“You know what makes me sick when using my skill? Figures that are glued to their base for no reason.”
Uravity on a rescue mission in a debris field that might resemble your bank account if you bought one too many figures. Oh boy, lately I’m a content machine! Two figure photos and two reviews in only one month. It’s almost like I’ve plenty of free time since I’m doing home office again. Hopefully I can keep this momentum up while we slowly move towards spring.
About the figure:
Originally released in May 2019 by Bell Fine this 1/8 figure of Ochaco was part of the first wave of respectable scale figures from the show. Prior to this line all the available ones were prize figures and also male, I think. Back then this was a fairly detailed figure and they all had a similar base design, with a flashy sound-word accompanying the character. I do like her dynamic pose and the expression a lot. I’m always a big fan when a figure has a more expressional face, rather than a neural, boring smile. I bought her and Tsuyu at release but quickly lost interest in this line of figures after that. The main reason was because I realized that each of them is completely glued to the base. This includes the props, the main figure and even the sound-word. Since my main criteria when collecting is whether I can take a nice picture or not, things like this limit my creativity quite a bit. Also, after seeing the huge cast of BNHA, I knew they would push those releases out the door like hotcakes. Since each character had a quite high MSRP of 13-14k yen, I quickly steered away to avoid another MLP or Pokémon trainer situation. This version of Ochaco also came with an alternative hairpiece that includes the pink helmet and in hindsight it would have been more appropriate for this picture’s composition, but since it’s such an older figure in my collection, I didn’t feel like going to the basement and searching for her box.
About the series:
Hard to believe that in all those years I didn’t made a singe photo with one of the heroes of class 1-A. My Hero Academia was without a doubt one of the most hyped shows of the mid-2010s. It’s basically your typical high school setting mixed with Shōnen and also western comic elements.
The characters and art design caught my attention and I started to read the manga before I watched the show. Sadly, I never really got into it. For an action heavy plot, I felt that the manga had a weird flow, especially in the first couple chapters. It took me almost the complete first ark to get used to it. Also reading the books in my native language didn’t help much either. The translation was often so cringeworthy that I had to pause reading several times.
My real appreciation for the material only manifested after seeing the anime. Normally you would think the book is always superior to an adaptation but in this case, I enjoyed the moving and talking pictures by studio Bones much, much more.
Thoughts about the picture:
The core idea for this setup was in my head for quite some time now. But because of other projects that seamed more appealing it got shelfed over and over again. Also, the fact the figure is glued to the base didn’t help with motivation either. But since I currently have more spare time for passion projects, Ochaco’s moment in the spotlight has finally come.
Since I couldn’t remove the sound-word or detach the figure, I had to extend her base and cover up the parts that I didn’t want you to see. The blocks of reinforced concrete are made out of cheap Styrofoam covered with some foam boards for a finer surface texture. For the paintjob I used an acrylic paint with a stone finish. I also added some exposed steel struts and blackwashed all the small nooks and crannies to make the chunks look more realistic. Although working with Styrofoam tends to be super messy, even when using a hot wire, it was also super fun to build damaged structures like this.
The photo itself was relatively quickly done. I used toothpicks to mount the Styrofoam parts to a similar crafted surface and throw some pink light on it for a more interesting effect and to match her hero suit. If the figure could have been removed from the base a more dramatic angle would have been possible and also, I would have been able to place a light source directly beneath her feet.
Sony Alpha 7R II, 55mm Sony lens / ISO 100 /exposure time 1/4 sec. /aperture: f/7.1
Time and effort: It took me a couple of evenings to build the concrete blocks as well as the base, but most of the time I just watched paint dry. Arranging the set and taking the photo was quickly done. A quite satisfying project.
Costs of the props: The Styrofoam I got for free but I had to buy two tubes of stone paste, that is surprisingly expensive. Also, I ran out of steel wire and had to buy some more. Still, compared to other things I’ve build so far this one was dirt cheap to make.