27 January 2009

Haruhi goes to school ....

Suzumiya Haruhi goes to my campus.

...literally. Influenced by Adun's outdoor photoshoot, i decided to grab Alter's Haruhi, go to my campus, and do a figure photo session there, so yeah just as the title implies: Haruhi goes to (my) school... literally. Anyway, even this post is about outdoor photo session, I'll still add my review here.

Photo session done around campus' pond.

My campus was open at that day (16 January) when i did this photo session. The campus was open for administration but no lecture at all, so just as i expected there were only small number of people back then. I can freely grab my Haruhi around the campus and photograph it without any disturbance (people watching with weird thinking).

Haruhi's face, it's kinda rare to see this expression.

So this is Suzumiya Haruhi, my favorite character, and it's manufactured by Alter, my favorite manufacturer. Just as expected of Alter, the quality of this figure is excellent. The only thing that bothers me is her skin color, it's just too pale. Eventhough it's Alter's characteristic, i just can't bring myself to like it that much.

Back at home for indoor shot again...

Ooops... What's this white bg doing in this figure outdoor photo session? Well, i missed some details and photos while I'm doing the outdoor session, so i took this photo after i was back at my house. It's pretty hard to take outdoor photos, depending on the location.

Here a list of difficulties i met when i did this photo session :
1. Lighting! Sunlight could be harsh, shadow could get your object dark. So a wireless flash could help you with this. I used wireless flash from the left side (our left).
2. No EOS utility, so no direct camera to PC transfer, that means no more direct photo editing. Sometime when you take a photo and it turned out dark (underexposed), don't delete it yet! Left it untouched! When you arrived at home, grab that photos and open your Photoshop / Digital Photo Professional / whatever photo editor software you have, and edit your photos using level / curve / brightness contrast / color balance / whatever tools you want.
3. Must decide the right picture style and white balance, if you're using JPG. If you're using RAW, this won't be any problem because you can change it using DPP / camera's software.
4. Angle and position, sometime because you can't move freely you can't take certain angle. It's kinda annoying and it happened to me.

Dynamic pose = more fun experimenting with angles.

Back to campus again, Alter's made this Haruhi seems so active. I never knew / seen any illustration of Haruhi posing like this. It's kinda challenging to photograph a dynamic posed figure like this. You can experiment with some angles and find which angle is the best. I too tried 3 different angles only for her face. I'd say it's pretty hard to get a nice close view of her face.

This figure is one of my favorite!

A clearer side view of Haruhi. I took at least 30 minutes just for arranging and experimenting with lighting. As expected of Alter, details, paint, shading, and sculpt are all great. You could even compare it with Max Factory's Haruhi. I think this is one of the 4 best Haruhi figures in the world.

Haruhi's school uniform.

Getting her uniform photographed isn't as easy as it looks. Because there were some flower pot back there, it was hard to adjust flash position and camera angle. Moreover, Haruhi's pose itself isn't very friendly for lighting. So i came up with this unnatural light photo.

Another shot of Haruhi's uniform from different angle.

Because of that failure, i decided to take one more photo of her uniform back at home. Details and sculpt on the uniform are great as always. Wrinkles, folds, and shadings are excellent. The ribbon's also nice, with a wind blow effect. And even the north high symbol on the chest. Too bad Haruhi's body isn't very dynamite unlike Mikuru, so yeah i won't bother speaking too much about her breast size.

Avoid getting a photo of normal angle, try getting something new.

There's always something new if you did a photograph of a figure from extreme angle. Because the people never see a figure from extreme angle. Try to take a photo from angle that people never seen it before. Anyway, it's Haruhi's uniform from the back view. As always, you could also see Alter's great sculpt and paint from there.

Haruhi's left hand complete with painted fingernails.

Haruhi's left hand, with such a nice details. And also painted fingernails. It's painted pale pink, kinda natural but still visible. Even MaxFact's Haruhi doesn't have any painted fingernails, no wait.... it doesn't even have any nail sculpted!

Her right hand, you won't see it from the front.

Haruhi's right hand. This hand won't be visible if you see this figure from the front. I don't know why they put Haruhi's hand like this. Anyway, I never see a sculpt of palm line on a figure. Well even in anime you won't see any palm line, except Doraemon i think...

Haruhi's dan chou armband as usual.

