Mid Day Caster

Howdy! I hope everyone is doing well~
It was surprisingly warm today, so I thought it a good opportunity to play with one of my newest figures: Caster!

I’ve wanted a Caster figma for years, so finally having one is a dream come true! I plan to get the nendo as well when I can.

I take most of my pictures outdoors, so winter is always a dry spell since there’s not much interesting out(snow comes not until January and February–if at all). However, the colorless grass and bright sun do make for an interesting backdrop which worked just fine for Caster. Winter light also has a uniquely pure brightness to it.

Caster is on my list of top favorite characters, so I hope I made her shine!

caster 1
The figma very pretty, but her elbows are a pain to pose. Her arms are also very limited which is a shame since she’s a mage who performs magic mostly by moving…

Continue reading

A Merry Dolly Christmas

Merry Christmas everybody! It’s actually only Christmas Eve here, but I’ve always found the day before to be more festive than the day itself. Because anticipation!

I tend to scramble for photos as holidays draw closer, so I don’t really have a special planned out photo shoot. But what I do have are some images of my dolls enjoying Christmas! This is Tamaki’s third, Kagura’s second, and Celeste’s first Christmas. That makes it their first all together, and my first having a Dollfie Dream. I hope to celebrate with two next year! Another thing I scrambled on was clothing, so only Celeste has a new outfit *mostly* made by me. The Pureneemos are wearing a mixture of old clothing, but I tried to make it look festive regardless.

family photo_edited-1

Continue reading

Tamaki, Kagura, and the Monster Part 3/3

This labor day, I was able to get several things done. I took the review photos for Eren and Mikasa, broke down some clothing into fabric, and prepped a DD tank top for sewing. But another thing I knew I had to do was finally finish Celeste’s intro story!

So here’s the third and final part of the story. My camera battery was dying at this point, so I didn’t focus much on styling everybody for each shot, but I think the message still comes across. Also, let’s just not pay attention to Celeste’s wig change between parts two and three…

If you’d like to catch up with the previous parts to the story, here’s 1 and 2

And as usual, previous stories can be read in the Photo Stories tab.

………………………………………………………………………………………..

ds 1
Tamaki: *Phew!* We just escaped that beast’s grasp by the hair of my tail!
Kagura: But it feels like something is missing…

Continue reading

Big Batch of Doll Clothing!

Hello~
After finally securing a body for my Dollfie Dream in the making, I mentioned that I’d already begun sewing for her and would post what I’ve been making. Many hours of being hunched over the sewing machine later, I finally have a good sized batch ready to share. And around the time the body arrived, I also received a lovely package of fabrics from Littlebearries, so this post is to share what I’ve made with those fabrics so far as well!

The colder months always make this hobby more difficult for me since as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I rely primarily on natural light which is in short supply this time of year. I just might have learned a better way to cope with photographing figures indoors, but since dolls are much bigger than what I’m used to photographing, had to face the cold and go outside for these photos. Because of that, these aren’t exactly staged or exposed well, but you can at least see the clothes!

We’ll start with Pureneemos!
furisode1
My first attempt full outfit for Tamaki.
I found the red fabric in the remnant bin and bought it thinking it was cotton, but it’s actually a stiffer fabric that feels almost like those table cloths with the white fuzz underneath. Thankfully it works just fine for doll clothing.
Since I got a good amount of this fabric, I of course wanted to make another kimono for Tamaki. I usually make the casual yukata/komon style kimono, but wanting to be more adventurous, decided to “listen” to the fabric. It sounds creepy, but sometimes you just look at something, and it “tells” you what it wants to be. This fabric would look good with long sleeves(a furisode), but since furisodes are known for their intricate patterns, I didn’t feel right making it a traditional long one. So it became a mini kimono!

Continue reading

Summer with a Splash of Autumn

I have quite the pile of pictures with nowhere to go building up, so in spite of the exciting title, today I’ll be merely posting a collection of miscellaneous photos. I’d call it a photo dump, since that’s what it is, but “miscellaneous” just sounds so much cooler.

I’ll go in chronological order.

oops
Oops
Mio drops something important on the way to school.

For one month in the summer, we had rain every day, so I wanted to do a series of rainy day phots and have this be part of it, but it never happened.

