“Trick or treat, my scene complete, gives me something good to tweet.”
Welcome to the candy cemetery, where all the sweets lay to rest. And while you probably sacrifice some toffee to little ghost and ghouls on All Hallows’ Eve, Flandre is already doing some gravedigging by munching away a whole cake.
About the figure:
Based on an Illustration by Natsume Eri and released in spring 2022 by Good Smile Company, this 1/7 scale figure of one of the Scarlet sisters, is one of the cutest figures I’ve seen in quite a while. As soon as her pre-order was up, I simply had to buy her, because I knew that she would be the star of this years Halloween photo. Since the release date was far away from the actual holiday, I had enough time to come up with a motive and also film an in-depth review for my YouTube format “Scaled Affairs”.
Like I said in the review, the figure has an amazing quality but is also quite fragile and the backpiece with her wings and the crystals is kinda hard to assemble. Also, her MSRP beyond 20K is quite high. Even if you factor in the recent price hikes and the favorable currency convention rate, 200+ bucks in my local currency for a standalone figure amps up your expectations quit a bit. Luckily the quality holds up and I’m especially fond of her crystal-clear base. You see this kind of base on almost every pre-production figure and in all the promotion pictures but most of the time it gets swapped out for a colored plastic one in the end. I guess it comes down to preference but I’m a fan of those clear mounts. In my opinion it looks so much cleaner when displayed in an illuminated showcase.
About the series:
This isn’t my first figure photo featuring a Touhou character (this honor goes to the Halloween pictures from two years ago) but it’s the first one where I decided to wrote a blog entry. Therefore, it’s one of these rare moments, where I can write about an IP without rehashing old thoughts.
Sadly, I’m not an expert on the subject of Bullet-Hell or a Touhou megafan, but from what I got it’s a franchise that started as an indie game mainly developed by one person, that spun into a much bigger franchise with a rich lore and a very creative fanbase. Said fanbase was extremely active in the early 2010s with tons of doujin circles, musicians, cosplayers and other artists, all adding to the existing groundwork laid out by its original creator. I for one have only played a couple stages of the earlier games and a friend of mine introduced me to a few Touhou bands such as Iron Attack or SOUND HOLIC.
Unfortunately figures from that area weren’t nearly as lavish as todays releases and therefore, a sculpt like this Flandre or the upcoming one by Alter, for those who want her to look a bit more sinister and evil must be highly appreciated by fans of the series.
Thoughts about the picture:
Despite not being particular frequent with my output and therefore not shooting many holiday themed pictures, a Halloween entry became some sort of tradition in my yearly routine. Same goes for a pretty strict non-sugar diet in the month of October. So, in order to distract myself from constantly thinking about how I miss my daily dose of chocolate, I usually use the spare time for brainstorming some photo opportunities. For this year’s spooky picture little Flandre was the model and sweets was the theme. But since my baking skills are limited to making muffins and pancakes, I outsourced most of the hard work to my mom, who is a hobby confectioner and already made a few props for my photos.To make things easier for her and to better communicate my vision, I made a one-to-one mockup cake out of cardboard and a quick pre-composition of the arrangement I had in mind. Then my mom conjured up a delicious treat and all I had left to do was provide a base (a wooden board with some moss and clay attached to it), on which to arrange the sugary Halloween décor in a compelling way.
This picture is also a rare instance where I used a stock photo blasted on a TV as a background. Normally I restrain myself from doing so but in this case, it was an easy and effective way to create some additional atmosphere. As you might already guessed it, the base idea was to provide Ms. Scarlet with the rest of the cake to the slice she already holds in her hand. Why is the cake so big or the slice to tiny you might ask? Well,…let’s say a wizard did it. And for all the people concerned about wasting or playing with food, we disposed the cake the next day on Halloween – in our tummies, at the annual party in my apartment.
Over the last couple of years, Halloween became one of my favorite things to celebrate. Even though I’m not a big fan of horror or slasher films and when I was little the custom of “Trick or Treat” wasn’t practice in my neck of the woods, I really love the fall season and I’m also love doing spooky Halloween pictures with my figures.
Sony Alpha 7R II, 55mm Sony lens / ISO 100 /exposure time 1/8 sec. /aperture: f/7.1
Time and effort: This was one of the photos, that took a bit longer to setup before shooting and I can imagine that my mother also had to invest quite some time into building the props. But overall, this picture has a surprisingly good ratio of time sunk into it and final result.
Costs of the props: Production is always cheap if you outsource the labor to relatives. But jokes aside, the ingredients for the cake and all the sugar paste quickly adds up. I would estimate the overall costs between 30-40 bucks.