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Built Myself a Model Kit! | Minami Kotori | 02.25.2020Built Myself a Model Kit! | Minami Kotori | 02.25.2020Review

CitrinyaCitrinyaIl y a 5 mois
Disclaimer: Very long and very image heavy!
Also my phone is kind of garbage, so sorry for the sometimes potato-quality. I have an actual camera, but I didn't feel like busting it out for these. Soon I'll do a proper shoot with her!
--♡--
So. A model kit. (ITEM #891755 to be exact!) I had wanted to try my hand at a GK/MK for a while (to be honest, I’ve been eyeing ITEM #163101 but haven’t bitten the bullet on her yet), so when this lovely Kotori went up, I couldn’t help myself, and instantly placed my preorder (like any self-respecting person with a Waifu should).

Kotori is my best girl, without delving too far into that, so I knew I had to get it right. I had seen other kits by Figurise before, but none caught my attention quite like this one (the busts I think are a little creepy, but I digress). Being an offshoot of Bandai, I was a little worried about quality, but this kit is also an offshoot of Alter, so I figured I was fairly safe.

As a quick note, I have built models before, primarily model airplanes, but this is my first anime figure kit, and I was super excited to get to it! I already had all of the needed supplies on hand, which was helpful for sure. Paints were not required for this kit, but I used them anyway because I like to be extra.

--♡--

Supplies used:

- Nippers
- Utility blade
- Sandpaper (100 and 300 grit)
- Acrylic paints
- Glass cleaner
- Varnish topcoat
- Paintbrush
- Lace Ribbon (for base)

--♡--

Anyway, let’s get a move on! The following will be a mixture of a process and a review, primarily for my own sake, so buckle in for a long read!

First Impressions
Outer Packaging

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First things first: the box. This thing is absolutely gigantic (banana for scale), but it actually does a good job of housing the parts without too much extra room. There was, however, no tape to be found, which, while not uncommon in other model kits I’ve built, I’ve never come across a figure without a seal on the box.

The top features a promo shot of the finished kit with some details, and the sides feature more detail shots and additional product information. The overall color scheme is very cute and pretty, drawing back to Kotori and her outfit!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401126.jpeg

The bottom of the box is a monochrome version of the initial illustration, which I thought was a cute touch!

What's Inside
AKA what I paid for

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Moving on to the actual contents of the box, each set of parts is contained in it’s own plastic bag (for the most part), along with an instruction sheet and some decals (which were packaged in one of the plastic bags). This kit is colored polystyrene, so there was no worry of paint transfer from parts that were packaged together.

Assembling: Pt. 1
Wait.. was that part supposed to be cut?

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The first thing I did was work on the skirt! Although the instructions are in order from head to foot, I wanted to start somewhere that wasn’t so important as her face, just to get a feel for what I was working with.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401094.jpeg

All of the sweets came out nicely with the nippers, and I only had to sand down a few pieces to get them really smooth, which was good. They also fit into the skirt amazingly well with just a slight amount of pressure, and they felt very stable as well. When working, all of the pieces felt very light in comparison to PVC, so it surprised me a little bit!

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For the flowers, I decided to paint the centers to give Kotori’s skirt just a little more detail. I considered different colors, but I ultimately decided on a golden yellow to mimic her crown and bow, and to give some variety to her color scheme.

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I had to sand the flowers a little more than the other sweets, but they turned out nice in the end!

Assembling: Pt. 2
Getting the hang of it

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Leg.

I decided to paint the ribbon rather than use the decals that came with it because decals can look cheap in my opinion, and I’m a lot more confident with a paintbrush than I am applying those things. I also painted the chain that’s around her calf in gold, as well as the connection points between the ribbon and the stocking. Two coats went on everything here, but this is after the first.

