Guts: Custom Berserker Armor with Guts and Schierke
- Guts: Berserker Armor
    - by Black Minnaloushe
    - scale 1/10
    - limitation < 100
- Guts: Magun (Limited Edition)
    - by Art of War
    - scale 1/10
    - limitation 300

- Schierke
    - by Art of War
    - scale 1/10
    - limitation ?

- project finished 5.8.10
- estimated value of kit alone: $250+
- pictures uploaded 5.13.10
- painter / custom sculptor: John Allred

SO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THIS ONE. But I won't go into TOO much detail because it would take ages. Basically, I finally won the Black Minnaloushe kit that I've been eyeing for years. However, I've always liked it because it portrays Guts' Armor before the transformation, which is very rare. The pose, on the other hand, although I recognize the scene that Black Minnaloushe reproduced, to me is very static and boring. So I thought, well why don't we mod the kit so it's in the unworn, sitting position down in Flora's tree cave basement. One idea led to another and soon enough, John and I had this grand idea of recreating the scene just before Guts wears the Armor, and he and Schierke share that special moment. Although they never explicitly show Guts and Schierke holding hands in the manga (instead they just show Guts grabbing Schierke's wrist), this is how the moment feels to me. Because as we all know, from that moment on, the relationship between Guts and Schierke changed forever. It was a turning point in many ways, and no other person shares this kind of connection with Guts, not even Casca.

So that is where the idea comes from. The execution was a whole other battle. First of all, the Black Minnaloushe kit is much closer to a 1/10 scale than 1/8. So, it threw me a curve ball when trying to find an appropriately sized witch figure that John could modify into Schierke. At first, I purchased a cheap, but surprisingly high quality witch action figure from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, which I know nothing about but I saw potential in. The scale of the figure was 1/8, and the hair even matched Schierke's. But, as you can see from the picture down below, she was too big! I also wasn't sure what Guts figure I was going to use for the topless Guts on the ground, but fortunately, when discovering that the Black Minnaloushe kit was practically a 1/10 scale figure, I had many more options open up to me. Not only could I use AOW's Schierke action figure, I could use AOW's Guts: Magun statue. His right arm was already extended in a similar fashion, and actually the Magun piece has always been one of my favorite Guts statues from AOW. The face is one of the better ones out there. AOW's Schierke, on the other hand, left a lot to be desired for the face of the adorable witch. I was hoping that a different paint job would change that.

And off we go! John cut up the Black Minnaloushe kit at all the joints, and resculpted the joints to form the sitting position. He heated and bent the cape so it fell downwards at a more natural angle. As far as Schierke is concerned, he had to chop off a bit of the cape to expose her left arm. And with the Guts: Magun figure, John stripped away all the armor and cape, chopped and thinned down his INCREDIBLE BEEFY NECK (the neck must have been sculpted this way for it to stick out of the armor far enough), changed the angle of Guts' back so he would lay down more properly, cut off his right hand to re-angle it more appropriately, cut off his right thumb and reshaped it to clasp on top of Schierke's hand (so it looks like he's actually holding her hand instead of his sword), resculpted a chest and proper upper body, and wrapped bandages around Guts' abdomen (just as there were in the scene). After all these ridiculous mods, he painted up all the figures like the rockstar he is, and what you see below is the result!

On top of all this, he really added some nice details to the diorama. First off, the base and walls of the trunk were scratch built. I love how he did the roots and grain on the walls, and the way he painted the back side of the base was a really sweet touch. I was not expecting that! The treasure chest is super cool because he drew the symbols that are on the tree door onto the chest! The urn was scratch built and I love how he painted the lantern (you can almost see a little flame in there). He also made those leather straps with throwing knives that lay above Guts' head, just as they are in the manga. Attention to detail, my friends!

So there you have it. Okay, I seem to have written more than I planned to, but can you blame me?! Hope you enjoy the shots. Thanks a million, John!

(note: all pictures by John Allred, himself)


Original Prototype Picture

In-Progress Pictures

Finished Pictures

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