Speaking of rainy days, the time right after rain was one of my earliest favorite occasions for figure photos. A grassy area of my back yard(the place this photo was taken actually) fills up with water, and if the sun comes out afterwards, creates a lovely pool with grass visible under the water. I took some of my first pictures with Tsukasa there when the clouds were reflected in the water, but have yet to see a day quite as nice as that one to do it again.

Continue reading

Kagura and Kirito

Something short this time.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………
It would appear to be just a regular day at the house, but we know that those don’t really exist.

s1
Kagura: Hey, Tamaki! A new package just came in, so Kirito kun and I are going to see what new stuff there is. Wanna come?

Continue reading

Kimonos for Tamaki

Story time! Tamaki and Kagura are friends now, but will this be an idyllic friendship or one tirelessly shaped by the scaly claws of life? As they learn what life is like together, we see that it’s probably the latter…
………………………………………………………………………………………………………

s 1
It’s a hot summer day. The afternoon rain has just fallen, leaving the air moist and sticky and the grass damp. But instead of the sound of birds tweeting or children at play, a sharp wail fills the air.

Continue reading

Review: 1/8 Caster EXTRA by Phat Company

It’s review time! Today, instead of reviewing a brand new figure, I’ll be stepping back to look at one of the older figures in my collection. So let’s get things started with Phat Company’s 1/8 Caster EXTRA!

Caster EXTRA comes from Typemoon’s spinoff game Fate/Extra which is a dungeon style RPG for the PSP that has visual novel aspects. The game derives it’s basic concept from the Fate series(Fate/Stay Night, Fate/Zero, Fate/Hollow Axtaria, etc.) but adds a digital twist. Following the basic Servant and Master Holy Grail War scenario of it’s predecessors, Fate/Extra identifies itself as a spinoff by featuring many characters from other Typemoon franchises who are given new roles but are essentially the same (Rin Tohsaka for instance appears as an opposing master). Although these cameos are fun for old fans, they leave the game with comparatively few original characters for newer fans to enjoy without the feeling that they’re missing out. Thankfully of the new characters who make their debut, several are quite memorable! One of these is Caster. Being both the “weakest” servant and a brand new character, Caster is clearly the underdog of the playable servants, but her spunk and vulpine characteristics make her hard to forget.

Caster was the reason I purchased Fate/Extra. Although the game’s initial release escaped my radar(which caused me to miss out on some awesome merchandise >_<), it’s North American release sparked my curiosity. Around the time of this release came the announcement for Phat Company’s Caster. With a traditional Japanese inspired costume, a fluffy tail, and an energetic pose, Caster immediately drew my attention while reminding me of two of my favorite figures: Goodsmile Company’s Nessa(who I own) and Max Factory’s Kureha Touka(who is one of my grails). But preordering scaled figures has always been a splurge for me, and although I ordered Caster at first, I eventually cancelled her due to financial concerns. I thought I could live without her, but when pictures of the final product began to surface, I realized the mistake I had made. Thankfully a user on MFC soon appeared who no longer wanted their order, and I seized the opportunity once again to make Caster a part of my collection.

My experience obtaining Caster was fun to look back on, not just because of how happy I am to finally have the figure, but because this happened over a year ago. My Caster is from the original January 2012 release(as opposed to the September 2012 rerelease) and considering that she’s been on display for over a year, this review will cover both the figure and how it’s fared over time.

004
Caster and her box are very blue(my favorite color!) which makes her pink hair really pop. The box has windows on the top, sides, and front which enables you to see Caster better while she’s inside. I like the decorative effect the scalloped edges of the box adds.

006
The cardboard backing (only visible when the plastic blister is removed) has the moon and a 10101010 pattern which is a throwback to the game itself.

008
I love the giant picture of Caster on the back! It’s vibrant and really captures the spirit of the figure. You know just what you’re getting!

010
The figure itself is in three pieces. To display her, all you have to do is attach her foot to the stand and plug the mirror into her sleeve. I’ll show where these pieces connect later in the review.

Caster is listed as 1/8 scale which is a reasonable scale for her. She stands around 9.5 in/24 cm tall from the bottom of her base to the tip of her ear once assembled. If like me, numbers mean nothing to you, here she is next to a mug and figma Yui Hirasawa
012

Now let’s take a 360 tour of Caster!
014
Caster has a peppy personality which is wonderfully communicated through her pose.

