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Event Report: WHF Ariake 18

We conclude our coverage of last week’s World Hobby Festival Ariake 18 Final with an overall “meta” look at the event. If you’ve been wondering exactly what WHF is or why it was canceled after nearly a decade of successful operation, this is the post for you:

WHF Ariake 18: PVC maker galleries

Wrapping up the meat of our pictorial coverage of WHF Ariake 18, we take a look at the coming PVC and resin releases of professional makers present at the event. Includes uncensored looks at Yamato’s Animal Girl Bonnie and Daiki Kougyou’s Sugimoto Anna, a gallery of Musashiya’s castoff Ikkitousen cold casts, and Kurushima’s “swimsuit” Kanu resin, among others:

WHF Ariake 18: garage kits galore

We wrap up our coverage of the garage kit side of WHF Ariake 18 with a final sweep through the day’s photo shoot, catching dozens of great figures that didn’t quite fit in anywhere else. A lot of sculptors worked really hard to make this final event one to remember, and all their hard work paid off:

WHF Ariake 18: To Heart 2, Fate, Nanoha

With the early ’08 release of the To Heart 2: Another Days expansion new life was breathed into the venerable Leaf bishoujo game franchise, resulting in a significant garage kit presence at WHF Ariake 18 which we document here. Nanoha StrikerS continues into 2008 with the strong showing it had last year, and while reduced in number there were still a few Fate/stay night kits of note that were worth taking a look at:

WHF Ariake 18: Lucky Star, Gurren Lagann, Vocaloid

The fervor surrounding Lucky Star, Gurren Lagann, and the Vocaloid virtual idol character Hatsune Miku (and now Kagamine Rin and Len) has continued strong since the summer of last year, and WHF Ariake 18 saw a fresh crop of kits emerge based on these popular franchises. We’ve got a round up of many of them below (and a few older ones as well), for your perusing pleasure:

WHF Ariake 18: Osiris’s Persona 3 Aegis

Osiris of sculpting circle Heavy Gauge is one of the most skilled hands working in the PVC figure arena today (Holstein Hanako-san, Guernsey), and it’s unsurprising that his personal garage kit work is equally remarkable. Along with his Heavy Gauge colleague Kana he participated at WHF Ariake 18 yesterday under the circle name “3D Megane”, where the painted prototype of his Persona 3 Aegis (Aigis) kit was on display. The results of an ensuing photographic frenzy can be found below:

WHF Ariake 18: ero garage kits

We continue our coverage of WHF Ariake 18 with a look at the [ERO] garage kits present at the event. If something you were expecting to see here is not, odds are we’ve covered it in past event coverage; I’ve tried to generally avoid redundancies, though they do creep in on occasion. I should note that this particular batch contains more extreme content than usual, so those of weak stomach and those not of legal age to view explicit content should look elsewhere. I repeat: those not legally able to view sexually explicit material should not browse past this point. If you’re an adult with an open mind, by all means proceed!

WHF Ariake 18: Cobra-Kai’s Saber

Sculptor Toushirou of circle Cobra-Kai is known for his epic large-scale works, usually featuring characters with voluptuous builds and his trademark heavy-lidded eyes. When I first saw the rough draft of his resin rendition of Fate/stay night‘s Saber at last Wonder Festival I momentarily didn’t recognize it as his work; she seems so far afield from what he normally sculpts. But now that the kit is complete it’s apparent that it’s none other than his genius hand at operation, and this is a kit that made one of the biggest impressions at yesterday’s WHF Ariake 18. See below for a full castoff [ERO] gallery:

WHF Ariake 18: Yoko vs. Yoko

What happens when two of the bishoujo sculpting masters of Japan decide to tackle the same subject with their own unique interpretations? We found out yesterday at WHF Ariake 18, where I was treated to my first look at the completed renditions of two new Gurren Lagann Yoko “space look” resin kits by two veteran hands of the craft. See below for gallery reviews of both:

WHF Ariake 18: Industry News

In the interests of me getting some sleep tonight I’m going to confine this post to actual news, and leave images of already announced figures for a subsequent update. There wasn’t a huge amount of industry movement at the event, but the tidbits that came out are noteworthy nonetheless:

WHF Ariake 18 at a glance

I just walked in the door from World Hobby Festival Ariake 18 Final and am now in the midst of processing images for our site coverage of the event. First up is a preliminary overview of some of the exceptional items on display at the Big Sight today, which will be followed shortly by a roundup of news from PVC makers who were there (lagging slightly behind the Tokyo-based blogs due to the four-hour trek home after the event ^^;;). Stay tuned!

Griffon goes nekomimi Kanu at WHF Ariake 18

I thought Griffon’s WHF Ariake 18 lineup was complete with their listing a few days back, but it seems such musings were premature – last night they unveiled a nekomimi-clad Kanu Unchou resin kit from Ikkitousen that will be making its sales debut at the event. The kit is an unpainted/unassembled resin cast kit with a total of 42 parts, 1/7 scale (11.5 cm tall), with a sculpt from Akiyama Akio (previous work includes this Hakufu cold cast from Griffon’s R-Line brand). The kit includes chibi versions of Chouhi Ekitoku and Ryuubi Gentoku, and it seems clear that the skirt part (at least) is removable. Griffon will be bringing 70 copies of the kit to the event, where it will retail for 8,800 yen; no word of mass production as a finished kit has been announced, but this is one we’ll be keeping a sharp eye out with the hope of seeing a cold cast or PVC version announced soon. Image below:

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