Bandai 1/20 Flaptter from Castle in the Sky

Discussion in 'Start to Finish Builds' started by JKim, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    I'm wondering if this is ok to post here? I'm going to take a whimsical detour and I thought it'd be fun to share. I guess you could call it an "aircraft" but it is not real. It's featured in an anime called Laputa: Castle in the Sky. My daughters and I are big fans of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli so I thought I'd put my modeling efforts into a birthday present coming up for my younger daughter. Miyazaki is a well-known aviation buff and he often fills his films with unique flying machinery. In fact, his latest film (The Wind Rises) is a fictional account of real life aeronautical engineer, Jiro Horikoshi, who designed the Mitsubishi Zero.

    The flaptter is a single person flying machine propelled by pair of translucent, dragonfly-like wings. The Bandai kit is a 1/20 scale representation of the flaptter and features figures of the two young protagonists, Sheeta and Pazu along with a display base.

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    The kit appears to be a high quality affair. The instruction sheet features color photos of the completed model and can be used as a color guide for painting.

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    The instructions are in black and white and I don't see any English anywhere! I don't think this should be a problem on a kit of this type and the diagrams seem clear enough.

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    The instruction sheet also features what looks to be design sketches by Miyazaki.

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    There are 44 parts in different colored plastic. I've never seen this... one sprue features three different colored plastics, including clear!
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    Here is a closeup of the clear windscreen. I will snip this part off immediately and place in a baggy for safe keeping... don't want it get unnecessarily scratched.

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    The instrument panel is a two-part deal. No decals or photoetch so this will have be handpainted. I will explore the possibility of adding some details to cockpit... maybe wiring?

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    The wing tips are made of clear acetate sheet. Toying with the idea of tinting or painting them somehow to break up the monotony of clear plastic.

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    The figures are nicely detailed and are made up of multiple parts. I've NEVER painted a figure before so this will be a first for me.
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    A close-up of Pazu's head. Painting the face details... eyes, mouth ,ears... will be the biggest challenge but one thing in my favor is that I only have to replicate a cartoon face, not a real one!
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    Sheeta's head comes in two parts with here flying braids as a separate piece.

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    Ah... maybe painting the details WON'T be as hard as I thought! The kit comes with decals for eyes and brows for both figures!

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    The kit is designed to be snapped together without glue but I'm going to do all of the things that we aircraft modelers do, including addressing seam lines. That will be step 1... getting the figures cleaned up and painted!

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  2. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    No problemo with that. :thumbright:
     
  3. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Wojtek! I think this one will look good with the full weathering treatment that we like to give our WW2 birds!
     
  4. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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    Looking forward to that. :thumbleft:
     
  5. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That looks pretty cool, I'm looking forward to this one.
     
  6. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    What in the.... I like it, looks retro to me! :thumbright: 8)
     
  7. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    I've made some progress on the figures. This is my first attempt at painting figures so it's a bit of a learning process. First order of business is to address the obvious seam issues, which aren't that bad.
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    Instead of completely assembling each character and painting afterwards, I think I will keep them as sub-assemblies to make painting a little easier.
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    After the seams are finished, I can check the fit of the sub-assemblies and get ready to paint.
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    I'm not very skilled at brush painting so I'm utilizing the airbrush as much as possible to keep the finishes smooth. At some point I'll have to bust out the brushes but some of the preliminary figure painting has been accomplished using airbrush-based pre and post shading techniques.

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    The peg on Pazu's rear end is meant to hold a firearm of some sort. While the painting of the figures has been giving me pause, I know exactly what to do when it comes to weapons! I jumped on this little sub-task right away!
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    The barrel is solid so that is one enhancement that can be made here.
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    The diameter is quite large so I had to carefully use a household Makita drill to open up the gun barrel.
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    The gun was given a coat of gloss black as a base for Alclad Aircraft Aluminum. I did a little post shading in black to give the metal some wear. I brush painted the handle grips in various shades of tan and brown to hopefully give it a wood grain look. Finally, the gun was given a flat coat to tie everything together...

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  8. Wurger

    Wurger Siggy Master
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  9. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    Very cool! My Son loves this movie so I will be showing him this thread!
     
  10. fubar57

    fubar57 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Nice start

    Geo
     
  11. javlin

    javlin Well-Known Member

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    Whoaa! that's different but cool :thumbright:
     
  12. SANCER

    SANCER Active Member

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    It will be an interesting topic to enjoy the different techniques learned. I also like the movie !! :p
    I'll be around here.

    Saludos cordiales John :thumbup:

    SANCER
     
  13. JKim

    JKim Well-Known Member

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    Painting on the figures continues. I'm not really set up for brush painting and I'm using the same paints that I normally use for airbrushing aircraft, which for me are primarily Tamiya and Gunze Sangyo acrylics. Some of these paints don't apply well via brush (i.e. primary colors like red, blue, yellow and orange) so I had to accept a certain amount of imperfection in the finishes. The flesh color was a handmixed concoction of white, red and desert sand. It acted horribly under the brush so I shot it through the airbrush as much as possible.

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    I shot the faces with a clear coat to protect the skin and eye whites. Eventually, the figures started looking the part. Saving the eyes for last.

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    After looking at the decal eyes and screenshots of the Castle in the Sky anime, I decided to hand paint the eyes myself. Anime eyes are pretty simple so I thought I could replicate it with a fine brush. The fine brush didn't work well... the few hairs of the fine brush couldn't hold enough paint to prevent it from drying between bottle and model. So I settled on using a sharpened toothpick as a detail brush. Not perfect but decent enough to call the figures done and move on to the machine part of the build. Whew!

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  14. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Good work so far!
     
  15. Bustedwing

    Bustedwing Member

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    Wow I have absolutely no clue what a flaptter is and I don't even like anime but that is one funky looking kit ! I especially like the instructions ! Damed fine job on the figures and the gun. The rest will be interesting to see !!
     
  16. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Excellent, watched a couple of those movies...and got Porco Rosso myself....
     
  17. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    Excellent work on the gun!
     
  18. SANCER

    SANCER Active Member

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    I like too that gun !!
     
  19. A4K

    A4K Well-Known Member

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    Cool project, and great work so far!
     
  20. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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    Looking great mate!
     
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