I think I must be the third one.----Rei Ayanami, Neon Genesis Evangelion

Slap Happy North slap happily presents
His forth resin kit
Neon Genesis Evangelion
Ayanami Rei, Neko Type!

Sometimes you see a kit and you know immediately that you have to build it. Such was the case with the Neko Rei kit, which represents my favorite scene in Neon Genesis Evangelion. You know, the one where Rei says "Gawd, I feel sexy!", climbs down out of her Eva, puts on a cat costume, and spends the next three hours giving Shinji a tongue bath...

Umm, okay, so that never happened, but I still love this kit, if only because it's such a departure for the character. I watched NGE again as I was working on this kit, and the one thing that stuck out in my mind was how I just wanted poor Rei to have a little fun before the eventual ...unpleasantness. And that's what this piece is all about: fun, plain and simple.

I was also looking for a more challenging type of project, and this one certainly proved to be that. I ended up using every trick I know, and inventing some new ones to get her right. The tiger stripe pattern took a lot of planning and research before I even started the painting phase, and then oil and acrylic paints went on in nine distinct paint applications to the torso alone.

The above shot is for those who just can't help checking out Rei's ass, and if the commentary on the EOE DVD is to be believed, apparently that's all of us. I got daring as you can see and tried painting panty hose for the first time by laying down a flesh tone, sealing it, and then misting with a fairly transparent black and hitting that with a semi gloss. It's not as consistent as I would like, but it ain't bad, either. The lighting in the shot above makes it look a little worse than it is in that regard.

Rei's hair was shaded with the airbrush, and then I came back with oils to fill in the deep recesses. I'll be using this technique again as you don't get all the hard lines like when you use an acrylic wash.

The nameplate was added when I realized the arrangement was a little plain. I wanted something simple, but didn't feel the kit needed any props like the ball of yarn I briefly considered. A nameplate seemed to be the way to go, but such a thing has to be done professionally in order to look right. I know nothing about engraving metal, so I went with a different approach. I printed the NGE logo off onto some water slide transfer paper, sealed it up, and then cut it out and laid it onto an elliptical mirror I got at the hobby store. I then epoxied that to the base, and viola, a classy plate.

Rei's eyes were also created using water slide paper, and I am very pleased. First pair of decent looking eyes I've ever put on a model.

I replaced the resin bell that came with the kit with a real metal one (sealed to prevent corrosion, of course.) and the resin tail with a melted paintbrush that was much less brittle and formed into a position I liked a little more. The kit tail also had a silly tuft of fur at the end, which was very un-tiger-like.