Hunter of Xebek anime blog was wondering why I stopped doing the Figurine Science Photo tips feature. There is only one reason – I too am unqualified to give advice. So instead of pretending or even spreading false information, what I’ll do from now on for every figurine review is select 3-4 of the pictures I think are well-taken and put it at the top of the post. It’s much easier to give comments pertaining to a small number of pictures, since people can then look at the more micro aspects of each picture and point out what is right and what went wrong.
Somehow this site is getting really photo-intensive lol. Anyway, through the various comments by others, we can all learn together!
Today morning before I set off, I read through a very good guide for beginners. It talks about all the basics, explaining what really goes on in the various "scene" modes and concepts like depth of field etc. While I did know most of it before through hearsay and self-exploration, the guide explains stuff like shutter speed, aperture and the applications very clearly.
And the ebCraft Full Armour Saber has been sold. I forgot about the RAH DX Aina and it got sold out at Latendo, leaving butt ugly Hamann in surplus. But I ordered it at Aniplay.
Ok now for the actual post.
There’s this really grotesque Chinese mythical statue theme park called Haw Par Villa here in Singapore. Admission is free because nobody wants to go. The whole place, a huge money sink, is run with a philantropic philosophy by this company that makes medicinal balm – Tiger Balm. And the statues are so ugly, they make grown men cry. With this background knowledge, let’s look at some of the Rider pictures. This was one of my first few figurines, purchased at half price from a now-closed store at Sunshine.
Advice: Remember to clean the dust off your figures before taking pictures! I forgot to do this. And while the dust is barely visible to the human eye, in pictures they are obvious. For the photo discussion section, I have chosen the following three. Please click to see the full versions, especially the landscape ones.
I have since started to make use of the grids. I learnt that a frame can be cut into 9 equal parts with the four intersections being where the subject should be.
I have also learnt to use the Focus Lock (-_-) which I never knew the application of. Just put the area you want to focus on in the centre of your frame, press the shutter halfway and hold it there. Then compose your picture. I always thought I couldn’t move the camera after focusing, but this is not so. As long as its the same distance, the object will still remain sharp.
I was worried that the shiny yellow rocks would add a undesirable piss hue to her skin tone. Thankfully this did not happen. I did not use a reflector as promised because the art director had other projects to attend to. The dust is a problem for the closeup shots.
So any comments on the three pictures above?
It’s one thing to take pretty pictures which beautify the figurine, and another to take neutral ones which reveal the true quality of it. Both these motivations sometimes get in the way of each other.
Although the figure is very old and can barely be gotten now, I’ll still talk about it anyway. There seems to be two other Rider figurines being released though, both swimsuit versions. This version is by Good Smile Company, released in April 2005 for 4800 yen.
The base is a very large ellipsoidal black shiny ABS one. What’s special about this otherwise unspectacular base is that it has holes instead of plugs. So the plugs are on RIder herself. This is unusual. Remember when we talked about bases? Rider is a "free", crawling on her base but her long hair has plugs which lock it in place on the base. So the hair is fixed but the figure itself isn’t.
RIder also comes with a facemask. The mask is hooked at the ends and locks into place via two small holes near her ears. A bit of stretching is required to insert it in. I recommend you use it as masked girls are hot. Her face is not very nice really, with really fake-looking decal eyes and a poorly painted on transition from hair to forehead. But with the mask, everything looks great. It’s like if you’re a girl with big hairy nipples but a great figure, you’ll always want to keep your bra on. She does have a cool tattoo on her forehead though.
Her hair and fingers are made of a more flexible PVC than the rest of her body although you can’t really do anything with the softness.
Costume wise, it’s rather simple and plain. Ugly seam lines are rather abundant though and the painting isn’t great. See how far technology has come within the space of a year? Back then Kotobukiya had god-like painting but horrendous warpage while GSC wasn’t too great in terms of aesthetics but I have never seen any of theirs warping. With Rider on all fours, naturally, she’s as stable as the King of Thailand (not Thaksin). The painting for her hair and clothes are very flat and plasticky.
The outstanding part of this figure is of course the impossibly sexy pose. A mature long-haired masked lady in black on all fours with her hips raised. When I first saw this figure, I haven’t even heard of Fate yet and my friend was saying like "oh it’s a porno game" and I was impressed enough to make a mental note. Another good point is the sculpt of the hair. In spite of the flat painting, the hair still feels like it’s long, flowing and sexy, with enough tendrils to give a wild look.
There’s some cleavage and a pert ass, so pervy collectors could be interested.
Rider is my favourite Fate character and her pose here is top class. So full marks for that. The base, face, clothing quality and paint job are sort of mediocre though.