Reviewed in MILITARY MODELLING, February 1999
Kyoto Belle is the first in a series of female busts from PiLiPiLi which will be dedicated to "women of the world throughout the ages".
Kyoto Belle is an 18th century Japanese courtesan, of Japan's 'Floating World' and more commonly known as a geisha, a caste who were (and perhaps still are?) trained in the arts of singing and dancing for the purposes of entertainment. Geisha wore white make-up and had elaborate (some very much so) hair styles.
Painting can be as simple or complicated as shown on the full colour box illustrations. Kyoto Belle's creator Le-van Quang has painted a carp (koi) tattoo on her back; which he says, was highly symbolic
Although the bust is within the realms of its classical parameters a left hand is included in the kit which is optional to cover an exposed breast with a screen fan (uchiwa) which can be painted with miniature designs or landscapes to great effect, representing the exquisite wood cut designs of the originals.
Assembly is fairly straightforward, but there are some blocks left from the casting process to remove before trying the parts for correct fit. Some parts should be painted, in whole or part before final assembly. This is a lovely miniature and it will be interesting to see who comes along next.
© reproduced with permission