015
Her face bears a beaming smile as she joyously balances on one leg.

016
Meanwhile her exquisite blue kimono flutters about her and her hand forms the shape of a fox.

017
Being a member of the Caster class, Caster of course has a magic oriented background. Her costume incorporates aspects from traditional Japanese wear and details like the gold trim and tassels introduce an air of mysticism.

018
I like that the floating mirror was also included as it further cements her magical context and really compliments her design.

019
Caster’s big orange tail stands out well against all the blue too!

020

But you can’t learn all about a figure from afar. Details are important, so let’s inspect Caster a little more closely!

021
A lovely fox smile! Caster’s hair is a salmon pink and her bangs are sculpted dynamically. It’s not quite visible in this picture, but my Caster’s right bang has some paint missing. Also notice her moe fang, deep gold eyes, and giant fox ears!

022
Caster’s head is fine, but it could stand to be better. Especially in the field of shading. She has light shading at the edges of her hair and top of the head, but it’s quite minimal.

023
Here you can see ridges sculpted into the back of her head to suggest that her hair is pulled back. There are also some seam lines on her bangs. The ear fur is painted a matte white.
Also, she has a pair of human ears. H-how does that work?

http://027
The tips of her pigtails are shaded a noticeable dark pink. Here you can also see her bow which is purple and has blue transparent ends. Light shines through the bow very nicely and the transparency is just enough that it’s not distracting.

032
Most obvious here is Caster’s cleavage which is shaded lightly. Caste is usually depicted as being rather voluptuous(especially in Fate/Extra CCC), but here her chest appears quite modest. Come to think of it, Caster is my only scaled figure with cleavage!
Also notice the nice lines painted on her top. And unlike the white of the fur in her ears, these are painted with a pearly paint!

033
Here you can better see her arms and armpits.
Caster is rather thin, but her arms seem a bit too thin for a lady of her size. The presence of such a deep crevice in her armpit is strange as well. I tested it on myself and such a crevice would only be visible if she were extremely tense.

034
Her back is smooth and has a decent amount of detail. The edges of the sleeves are painted with a metallic gold.

035
Another thing I like about the sleeves is that they are separate pieces. Rather than having the arms stop awkwardly, they actually continue into the sleeve.

037
The sleeves are also layered and billow nicely.

038
Another angle of the dynamic sleeves. I wonder how those would stay on in real life. The elastic on my Pureneemo Caster’s sleeves is starting to stretch out!

http://043
Looking at the sleeves brings us to Caster’s mirror which is made with a real mirror! The mirror is her main weapon in the game and has a cool design!

http://044
In case you didn’t believe me about it being a real mirror, say hello to my camera! Of course this does mean the mirror is susceptible to getting fingerprints and dust on it, so cleaning it every once in a while(glass cleaner works fine) isn’t a bad idea.

040
On the back we see a lovely circular design. It’s a shame that part isn’t usually visible.

041
Moving down gives us a better look at the metallic paint and details.

039
And moving up shows us the point of connection between the mirror and Caster’s sleeve.

042
Removing the mirror reveals a peg on Caster’s sleeve. This corresponds to a hole in the top of the mirror. The connection points are unnoticeable while Caster is on display and both pieces fit together snugly.
Over time, there has been gold rub off on the sleeve, but it’s minor and the peg is rarely seen anyway.

047
Moving back up to Caster’s body, we have her black obi and shiny gold obijime.

054
On Caster’s back is the beginning of her dangling obi and tail.

http://055
The obi is black with gold designs

056
The design adorns both sides of the obi and was applied via decal.

050
And who could forget Caster’s tail? This fluffy wonder has two shades of orange and a pearly white base. It looks bushy and even curls at the tip!

Swinging back around to the front, we have Caster’s skirt
058
Having only a front and back, the skirt more resembles a loin cloth, but it is sculpted quite well and even has a small tassel at the bottom.

052
On the side is a larger tassel and a peek at Caster’s shimapan. That’s right, Caster is wearing blue striped underwear! I initially did not like this because it is inaccurate for Caster’s time period, but after seeing the designs in CCC, eh I don’t mind the shimapan anymore…

057
I don’t know what that kimono is made out of that it clings so tightly, but ok. Nice detail I suppose XD

049
Yet another pearly white tassel.

062
Her socks are deep purple thigh highs. There’s some shading where the socks end along with some sculpted wrinkles.
The purple line on her straight leg is not a seam line. It is part of the design.

