Friday, 1 June 2018

E2046 GK Competition 2018 - Anime Figure Complete!

With about a month to go till the big competition, I decided it was time to defend my second place title from last year's event. It turned into a bit of a rush a week or two before the deadline (which passed yesterday), but I made it in the end. Here are the final results:

If you missed my efforts last year, you're looking at the Champ! The best man here, the best man there, and the best man anywhere.... well that sure is the plan for this year anyway. I actually took second place last year, and I figure I have to at least turn out for this year's event.

So yeah, rewind a year, and I was entering the E2046 GK competition for the first time. They're a Chinese company that make resin "Garage Kits", which is basically code for resin anime girls you build and paint. There are also robots and stuff too. I got the second place prize with my Rage of Bahamut figure that I painted in an uncharacteristically marble effect based weathered style that I think won me a lot of interest as it is very different from the style that most of the figures are usually painted in.

Last year's entry. She is a big figure at about 8" tall.

I wanted to do something equally interesting and different this year, so I opted to base my scheme around the idea of creating a strong OSL look from two light sources (OSL is Object Source Lighting, and basically means replicating the look of a light source hitting a model using paint).

Handily, I have quite a few of these figures to chose from. I had bought a few when I first entered, and the number is now out of control, as the win bought me $250 worth of the resin ladies in store credit. Yes, I have a few spare now to work on...

I have to admit that I wasn't sure what to do until I got the idea fro the OSL. Handily, I had another figure from the same series as last year's entry that was really cool and would be perfect for the job. Getting these models ready for paint is half the battle, but I cleaned her up and built her into sub-assemblies. This is something you always have to do. A lot of people work on all the parts individually and then glue them all together at the end, but I prefer to get them into about half a dozen chunks. I normally divide them up this way based entirely on what I want to airbrush and what I think will make it easy. Never build them fully and then paint them thought as they're very big and delicate and you'd just never be able to reach to get the details.

Anyway, for the first two parts, I painted the base and the legs. I put a pin though the bottom of the foot to hold the model together and it's nice and strong now. Basically what I was going for is for it to look like the crystals are glowing, and I think it has come out well. I've tried to keep most of the model quite dark so the effects will really jump out, but this is new ground for me.

The basic technique was that I assembled the model completely using pins. I then undercoated it in black and then went in with white on the airbrush and highlighted just where the lights would be. Then, when I disassembled the model for painting I had a guide of the rough area where I wanted the lighting effects to be... in theory.

The basic areas where the light would be hitting were defined early on with the undercoat.

After the legs, I worked on the torso, head, hair, arms and wings in that rough order. The whole time, I tried to keep the highlights going in one direction; straight towards that orb. To complicate matters, I ended up doing the yellow gold parts Non Metallic style as it gave me better control of the reflections and the lighting effects.

I've done some glow effects and things like that before, but these were just after-effects added onto a model that I had painted as usual. For this figure, I angled all of the highlighting on every piece specifically to crate the lighting effect, so for example the handle of the sword is a much darker colour than some of the other gold details as it would be less illuminated by the light from the orb.

Overall, I'm happy with how she came out. It was new ground for me, and there are a few things I will try to improve on when I try this technique again later. One thing that is really important is actually the background (literally the backdrop behind her) as if it isn't black the effect doesn't come across as well as other light sources tend to interfere. It's worth bearing in mind if you're planning a diorama or something.

No camera trickery, I just painted a blend all the way from black to light grey across her body! (thank God for airbrushes!)

Anyway, wish me luck for the competition. We'll see if I get de-throned this year or if I'll be taking another title home in a few weeks once the judging is completed!


  1. Fantastic work man! I'll be surprised if you don't place with this one.

    1. Well, that's the plan. I'm not sure, you never know what a competition will throw out there, there could be some really amazing entries this year. That said, I'm pretty happy with her, so we'll see how it goes.

      She is quite photogenic though. If anything, I think the effect comes over best in photos as you can sort of eliminate the other light hitting the model in a more controlled environment.

      If I win, it'll mean an even bigger pile of unfinished resin figures - I still have a few on order from last year! The horror!

  2. Magnificent work!!! All the best and hope you get the top spot this year. I hope to take part next year but best laid plans and all that jazz. :)

    1. Thanks. I don't know if I will win anything or not, but I'm happy just to have put something in to the competition that I'm proud of.

      You really should try to enter next year. I remember seeing on your blog that you had one or two of their kits, and it's well worth giving it a go. I entered for the first time last year with the first anime figure that I'd done I managed to take second place, so anything is possible. For me, I think trying to do something unique that set me apart from other competitors really helped.

    2. You should be proud. She looks stunningly beautiful. I hope to take part too. My biggest weakness is a perfectionist streak bordering on OCD levels. It has made some of my projects drag on for far too long :(