This post will cover my complete WIP for the 1/12 Kaiyodo soft vinyl kit of Piccolo from Dragon Ball. It’s been a while since I’ve done an all-in-one WIP. This kit is hand painted with Vallejo Model Color, Artisan, and Duo Aquo paints. I painted this one in-between painting Goku. Completion time was 3 months (not non-stop lol).
Its really nice that the sculptor is named on the box. I can’t believe how the sculptor is sometimes a mystery with kits. I recently got Hobby Japan EX Summer 1996, and my Magical Princess 4 kit is featured in it. I though I would finally find the sculptor, but nope, the sculptor selection was just blank for this specific kit haha. The instructions for this kit are actually one with the box. The back panel is the instructions instead of a separate paper sheet. This is the first kit I’ve seen like this. The greyed-out areas are what should be trimmed from the vinyl. If an area is not greyed-out then the seemly excess vinyl is really needed to join parts together.
I ended up trimming the neck piece thinking it was excess vinyl. Notice that is is not greyed-out. This ended up not being such a bad move because the head and neck needed very high heat to be able to squeeze into place. I did not want to heat the parts after I painted them for fear of the paint cracking or flaking off. The original purpose of that part was to give the head limited mobility after assembly, but that is not a huge loss to me because I treat these kits as immobile statues.
If you are going for the cape look, the cape must be attached first followed by the head. I wanted to paint the cape separate so it means that the head and neck had to be painted as separate parts.
So even though I trimmed the neck joint by accident, I would have ended up taking the same action anyway. The only negative thing is that the head and neck seem to be at an awkward angle…
No color photo is included, but you can see a black and white completed picture, along with a painting guide. This kit was first released in 1991 and retailed for 2500, which is what I paid for mine too. Here are all the parts. This kit is a little bit more complex than the others in the set. It was nice to take a break from resin kits to work on vinyl, but I’m so glad I’m done with all my vinyl kits. You can see this kit comes with two faces because it is optional to complete the kit with Piccolo wearing his cape and turban.
The antenna box part is for use with the other head when Piccolo is not wearing the cape and turban. I thought the part would be difficult to remove from the vinyl box but actually it was really easy when the parts were heated. I’ve had resin parts casted like this and never could separate them from the flash too well. I guess I needed to heat them a little bit…
Most of the casts I’ve seen of this kit have been casted in this green vinyl. One time I saw the kit casted in white/grey. I think the white vinyl would have worked better because majority of the kit is not green… I washed the kit before trimming any of the parts. Here are some of the parts up close. There was a lot of excess vinyl that needed to be trimmed on this kit. One of the legs had some pinholes that needed to be filled. There are no seamlines with vinyl kits. Or at least there were none with these Kaiyodo kits. The cape part really confused me. After trimming the cape, you can still clearly see on the part where it was trimmed. Usually the trimmed part will be hidden by another part when you assemble. So I did not know if I should keep on trimming or attempt to sand down the edges. I went with sand paper and started with 100 grit and then worked down to 600. I would have still been sanding the cape if I started off with a higher grit. I filled this kit with plaster also. Here I just tape all the parts so they did not move when I poured the plaster. The cape was made of the same material as the rest of the kit but of course it could not be filled with plaster. The top portion shows the ratio of plaster to water that I used. I added the plaster to the water little by little and then mixed it with a wooden stick. I started to scrape away excess plaster as it was still curing. It is much easier to remove wet plaster, and there is no dust. I dont remember what happened, but the plaster broke inside one of the arms. I felt it was just going to annoy me, so I removed the plaster and re-poured this part. I used both glues to attach the parts. I’ve been using the gorilla glue on my resin kits for some time now. In this case, I used some of the Beacon glue at the same time. The gorilla glue felt that it was not sticking to the vinyl. I use Beacon glue more for craft items like fabric bows, where the gorilla glue is not optimal. After some time I attached the arms into the torso and filled that part with plaster. I wanted the plaster in the arms to dry before adding more plaster. The arms and head could have been moveable after assembly. But the parts needed to be heated to fit into place. I added magic sculpt around the arms to ensure a tight seal between the parts. Otherwise, the plaster would have leaked out all over the place. Since I could not fill the cape with plaster, I added a thin coat of magic smooth. I did not want the cape to change shape in the hot weather. The left is when it is still wet, and the right picture is when it is cured. magic smooth is translucent if applied in a thin layer. Otherwise it looks a bit yellowish. After sanding the magic smooth, I added magic sculpt to even out some areas. Magic smooth is thinner but its more sticky and messy so I tend to favor magic sculpt. I put some time into the cape but ultimately I just gave up on it lol. It is rigid now and would not deform on high temperatures but I did not do the whole cape, so I probably made the part unstable. The cape could have used a few more sanding and putty sessions but I felt it was alright as you dont see this part of the cape really… The feet are separate from the legs. I generally like when the feet and legs are one solid part as I feel the kit has greater stability. Here I am test fitting the two legs. I ended up having to shave more plaster in order for the parts to fit better. You can see in the background that carving plaster is very dusty. I pinned the legs, but the pin did not really feel secure in the plaster. I used magic sculpt to joint the parts together. Of course it is stronger than just using the gorilla or beacon glue. It added more weight to the kit also. I did not take a picture, but I also used some magic sculpt to attach the hands and feet. Generally I use either magic sculpt or magic smooth to attach parts that are very heavy or are weight supporting. For everything else I just use the gorilla super glue. It strong enough for smaller scale kits that are not too dynamic.I am going to be painting the kit in three parts. The cape will not fit in place if the head is already attached, so I had to leave it separate. Here is Piccolo primed. I used a thinner coat and did not have any problems like the other kits.
Here is the kit all together. I just choose one way to display a kit when given the choice between optional parts.I’m hand brushing Vallejo Model Color paints. I decided to go with these colors over other variations. I add the cape on. You can see the underside is 100% smooth. I could not sand it anymore lol.The original green vinyl color seemed too neon, but a light wash over it made a really nice color. Since I used white primer, I had to repaint it completely. Piccolo is all put together now. I think the head and neck look a little strange but its was best that I could do. Now I use oils for shading. The left is what my paint palette looks like when I begin painting. The right is when I’m done. Here I am shading the cape. It looks alright, but not really spectacular. I needed to put more time into shading the cape but I wanted to be done with this kit already at this point lol.
Completed pictures below.