Another difficulties i found when i photographed Haruhi outdoor. It's pretty hard to photograph Haruhi's armband clearly, especially if you want to make both kanjis visible (dan chou). In this photo i can only show dan kanji, the chou kanji is covered with her upper arm. The safety pin is visible from here, it's a very small detail looks kinda ugly if zoomed this near, but looks nice if you see it from normal distance (min 30cm).

Another view of Haruhi's armband.

Haruhi's armband from an upper view. No kanji visible, but it does look nice from up here. Talk about Haruhi's armband, I've seen a local store around my place selling this dan chou armband. Too bad it's kinda overpriced. My friend said it's better to make it yourself rather than spending some money just for this armband.

Haruhi's school bag, which i never seen in the anime.

This is Haruhi's school bag. Hey i think this is the first time i noticed that she has a school bag like this. I never really realized the existence of this bag in anime! XD . It's really greatly sculpted! Details like the belt, folds, zippers, and paint material are nicely done. I think Alter should add a small Kyon keychain on the bag XD .

Haruhi's butt isn't very... appealing from here.

Haruhi's butt... err, i mean... skirt. It's nice to see Haruhi's school uniform skirt, kinda sexy because it's pretty short. With a little lifting you can already see her pantie. Anyway, the wind effect on the skirt is nicely done, complete with wrinkles, shading, and stuffs.

Big H on Haruhi every figures' base is a must.

Haruhi's outdoor shoe. Well it's pretty normal so i can't really say things about it. The base is made from a pretty normal plastic. It's white and there's a sculpt of big H on it. All of my Haruhi figures except figma and nendo have that big H sculpted or painted on the base.

Haruhi's right leg...

Haruhi's right leg. It's pretty much normal for the shoe and sock. Her skin is just too pale and it can be seen from her thighs. Anyway judging from her body proportion, i think she has an ideal size of high school girl. Her breast isn't too big, her hip is at the right size, her arms and her legs are also at the right length and size.

Mandatory pantie shot, her pantie always white, i kinda expected pink or other feminine color.

And we're up for another mandatory pantie shot! Wow, she definitely has a nice butt, and it can be seen from down here. You won't get a nice pantie shot unless you drop her. It's pretty hard to get a low angle in the campus, so i decided to bring her back home for this private shot XD .

POI: her pose!

I think you could guess today's POI. I decided the POI of this figure is her pose. Well, i only had 2 special things from this figure i could came up. The first is her pose, and next is it's manufactured by Alter. So yeah, the POI is her pose! It's not the first time I've seen Haruhi so active like this, but this is a very nice original pose. It also pose a pretty difficult and challenging photo session.

Well that's it for now... I only have Airi photos backlogged for post, but i still haven't done photo sessions Haruhi beach, Nyx, Hayate, and Tomoyo yet. Moreover tomorrow's the start of new semester, damn! But yeah... new semester doesn't mean the fun ends here, it's just another start of my daily campus routine. So... just look forward for next post!

26 January 2009

Happy Chinese New Year! 2560

As always, Chinese new year means more moe girls with Chinese dress.

And we're back to another post, and just before i started another rantings let me say this first:
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
I think you all must know what this line means, so i won't bother adding a translation here. Anyway, as always i spent this day visiting relatives home by home, and i have to visit at least 4 houses per year. Of course I've done this together with my family (dad, mom, and my 2 bros). How about you guys? How do you spend your Chinese New Year?

Bonus: Kyonko with Chinese dress is moe.

Oh and how about your Ang Pao? For me... well... not much, at least i can afford one figure with my received Ang Pao XD . Well that's it for now, see you at the next post!

22 January 2009

Lottie Gelh - Chrono Gate

Lottie Gelh from Soukou no Strain.

Okay, it's time for another review of randomly bought from event figure. This cutie here is Lottie Gelh from Soukou no Strain, manufactured by Chrono Gate. Actually i never heard of Chrono Gate at the first place. I thought this figure is manufactured by Kotobukiya, but i was wrong. There are 3 figure manufacturer logos on the box: Kotobukiya, Happinet, and Chrono Gate. That's why i thought the manufacturer was Kotobukiya.

Manufactured by Chrono Gate.

Speaking of randomly bought in event figure, i bought her because she's cute and cheap. Yeah, i think she's the cheapest PVC figure i ever bought in my life (excluding gashapon and fake bootleg sh**). Her real price is somewhat around JPY 5000, and the store owner give her a price tag with IDR 200k on it (JPY 2000++), and with the help of my bargaining power i got her for IDR 150k (JPY 1500++). That's a very great deal i suppose.

