Author Topic: Tsukuda 1:6 Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water I, II, and III soft vinyl builds  (Read 36 times)

Offline stevethefish

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After completing the Devil Hunter Yohko soft vinyl figure earlier this year, I began working on three 1:6 scale Nadia figure builds simultaneously.

If you're unfamiliar with the Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water, it is a steampunk SF anime heavily inspired by Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea (as well as Laputa: The Castle in the Sky, as many would argue). The show starts out small and keeps expanding. Nadia is the main character, the girl with an unknown past, trying to discover where she is from. She meets a boy named Jean who is infatuated with her at first sight, and their adventures lead them aboard the submarine Nautilus and eventually into outer space, even. The adolescent love story is also a bit refreshing because Jean is decisive and spends the rest of the show pursuing Nadia's heart. No brooding denial or indecision that seems to be the standard for anime.


The Nadia I figure is of her wearing her default outfit, her circus performance outfit she wears as she escapes her pursuers with her new friend Jean. The vest is a separate piece, so what I am attempting to accomplish is having her arms removable to have the vest removable. I have embedded corresponding strong magnets into her body and her arms.

Here is a photoset of this kit.


The Nadia II figure is of her wearing a bathing suit, as seen in a few episodes. This kit also comes with King, Nadia's loyal pet lion cub.

Here is a look at this kit.


The Nadia III figure can be built in two different ways: with her cropped tunic and shorts that she wears when aboard the Nautilus.


Here are the two different versions. To build this kit, you will choose either set of clothes and attach them to her as you build. Her body is a bare torso which to fit the clothing onto. It's not exactly "anatomically correct," but I won't use image tags for these pictures just in case anybody is at work.

Here is a look at this kit.


For these figures, I will be using V-Color paints. These are specifically made to be used with soft vinyl kits. They not so much apply a layer of paint but rather somehow manage to change the color of the vinyl. These paints are extremely flexible and you'd need to really stress the vinyl in order to show cracks. I've only done test shoots so far, but they work very well. You spray these paints directly onto the vinyl without priming. These paints can only be used with V-Color thinner. Some people online say that they have used acetone to thin it. It is difficult to find V-Color paints outside of Japan. In America, there is an equivalent paint called Mad Ape Ninja. It's said to be identical to V-Color. After the difficulty I had painting Yohko, I will go with V-Color from now on.

My original plan was to paint Nadia's fleshtone with a mixture of Tamiya Brown, White, and Orange. But after seeing how it can be easily scratched off vinyl, I have mixed V-Color Light Brown with Yellow Orange and matched her beautiful fleshtone perfectly.

OK, so to comment a bit about these figures. The Nadia I figure's vinyl is cast all in her fleshtone. The II and III figures come cast in different colors: fleshtone for the body, dark blue for the hair, yellow for the bathing suit, and white for the dress. All of the figures come with gold earrings to attach to Nadia's ears.

So far I have been doing "squish fits" to get her joints to look nice. A squish fit is done by applying Vaseline to the parts, for example along her arm socket, cramming epoxy resin into the arm joint, then squishing it into place. I then use my wet finger to try to smooth down the resin that squishes out. Once dry, the vaseline will allow me to pull the arms off with ease. These Tsukuda kits do not have such a fantastic fit that the Yohko figure by Falchion did, which did not require any puttying.

This squish fit technique is difficult. I have learned that it's best not to try to get all the way around the shoulder right on the first try, but to do a little at a time.


Here's a dry fit of the Nadia II figure. The parts are unpainted and come cast in different colors. This could be the easiest of the three kits to build, because there are no parting lines in her skin. I believe the parts could be painted individually and then CA glued into place.


For the Nadia III figure, I needed to cut a lit up along one side. For this kit, I will need to dry fit her arms onto her nude torso, paint them, then pop the arms off, and attach the dress. Since I am using V-Color, no friction should scratch the painted surfaces while working with the material. Once the dress is on, I will apply CA glue to close up the incision and then glue her arms back into place.


Here is a dry fit of the dress on her body. Since the dress is a bit peek-a-boo with large arm holes that expose the sides of her torso, I will have to take care to make the seams as smooth and invisible as possible.

As I mentioned, I won't use the IMG tags for anything slightly NSFW. Here is a dry fit of her head and torso. As you can see, it is nothing naughtier than what you'd see as a department store mannequin. I just don't want to cause any problems for anybody.

I've been slowly uploading videos of the build on the Nadia I figure.

I have been videoing the progress on the other two kits, however I have decided to not upload those until I've finished the first kit, and then upload the other videos in order to prevent confusion.

Offline Scott Girvan

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Nice work. Having built the AMT Rancor I know how vinyl can be quite 'different' to build.