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Leg + shoe. The color of the heart on the shoe doesn’t match the promo images (it’s more vibrant in the prototype), but I decided to leave it for now.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401058.jpeg

Calves and thighs! We’re getting somewhere! I wish I had taken a picture of how the garter and the leg fit together, but it’s essentially like a stacking ring, with the flesh pieces on the top and bottom and the actual belt in the middle. Grooves for where it goes are also a good design choice to help everything fit nicely.

Pantsu photo under the cut!
Voir le spoilerCacher le spoilerhttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401055.jpeg

With the underwear/stomach area, it was essentially several pieces that are sandwiched together within their respective grooves to create this look. The sculpting here is especially nice, and I'm constantly amazed by this detail that they were able to get with the casting itself.

Pantsu photo under the cut!
Voir le spoilerCacher le spoilerhttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401059.jpeg

Same deal with the legs, a lot of sandwiching parts and parts with grooves to fit together. The detail on these pieces especially blows me away, in particular because you can’t even see a lot of it in the finished product!

The strap things also had cutout grooves in the legs made for them, and they went in perfectly, with one on the back and one on the front of the leg.

Assembling: Pt. 1.5
Yes, the numbering is correct

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I actually procrastinated on cutting out these skirt pieces because I knew they would be a pain. Due to the clear resin used, any tension in the piece would be spotted a mile away in the form of a white pressure spot, so I tried to be extra careful. Sanding would also just make these spots worse, so I had to take care!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401061.jpeg

Unfortunately, there were some injuries, as you can see, but the middle one took the brunt of the damage. Luckily, when stacked together, none of the points are visible. Yay! Good on the manufacturers for the putting the gates so high up.

Pantsu photo under the cut!
Voir le spoilerCacher le spoilerhttps://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401062.jpeg

The underskirt is actually a different kind of resin with glitter in it, so I was less concerned about cutting these pieces out than the other clear ones, but I was still a little nervous. They came out pretty well though I think!

I’m also going to take this moment to appreciate the base here. Her shoes fit into the glittery part, which then fits in to the white. It’s still a little plain for my taste (more on that later), but it adds a little bit of a pop to the otherwise prize-like default base. Just as a precaution, it's actually a little loose (she spins), but it doesn't actually bother me that much if I'm being honest.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401063.jpeg

Everything together! There are grooves in each part of each skirt piece to ensure that you’re not putting things on backwards, which was nice. It took a little finagling, but I got it in the end!

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Not gonna lie, I almost forgot about this tiny ribbon! Also in this picture: the leg pieces didn’t fit together 100% perfectly at first, but it turned out that I just needed to apply a little more force and they come together cleanly!

Assembling: Pt. 3
Numbers should be in the right order now

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401065.jpeg

Now for the face!

To be totally honest, when I first saw the promo images for this kit, I hated the eyes. They didn’t look like Kotori’s eyes at all to me (more like Kanata’s sleepy expression, for those of you LL! fans). However, I thought that they would just be decals like I’ve seen on every other kit ever, and I’d be able to repaint them to my liking.

Well.

That was not the case.

The face and eyes were actually injection-molded in a special way that creates the blushy expression on the cheeks (which I love!) and the glossy, dreamy, layered depth to the eyes. Upon closer inspection, I actually ended up not hating how the eyes were cast- it’s a little difficult to tell from the photos, but there’s actual physical depth to the layers of color, which I find impressive!

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I decided to give it a go, and so I cut out the pieces and fit them all together (also note the tiny mouth part with the upper bit for the top teeth! Very clever), and honestly? I like it.

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Maybe it was due to the angles of the prototype shots, or maybe it’s the fact that Kotori’s face in general is just really hard to get to look right in a photo (Kotori collectors will understand my struggle, lol), but there’s something about the way Kotori’s face is normally sculpted that makes it look great in real life and awkward in a picture.

Anyway, the finished face! It actually turned out a lot better than I thought it would, and as a bonus, I didn’t need to repaint the eyes!

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401068.jpeg

Time for her hair! I started with the bangs, as the instructions indicate, and it started to look more like her already. The points are surprisingly crisp, which is a strong point in this kit! Everything is made very cleanly for the most part.

