Saturday, 30 March 2013

Little update

I thought I would show what the two different heads do to the Vietnamese girl from the Dio Park set I reviewed yesterday.  One it looking slightly to her left, while the other is looking up and left...

As far as the man on the scooter goes I swapped his lower torso for the version wearing sandals and the fit is a lot better to the Honda - the other legs must be designed for the Italian scooter in Dio Park's other set:

I may be wrong, but there is a distinct familiarity in the sculpted faces of the girls - they resemble the Chinese girls from the Bronco female soldiers marching on parade set... and since both Bronco and Dio Park come from China, have a similar style of female sculpture I wonder if they are the same company?
Either way, I'm happy to have some decent non-military Asian figures at long last... I just wish Aurora from Japan would have a bit more variety... and go to resin over metal.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Dio Park South Vietnamese figures

Well, having travelled half way round the world, my Dio Park Vietnamese figures have arrived in cold-but-sunny Scotland in the usual bigger-than-necessary posting box from Hobby Search of Japan.

Inside is the bright box containing the models.  As you can see they are designed to accompany their own models of scooters and it would appear a new model of a pushbike... I can imagine the number of etched metal parts in that one, lol.

The kit contains four figures, two on each identical sprue.  You have optional parts allowing you to produce the box top figures, but by buying more than one box you can instantly more than double the number of options given to you.  The parts are moulded with very fine detail and while the female heads are rather soft the male head is actually very clearly moulded and is undeniably a gentleman of South East Asian origin...

The chap's helmet won't fit unless you carve up the top of his head, and there is a slight gap at the rear of the lady's ao dai.  Also, the fit of the chap's backside and left foot to the scooter isn't that great, but with some minor work can be made to fit.
This is the chap made up and just sitting on Dio Park's own Honda Super Cub:

This is the girl made up, but her arms are just tacked on, and the hat is just resting on her head:

Here she is with the bike I kitbashed from a Tamiya German bike and an Aber detail set - basket is scratchbuilt...

Now I have to think of some small dioramas for them to be used in... ^_^

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Winter won't let go

I was hoping to have sprayed at least one car model by now, and undercoated some figures but the weather here in Scotland has been pretty bad.  If it isn't freezing winds it's snow... and more often BOTH!  Take today for example: We have spells of bright sunshine and blue sky - five minutes later a blizzard, then sun, then snow... and on it goes.  Not nice.

Tomorrow I take what I hope will be another step on the ladder to me eventually owning a Japanese car - I sit my theory test!  Eek!!  Part of me is pretty sure I'll pass, but the cautious (some would say negative) side of me says not to be so cocky.
If I pass I will be over the Moon.. if I fail... well I'll book another test.  I've come this far (started lessons in April 2012) I would be an idiot to give up at the first of the big hurdles.

Stay tuned ^_^

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Next diorama

I had intended to have the Mini Cooper S mini-diorama at least started by now, but the Airfix model needs a lot of prep and I'm not really in the mood at the moment.  So I have decided to start work on a shrine diorama instead.  This one will fill an A4 size base and feature a couple of figures, a push-bike and a Honda Cub.
The models used are a mix of Verlinden Buddha statue and a water trough for cleaning the hands, Kirin stone lions... and a Torii I bought a few years ago, and can't remember where from, although it WAS from a Japanese website.  The Verlinden torii was pretty rough, and all I've used is the sign positioned in the centre of the structure where there is a post supporting the top beam.  There will also be some Aoshima diorama products from one of their Edo era sets.
It won't be based on any particular shrine, but will, for me, evoke the memories I had of all those wonderful places in Kamakura.

Vehicle-wise it will feature the pedal bike that I converted from a Tamiya German bike, a Diopark Honda Cub and possibly a three-wheeler, but I don't know yet.  Figures will be kitbashed, although the chap on the scooter may very well be a Diopark figure straight from the box... depends on the sculpting of the face... mine are still on the way from Japan.

I will post photos when I have a layout finalised... at the moment I'm just playing with ideas.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Asian people in 1/35 scale!

Today I have ordered the new DioPark set:  '60s - '70s Southern Vietnamese figures set.  This features two women in traditional Vietnamese aodai costumes and two men in casual clothing.  This is the box art:

As you can see they are designed for Diopark's own scooter kits, but I'm pretty sure I can find another use for them.  I've been looking for newly sculpted Asian figures for a while now, so these are a blessing.  The Bronco Chinese PLA girls marching are nicely moulded but they don't look right... their heads are rather small and not particularly Asian.

This set of Vietnamese boys and girls are on the way from Hobby Search based in Japan, and cost me the princely sum of £12.75, including postage.  If they were to be on sale here, I can imagine them being a wee bit more than that, once the 20% VAT and import duty have been added, as well as the shop's mark-up.

The female figures have identical bodies but come with optional heads and arms, allowing me to have spares, while the lads have separate lower bodies and optional sun hats.  The girls' aodai costumes come with a separate back flap, so may be possible to produce one of them at least wearing a long apron, but I'm considering using them as they are and placing a small Japanese car with them in a Saigon/Hanoi setting outwith the Vietnam war... the clothing on the figures is pretty timeless to be honest.

Photos of the actual figures when they arrive ^_^

Mata atode!