“…as a lord and savior”
Originally, I wanted to end my figure photo year with the picture of little Hachiroku, because I knew that time might be pretty scarce these days. But when I traveled to Nuremberg and visited their local Christmas market, I saw all those nativity scenes on display and thought to myself “Wait a minute, those barns and figures are basically all nendo-sized.” And sine I accumulated quite a few Nendoroids over the past couple years, I was convinced that I can set up my own funny nativity scene. December just had started and therefore time was on my side. My plan was to build a crib within a week or so and then populate it with some of my Nendos. But when I looked up inspirations for crib designs online I realized that it would be much more efficient to just buy one.
As you can see, I went with the farmhouse style rather than an oriental style, since this one is more common over here and I also grew up having a farmhouse style crib. This empty barn is fairly large, has a nice depth to place figures in it and with under fifty Euros it also didn’t cost that much. Some of the reviews online complained that the house arrived broken and in pieces due to weak packing and a rough transport but I’m happy to report that mine came without any damage. Aside from the crib I also went out and bought some original Schleich barn animals from a local toy shop.
For me, who normally doesn’t do much Nendo and dollhouse photography I’m always a little lost when setting up all these little figures. I don’t envy those photographers who do this on a regular basis, shooting pictures with dozens of arranged Nendoroids. I also wonder how those people keep track on all the different faces and accessories they possess. Do they simply memorize all the parts or is there an online database where you can manage your collection (no I don’t mean MFC), similar to all those LEGO sites that help you keep track of all the pieces you have? While searching for the right facial expressions across my collection I’ve noticed that sadly the Nendo face plates from very old numbers aren’t compatible with the current form. In fact I now have three different face molds in my entire collection. Due to that my choice for Ika-chan was very limited because she is the oldest release in this photo. Also, since my collection of Nendos isn’t very large (only around 20-30 figures) I do lack face plates with very strong expressions. I wonder why so many Nendoroids come with different face plates but only small variations of their expressions.
Because I used different characters from various shows for this project, I will not have my typical “about the figure” or “about the series” segments. I would rather use those lines to inform you about the current status of Moe University, as well as thanking all of you for joining me on this journey.
Now that the decade comes to an end and my earliest photos dating back to before 2009 it’s safe to say, that I do figure photography as a side hobby for over 10 years now. In 2017 I decided to put this activity in the foreground and elevate my photography to the next level. Admittedly in the first two years since I founded this new brand for my figure photos nothing that special happen, but now I can feel that the project might get some tailwind. In 2019 I updated my camera system as well as my workstation and also started with video reviews for some of my figures. Hopefully I can continue the current pace in 2020.
One of my resolutions for next year is to buy way less figures than this year. I don’t know how much money I spent in 2019 on this hobby but all those credit card bills far beyond my initial budget really do suck. Therefore, in 2020 I will only buy figures from abandoned pre-orders or secondhand. But since money alone doesn’t make one happy, I will take some of those free funds and spend it on cloths and wigs….well, not for me – for my Smartdoll of course. Now that I have a decent and compact camera, as well as some battery powered lights, I hope that I can do also far more outdoor photos during the upcoming year.
Hopefully you will enjoy my future work like you enjoyed some of my past projects. I’m always amazed how positive the figure community reacts to my stuff. In general, the people that are into this hobby seem to be pretty chill and supportive. I wish you all happy holidays and a successful new year. Let’s make it a wonderful one!
Sony Alpha 7R II, 55mm lens / ISO 100 /Exposure time 1/2 sec. /aperture: F/16
Time and effort: Since I decided to buy the crib there went not much effort into build this set. It basically took me an afternoon to set up all the Nendos and take the picture. The most time was spent by searching for boxes and swapping out certain parts, while trying to keep everything in order.
Costs of the props: The crib cost around 45 Euros but is a solid investment, since from now it can be reused to enrich my Christmas tree setup. The animals cost around 25 Euros and can also be reused. Maybe next year I will do a similar setting again with all the new Nendos that were added to my collection.