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For her hair ties, there are also actually decals included, but I opted not to use them (again) and just paint them instead.

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Everything snaps in quite nicely and they all fit together beautifully.

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I had a bit of trouble getting her hair piece/side piece in flush with the rest of her head, but the angle for everything ended up being a little odd, and I got it in the end.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401075.jpeg

Her crown also slots nicely into a groove in her bangs.

Assembling: Pt. 4
Also a little more painting

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Time for some skin! It’s a little hard to see in this photo, but there’s a very faint seam line running across her back and shoulder blades. I was able to sand this down for the most part, but if I’m being honest, the majority of it will be covered by her hair anyway.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401078.jpeg

I also decided to do a little bit of pink blush shading, primarily on her shoulders and chest. Each layer of pink was incredibly thin, and I used a paper towel to tap and blend the paint out, since I don’t have an airbrush. There was also drying time in between each coat, which is super important to get that barely-there shaded look! I’ve used this technique on paintings many times in the past, but I wouldn’t recommend it without making sure you’ve had some practice first! The photo above is before the paint is blended, just to show the color I was using.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401079.jpeg

I probably could have done a little more, but I didn’t want to go overboard, especially with the majority of everything else being unshaded, so I stopped here. It’s very faint in this picture in particular, but seeing the whole thing together will make the pink pop just a bit more, especially because of the blush on her face.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401076.jpeg

I thought this was a clever way of doing those white buttons on her sash! The pieces here are a little thin, and I was a little scared I was going to break them when cutting them out, but no casualties here.

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Decided to paint the buttons on her bodice as well! I went with a deep teal to match her skirt here.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401081.jpeg

While I had my brush out, I wanted to add another small detail- nail polish! The pinkish-red I used here is a darker variant of the rest of the pinks in Kotori’s outfit.

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I added another dot of teal on the buttons on her wrist cuffs to match the bodice, and I began piecing everything together! The armlets are the same resin cast as the underskirt, which was another nice touch in this kit.

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The on thing that I’m not a huge fan of is how they cast the ribbon. It’s easy to put together, sure, but the seam lines bug me to no end! I’ve seen ways to fill in the lines, but I just decided to leave it, as it’s on the back of the finished figure and partially hidden by her hair anyway.

https://static.myfigurecollection.net/upload/pictures/2020/03/05/2401084.jpeg

Head + torso!

Assembling: Pt. 4
Finishing touches

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Balloon time! These were fairly simple to snap together.

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And everything together! I decided to paint a bit of the base and add a shock of lace to it as well for an additional texture to spice it up a little.

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I couldn’t resist doing a quick set-up right away with her ♡ I was finally done!

...or so I thought.

While writing this, I kept looking back at that heart on her shoe. The difference in color from the initial promo images to the actual cast kept bugging me, so I decided to bite the bullet and just repaint it.

Assembling: Pt. 5
Actual finishing touches

To give a little more coherence to the overall color scheme, and to match the deeper pinks that I used for her nails and the base a little better, I went with that same shade for the heart.

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Ahhh that’s so much better! I don’t think I realized how much I hated that dull peach until I painted over it!

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And now she’s finally done! ♡

Overall, this kit was extremely fun to make, and it took me about 6 hours from the time the package arrived on my doorstep to the finished product (minus the repainting of the heart, which took about 2 minutes, excluding drying time). If I didn’t paint any of the kit at all, I estimate this to have taken about 4 to 5 hours at most.

The different resin textures, tiny details, and actual resin casting techniques (especially for the eyes and face) make this an overall fantastic kit to build and admire at the end as well! Definitely recommend for any Kotori of LL! fans, as well as those just into pretty girls in general.

My Ratings
And also why

Sculpting | 10/10
Honestly, the sculpting on this figure is beautiful. The tiny details, like the hands, the swirls in the sweets and the ruching on her skirt, along with a multitude of other small things is very pleasing to the eye.

