Artist: Minatogawa Amaha
This Sailor Pluto kit has by far been one of my biggest challenges since starting garage kits. Having mailed her out only a few weeks ago and looking back I know I learned a lot, but I know I’m ready for much more challenging pieces because of it.
Apologies for the lack of parts pictures. I didn’t intend on documenting this build and posting it, but here I am. Pluto is roughly the size of a 12″ doll.
The commissioner for this piece had 2 requests: That I sand down her boobs to a reasonable size (they’re rather pointy), and that I not make custom changes (I like to add eyelashes and rhinestones lol). Admittedly this made me sad, but that’s it. I DID have to custom make her brooch in the end as the piece went MIA, and her earrings didn’t fit as nicely as I had hoped, but it worked out nicely.
Pluto’s prep work and tags were a little crazy, and VERY hard to get rid of. There were quite a few pieces where I cut the tags off, and had to repair the sculpt.
Next up was Sailor Pluto’s boob job XD. I didn’t sand them down drastically. Just enough to soften those super pointy nipples.
When I removed the tag from Pluto’s body I broke off a piece of the edging that’ll eventually be a part of her skirt. To fix it I carefully cut and glued down a piece of card stock in alignment with the missing piece. Then I puttied in the missing pieces. The seam line between that piece and her body had a LOT of pinholes, so I puttied those in as well, and sanded them down.
Everything was then primed, and I started painting. The black and white primer details are all spray painted by can, but everything else is hand painted by brush.
The most important part of painting Sailor Pluto for me was getting the skin colour right. The fandom is constantly at war about what her tone should be, and to be honest… it varies across all parts of the franchise, sometimes even episode to episode of the original animation. Naoko’s manga art does nothing but contribute to the confusion, but one thing is very clear, her skin tone is darker than everyone else in the Sailor Senshi.
I like the anime skin tone, but I feel like it’s much too orange to actually look… believable, or even good on a figure. So I mixed them. The colour I came up with as a mix of the brown from the manga image, with just a small amount of orange to pull from the anime. For comparison, the leg in the left picture is for a Sailor Jupiter garage kit I have in progress.
Painting was the easy part despite numerous issues. The major one was that when I sealed the black pieces I forgot to shake the can… so it came out white lol. I got that fixed up quickly though.
The hard part was pinning. I had never had to do it on a large scale before, and Pluto is SUPER top heavy (boobs aside lol). It took me 3 years to get Pluto in a place where I could actually pin her properly. In the end I actually ended up taking 3 nails from a batch of leftovers from an Ikea set, cutting off the heads, and using them as pin for her waist. I also used them for her head/neck joint, AND to hold her on her base.
Some of the photo editing REALLY pulls out some of that orange skin tone, but overall I’m still happy with how she came out.