This figure also won 3rd place at e2046 Winter Contest 2007.

Ruri Hoshino hit again here at Midnight-Partners. I was very very pleased when the same American client that had commissioned me the first Ruri Hoshino (Miko) call me again with yet another interesting challenge for another Ruri Hoshino. This time besides the high painting standards he usually expect from me he also wanted me to turn this Ruri dressed in a Yukata (a summer kimono) into a full kimono dressed Ruri. Besides this great modeling challenge he also requested that the design which decorated the kimono and which was also engraved in the resin be totally canceled so as to paint his own design. Needless to say this was going to be a great challenge. After countless e-mails and hours of study on kimonos in which we decide on every aspect of the conversion and the painting here you can see the result.

Cleaning: As usual first of all I started with cleaning all the original parts. Overall the cleaning was not that difficult. The cast is an original one so cleaning up was not that difficult. The only difficulty was the cleaning away of the engraved kimono design. All engraving lines where filled with putty and sanded down to total smoothness. A process which too quite a long time.

Pre-Assembly: None of the original parts where pre-assembled.

Mods: To turn the Yukata in a proper kimono there where many modification which needed to be sculpted with the original figure. Here is a numbered list of modes which you can see better on the photo below which is numbered.

1.This was an optional but the client requested the hair ribbons to have a butterfly knot so I had to sculpt them from scratch.

2. what is a kimono without a fan (uchiwa) I scratched build the one you see.

3. I also decided to give more volume to the back obi ribbon so I added it by sculpting on the original ribbon.

4. The cherry tree, flower and petal kimono design see specials.

5. The obi itself was given a middle string which keeps it in position with a butterfly knot at the canter. This was sculpted too.An under kimono (shirt) had to be sculpted both above and under the obi.

6. The little hand bag which Japanese girls dressed in kimono always carry.

7. The blue to purple fade at the kimono ends.

8.We also decide to give Ruri which was bare footed a pair of traditional sandals which looked more proper to an official kimono.

9. Finally the base representing the edge between a Japanese house and it garden.

Painting: The painting for this Ruri resulted in a real challenge which took months in the making and which is really hard to put in words. Let's start from the simple things. For the flash it was business as usual. More for the fact that this figure had no that much flash exposed. After that I made the hair which was a bit tricky to achieve good shades and highlights. Next all the purple parts where made. For the obi I painted a sakura petal motif to keep up with the rest of the design. The sandals where given a black to red fade as requested.
Next came the difficult part. As you can see the client requested a light blue fading to purple at the ends for the base color of the kimono. Perfects fades like this are quite hard to achieve as I had to learn especially when the colors are contrasting in tone. I first painted the blue parts and shaded it as normal. After I started with a mid-tone of color mix made from the blue and the purple. When done I kept going down to the edges with the pure purple. Once the purple was done I shade and highlighted it. It may look easy put like this but the procedure took hours and may retouches between the 3 tones and their shading to achieve the perfect fade. Now I can challenge anyone to try and find where one color starts and the other one finishes. For the kimono design see Specials.

Assembly: I thought the would be easy on this one after all the test fitting I had done and the fact that the kit was quite a simple one. Well I was wrong. The connection between the lower body the obi and the upper body proved quite difficult to get right. I had to work on the inner obi quite a bit to get it to fit right from both ends. The pony tails also gave me quite a bit of trouble to get right. I had to add and sculpt to the parts to have the fit perfectly.

No. of Parts:
Produced by:
Ruri Hoshino
3rd Place winner of the e2046 Winter Contest 2007.
Down to the detail even on the hand bag.
The blue/purple fade is really good.
3 conversions here. Guess
Cherry tree design right side.
Can you tell me where the blue ends. :)
Cherry tree design left side.
The obi and it under vest had to be all hand sculpted.
The hair came out quite well but gave a lot of trouble.
None of my figure fear such a close up inspection.
A beautiful face decorated with a beautiful flower.
House/garden base wood made from strips of balsa.
9 hours to achieve this detail and smoothness.
The original kit as it was before
Comments by client:
See relevant numbers in workout
Specials: Well what can I say. The whole figure is full of special mods as explained above to turn the yukata in a kimono but the thing I wanted to come out the most and for which I always like doing Kimono figures is the splendid design they have on. My client was also very specific on what design to be painted. We look at tones of references and finally settled on one with after I also corrected to make it more appropriate to the figure.

All the design is totally hand painted and took many hours to finally complete. I worked on each piece one at a time totally completing the design before starting on the next part. As you might have notice each single pattern has a white outline to make it stand out better and each single pattern or petal is shaded and highlighted. The design of the sleeves parts alone took over 9 hours divided in 40 minutes sessions because my eyes would hurt me if I did more. Even the flowers where quite complicate to achieve. Not considering that everything had to be kept super smooth.

Here is how it was done. First I outlaid the whole design in white taking maximum care in keeping its flow as natural as possible. After, I covered the white with purple leaving only a thin white line on all the edges. I was about to go mad at how many time I had to retouch both with and purple to make the edges as sharp as possible. Once done I shaded and highlighted all the pattern to my satisfaction. Look easy, well try it yourself :.

We when my mother saw it she wanted to keep it for herself such was she amazed by her beauty. Even I myself ( have to admit) played with the idea of keeping the figure for myself since I would have never guessed that she you come out so beautiful but a promise is a promise. It is really hard to see her go.