“In the chill of December across the world, there’s one warming treat to keep the cold away.”
It’s not only the season to be jolly but also the time to enjoy all the small treats that make this time of the year truly special. And one of those recurring winter sights are the roasted chestnuts huts all over town.
About the figure:
Yet another Miku prize figure I used for one of my photos. Mainly because I wanted to do a Christmas/winter motive but ran out of festive characters in my collection. This one is from the second wave of Taito‘s seasonal Mikus and was released back in 2018. It’s a decently detailed prize figure with a broad, heartwarming smile. They really did a great job implementing the art style of Lena[A-7] into her sculpt. My only complaint is that the plastic used here is (or got) a bit too stiff and fragile.
Therefore you almost always have the feeling something is about to fall off or break and indeed, when I took the figure from the base, the inner peg of her left leg (where the legging ends and the shoe begins) snapped or was already broken. It’s an easy fix since you won’t see the glue seam and she can still stand on her base perfectly normal despite of the leg injury. But still, it’s always sad to know that you’ve a damaged figure in your collection. Also originally there is a halo stuck to her hat but since this is the only indication of an angel-theme I found it a bit unnecessary and removed it for the picture. The base of the figure is once again colored, translucent plastic and fits the overall picture very well.
About the series:
Since this is like the fifth photo where I used Miku as one of my models, I really don’t know what to write in this section anymore. I thought it was a good idea when I started this site, thinking that I would shoot a wide variety of characters, when in reality most of my output is either Gochiusa or Vocaloid. Last time I wrote about how I have the feeling that Miku and Co. are getting more and more outperformed by the prevailing rise of VTubers. So, I took a step back and did a quick Google search to see what Miku was up to in 2020.
The digital songstress turned thirteen years old this year and due to the world-wide pandemic the release schedule for may of her figures got delayed by quite a bit, Miku Expo in USA and Canada was postponed to 2021 and even the annual Magical Mirai got pushed back from summer to winter. Of course we still got our usual releases like Racing and Snow Miku but the more interesting figures of her are now scheduled to release in 2021. Also, with “Hatsune Miku NT” the next generation of Vocaloid software was released.
I can’t even imagine what a stressful year this must have been for all the event planers and organizers of those live shows and I do hope that in 2021 things will be more predictable and that the shift towards a more digital environment will pay of bigly.
Thoughts about the picture:
This setup was built and shot during the second major lockdown in my area and similar to the one back in spring I had to relay on materials I already had in stock. I started to build the chestnut hut by using sturdy cardboard but since I didn’t had enough balsa wood only the side that is facing the camera got decorated. As for the interior I took a handmade shelf that I didn’t used in the Izumi photo and some of Plachtas workshop items. In the end Miku’s body covered it all up and so all the little things inside the hut are not visible in the final picture. Normally I do accept the fact that certain details will be lost due to a specific angel but here I had to take a picture without the figure as well because I really liked how the whole chestnut hut turned out to be.
As for the illumination I tried to have it look festive and nightly while not being to dark. I know that pictures with an overall darker setup and low contrast tend to not perform that well online but I’m very happy how this one turned out. I especially like how the multicolored light strings pops out. When I had the final set on my photo table, I wished that this would be a permeant Christmas decoration in my home.
I hope that the picture warmed your heart a bit while I bid you farewell by wishing you a nice holiday season and a peaceful end of this strange year. As far as major figure photos go this will be my last entry for 2020 and I will be back next year with new motifs and new motivation. Take care!
Sony Alpha 7R II, 55mm lens / ISO 100 /Exposure time 1/15 sec. /aperture: F/7.1
Time and effort: Building the hut and the roaster was a nice little distraction during yet another “stay at home” month and also crafting things is a very Christmassy activity, so I didn’t count the hours but as far as effort goes, I would say it’s a mid-tier photo.
Costs of the props: This picture has a few pre-made items in it, such as the fence and the light strings but the most expensive decoration were the fake trees. Luckily, they can be reused for other pictures or act as normal decoration around the house.