Kensho Miniatures seemed to appear out of nowhere at the end of 2019 with a bust which seemed to tick a lot of popular boxes:
- female, check
- cybernetic, most definitely
- many different textures, yup
- uncomplicated to assemble... there is zero assembly!
You shouldn't judge a miniature by it's packaging... but we all do it. Nothing more disappointing that paying for something that you've saved some funds for and have it turn up in a zip lock bag in a padded envelope. But that is rarely the case and isn't here as you can see.
Plastic is kept to a minimum, just one zip lock holding Skylar within a bed of black shredded paper. So that's pretty cool. Brown cardboard is the order of the day with a paper sleeve to give it something a little different. Both with the Kensho logo stamped on.
Inside I was greeted to a thank you card and a couple of stickers. This copy came to me from Mr Lee's Miniatures so this is standard. Always a nice touch and I've not met someone in the hobby yet who doesn't love stickers.
As already said; Skylar is a single piece bust so the part count is a big, singular...1.
Straight out the bag you can spot that there doesn't look to be much in the way of prep work to do. No excess resin blocks, pour points, or vents to remove. Very unexpected.
Skylar very much fits in the cyberpunk type genre which has really boomed since 2017 thanks to films like Ghost in the Shell and Alita Battle Angel, and shows like Altered Carbon. You can find images all over Instagram and Pinterest for ideas and inspiration too.
Sci-fi armour and cybernetics coupled with a very human looking face really seals the setting.
Coming in at around 80mm, Skylar is large for an academic bust but still smaller than many others which are often more around the 100mm size and with arms.
Details are certainly there and some are seriously finely created. The chest armour for example has a hex pattern which I only knew to look for from seeing painted examples. Something I could've easily missed.
The face can easily make or break a sculpt. I'm liking what the sculptor has done here.
If you look closely the symmetry has been broken. I'm not going to tell you where though. Now I'm unsure whether that was by design of result of adding the slight head tilt, but it is good and something many digital sculptors forget with the human face.
Her eyebrows are sculpted but unlike many have the edges broken up so they don't look like stuck on bits of plastic.
Great observations by whomever made the decisions for those adjustments.
You wouldn't get that in a one piece plastic miniature... ever. Not a hope in hell.
I sadly don't know who the caster is behind Skylar. I can guess because of the resin quality, detail retention, and cut placement. But I wouldn't want to credit the wrong person. But if I was a caster and the master print arrived with all those undercuts I'd likely be hiding the swear box.
Pistons, cables, wires, moulded metal, and rubber all overlapping in that neck area. Some lovely folds in what I imaging is a rubber covering over her neck too. Tons to wiggle your brushes around.
There's a couple of areas I need to talk about.
First up, the shoulders. The left one has a fine mould line which runs up into the hair slightly. Nothing massive. A little sanding and scraping along the hair will have that sorted in no time. The right one however confused me a little as the back edge on the square cornered plate looks like someone got a bit overzealous with the blade during cleaning. But after looking at the render photos, this is for some reason how it was sculpted. Feels a little odd with all the clean lines across the rest of the bust.
The other area... her hair. She has lots of it. But it's a strange design and feels almost like a lot of long fox tail like shapes put in place to form the general shape of the hair and then not completely finished. Some fairly odd sectioning for me. Bit of a shame as generally the sculpting on this is excellent. I just find the hair a little lacking in comparison to the incredible cyber and tech parts, and her face. Even the cloth on her back and sides of the body hangs better. Sorry.
Lastly I should talk about the lack of clean up to do. As you can see the underside is pretty much clean thanks to someone at Kensho doing much of the sanding for you. Can't complain about that as it's nicely squared off and clean up wouldn't take more than ten minutes light sanding. I actually didn't even do it for the photos below.
Even with being slightly put off by the hair I can't help but be impressed with Skylar. Especially being a single piece cast and being so clean right out of the box. I can see why I've noticed her being used at classes.
The lines are clean and details generally really well created. Most of the organic areas look great too. Especially where it really counts in the face.
Certainly a classic style and I'm expecting to see all sorts of tricks done from non metallic metal to true metallics, object source lighting, atmospheric lighting, and all kinds of things painters are constantly coming up with.
I'm really looking forward to seeing what future releases come out of Kensho if this is a taster of the intended quality from them.
Where can I buy Skylar?
You can of course by direct from Kensho Miniatures at https://www.kenshominiatures.com for €44.99. Alternatively; Skylar is also available from the UK stockist Mr Lee's Miniatures at https://www.mrleesminis.com/product-page/skylar for £45.
You can keep up to date with Kensho Miniatures via their Facebook page or Instagram. A good way to see plenty of painted examples.
Thank you for your time. Stay safe. And keep away from Norm's painting water.
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