Casting | 8/10
I'm honestly super impressed by the casting in this kit, mostly because I've dealt with other kits from other corners of the model world (if you weren't paying attention earlier, it was airplanes). The parts snap together snugly and firmly, yet are very easy to put in as well. Minimal sanding is required, and honestly? There are so few burrs that were actually the fault of the kit- I tend to cut too far away from the gate just in case. Most seams are very well hidden, which is difficult for even prepainted kits.

However, I do have to take a couple of points off for the very visible back ribbon seam, as well as for the color of the shoe heart.

Posing | 9/10
Her pose is simple, cute, and effective, without sacrificing the stability of the overall figure. The balloons slotting into the ribbon in Kotori's hair is especially genius! I also feel that the pose captures the original illustration quite beautifully as well.

Ease of Build | 9/10
This is a very easy model kit, and no painting was actually required at all for the kit to look like the prototype (unless you're very picky about that shoe heart. Can y'all tell I'm a bit salty?). Joking aside though, it's easily done in an afternoon (literally what I did) with minimal tools needed. Overall, it's a very easy cut-and-snap project!

I would recommend being careful with the nippers and the sandpaper though, as just like with anything, if you get a little too happy with it, you could end up ruining a part. Always double-check what you're doing with the instructions. They're very clear at telling you what to do and what not to do!

Packaging | 9/10

A beautiful box befitting a beautiful girl. I've already mostly explained my reasoning here, but the missing point is for the lack of tape (because while that might be the norm.. that thing.. it scares me).

Enjoyment | 10/10
She's literally so pretty. Holy heck. I've been staring at her the entire time I've been writing this article (which.. has taken me almost as long as actually building the kit itself, lol), and she's absolutely stunning. Even for those of you who aren't fans of Love Live! (...do those people even exist?), this kit is extremely fun and also strangely rewarding when she's all finished up and gently placed in your collection.

--♡--

By now, this article has gone on for WAY too long, but I hope you've enjoyed it! If anyone has any questions about this kit (or y'know.. you just want to chat about waifus), feel free to drop a message!

Thanks for reading! ♡
1,698 vues • 34 favoris22 commentaires

Scores9/10

Sculpting
Casting
Posing
Ease of Build
Packaging
Enjoyment

Commentaires22

Great review/walk-through of this project! I've been eyeing a prepainted GK for a while and although it won't be exactly like this model kit, it feels a bit like I know what to expect more now. :)

I really like your extra paint additions and you overall have a lovely result! <3
Il y a 4 mois
CitrinyaIl y a 5 mois#76178613Lol, she does look a little creepy like that now that I look back at the photos!
Have you ever seen those resin castings where people pour a thin layer of resin in a bowl, paint on it, then repeat? There are lots of videos and things going around, but the eyes have that kind of look to them!

Yes, I've seen those kind of videos. Like a goldfish swimming in a bowl. People who make art like that are very clever. I'd like to see something like that in person one day, though!
Il y a 5 mois
Bah-RooIl y a 5 mois#76178492Ahh, the photo of her face with no eyes and mouth and the robotic looking WALL-E eyes sitting next to it kind of freaked me out a bit...lol.
I am curious about the eyes, though. The way they have depth to them sounds interesting. I'd like to see it in person, but I'm not actually interested in owning this kit for myself.
That doesn't mean I don't appreciate this kit though - it is very cute! I love the pastel colours, they suit Kotori very well. She looks adorable. Her dress makes me think of a cute cake with lots of whipped cream *homer simpson voice* mmmmm...caaake...


Lol, she does look a little creepy like that now that I look back at the photos!

Have you ever seen those resin castings where people pour a thin layer of resin in a bowl, paint on it, then repeat? There are lots of videos and things going around, but the eyes have that kind of look to them!
Il y a 5 mois
Ahh, the photo of her face with no eyes and mouth and the robotic looking WALL-E eyes sitting next to it kind of freaked me out a bit...lol.

