A look back at Sonico Bath Time version

posted in: A look back, Figurine Photography | 15

“A look at …” might become a new kind of category on this blog, basically it means to reshoot a figure with a new more refined idea in mind. I already did that with Momohime from ALTER.

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 088

I’m a passionate figure collector who not only puts his figures on the shelf, I also like taking creative pictures of  them and write a review about my impressions afterwards.  In advance I always think about a fitting setting for the figure and take care about getting all needed parts together on time. As active figure reviewer you want to get your posts out on time, so the first idea that comes to mind will most probably be only one to be executed in the shooting.

Sometimes this behavior leads to not so good results, aside from quality or aesthetic aspects, there are other reason that make me decide to take some time for another photoshoot.
It can happen that I suddenly think about something that would be cool for one of my figures.

This time we will take A look back at Sonico Bath Time version from Native. I seperated the girl from her bath tub and “throw” her in the water. I aimed to get more atmosphere into the pictures inside hot spring setup. Shy as Sonico naturally is she took her towel along the well temperatured water.

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 078

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 082

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 081

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Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 093

About the model

Sonico Bath Time version was sculpted by Zenko, released in 2012 she was one of the more iconic Sonico figures and nearly on par with Orchid Seed’s black bondage Sonico, a real gem.

The Sonico from Native has a few things that keep her from being perfect, like where is the blush from the illustration, the sliced bath tub or as Chag once said, the shape of her boobs is not to everyone’s liking. Still it’s a great figure with a shapely body and a big expressive face, nice hair and detailed headphones.  I like her a lot with the nice sculpting of her upper body, arms and collarboes, I also love how she covers herself with a towel and her bathing pets are funny.

Check out her review for reference.

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 079

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 077

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 084

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 074

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 083


The idea

For some time I had the urge to try a new idea to do a re – shooting of this Sonico Bath Time version from Native, not that I think that the pictures I did for her review were bad, but I badly wanted to do a re – shoot. I really racked my brain about this one, the first difficulty was to figure out what to do with her anyway, the solution hit my me like lightning … Onsen!!!

The second difficulty was related to the materials, starting from the right sized bowl and ending with the floor, this floor was the biggest obstacle actually, Well, you can’t imagine how long it took me too find one, luckily the DIY store had something usable. A 1/6 scaled figure  in particular requires big props to match the figures size, another thing to take into consideration was, that this Sonico has a pose that is in need for support this and her legs limited the possibilities for a fitting setting . You can’t just put her somewhere and push the trigger.

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 086

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 073

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 072

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 069

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 075

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 067

Used Materials and Preparations

– background board Mark IV 60×40 cm
– riffled cardboard 60×40 cm
-wooden board 60×40 cm
– pottery bowl
– basalt rocks
– plastic bamboo twine
– DVD’s
– modded box
– support stones

The modded box was once a storage for DVD’s, but I often use it as background support, this time as well, to support  background board Mark IV,  I used a still  work in progress board, which is supposed to be for Tharja. For a little color I hung the plastic bamboo twine above the board.

The bowl had a hole at the bottom that had to be closed properly, to match the heights of floor and bowl I used two heaps of DVD’s, a few basalt rocks along the rim and ready is the hot spring for Sonico. Inside the bowl I’ve put a few support stones to prevent the figure from drowning.

The floor was made of riffled cardboard, after  I cut a huge hole in it, it lost all of it’s stability instantly, so I had to reinforce it with thick cardboard stripes and connected the edges. The floor should have a slight gloss and be water resistant so I painted it with a layer clear spar varnish.

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 070

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Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 080

Technical Equipmet

For the light, there was my trustworthy 60 x 40 Wallimex softbox from the left, from the right there was a Metz flash set to 1/35 output equipped with wireless trigger, softbox and gel filter. Behind and above there was one china flash set to 1/64 output, equipped with softbox and gel filter, even though I don’t think it pointed in the right direction because of the high background.

An onsen without steam is just a pond, so I also used my mini fog machine, a very cool gadget for scale figures with fog over the water it creates the illusion of steam perfectly.

My Sony a 550 was recently exchanged with the powerful Sony a 77, it’s good to wield a semi pro camera once again. it button placement reminds me of my old 20D.

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 094

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 091

Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 085

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Sonico Bath Time - Native - II - 092

The summary

Even  though it took months to set my idea into action and some obstacles were quite a pain in the ass, in the end it was fun shoot Sonico within this setup. It’s fun to throw all the review aspects away for some time and just take pictures for fun, passion or admiration for the figure.

What not worked in this setup were  a few minor things that I forgot to test before and, for example the bowl wasn’t high enough so I couldn’t let Sonico sink deep enough to cover her bare boobs with water. I also could have placed a brush or a few of these wooden buckets, the girls throw when men want enter the hot spring, at the sidelines. Good that things always come to mind AFTER the shooting ended. Anyway I’m quite satisfied how this reshoot turned out.

The next “A look back at” might be happen soon, I guess it will be Sansei Muramasa
from Max Factory where  I already gathered most materials and then Sayaka Miki from GSC.



