“GO GO LUCKY Have a nice MUSIC!!
GO GO HAPPY MUSIC!!”
Before I begin this very first blog entry in 2019 I thought it would be appropriate to explain the lack of figure photos during the last year. I was thinking about writing a separate entry in regard of this topic, but I wanted to keep it brief. Looking back at my new year’s resolutions for 2018, they were very ambitious, by setting the overall goal to double my output in figure photography. In hindsight, standing on that exact same spot one year later, I’ve to admit that this didn’t work out that well.
I wish I could tell you a compelling story about how my life changed in 2018, while doing other flashy projects, that kept me occupied, so that I couldn’t even think about doing photos of figures. And while I did a couple of non-figure related stuff, like a daily video blog or digging into the stock market, I was simply too lazy and unmotivated for any toy photography. To end this little justification on a positive note: In 2018 I was able to extend my figure collection quite a bit and so there is now a heavy backlog for projects that may or may not be realized.
About the figure:
For my first figure photo in 2019 I chose this very highly detailed statue of Cyan. She was released back in October 2017 by Hobby Japan and Amakuni as a manufacturer. Her Sculptor I-con did a great job, by creating a dynamic looking pose, while not going completely over the top – a thing that many modern figures tend to do. Since Cyan is standing upright this scaled model reaches a height of 22 centimeter and is classified as a 1/6.5 scale. This is only worth mentioning, since currently there are only two figures classified within this scale.
One thing that raises this figure’s aesthetics, is the fact that she is only standing on one leg with nothing else to support here. This might not seem like a big deal, but how many figures can you name that do the same? I was looking around my showcases and only found one similar example: The 2013 Madoka by GSC. Since she got only one leg and negative pegs (aka holes in her sole), it was quite hard to get her mounted elsewhere, detached from the base. The color palette of her, done by Pinpoint is very vibrant and the paintjob is top-notch.
The initial price tag for Plasmagica’s lead guitar girl was about 12,000 Yen, but when I checked her stats for this entry, I noticed that there was a significant price increase with retailer prices now ranging somewhat between 18,000 and 28,000(!) Yen.
If I had to name one downside of this figure it would be her tail. I know it’s her character model, but since it has not shading or structure to it, it looks like a black tube, coming out of Cyans back. This and maybe that her final base isn’t very special. In most of the press release pictures she is depicted on a transparent base, when in reality you will get a white base with a pink print on it.
About the series:
Cyan is the main character of a show/rhythm game called “Show by Rock” – Sanrios first attempt to appeal to a more adult and fan culture driven audience. The story revolves around the protagonist, a first-year high school student named Cyan Hijirikawa, who is desperate to join the music club but is ultimately too shy to do so. Early on in the show she gets sucked into a different dimension, finding her in a strange new world, where music is seemingly the driven force behind everything. In this world she finds herself some new friends as well as self-confidence and will eventually become the lead guitarist of a band called Plasmagica.
When this show aired back in 2015 I remember that my girlfriend and I watched it on a regular basis. We quite enjoyed the cute character designs and fluffy songs. It’s one of those shows you can easily watch during a meal, or to relax after a stressful day. We also tried watching the second season but unfortunately we never finished it, since it just felt like more of the same. Still, the second OP is pretty upbeat to watch and a ton of fun. While visiting Japan I also got the chance to download the game developed by Greechs but since it was never translated to English and I kinda suck in rhythm games I didn’t played it that much.
Thoughts about the picture:
The idea and compositing for this project began way back in May 2018, when I decided to add some speakers and an amplifier in order to accompany Cyan in this shot. I thought it would be nice to have them in the same color as her signature guitar “Strawberry Heart”. When I did a bit of research, I found out that there are already hand sized amps you can actually use for a small gig, when playing your electric guitar. Those weren’t that expensive either and I was tempted to buy one. But in the end I realized that the scale would have been way off and I would have to repaint them. Therefore I ended up buying some pink artificial leather and tried to make them all by myself. And while the speakers turned out pretty decent, the amp gave me nightmares. My first attempt didn’t look that great but I thought to myself that it was just a proof of concept and I did a second version. Despite trying my hardest to craft a nicer model, the second miniature amplifier turned out even worse than the first one. At this point I was so frustrated that I dropped the whole project for a while. Not very professional of mine, but I wasn’t in the mood to try it again.
Eventually I revived the project when I started to craft those miniature aluminum rigs by simply using straws, hot glue and spray paint. I used this technique in the past, so I was confident that the outcome would be decent. After finishing way to many of those rods I dropped the project again and let it rest until now. 2019 arrived, sparked my interest again and I finally came up with the final composition. I spent hours laying out some illuminated wire in the shape of a heart on the stage floor and pulled my self together, trying to craft the amplifier one more time. It worked out fine and I was finally able to see a light on the end of this project.
Speaking of lights, all that was missing, was a set of miniature stage spots. I know that you can buy those preinstalled but since I didn’t want to waste that much money, I decided to also craft them by myself, using nothing more than two different sized pipes, a string of lights and this weird LEGO Technic piece that provided the perfect mount.
Even though I tried to use very little and very directional light in order to create harsh shadows and some kind of stage light ambient, I had to overlay two separate images. Otherwise my illuminated floor pattern wouldn’t be visible at all. I also tried to use fog from my fog machine but it didn’t create the effect I was hoping for. So I ditched this idea.
Canon EOS 80D, 90mm Macro lense / ISO 200 /Exposure time 1/30 sec. /aperture: F/5.6
Time and effort:
Countless hours since all the props used in this picture were crafted by hand from very simple materials.
Costs of the props:
I had to spend a couple bucks on the illuminated strings, the pink artificial leather. Beside that I only used plywood and other materials I had on stock.