063
Her shoe is dangling a bit which is a very cute detail although there is a small gap between the shoe and her foot. Thankfully this are is not very visible when she’s on display.
Also, how tight are those socks? I can see her toes through them! O_O

066
The other foot is attached to the base.
The foot plugs in to two plastic pegs and rests on a raised area. Although leaning figures are pretty much a thing of the past, the structural integrity of one legged figures is always a concern. After a year of display, Caster’s ankle shows no sign of bending. But over time it seems that the raised portion on the base has moved back a little bit. If anything were to lean on this figure, it would be the base. But this lean is only slight and I see no signs of cracking or damage. It’s barely an issue.

Last is the base which is a blue transparent square. Although it may seem out of place with the figure, I actually think it reflects the aquatic theme of Fate/Extra quite well since the game’s dungeons are composed of bright squares.

Caster is a display piece, but that doesn’t mean she should live her life on my dusty nightstand. Let’s take her out for some pictures!

lavender fire_edited-1

purple smile_edited-1

vertigo_edited-1

vibrant

rising sun

As much as I love Caster, she’s not the most photogenic figure I own. In the year I’ve owned her, I’ve yet to take a really really good picture of her.

Final Words
There are some figures that you buy because you like the character and others you buy because they’re so gosh darn beautiful it doesn’t matter who they are. Caster is the former. Although she is well made and an excellent representation of Caster, this figure is nothing to write home about. I would not buy her as an example of the best figure ever made. I bought Caster because I love the character and that’s what matters. So if you like this figure for any reason, go ahead and get it, you won’t be disappointed! I don’t think buying her is settling for something inferior either. She’s cute, a good size, puts a smile on my face, and I wouldn’t dream of selling her.

Tamaki and the Truce

After what happened last time. Tamaki finds herself in a less than desirable position.
……………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

167
Tamaki: Day 12. For almost two weeks, we’ve been in the witch’s custody. We’ve survived on meager scraps

168<
Tamaki: And been kept in deplorable conditions… Much worse is the sight of my Master in a cage.

174
Tamaki: *Snivel* It’s more than I can bear!

178
Tamaki: And just look at that witch over there! She’s out enjoying herself with her filthy pillow while my precious Master and I waste away in the dust!

180
Kagura: Can it, fox! Kirito kun and I are trying to enjoy the summer!

183
Tamaki: *Hmph!*

184
Kagura: Ah! It’s five O’ clock! That makes it ice cream time!

186
Kagura: Hey! Where are you going, you mangy fox?
Tamaki: Oh, I just though I’d move out of the way and watch from afar~

187
Kagura: Watch from afar? What on earth is she talking abou–

188
Kagura: AAAAH! A lion!
H-how can that be?! Aren’t we in a neighborhood?!

190
Tamaki: Why anybody would know that modern day neighborhoods are teeming with lions. And nothing attracts neighborhood lions more than the scent of ice cream!

194
Kagura: Ahhh! Get over here and help me, you stupid fox!

197
Tamaki: *jingle jingle* Sorry, I can’t hear you~

199
Tamaki: Oh, and I forgot to mention: the one thing neighborhood lions like more than ice cream…

200
Tamaki: Is pillows.

http://201
*Chomp*
Kagura: Kyaaaah! Kirito kun!

202
Kagura: Oh please help me, foxy fox! I’ll feed your goat anything it wants if you rescue Kirito kun!
Tamaki: Why would I help you? All you’ve ever done rob my Master of his right to freedom! In fact, people like you are the reason Master and I never associate with anyone! Isn’t that right, Master?

209
Tamaki: M-Master?!

http://213
Tamaki: AAAH! Master, come back!
Kagura: The goat escaped from its cage and is chasing the lion! They’re going to fight!
Tamaki: NOOOO! Master please don’t!

Due to issues with the lion’s agent, this fight cannot be shown. Thank you for understanding

http://216
Tamaki: That fight was amazing! Forgive me for underestimating you, my dear Master!
Kagura: Oh Kirito kun, I’m so glad your safe! I don’t know what I’d have done without you!

220
Kagura: That settles it, mangy fox! To thank your goat for saving Kirito kun’s life, I’m letting you both go! We may not be able to become friends, but we can at least form a truce!

And that’s how Tamaki and Kagura settled the first of their differences