Sunday, December 18, 2011

CENOTE by Ani (2011 Ora-Zaku Winner)


    Alright fellas, while we've been talking about the GBWC, which by the way, ain't over yet, Japan just concluded their annual Ora-Zaku championships. For those of you who have not heard of the Ora-Zaku before, it is THE competition of competitions for Gunpla. It is the MOTHER of all gunpla competitions, exclusive only to the Japanese, where elite masters pit their skills against each other. This is the cream of the crop, folks. And naturally, I have to feature 'Cenote' by Ani on my blog.


     Well what can I say man? It's exquisite! I could spend hours staring at this masterpiece and still spot something new every minute. That meticulous weathering on the CF...the beautifully textured water...the incredibly life-like cliff-face and vegetation. How the colours all come together...Man!! A well-deserved win if you ask me.








While his breath-taking master-piece of a crashed core-fighter with its sexy female pilot has been featured all over the Net, I've yet to come across a translated version with his WIP pics. Even if I can't replicate this standard of work, I wanna know HOW he did it, rite? So I did some snooping around on Ani's blog to get the WIPs. Google Translate wasn't too helpful (most of the translated stuff was jargon), but from what little is revealed, I've written them here, if it helps. Enjoy!



The cockpit was detailed up using references from real-life military aircraft. Extra details achieved through styrene strips.

Battle damage to the wings was done with a soldering iron, achieving a fine melted and holed pattern that is faithful to the scale of the model.






Notice the metal framing in between the wing layers. Awesome realism!

Other internal details for that messy engine look....

Application of washes...

How the cockpit looks like all done up and gritty...




A bit of layering and interior detailing. then weathering to give the damaged engine and nose-tip a more realistic feel...


Notice the raw-looking, yet extremely well applied paint patches to give the colour a water-soaked, sun-baked look.

The end result pics for the beautifully weathered CF...





Next up is the fine hand-painting of the pilot babe Sarah...




If I'm not wrong, Ani has a strong background in Mak figure-painting, and the essence of this work is highly stylised after that.


Throw in some strategic lighting during photography, and here's what the finished awesome-ness looks like...Gorgeous!



    And then, there's the cliff-face, of course. From what I surmised, he used some form of 'Cork-bark' (yeah, sounds vulgar huh? lol). I'm not sure if it's synthetic or real, but that's a clever method. The texture of bark really mimics that of rock at this scale.

The bark is then pasted onto high-density foam for volume and backing....


Throw in some scale-perfect vegetation...

Even without the CF it already looks awesome...!!

Laying the 'algae' onto the lake bottom...That's really some superb attention to texture and colour, even though all that's going under 'water'.


Next up is the water. I would like to have a blow-by-blow tutorial of how this master did it, but unless I speak Japanese or someone is willing to translate everything he says on his blog, this is all I gather...

 This is what it looks like freshly applied. A brush is used to make those random ripple patterns. When the stuff dries, it becomes transparent and takes on properties of water. Amazing shit!




These are apparently the materials he used for the simulated water - some Didier DDF Medium grain (silicon?) material and Liquitex (I use this brand too!) polymer.


    That's all folks! If you're interested to view the blog of the real master himself, check Ani out. I wished I could understand Japanese so I can better make out how he did this crazy piece of work, but this is as good as it gets for now. I hope you guys enjoyed the second-hand pieced together WIP process! Maybe one day, I'll be able to witness the Ora-Zaku live.....

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