“I’m not lonely! I’m not lonely at all!”
Rize feeling a bit lonely because currently there are still no guests to serve. Due to the ongoing situation with a certain virus my last eating out was more than half a year ago. So, I guess I ended up building my own little restaurant. That’s not crazy and totally normal, right?……RIGHT!?
About the figure:
This 1/7 scale figure of Tedeza Rize in her classic Rabbit House uniform was first released back in 2018 by manufacturer PLUM as part of the “CafeStyle” line up. Since then, she was apparently re-released twice. Once in 2019 and once a couple month ago. I didn’t know that but maybe that’s the reason why all those figures stayed relative affordable.
It’s a nice, tall figure with a strong expression but I remember that when I unboxed her three years ago I was a little bit disappointed by the accessories. For a 1/7 scale model her Glock does look really cheap and also the menu is just a plain printed tile. It’s a shame, because otherwise her paintjob is quite good and those two things could have been major highlight on an otherwise relatively simple sculpted figure. Her base has a nice design and I appreciate that they made it relatively thin. When I popped the figure form her base to place her onto the set, I remembered that she also has bulky “positive pegs” molded to her feet. This made it pretty simple to mount her onto my diorama.
In general, I do like all the CafeStyle versions of those characters and I’m considering getting Syaro and Chiya as well, so that I can reuse and maybe extend this elaborate set sometime in the future.
About the series:
Since this is yet another photo of mine that features a GochiUsa character I really don’t know what to write here anymore. I was checking the Wiki and apparently the manga is still ongoing – releasing like one volume each year (kinda reminds me of the Evangelion manga) and there was actually a third season made by Encourage Films that aired last winter and that totally slipped under my radar. I checked out the OP and ED when writing this blog entry and yeah, it’s still cute but I’ve no idea who all those new characters are.
Honestly, I thought the series ended with the movie a couple years ago but at least this would explain why we are still getting that much figures of Chino and Co. each year. Personally, I would love if they mix things up a bit in the future – maybe with a spin off and a brand-new cast at a different restaurant. Maybe an American dinner or something like an Izakaya to keep things fresh and interesting.
Thoughts about the picture:
Normally I don’t get too attached to my backdrops so that I can tear them apart and trash it once the picture is taken. I do this to constantly challenge myself to build new and interesting things and not running the risk of constantly using the same assets. But when I looked at this massive 1/7 quarter of the Rabbit House, I wished I could display it somewhere in my flat. I worked on this contraption for over a month and it was so satisfying to see when it all came together in the end.
First, I started guess-measuring the interior of the café by using screenshots from the show. The nice thing about a location like the Rabbit House is, that it’s pretty well documented and there are even a few people who made 3D fan-renderings. All those references helped a ton and in general building things from an already existing template is way more easier. Basically, you just look at the original thing and think how to recrate it proper in a smaller scale, by using cheap and easy to come by materials.
The base structure of the walls and the floor is just sturdy cardboard covered with balsa wood and Styrodur plates. So, despite of its massive size the whole set is still very light and delicate. The most time-consuming part was without a doubt painting all those large surface areas. Balsa wood has the nasty quality of soaking up so much paint, that I ended up painting it all twice and using almost half a liter of acrylic paint on it. The one thing that required a bit more ingenuity and clever thinking were the barstools in front of the counter. Since they have quite a distinct look, there aren’t really pre-made ones that one can buy. So, I ended up making them on my own by using just cardboard, a piece of wire and some leftover fabrics.
Luckily getting all the small accessories was pretty easy because bar and coffeehouse are two topics very broadly exploited by manufactures of doll house furniture. One quick AliExpress shopping trip later and I had all the small things I needed to enliven this diorama. The prominent gramophone on the left is a piece of those very old brass miniatures my parents (an almost everyone else in their age) had on display when I was still young.
Sony Alpha 7R II, 55mm lens / ISO 100 /Exposure time 1/5 sec. /aperture: f/8
Time and effort: Like I said I was building this slowly but steady over the course of one month. The two most time-consuming steps were laying the wooden floorboards and the paintjob in general. Besides building the set it also took quite some time to arrange everything before I could take the pictures.
Costs of the props: Not gonna lie, building this set was pretty expensive. Not only did I had to order all the miniatures but my stock of basic crafting materials like wood or paint was also completely depleted. If I had to put a price tag on it, it would be almost as expensive as the figure itself.