Angel Rebirth








Valentin E. Bueno





Who is Alita?

Alita (in English at least, in Japan and on the DVD, she's Gally) is found in the Junkyard as a head and an arm. She is a cyborg with a human brain. Daisuke Ido, a cyberdoctor from Tipahares (the city in the sky), exiled to the Junkyard, has a spare cyborg body. He attaches Alita's head to the cyborg body and viola we have a beautiful young cyborg with amnesia and an uncanny ability to fight. This is a brief synopsis of the beginning of the comic book series, Battle Angel Alita by Yukito Kishiro.


SOL Source

This is a new figure from the Korean Company SOL. They have a large range of figures, ranging from comic book heroes, to fantasy girls and heroes. They also make a nice set of update parts for Academy's 1/48 scale Su-27. The entire line will soon be available from VLS. Your local hobby shop should be able to get them.

 What I can't understand is why the artist used an eggshell in the base. The story line doesn't contain anything suggesting an avian connection. Angels don't necessarily have wings, nor do all things with wings come from eggs. Truthfully, only the cover art on the first issue had any kind of wing attached to her form. The rest of the time she is a sleek battle-ready body in a long coat! There is another kit available of Alita in 1/8 scale showing here in the long coat and yes, I have that one finished. 


Arms and Legs

The kit was cast completely in resin with only a few air bubbles that needed to be taken care of. Considering the different materials that apparently make up the actual character, this kit needed some long range planning to build and paint. It would be difficult to assemble the right arm over the left arm without finishing all the metal painting first. Likewise, it would have been a tricky masking job to paint the flesh areas without messing up the pre-painted metallic areas.

The first part to be actually glued together was the head to the body. The seam at the neck was taken care of with Alumilite two-part resin as filler. This was also used to fill any air bubbles that I found. What better material to fill resin than resin? Once filled and sanded to my satisfaction, the torso was brush painted with Polly S paints. Israeli tan was used as the base color, then mixed with flesh for highlights and red brown for shadows. I used very (very, very) thin coats of highlight and shadow. I applied about ten coats in each direction, letting the color slowly build up. Even now, I think I didn't go far enough with the highlights and shadows. They completely disappear in the photos.

While this was going on, the metallic areas were painted with different Testors Metalizer paint. I took some SNJ Aluminum polishing powder and applied it to select areas. A wash of dirty Tamiya thinner darkened the recessed areas was followed by a light drybrushing of Testors steel to highlight the edges. The metal areas of the torso, leg and arm were painted at the same time.

Once the inaccessible torso areas were dry, the right leg was joined and the seams addressed. This part didn't fit all that well and was the most tedious part of the project, until I got to the feathered wing. More on that later. I used every sanding trick I knew to get a smooth join all around. Everything from nail polishing pads to custom built sanding sticks was used. Once done, the leg was painted, highlighted and shaded.

Due to the nature of the pose, the right arm had to be painted before attaching to the torso. This of course would mean that afterwards, the seam would have to be sanded ruining a portion of the paint job. As a plastic modeler, I had learned to fully assembly everything, prior to painting. It pains me to sand a seam after I had painted it. Figure modelers, however, think nothing of painting everything first, then assembling it. I had to unlearn my plastic modeling ways to work on this figure. And of course, before attaching the right arm, the left arm must be attached. The fit there was wonderful and gave me no problems. Once the seam on the right arm was smoothed out and the area re-painted, I glued her to the assembled and painted base. This gave me a handle to hold her by without actually handling the figure and possibly breaking something.

Base Hit

The base was assembled from four pieces, two eggshell parts, the base and the umbilical cord. The base and umbilical cord were painted in various colors of Metallizer and Polly S. The eggshells were given several coats of Testors Model Master II Panzer Interior Buff. This is a glossy off white color that I thought looked great on the shells. At first I had some doubts as to the strength of the resin umbilical cord. These turned out to be unfounded, and resulting mounting, was very strong indeed. For photo proposes, the figure was placed on a rectangular wood plaque from the craft store. I smeared burnt umber oil paint all over it and shined it up with a clean sock. I ended up using this temporary base as the permanent base as the mechanical wing dips below the base of the figure.

Mirrors to the Soul…

Thankfully, her eyes are closed. That made painting her face a whole lot easier. Eyes are the mirrors of the soul, and on such a large-scale figure, very noticeable. I just used my regular shading and highlighting techniques here. Perhaps a bit more layers of thinned reddish flesh color for the cheeks and eyelid areas. Again, I went too light, and the colors really don't show up in the photos. Eyebrows and eyelashes were placed with RLM 66.

Her hair was comprised of two pieces, left and right. These were glued together and adjusted so that I could add the hair at a later time. It was base coated with Polly S RLM 66 Scale Black, with shadows done in RLM 22 Night black.

Next the left leg was attached, be careful not to scrape any other part of the body with the metallic leg. The paint will rub off and mar the flesh areas. Now she's starting to look real good. That's the Alita from the comic book.

Take Wing and Fly

The wings were a real chore to clean up. The worst of the two being the feathered wing. The mechanical wing was base coated in Polly S RLM 66 (again) and drybrushed with white oil paint. This was then attached to the left shoulder and the hydraulic pistons added and painted. The feathered was a real b***h. It was made up of two parts with a massive seam. I superglued the two parts together as best I could after a week of trimming, sanding and trial fitting. Despite all that work I was still left with a large step at the top of the wing. I used 50 grit (yes 50grit) sandpaper to even out the step and files to recut some of the lost feathers. I added the wing using the two resin plugs for support. Big mistake. A slight jolt to the base sent the wing straight to the floor where the two parts cracked apart. I put the wing down on my desk, put Alita down on my desk and walked away……for three months. After settling down a bit, I reattached the two wing parts together and put that aside to set. I got out the old trusty Dremel tool and reamed out two large holes in Alita’s back (ouch) and in the wing. I got two lengths of brass rod and sanded the ends to a slight taper. These were superglued into the wing and once set, into the two holes in her back. The wing attachment was still a little too unsteady so I got a thinner brass rod, glued one end into a niche near the tip of the wing and glued the other end into a hole in the base. Better safe than sorry….again. 


Wow. This is the first really well done 1/6 scale kit I have ever done. I liked the subject and after reading the 2D version on paper, I now have her in 3D!

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