but doable. Luckily my sister had a Cricut so I could cut out the letters and make a template in the appropriate size, but I’m not sure what I would’ve done without. They are fairly expensive machines, but I suppose if working on a lot of models it may be worth it, depending on how often you want a template for airbrushing text / symbols / etc. (They sell different cartridges with shapes / letters / etc. to use, and you can adjust the size within a certain range for each as well). Even with the template, it can be hard to get clean letters when working on a surface that has some shape to it. I also learned I’m terrible at your ‘traditional’ airbrush art, such as hand painting text. I tried to do a little cursive ‘chivette’ as I was playing with the base, but it’s pretty ugly looking. Maybe with more practice I can become a better airbrush artist.
- The initial quality of the kit makes a huge difference in the time required to finish and final product. I believe this to be more true with every low quality model I work on. While doing this model, I had several of my first kits from e2046 arrive and they are simply leagues apart from these ebay ones in terms of quality and work that must be done with the kit throughout the entire process. I strongly believe that my time to build a kit will be cut in half, or even 75%, simply by using higher quality molds. They may cost an extra $5-10, but I think it’s going to be worth it. Just while taking a break from this kit, I already did all initial cleaning / prep work on an e2046 kit in less than an hour, and it’s ready for priming.
- Certain kits are difficult to balance. This kit in particular had very little surface area on the bottom of the boots to glue to the stand, and being a 1/5 scale figure, it was also a good size. It definitely wouldn’t stand on it’s own before pinning and gluing to the base, and even after a pin in each foot and plenty of glue it was still tilting. I then dove in to ensure all gaps were filled appropriately with putty and let that set to give it some extra stability, but I’m not sure what my other options are other than adding some extra support with clear plastic or something (something I’d like to avoid). I suppose with a lot of effort, it may be possible to do better, bigger pins using lots of putty and glue rather than the 1/16″ pieces of metal I typically use, but the boots are small and figure tall. I’m still a little worried about the stability of this kit and fear it may fall over at some point. Unfortunate because I gave it as a gift. Hope it stays standing tall!
And that’s that. Keep calm and chive on.