15 Responses

  1. AEduque

    This “look back” thing can be a new in-thing for all of us, we all have figure reviews we want to fix or we just wanna do them all over again. At what aperture were you shooting at? They look great!

    Oh and by putting the mouse cursor over the pic, the pic lights up like how lenses fog up in a steamy onsen. Hahahaha

    • wieselhead

      Yes, definetely, it is fun to do it when you have a certain idea in mind.
      Thank you very much 😉 I have to figure out how not to kill the exifs in the last step.
      Well, I used different aperture numbers, 2.8 4.0 6.3 7.1 and 11.0 I was puzzled that I had still light with 11.0 😀
      If you are interested in the data of certain pictures I will look them up.

      For Real! haha but this wasn’t planned at all, neat ^^

  2. Bakayaro

    Die Idee mit dem Re-Shoot finde ich super! Ich habe auch oft das Gefühl, dass ich ein paar Figuren noch einmal komplett neu fotografieren will da man sich mit der Zeit schließlich auch weiterentwickelt und man vielleicht sogar die ein oder andere bessere Idee hat. :3
    Und da ist dir ja echt was geniales gelungen mit dem Onsen! Nicht nur die Idee ist super sondern ist es auch genial umgesetzt. Respekt! Habe sehr viel Spaß an den Fotos, mehr davon! :3

    • wieselhead

      Danke, manchmal möchte man die Figur einfach nochmal fotografieren, aus welchem Grund auch immer 🙂
      Man kann das bei den ganzen aktuellen reviews schonmal vergessen, aber wenn mal weniger los ist, kann man das schonmal machen,
      Ja es macht auch Spass, auch wenn es mir diesmal ziemliches Kopfzerbrechen bereitet hat, das fotografieren und die Ergebnisse waren dann aber Lohn genug ^^
      Vorallem ist der Druck weg, das review zeitig fertig zu bekommen, es bleibt mehr Zeit dir etwas zu überlegen und dementsprechend vorzubereiten.

      Dankeschön, es freut mich das es dir gefällt, so ein Lob höre ich doch gern ^^

  3. feal87

    Those photos looks great and it’s such a nice idea to create your own setting for the figures. Looking forward to other “A look back at” if they keep this quality. 😀

  4. Miette-chan

    Oh man, this is great, I’m loving these pictures and set up. I love your description of how it was done, I should have saved that picture you posted some time ago so I could see it along side the description. Water and and figures is not something that really comes to mind to me for some reason, may be because I shot mostly indoors. If any figure besides the usual swimsuits fits a water themed set up I suppose this onsen Sonico does. Her wet hair really makes it seem like she is at an onsen.

    A look at figures seems like a great plan, there are some figures I would love to reshoot with hopefully better ideas. Unluckily for me, a good deal of those figures got left behind at home. Which is good since rather than being stuck with old figures I already took pictures of I can shoot new ones.

    • wieselhead

      Thank you, I’m glad that it turned out like that and about the positive feedback all around.
      I thought it would be nice to mention how the things have been made and arranged, also my suffering ^o^,
      you are talking about this picture ?
      From afar it looks rather messy and unprofessional, but what counts is the outcome XD

      The figure is very fitting for this kind of setup, water in the house is somewhat limited, you can’t splash around too much, obviously.
      I see, well I also rather focus on new ones, I see “a look back” as a way to feed my exploding creativity, when looking at my collection,
      I sometimes get an idea I want to try, it always takes more time and effort than a random review.

  5. Cerberus

    The fog machine worked out great! And her pose looks surprisingly natural sitting on a rock. I could hardly recall that she was standing in the bath tub before

    • wieselhead

      Thank you, it has enough output for figure photography ^^
      Yeah it fitted surprisingly well after I prevented her legs from sliding away.
      Without wanting to sound conceited, I think the figure is more convincing in this setting than in her quarter cut bathtub.
      A wooden barrel based tub like this would be a good and easy compromise between these things.

  6. Tier

    It’s always fun to build a special backdrop for a figure you really like. Okay, maybe it’s not; I’m not much of a diorama builder and that’s one reason why I don’t post as much as I used to. But it’s fun when the pictures turn out nicely, as they did here. It’s always funny how the pictures can turn out great and people say how much they like them, when the setup was really, really ghetto and the photographer spent a ton of time and effort trying to hide that. Though on the flipside, it’s and odd combination of satisfying and aggravating when you encounter one problem after another while trying to get everything set up and nobody knows how much of a hassle it was but you.

    • wieselhead

      Indeed it is fun, but I would only suggest to make such effort with figures you really like or the ones that deserve a better setting XD
      I always try to put some effort into building these smaller things, but also not to invest too much time into it.
      Even though some things had to be improvised, it is always interesting that a “messy” setup can turn out as convincing setup when the lens comes closer.

      I think a lot before I put more elaborate setups like this into action, realizing certain difficulties before is better, at least the major parts should work ;D

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