Is she a real cutie? XD

Cute and cheap, yah... those are the reasons why i bought this. I never knew anything about her before, and i never heard about this name before. Her name and anime are written in katakana on the box, so it's hard to see who's she and where's she came from. But as always, my impulse didn't stop me from purchasing this cutie.

Super cute loli!

I've been doing some research about her. I found out that her name is written Lotty Gelth in Tsuki-Board. I read the katakana on the box and it's written like this: ro~ti gera. Whatever her name, doesn't change the fact that she's a super cute loli character. Thanks to noel, i got a clue about her and even i got the whole series transferred to my HDD.

Cute, but... why they made her covering her cute smile like that?

The biggest challenge you find when you doing a photograph of this figure is her hand and her smile. She's smiling, but you won't see her cute smile from this angle, she's covering it with her right hand! It's pretty hard to get a decent photo of her smile, so let's take a look on the next photos.

What're you thinking Lottie?

Judging from the pose, she's definitely think about something. What's she thinking doesn't matter to me, but yeah this is my first trial of getting her smile captured on the camera. It's pretty much still covered though. But i think you already seen a small portion of her smile. If you want to see more, then let's move on to the next photo.

Can you see her smile? Wow... it's cute!

Ah yeah, just as i thought, on the 2nd trial i tried a photograph from above, and i think it worked. Her smile is visible from above, but too bad, if you're going too high, her face especially her eyes will be covered with her front hair.

Drill hairstyle.

Enough with the smile, let's move on to the next part. She got a drill hairstyle, just like Matsudaira Touko from Marimite. Except Lottie only have single "main" drill and 2 on the edge of her side hair. Her ribbon is just... well.... pretty normal to me, just an accessory to add the cuteness of Lottie.

I think this is the first photo of (normal) figure ear in this blog.

Most of my figures have their ears covered by their hair. I think only Elwing's ears stand out the most (well she's an elf with elven ears). So this time, i used this opportunity to capture a figure's ear. Yeah... Lottie's hair doesn't cover her ears, so i can get a photo of one of her ear. I'd say it's pretty nice detail, sculpt, and paintjob there.

Nice shading here.

She's wearing a space-aged military uniform, with vest on top, and a one piece. From the back it's look like it's a separate. You can see they gave a good touch on the texture and shading on Lottie's back. Sometime if the shading isn't too hard, you should give it a touch of photo editing. Changing contrast could be a good choice.

Photography tips: If you feel like your photos are flat, no shading and no highlight, use your Photoshop, and edit the contrast setting. The higher the contrast, the more difference the photo get between shadow and highlight. The lower the contrast, the shadow and the highlight will blend and it'll turn out flat. But use it wisely, don't over-contrast your photo because a over contrast bright highlighted area will hurt people eyes.

Ergh... yet another flat chest, right after a flat chest.

She's a loli, so you should know how big... err... i mean how small her chest will be. She's a loli so she got a high possibility to have a flat chest. For DFC fan, i think this figure could be their favorite.

See a seamline?

This is the right hand which is covering her smile. I can see seamline accross her finger. But it's pretty small, and i think you can't clearly see it with your bare eyes. Anyway i have no problem with her skin color, it's not glossy, but it lacks shading, skin shading.

Left hand with nails but not painted.

It's the left hand here. Nothing interesting here. It's just her nail, it's sculpted but not painted. Her hand look so big here, but if you see her actual size, you'll know that her hand is sooooo small, and not to mention cute.

Lifted mini skirt, hmm.. nice... A sign of easily visible pantie.

This is the skirt, but actually it's not a skirt. It's one piece actually. It's kinda interesting to see a lifted mini skirt here, easy to see what's below it XD . I like girl wearing mini skirt, one piece, dress, or something to that effect, looks feminime and nice.

Nice shading and sculpt, don't be confused by the color, it shouldn't be that blue.

Just like the photo of Lottie's back before, you can see here that sculpt and shading on her skirt is very well made. Except that the dark blue shadow on her skirt isn't really that blue. I used Landscape Canon picture style for this photo, that's why it turned out like this. Landscape picture style focused on highlighting blue and green colors on the photo.

