Posts Tagged ‘Wonderfest


Garage Kits! Part 1 of 3

Merle from Escaflowne

Merle from Escaflowne

Most figures that are mass produced by Japanese companies such as Kotobukiya, were created by individual sculptors who became known by selling their own small-scale production figures made from resin. Individual parts are cast in resin and are expected to be painted and assembled by the purchaser to save on costs from manufacturing. Since these kits could be made from negative molds of the original and an easily obtainable material, resin, many of these kits could literally be produced from your garage. That’s why they are called, “Garage Kits.” But don’t be dissuaded from trying to build one because of the humble name or not knowing where to begin. In the following posts, you’ll find out exactly what you need to know about building, painting and displaying your garage kit. You’ll soon discover the high quality of these often overlooked figures.

Where can you find a garage kit?

I haven’t painted kits in a long time and when I tried looking for them several years ago, the ones I wanted were really hard to find. The single largest source for new kits is a semi-annual convention in Japan called, Wonderfest. But for the people who couldn’t go to these places, (like me), it was a great source of frustration because many of these kits were only sold at the convention or sold out due to the popularity of the convention. I browsed Japanese sites, eBay and all sorts of small-time website vendors to find crappy re-casts of the originals or poor service. Now that the popularity of anime figures and garage kits has increased, you will have a much easier time finding kits at quality vendors.

Today, I make it easy on myself and I don’t hunt around for kits since there are so many. I just go to either Hobby Fan or (even better) to e2046. Both provide excellent service and will replace broken parts if you are unable to repair them yourself. I’m pretty sure that both will re-cast originals, but when they do, they are very high quality in both material and manufacture. Just a quick note on what’s “original” and what’s a “re-cast.” The original casts were produced in limited number by either the creator or by the manufacturer that the creator contracted. These kits were made from negatives of the original model sculpted by the creator and will retain all of the details from the original. Re-casts are made by making new negatives from an original kit (not the original sculpted model) and re-casting them to sell. The original creator may not benefit directly from this sale, but originals outside of Japan are truly rare.

That’s all I’m going to write for now. The next section will be about everything you will need to put them together and paint them. Happy Hunting!

Thank you e2046 for the pictures!
You can find Merle here.
Merle in pieces

Merle’s un-assembled parts


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