Still struggling with my camera, pictures become dark and/or blurred despite my best effort. However, as finished miniatures begin to pile up on my desk, I just squeeze in some more off-project models.
Fortunately nowadays we seem to live in the Golden Age of Miniatures. The more in that TV/movie junkies like me are able to portray their favourite protagonists in model scale. Once more Hasslefree provided us happy (some say sad) geeks with a great opportunity: Tomoko, an unadulterated knock-off of Major Motoko Kusanagi, leading character of the Ghost in the Shell franchise.
Ghost in the Shell, originally a manga dating back to 1989 with several adaptions both to cinema and TV, has highest ratings in my personal top list. I won't go into detail here regarding its (rather complex) content. However, if you like Near Future-themed stories and you've not seen it before - or if you have seen it but felt a bit overwhelmed (my own first and frustrating experience), I highly recommend to give it a (second) try.
To say the least, Kusanagi is a cyborg. The story centres around her actions as a counter-terrorist agent in Near Future Japan as well as the ethical questions caused by being reduced to just a few braincells (the "ghost") enclosed in an artificial body (the "shell"). The consequential reserved attitude towards her body seems to be externalised by Kusanagi's tightly fitted dresses - if any (others may call it 'fan-service'). Here she's wearing a rather modest battle-suit, seen in the second season of the TV series.
Kusanagi's sidekick is Batou. He's also 'cybernetically enhanced' but obviously not a full-scale cyborg. Given his important role in the mangas and animes - and my sympathy with the character - I wanted to portray him as well. Although there's no dedicated model for him, once again Hasslefree came to aid. I already got one of their Harby figures, that found employment as a Hellboy-incarnation. I don't know if the sculpt was originally intended to possibly being turned into a Batou look-alike as well, but to me it's perfect. I only had to plug in two tiny balls of greenstuff to represent Batou's distinct artifical eyes, and he was done. Other than Kusanagi his haircut and clothing stems from the first movie. Furthermore Batou is aproximately of the same size as Kusanagi, which isn't appropriate to the film, but I can live with that.
Nothing fanciful about the basing this time. Just a slight resemblance to Japanese street markings, not to distract from the miniatures themselves. All I need now is a decent Tachikoma spider tankette...
Hope you don't mind the last postings being not as 'beefy' as those featuring whole units. Maybe it's a bit back to the roots of this blog, when I started with just a few miniatures per post, too. That said, I'm off to painting units again soon, the more since Lt. Hazel and me have finally decided upon a theme for our participation game at next year's Tactica. I don't know if I can hold my breath like with the Argonauts for 2011, so be prepared for some premature previews.
Painted April 2011. Miniatures by Hasslefree Miniatures