My original goal for Lucy was to limit imperfections, especially in resin smoothness. After my previous figure, I realized that imperfections show up more on camera than in real life, and I was hoping to minimize this by doing more thorough priming and sanding early on, taking a few more photos throughout and looking at the photos before moving on.
At the same time, I have begun tracking time on projects in Toggl, so I was curious how long it actually took me to build a resin figure. Below is a list breaking it down.
- Building/Sanding: 6 hours 22 minutes
- Priming and Painting: 12 hours 13 minutes
- Masking: 2 hours 39 minutes
- Details/Repairs/Misc: 1 hour 44 minutes
- Total: ~23 hours
I always figured it took maybe 10-15 hours per figure for me, but this shows I am a bit slower than I thought. It also surprises me how much time is spent in the priming and painting stage, because figures tend to have a lot fewer parts to deal with. This particular kit had a few challenges for me that were new such as the stripes on her outfit, but I do think I learned quite a bit about masking as well.
It’s also worth noting I do spend a lot of time fighting my paint. What I mean by this is many times I’m using older paint that is already opened (I have a huge supply over the years), I spend some time mixing it and trying to restore it, but more importantly I would spend a lot of time getting it to flow smoothly through the airbrush. Older paint, even thinned, tends to be a bit harder to spray. It’s thicker, and if you thin it too much then it loses it’s coloring ability (even if using Mr. Color Restorer solution).
This time around, I used two airbrushes. My original airbrush is an Iwata HP-C Plus, which uses a .3mm needle. This year, I bought an Iwata-Medea Revolution CR which uses a .5mm needle meant for spraying thicker paints. I originally intended to use it just for primer, but I did end up using it a few other times as well (skin for example – my paints did not want to spray well out of the HP-C plus). I think having both the HP-C and Revolution is useful. The HP-C has a bit more control and you can get details a lot better, but it is a lot less forgiving with your paint. For a lot of larger areas, especially once masked off, the revolution is a great alternative that is a lot more forgiving and easier to work with.
Overall, quality turned out pretty well I think. Unfortunately towards the end I caused myself some issue when heating the resin to make things fit. Originally, her top was a poor fit and needed some bending. I originally thought it would be easier to paint her skin, paint the top, then put it all together. For the most part, heating the painted figure is not an issue. However, I did learn you can overdo it if you get to close and the paint starts to bubble. You can see this on her top in the front and slightly in the back. The back is less bad because I had to fix a gap afterwards and resand/paint, but the front I did not feel like repainting as it would likely require a lot more care around the stripes.
- Using larger needle size airbrushes helps for older paint – I’ve spent my last few paint jobs frustrated too much with my airbrush. It’s an Iwata HP-C Plus with .3mm needle, and it’s a great airbrush, but it struggles with thicker (in my case, older) paints. The more I use my new Iwata-Medea Revolution, the less frustrated I am with simple things.
- You can heat and bend resin after it’s painted, but do so very carefully. If you get too close, it will bubble and ruin your paint job. Similarly, if you heat it and then drag it over some other part (ie trying to get a heated shirt top over a shoulder), the heated paint will pull off where pieces meet. Ultimately, you CAN heat them painted if required, but do not get too close with the heat gun, be careful not to overdo it, and try your best to let them cool before heated parts rub together. See front of shirt for bubbling issue example.
- Masking fine details tip – when masking fine details such as the stripes above, it’s actually easier to cover the entire area (both masked and unmasked) with tape first, rub the tape into the details with a toothpick to show the lines, and then use your hobby knife to cut out what you want unmasked. Up until this figure, I almost always tried to use a bunch of tape of various sizes, putty, and other options to mask AROUND what I wanted to paint, but this is error prone and very time consuming. Instead, just tape off everything and then cut out what you don’t need. It’s much faster and is a lot better
- Airbrush touch-ups really need to include full area – during my masking on skirt, there were a few places that still got overspray of blue onto the white skirt. Ultimately, mask way more than you think as overspray ALWAYS finds a way to hit what you don’t want it to land on. But, in the case you still mess up and need to go back and touch up, note it will be challenging if you just tape off one area and paint (even with the same already thinned paint from days prior). I did this on the skirt and if you paint up to your freshly masked areas, you will get hard paint lines. If you are touching up an area, you really need to leave enough extra around the area to fade the new paint into the old, or just redo the entire part. Better yet, spend more time masking and less time repairing.