I am curious about the eyes, though. The way they have depth to them sounds interesting. I'd like to see it in person, but I'm not actually interested in owning this kit for myself.

That doesn't mean I don't appreciate this kit though - it is very cute! I love the pastel colours, they suit Kotori very well. She looks adorable. Her dress makes me think of a cute cake with lots of whipped cream *homer simpson voice* mmmmm...caaake...
Il y a 5 mois
LyncfsIl y a 5 mois#76176558Thank you for the detailed review. I had a lot of fun reading through it and seeing the small customizations you did.
I saw this kit on a HLJ review and was really curious how hard it would be to make. Your time estimate of 4-5 hours gives me hope. It's really helpful.
Was it expensive to ship her?

Thank you, I’m glad you found it helpful! She really is a beautiful kit to make and assemble, and the instructions are very clear as well.

I ordered her from AmiAmi, and for shipping, I combined with some other preowned items to get the cost down per item. Her “portion” of the shipping was ~$20 USD (EMS), but if you’re ordering her by herself, shipping would be around $30-50, depending on which shipping method you use.
Il y a 5 mois
Thank you for the detailed review. I had a lot of fun reading through it and seeing the small customizations you did.

I saw this kit on a HLJ review and was really curious how hard it would be to make. Your time estimate of 4-5 hours gives me hope. It's really helpful.

Was it expensive to ship her?
Il y a 5 mois
Onexpiece_heartsIl y a 5 mois#76154903This looks amazing! Good job :)
Thank you very much!!

AshenDemonIl y a 5 mois#76155747Your painting choices compliment the model so well!! That darker color you did for the heart on the shoe is a great accent and really adds to the figure! I love how it ties together with the nail polish as well. Looks like it was real fun to put together too!! She looks amazing
Ahhh thank you, I appreciate it! She was definitely a ton of fun to assemble!
Il y a 5 mois
Your painting choices compliment the model so well!! That darker color you did for the heart on the shoe is a great accent and really adds to the figure! I love how it ties together with the nail polish as well. Looks like it was real fun to put together too!! She looks amazing
Il y a 5 mois
This looks amazing! Good job :)
Il y a 5 mois
CloudberryIl y a 5 mois#76154225Thanks for the detailed review!!!! I've been eyeing one these model kits that Bandai released for a while. These kits didn't catch my attention until I went to a fire sale and everyone was buying these model kits like a frenzy...
I really love how made an already extravagant LL outfit by giving Kotori a bit of extra color and just that little extra touch made her look better! I even love what you did with her base too!!
What kind of nippers do you recommend in order to cut the pieces off from the kit?

Thanks so much! I’m not really a huge garage/model kit person, but anything for the best girl, right? I might actually pick up some more kits in the future just because this one was so much fun.

My pair of nippers is VERY old (like... 40s or 50s), but anything with a tapered blade should do the trick nicely. (One part of the blade should be flush with one side of the nippers, while the other side should be concave, if that makes sense).

LittlePiscesIl y a 5 mois#76154234I was looking at model kits a few months ago and this one caught my eye. Was hoping someone built this figure until your article appeared! You did a wonderful job. I love how you're ambitious enough to paint the parts without the use of decals. Ambitious people unite! \(◦'⌣'◦)/
She’s definitely a beauty for sure! And thank you! Decals honestly make me nervous, so I decided to opt for the paint instead!

galablueIl y a 5 mois#76154242Thank you so much for the review! As I mentioned to you, I purchased this model kit and was really happy to see that you uploaded pictures at the exact same time of my purchase. The idea of painting things instead of decals was really great, and I will have to consider it.
Perfect timing! I had started writing everything up right after I finished the kit, but it wasn’t until last night I actually started finishing things up and uploading- I’m glad I could be of some help!

Best of luck with your own kit!
Il y a 5 mois
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