Mandatory pantie shot!

Not to forget, the mandatory pantie shot. A sky blue pantie i see.... XD . And you can also feel her smooth and soft thigh. It makes you want to feel more of this. Not much i can say about this, just... enjoy the pantie shot!

"She's floating" -> that's the POI, weird huh?

The POI of this figure is... well... she's floating! Yeah, a weird POI today. She looks somewhat floating. And i think that's why her skirt is kinda lifted up. I don't think you can find any loli cute anime girls, floating, smiling, and thinking about something. It's a rare combination of pose you see... That's why i decided that POI of this figure is "she's floating".

So this concludes another session my figure review. Next will be Airi or it could be Haruhi Alter. So far i haven't done anymore photo session, so yeah my backlog stayed the same except I've done Lottie's post. The rest is still waiting to be posted and to be photographed, so yeah... see you at the next post and look forward to it!

21 January 2009

Sakagami Tomoyo - a very late haul

My first PA box in 2009.

It's the first loot of this year 2009, too bad it's not an item that released in January 2009. It's an item that already released in December 2008. I'm pretty surprised with this time shipment. It took 1 and a half month for this item to arrive in my place. If you're talking about custom, no... this figure is custom free because the price's below USD 50.

Sakagami Tomoyo - Clannad.

It's Sakagami Tomoyo from Clannad, manufactured by Kotobukiya. I've missed the first release because at that time i haven't even started collecting any figures and Clannad even haven't aired yet. Talk about Clannad air time, i think Kotobukiya made a great move to re-release this figure. Kyou and Tomoyo weren't really that popular in the 1st release, but after Clannad finished airing Kyou and Tomoyo's popularity went up to the sky.

Kotobukiyaaa, where's her megane!!!???

Tomoyo is my favorite character in the anime. She's beautiful, plus i like her grey long hair. She's extremly cuter if she wears her megane, MEGANEKKO MOE! XD . Yeah, i like a girl with maid outfit or a girl with megane. Too bad there is no Tomoyo figure with a megane attached. Heck, in my figure collection, there's no figure with glasses except Nendoroid Nagato Yuki.

The mystery: why only Tomoyo wears casual clothes?

I don't know why Kotobukiya picked this casual clothes plus apron for the figure, because the other Kotobukiya Clannad figures are wearing school uniform. But that's the uniqueness of this figure. But i prefer Tomoyo in her summer school uniform (plus megane!) over this casual clothes.

There's no alternate parts at all.

Here's a list of thing came in this figure box: Tomoyo herself, a pan lid, and a Tomoyo ribbon magnet. Oh and i also got a Soldner-X sticker from Play-Asia, but i don't know what's Soldner-X so i don't bother with it too much. Does anyone who got this figure already attached their ribbon magnet somewhere? For me, i (still) stored this ribbon magnet in my computer desk.

Tomoyo = Cute!

Overall, this figure is cute. Because it's a figure of Sakagami Tomoyo! And complete with casual clothes, apron, pan, and cute bear slippers. Her face expression is nice, except there's no smile on it. The only thing i hate is her stockings, yeah... i prefer she doesn't wear that, it's sexier that way XD .

Simple, nice, cute...

Well, another figure added to my figure review backlog. But yeah, that means i still have object to photograph! For complete reviews and nice photos of Tomoyo you can see at Optic and Ace. For my review, well... just wait for it :P . So yeah... see you at the next post!

17 January 2009

Al Azif swimsuit version - Alter

Al Azif swimsuit version.

Yeah, I'm at last back for another review. After 6 days from the last review, i managed to get a break from my work, well actually it almost done. Anyway, this is Al Azif swimsuit version, originally from Deus Machina Demonbane, and manufactured by Alter.

Originally from Demonbane, manufactured by Alter.

I got this from Toy Magz Fair 2008, a pre-owned figure without box. I spent IDR 425k for this figure. This figure is actually cute, but i met a little disappointment from this figure. The most disappointing part of this figure is her size. It's small, even smaller than 1/8 Max Factory Haruhi. Talk about size, i remember about when people talks about Chua Churam's small size. I think this Al Azif body size is just as small as Chua Churam.

She looks plain to me, but still cute on the face.

I've been implementing "extreme" angle on my photos lately. And i think some of them turned out good, but some of them turned out not good enough. Giving angle in photos isn't just as easy as rotating your camera 45° and capture the object. You have to feel and find the best angle, and keep maintaining composition and balance inside the photos.

