this intimidating Tenyo Metallic Nano model. I really like how it’s set up as an armor display, not an actual person wearing the armor, and yet looks kinda like a ghost is sitting on a box, wearing the armor. I also love the contrast and the vibrant colors.

Wow it’s been a while. And by that, I mean it’s been a while since I built this Yoroi model from Tenyo’s Metallic Nano line. It was the last model I’d completed before my unplanned sabbatical from building / blogging, and I didn’t get around to finishing up the post. Which is sad, because these armor models are stunners. Anyways, I’ll continue with the rest of the post that I had written at the time. Though, if you see a large block in italics, it’s stuff I’ve added.

But the one thing that I really love is the thing that made me laugh: why does this armor have a moustache!!??! A golden one, to boot! Okay, well, I actually love a lot of things about this model, but that one stands out. The other feature that’s right up there is the layered armor flaps around the waist and on the shoulders. They just look neat.

So… funny thing about being out of practice, I’ve also upgraded cell phones in the interim, and forgot to check the settings on the app I use to record the 360-videos. And apparently, I used it to record a time-lapse at some point, because it was set to 4x speed. So… sorry about the choppy choppy video above. I slowed it down so it didn’t revolve at mach speed.

As you can see, there is a lot to love about this model, but that love comes at a cost. This puppy has a lot of curves, and not all of them are simple. Still, it’s not loaded with microscopic pieces that have complicated folding requirements, so it’s not the most challenging of builds. Then again, I’m wondering if I’m losing touch with what makes a model challenging as I continue to build. Back in the day, a dome / semi-sphere in a build instantly marked it as challenging in my mind, but now I’ve gotten used to them, developed a technique for them. That’s one of the nice things about these metal models, though… you find a groove for some things, but there’s still something unique about every model, something different you haven’t done before (most of the time at least).

Of course, right after saying all that, I get to tell you that the first set of folds in the build are kinda complicated, but it’s because they involve curving a part at the same time as folding. It’s not often that designs in metal models put folds along anything but straight lines. But it does happen, and in this model, it happens at the beginning and on the face. Furthermore, there’s a small “peak” in the middle of the fold. I ended up adding a little bit of an extra curvature out from this to accent the unique shape. But what you need to keep in mind is that the sides of the face will curve from the top to bottom, but more in a conical segment than a straight cylinder curve. At least that’s what I had to do to get the cheek panels’ end to meet flush with the chin panel’s sides.

And one more quick note from that section – it doesn’t say for sure which way goes “out” on the mustache, but I went with the engraved side out, based on the packaging photo, and because I like the texture of it for a mustache. I may have included this tip just so I could point out the mustache one more time. Can’t say for sure. Mustache!

And that is as far as I got before my unplanned sabbatical. It’s now been 3-4 months since I built this model, so it’s not nearly as fresh in my mind as it was. I’ll still try to call out anything I remember as I glance through the instructions, but this probably won’t be as thorough, or as useful, as my usual reviews. Now I’m off to re-read the instructions.

Of course, having just now reacquainted myself with the instructions, I’d like to point out one thing that’s cool about them. Not only do they have the parts diagrams on both sides of the page, they have only the parts that are used on that side of the instructions highlighted and identified. It makes knolling out the parts so much quicker – this I definitely remember, because I thought it was so cool. Oh, and since the instructions is in Japanese, I recommend installing Google Translate on your smart phone so you can take pictures and translate the written part of the instructions.

If you’ve read many of my blog posts, you’ll know that I like to add a little flair to my builds from time to time. Particularly when I see a part that is fairly flat, but has the potential to pop a bit more if you add some curvature. Combined with the etching patterns, curved surfaces catch and reflect the light more dynamically than flat surfaces. So, with the decorative “horns” on this helmet, I saw a great opportunity. For this one, I want the curve to “rotate” around as the “horn” turns, so I actually formed it over a doming tool, giving it more of a spherical / conical curvature. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

Moving along to the next part of the instructions that jumped out at me, I remember struggling a bit with the elbow joint, where parts 15 and 16 connect (numbers are for left arm). I really wish there was an actual tab & slot connection on each of these pieces where the thin bit completes the cylindrical shape. It’s quite fiddly trying to connect the two parts together with those being loose. Very easy to get the inner elbow all janky. But you definitely want to approach it the way the instructions have it… connecting the inside two tabs first, and only then trying to connect the final tab. And that final tab is just going to be on the outside of the model. No hiding it away, unless you have some magic tricks.

Having said all that about the inside of the elbow, there is one saving grace… it’s almost completely covered up by the outer panels of the armor (parts 17 and 18 for the left arm). These are a bit of a challenge to get on, I suggest folding those tabs out at a slight angle, rather than the 90 degree angle, and bending out the very tips of the tabs a smidge to make it easy to get them in the slots. And don’t forget to fold out those funny little tabs inside the shoulder piece!

Moving along, we come to the layered flaps. There are two sets, those that are on the shoulders, and the ones that hang off the waist. I formed the ones on the shoulders as shown in the instructions, with the curve happening between the segments. However, when it came to the waist flaps, I curved them side-to-side, along the segments. I figured that would look better, even though the instructions doesn’t have a curve line indicating that they should be curved. And yet, if you look at the “results” rendering of the diagram, those definitely look like they are supposed to be curved that way.

And the final call-out for this model are the legs of the armor. Man, these took a lot more time than I expected. The straps that run around the legs make forming them into a cylinder much more challenging. For one thing, they require tabs on the inside, which makes using a drill-bit (or whatever) not really work right. But beyond that, you can’t roll it around, due to the tabs that stick out from the straps. And those bows that you attach to those tabs… so tiny! Barely any room to secure them, twisted or folded. And then there’s also the part that I think of as the kneecap – it’s not directly called out, but I believe you are supposed to curve the top of it in so that V-shaped cutout closes up.

After that, you’re just looking at putting together all the subassemblies you’ve finished. Which turns out to be much less complicated than most of the times when you “put all the pieces together at the end.” So that actuallly brings us to the end of the build. All-in-all, this model clocked in at 3 hours and 23 minutes (according to the length of the video below). Not including knolling, of course.