“I work to support my hobby. So if you asked me which I’d choose, my job or my hobby, my hobby takes priority.” Itami Youji
About the figure:
This highly detailed figure is showing Rory from GATE: Jieitai Kano Chi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri striking a cool pose with here giant halberd. Kotobukiya manufactured this 29 cm tall figure after a mold from Hoya Mitsuru. It was released in May 2016 in Japan and is one of the lesser scaled figures you can get from this series.
Rory’s signature outfit that has influential factors from Gothic Lolita fashion is modelled with great care and high details. The combination of red and black pops out well and the figure has a very high contrast.
It is truly amazing how they managed this to be all floaty and delicate but also gave her a solid stand. However, Rorys hair strands whirling around are very, very thin and you better watch out not to break those.
Just as Rory herself, the base consisting of rocks, spliced by her weapon of choice are also greatly detailed. In fact the thin structure on these rocks is amazing, making this base a fine match for such a great figure.
You can turn this figure around many times and you will most certainly find a new detail every time you look at her. The only downside she might have is that it’s nearly impossible to choose an angle to have to catch all her details at once. In reality this might not be a big deal since you can walk round and changing you point of view by yourself but from a photographer’s standpoint that’s not ideal.
In my opinion the figures body tends to lean back a bit too much. Even though it doesn’t look like Rory having any troubles holding this pose, we almost wished for a more upright build. But nevertheless she has as solid stand and a low center of gravity. So at least it’s not easy to knock her over.
About the series:
Based on a fantasy novel series the story around GATE revolves around the young otaku Itami Youji who happens to be a soldier in the Japanese Self-Defense Forces. His life of preferring his hobby over his job drastically changes when a strange gate (therefore the name of the series) appeared in Tokyo’s Ginza district and a group of fantasy-like beings is attacking the city. In 2015 an anime adaptation with 24 Episodes was released and helped the series to become even more popular. The show is a well balanced mix between fantasy, otaku culture and ethical questions.
Thoughts about the picture:
One, if not the most popular character of the show was without a doubt Rory Mercury – an 961-year-old demi goddess mostly known for her crazy axe-swinging and for seducing Itami. In particular there is a scene in the middle of the series where she almost single-handedly took out an entire group of heavy armored soldiers.
The battle is taking place at an onsen at night and we strongly believe that when this figure was modeled they had that scene in mind. So it was only natural that we tried our best to create a cool looking hot spring scene while a crimson colored moon is brighten up the night. So with that intension in mind we once again we were off to extend a figures base.
Behind the scenes:
At first I sculptured some stones using the leftover clay from the “Papercut Forest” project. I formed, grinded and painted them, only to realize that in the end they looked like crap, not resembling the ones at the base at all.
After that failure I decided to buy some decorative stones and paint them over. The result – as you can tell from the pictures- is much better. If you take a quick look at the set you can’t tell where the base of the figure ends and where the extension starts.
Since I finished the rocks I also got some moss and undergrowth alongside with some bamboo fences and put them together as you can see. I only used organic material for this part to have it detailed as much as possible.
For the final part of this composition I placed the edge of this fake onsen on top of a frying pan and poured in some water. Then I placed a circle shaped desk lamp (from Ikea if you wonder) with a piece of red tissue paper in just the right angle so that the light reflected on the water surface of the pan.
But since the reflection still had a fake looking appearance I whirled up the water a bit and set the camera to a long exposure shot.
Thus we had our final photo of Rory kicking some potential ass.
Time and effort:
The failure with the stones aside this didn’t take too long to make. Having all the materials you can do this on a weekend by spending 6-7 hours.
Costs of the props:
Since I bought almost all of the materials in a home accessories store it wasn’t cheap. All the props together nearly cost me 30-35 EUR. If you don’t want to spend that much money you also can collect some materials from Mother Nature herself.