Al Azif is cute, and her cuteness came from this face.

I think this is a first Al Azif figure i got in my possession. In the Surabaya Toys Festival 2008, my girl bought Nendoroid Al Azif. After seeing those figures, i came up with a conclusion: Al Azif is a cute character! Her main cuteness came from this face. I've also seen MaxFact's Al Azif, but they didn't focus on her cuteness, instead they gave a dramatic and sad feeling.

Is she a loli? You decide!

Talk about loli, i don't know if Al Azif can be categorized as loli character. Judging by her height, i think she's as tall as Haruhi, so i guess she's not loli by height. But looking at her chest and her face, she's definitely a loli.

Cute hairdo, but unfortunately not my style.

Oh yeah, FYI her actual hair is long wavy hair. For some reason, i don't really like this hairdo. Well, from the beginning i never really liked this kind of hairdo. Fortunately, this hairdo isn't visible if you see it directly from the front, you can even see her as if she has a ponytail.

(Not so?) DFC!? XD

We're getting into not so good part. She got a very small breast, but not as flat as you thought. I think the size is just like Alter's Fate burst or Alter's Reinforce Zwei. Even her swimsuit itself isn't a sexy / bikini type. Noticeable thing here is the texture and drawing on her swimsuit.

Texture on the swimsuit is nicely done.

The texture on the swimsuit looks kinda futuristic. Is this the future of swimsuit? I guess not. Anyway, her swimsuit color does suit her, but i think giving her white swimsuit could be better. Her normal clothes itself is white, oh and not to forget, she doesn't wear that red ribbon on her hair in this figure.

Don't be tricked by my photos, i played with camera's Picture Style setting to manipulate the color.

I can see some nail sculpt on the hand, but too bad no painted nail. Anyway, just as always, Alter made her skin kinda pale. Well, most of Alter's figures have pale skin, i think it's their characteristic on making figures. But on top of that, the sculpt quality is great, and shading on the skin is still nicely done.

Her left arm, it shouldn't be floating like this.

She's sitting on a tube, supported by her left arm. Her base is a custom sand textured base, and it's not flat at all. In the middle of the base, you can put the tube and sit Al Azif on top of it. But there's no peg at all, so if you put it at a wrong position, there's a possibility that Al Azif will sit also at a wrong position on her tube. I displayed her without her base, in order to save space.

This skirt can actually be removed.

Most loli characters usually wear a 2 pieces swimsuit with a skirt. And yeah, Al Azif too also wears this skirted swimsuit. I never see Al Azif wearing swimsuit in the anime, and i never see any official illustration of her wearing swimsuit, so i don't know where Alter got this swimsuit design, but all i can say is the swimsuit is not sexy enough.

Right foot, wearing sandal and a weird broken heart symbol on it.

I don't know what's this symbol is, but it keeps appearing on this figure, the broken heart symbol. I never see this symbol in the anime, so i can't say much about this symbol. Do you guys have any idea what's this heart symbol is?

Left sandal hanging on the left foot, you can remove it if you want.

The left sandal can be removed. It depends on your creativity, you can hang this sandal on her left foot, or you can put it on the base like she already taken off her sandal. I displayed her without this sandal, and i put the sandal on my storage. It's a small thing and it's easily fall off her foot, so i kinda worried of losing this small item.

Tube she's sitting on, without this she can't sit.

The last thing on this figure is this tube. It's the place she's sitting on. Without the tube, you can't properly display her. The only thing i don't like about this tube is... it's made of hard plastic. I kinda expect that this tube is a flexible type of plastic, just like the yellow blob thing Nendo Al Azif has.

POI of this figure is interestingly the tube!

The POI of this figure, which made me go LOL, is this the eye on her tube! With one eye, directly peeking, looking, staring, watching, seeing, whatever you name it... on Al Azif pantie, it makes you go LOL! Moreover there's :3 expression on it, making it funnier.

That's it for this review. Next review will be Lottie Gelh, I've done photo session of her, but i don't know when will i post her. Anyway I've already done photo session for Lottie, Airi, and Haruhi (Alter), so right now they're in queue waiting to be posted on this blog. While Hayate, Haruhi beach, and Nyx are still waiting their photo session.

So yeah... as always look forward for the next post!