Hello everyone and Happy Halloween! :) I’m here again to share my next not-so-spooky painted work with you all. This is Coco from the manga Atelier Witch Hat (Tongari Boushi no Atelier), a beautifully illustrated story about a young girl who is torn away from her home and becomes a witch apprentice. I believe this manga will receive an English release some time in 2019 so if you get a chance please check it out!
I don’t have too many WIP photos of this kit mainly because the only thing that was wrong with it was air bubbles. This kit is quite small (13 cm tall including her provided base) but the whole kit was riddled with dozens of small bubbles which are created during the casting process. I ended up puttying and sanding at least three separate times before she was ready for paint;;
The pieces fit perfectly together though so no additional filling in joints was needed :)
Because she is from such an obscure manga and an anime does not exist, the only color references available are directly from the mangaka. I decided to settle on a color scheme similar to volume 1 of the manga and a few images posted directly to Twitter. My mini-goal was to avoid using pure black on this kit since I wanted a softer color scheme so instead I decided to use dark, desaturated reds and oranges for the black parts of her outfit. Her outfit is a particular shade of teal which looks great in real life but is a little difficult to capture accurately in photos. Coco is painted with a combination of lacquer and enamel paint.
This kit also included eye decals but I decided not to use them for Coco’s face. Instead, I chose to roughly reference the mangaka’s art style and paint them myself:
I did, however, use the provided decals for the little worm creature on her back named Fudemushi. Although I could not completely capture the manga’s style, I am still very happy with how she turned out and I can feel the spirit of Coco in this figure!
Because this figure included a brick base, I wanted to do something a little special and eventually settled on a miniature garden. I have never made anything like this before except for paper flowers so I learned quite a bit from dollhouse tutorials online. Everything on the base is handmade except for the daffodil flowers which were from a local miniature exhibition and the grass mat which was purchased online. The base is built from foam core board and cardboard and the “soil” is a mixture of coffee grounds, tacky glue, and some fake turf material. The bricks were cut to size from paper egg shell carton and each of the leaves and flowers were assembled by hand from stamped and painted coffee filters. The base took approximately 10-15 hours to assemble. In the future I’d like to do a better job and create more realistic leaves and flowers. After this project I feel like I’m veering into dangerous miniature territory, a satisfying but equally time-consuming hobby LOL
Altogether Coco was a fun little build with a decent amount of prep time, I did find photographing her a little more difficult than my other figures due to her pose. The only place she really fits is at the very top of my detolf since she is almost completely bent over and looking down haha! It may be a little while before I go all out on another base as well...I like building accessories but figure painting is more fun to me :) Thanks for reading and please enjoy a selection of finished photos (more in my gallery)! You can also follow my work on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.