Well, after a day’s break of wandering around shops, it was back to touring the land of the rising sun.
While I’m a big fan of Japanese games and Anime, I was also interested in Japan’s culture thanks to all the TV programmes I grew up watching such as documentaries and travel programmes so I decided we should go visit a rural village while we were in the country.
Our destination today was Kyoto because we wanted to see the more traditional side of Japan.
Tokyo wasn’t always the capital. It’s a tradition for wherever the emperor dwells to become the capital and before Tokyo, it was Kyoto. Kyoto was the second capital of Japan between 794 – 1868 before Tokyo.
When I bought a bunch of Ghibli papercrafts back from my trip to Japan I wasn’t really expecting them to be hard to put together. I saw the difficulty rating that ranged from one to three stars and this was one star so I thought, “How hard could it be?” If I read the bottom of the box I probably would have known better ^^;
So, I decided to put this post together show casing one of the kits by Sankei. There are actually quite a few around by different manufacturers but I think the one thing all the small ones have in common is the price… At 18GBP, they are not cheap.
For my first attempt I went with number 5 in the mini series, a Totoro one I bought when I visited Ghibli Museum. Difficulty level was one star. For a complete amateur who was doing this the first time it took 5 – 6 hours of time so, be prepared to leave a day free for it, lol.
What you’ll need…
Retractable Blade / Papercraft Knife
For cutting out the tiny parts from the cardboard. You might want a proper papercraft knife instead of the retractable ones you use to cut open packaging because you will want to press the knife into the cardboard rather than slice. The retractable one I used kept retracting and didn’t clean cut the pieces very well.
For opening the small packs of confetti that is used for the vegetation such as bushes, grass, trees and flowers. You’ll be using to cut a tiny hole in the bags if you don’t have those little tubes some crafters use to hold glitter so that it’s easier to sprinkle.
For well… glueing it all together. PVA will give you more time to adjust after you’ve put the pieces together. Translucent glue i.e. glue that’s transparent would be good because then you can’t see it if you applied too much.
Or whatever you can use to apply tiny, needle point sized dots of glue.
I don’t recommend felt tips or ink based colours because the ink can spill to onto parts you the card.
To pick up and move the tiny (and I mean tiny!) parts into place.
Self-healing Cutting Mat (Optional)
Basically a mat you can work on without worrying about damaging your table top when you’re cutting. The self-healing means even when you cut through the paper and into the mat, the mat will slowly heal itself again.
Display Case (Optional)
After spending hours putting the miniature together you’ll probably want something to proudly display it in and to give it some protection. Small display cases don’t cost much, especially the one’s that don’t use glass.
Feels like it’s been a while since my last post but very busy with my full time job these days. You will find me Tweeting more on Twitter since it’s quick and short compared to lengthy articles like these.
Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo is about a young girl named Asuna creates a small radio and goes up to a cliff. Using a memento her father left her to complete the circuit, she manages to catch some kind of song which wasn’t something from one of the local radio stations. She was mesmerised by the happy and at the same time sad feelings that it conveyed. Not long later, there were reports that perhaps a wild bear was on the rampage in the forest but Asuna soon learns it was an alien creature. Fortunately, she is saved by the young man Shun and soon learns a secret organisation “Arch Angels” was seeking the secret underground world he came from for its powers to grant any wish. Asuna had the key to open the entrance. From there, Asuna goes on a journey in the world of Agartha to learn more about where this song came from.
Hence the Engrishy name, “Children Who Chase Lost Voices from Deep Below”. I say Engrishy because it’s not exactly a great title for marketing ^^;
As you’ll know from my 5cm posts, I wasn’t really impressed by Shinkai’s first two movies so I was pretty cautious when Hoshi wo Ou Kodomo, his latest work, was announced. At the same time, I was expecting it to be better than 5cm because with every new movie released, his direction seemed better. After watching a “preview” of it, I decided to go ahead and import the collector’s edition.
There’s still a long way to go before Shinkai’s work will be one of those that sell out on day one but he’ll get there I’m sure.
And yes, it contains English subtitles (and Simplified Chinese)!
Wow, Ghibli’s next movie “Karigurashi no Arrietty, The Borrower Arrietty” is going to based on another novel – The Borrowers by Mary Norton. Basically a group of tiny people who are about the size of a human hand, going about their tiny lives by borrowing whatever they can get their hands on while facing all the dangers of the giant “human beans” world. I used to watch the drama series on TV as a kid!