A Wild Taiga Appears!

Told you that it wouldn’t take long to finish this project, and on an even better note, I think I’m completely out of my melancholy! Regarding kit building at least. Taiga had a lot to do with it though. The sculpt was absolutely wonderful and so easy to work with! After looking at some of the other kits in my collection which still need to be built, I wonder how much time I’ll need to spend to get those looking decent…

But this post is about Taiga and I have to admit that she turned out much better than I had anticipated.

Many thanks to Radiant Dreamer for the suggestion on the colour scheme. The original kit had Taiga in either a lilac or brown dress but that seemed a little dull because pretty much everybody who owns the kit used those schemes, especially the brown dress so this blue ensemble worked really well.

I ran out of my trusty light skintone (own mix) a little while back so I had to get a replacement. While getting the base paints for my old mix, I came across a light skintone mix from Valejo. I use their paints from time to time in my airbrush but they can be a little awkward to use as they only come in bottles, which means you need to pour some out everytime you want to use it for handrbushing and you can’t return the unused paint back into the pot (assuming you didn’t mix it with other stuff).

The new light skintone is considerably lighter than my old mix so I’m not sure if I should stick with it or if I should mix it with other paints to darken it to a level similar to my older kits. What do you think?

Taiga is also usually portrayed has having light brown hair but the original kit maker (who makes a lot of toradora kits! and seems to be a really big fan of Kugimiya Rie) usually gives her a very light, almost blonde look so I decided to mimic that… Might be a bit too blonde tho.

It might be hard to tell, but I actually used a darker shade of blue for the stockings. Had a hard time thinking what colour would work with the blue dress for the stockings but after seeing the queens blade Grimoire Alicia design again, I though “why not just blue again?” so that’s how the colour scheme came to be finalised.

If I’m being completely honest, I’m a little surprised as to how the whole kit turned out so clean! The stockings did need a little work though, and I’ve still not worked out the kinks about how the material would stretch when worn like that so the left knee does look a little off. The gloss on the shoes and dress do look pretty cool tho!

The skintone does look a little uneven if you do an extreme closeup though. Another reason why I’m debating whether or not to continue with this current method.

Obligatory back shot. The kit is actually very precariously balanced and it was a real challenge to get this shot. The hair makes her back heavy so it’s a proper balancing act to get her to stand. I’ve since glued her to her base but I would have preferred not to. But if I didn’t, a small gust of wind would be enough to knock her down and I don’t want to see her paintjob damaged (cos I don’t want to have to fix it!)

The nametag was a nifty addition which could be added to pretty much any square base. Had to hand paint it though so there are little bits of rough patches here and there. Could have made it super smooth if I used another paint type but I’m an acrylics guy. Besides, it can be read, right?

One final thing I thought I should mention is that I managed to do the eyes in 1 take!! this is exceptionally rare!! GO ME!!!

All in all, I’m rather happy with how she turned out, not that I’m lambasting any of my previous works (publicly anyway). Might even be competition level… Nah.

Next up… Who knows? Completing Nanoha reminded me that I have a Fate to accompany her. There’s also the Try GK Yoko (my 3rd Yoko kit if I build her next) and I stumbled across a Kumashiro Maya kit from Occult Gakuen too! That’s not to mention my more recent stuff like Asuna from SAO or Mu-12. And there’s always the looming shadows of T-ELOS and Bayonetta…

8 comments to A Wild Taiga Appears!

  • subaruhess

    Very nice. But I think her eyes should be more round, the way you’ve painted them they almost look like cats-eyes at a glance, unless that’s the effect you were going for. Anyway looking at that kit makers site had no idea he made figures (albeit busts) of the characters from Big O, would be awesome if the existed as complete figurines!

  • Bit from column A bit from Column B. Actually, most was from column A. The eyes were sculpted slightly differently from previous kits (probably a certain stylistic preference from the sculptor) and the eyelashes were sculpted in and much thicker than what I normally do. Overall, I didn’t do too much differently from previous kits for the eyes, but the design may have had quite an effect on the overall look, also the entire face is pointing downwards and looking to the side so it’s all a matter of perspective. Make the eyes rounder and they would be too small and give off a more stare like expression.

    This is why I hate painting the eyes more than any other part!

  • Q

    Nice finish on Taiga! Radiant Dreamer’s suggestion based on Grimoire Alicia design is a nice colour scheme, compared to the usual red colours that Taiga often dresses in.

    Trying to get the stripes on the socks right on correct proportions based on the leg shapes and textile stretching must be hard to imagine!

  • Yeah, I really owe Radiant for that one. He suggested a deep blue or red for the main colour and to go with white. Since I’m more fond of blue, I went for that and, as I was working out the details, I noticed the match with the QB Grimoire Alicia look and that’s how I got there in the end and it does stand out more than just jumping on the same boat as other ppl.

    Stripes are fine when they’re on a fully stretched out or fully bent limb but when it’s only slightly bent like with Taiga, that’s where things get difficult. I don’t think it’s possible to get the textile stretching 100% accurate without actually using textile so I did give myself a little leeway with this one!

  • I’ve painted her too and nice take on a different color scheme. :) My biggest critique is that your paintwork looks greasy. If that’s paint then you’re not thinning your paint enough. In this picture the ruffles still have seamlines so you should have taken more time sanding and preparing her.

  • Thanks, not too sure what you mean by the “greasy” paintwork. If you mean the gloss on the blue and slightly on the white, those were effects I was going for and what the paint provided. I tried with a standard flat blue at first, but it looked dull for my tastes so I went with the above.

    I did look into the ruffles and did see a bit on the right of the pic where you said were seamlines… Seems like they were actually clumps of paint as I was actually able to rub them smooth with a small cotton bud. Not sure what I could have done to get that effect tho, I don’t remember using masking tape around there…

  • No I’m not talking about the gloss but you should be aware that glossy surfaces need even more prep work since you can see every little bump. Since you don’t seem to understand what I mean, I’m going to circle them for you e.g. here:
    (Note: not everything I found was circled but you should get the idea.) I can’t tell if it’s dust but if it’s part of the paintwork then that’s bad. :| The circles that have an arrow pointed at them are seamlines which you should have removed in any case.

  • Had a closer look and man of the clumps at the end of the longer parts couldn’t be found so it may have been dust. I can’t find the bits on the lower left of the pics on the current kit but I did find a few on the right and a couple on the hair pieces next to the face so I may go back to those if I can find some time and separate the parts without damaging the parts themselves. The long straight part was actually a separate piece which I put on afterwards to make the assembly easier. It’s dangerously close to exposed parts of the face so painting over the section after it had been filled would have been a huge risk.

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