Good Smile Company’s ‘Lucky Factory’!

Hello everyone, Kahotan here! (@gsc_kahotan)

I think I lost the battle to the cold front in Tottori prefecture… I feel a cold coming on! I definitely want to go back sometime though… next time I want to visit Hokuei!

Anyway, today’s blog is going to be a quick introduction to Good Smile Company’s first ever factory in Japan, named ‘Rakutsuki Factory’ but better known by the name ‘Lucky Factory’

We were joined by wooser and the Kurayoshi city mascot, Kurasuke-kun!

Let’s take a look through each area in the factory! っφ(.. )

– 1: Moulding Area –

This section makes use injection moulding to create various parts!Molten plastic is poured into moulds, then cooled and removed to create the various forms!

Lucky Factory even expressions on the machines! ♪

These expressions were drawn by David Choe, who is an artist who became famous for his street art in America! He is good friends with Aki-san, so he left his wonderful art all over the factory in commemoration of the opening! I’ll be taking a look at some other works a little later! 

I really can’t explain how the injection moulding machines work very well… so here are some more photos instead!

The factory was still in training mode so everything was moving slower than it should… but I’m told it is a very quick process when everything runs at full speed! (・∀・)

We had various guests come by and look through the factory, and in one of my photos I managed to catch Akiyama-san!

– 2: Spray Painting Area –

This area is almost all done by hand, with airbrushes filled with our specially mixed paint! Areas that make use of gradient paintwork such as the hair parts are also painted here!

Everyone is hard at work training for when we start official production! There are quite a few people joining the factory team that haven’t had any experience with airbrushes – they are all undergoing this training to ensure that each figure made comes out in the same high quality!

The person on the left here seemed amazed at the speed of this worker! 

Look at that hand blur!! My camera could not capture the movement!

But this wasn’t actually one of the trainees, but instead someone showing some techniques! Someone with a lot more technical experience than you’d think! The Max Factory CEO… 

MAX Watanabe!!

He initially just came by to see the factory, but in no time at all he was dressed up and testing out the airbrushes!

The nearby staff were able to learn a lot from MAX Watanabe’s passion! At the moment a lot of GSC staff are taking turns in stopping by to share their experience! From the 5th December, the sculptor and painter behind Nendoroid Snow Miku: Magical Snow Ver. has been at the factory helping out!

Obviously all the machinery needs to be in place and fine tuned before the factory is ready to produce figures- but it’s not only the machines! The people that run them and work on the figures also need to be prepared for all the new processes in the factory!

There are a lot of unknowns for the factory at this point, but as everything irons out through some trial and error, it will be sure to become an amazing factory! We’ll be working hard to get all sorts of products into the new production lines!

Hey! I recognise that back!! 

It can only be Mikatan-sensei!!

Mikatan was also trying her hand at airbrushing while visiting the factory! ♪
She has worked on so many different little painting projects that she is quite the professional now!

– 3: Hand Painting Area –

This area is where certain parts are painted by hand. Small fixes (retouches) are also done here! Sometimes parts are fully painted by hand – this is when attention to detail really comes into play!

All the staff were busy practising airbrushes at the time, so nobody was in the hand-painting section!!

The wall had also been painted by hand!! ♡

This amazing work was also painted by David Choe!★

The Japanese on the wall reads ‘Shirai’ which is a restaurant Aki-san has many fond memories at, which they stopped off to eat at before coming to the factory! ヘ(゚∀゚*)ノ

While he was busy working on some more paintings,  he gave me this lovely playful pose together with wooser! ♡

What a friendly person!!!

There are also a number of walls in the GSC offices painted by David Choe! This was the first time I met him even though I had been looking at the paintings for years now… it was quite a strange feeling to finally meet the person behind them! (/ω\)

– 4: Stamp Printing Area –

In this area soft silicon pads are used to ‘stamp’ print exact patterns onto parts! This is used for things like the eyes on Nendoroids and various other parts! As the silicon pads are very soft, they can easily be used on curved or uneven surfaces – even round surfaces like a golf ball!!

You might be thinking that with machines like this, the need for the human touch is removed… but that’s not true at all! We know that the heart of a figure is the expression, and the highlights and fine-tuning of the eyes are done by hand over and over again before entrusting any work to this machine!

Even though it’s a factory, a huge amount of the work is done by hand!

– 5: Assembly Area –

This does not look much like an assembly area…!

The assembly area was transformed into a little stage area for the broadcast!

Normally this section will be used for putting together intricate parts, wrapping film over pieces to prevent paint rubbing off on parts and placing the parts into the blister packs and boxes. Basically all the stages of packing up the product to be sent to you – also all done carefully by hand! 

There really is a lot of work that goes into mass-producing figures, and moving through the factory you can really see that! If you have never seen it before, a longer explanation of the process is available on the GOOD SMILE WORKS site below! Unfortunately it’s only available in Japanese though! ヽ(*・ω・)人(・ω・*)ノ

⇒ GOOD SMILE WORKS

I know my explanation of the moulding machine and stamp printing machine was not very informative… but I think that we might be doing a little something to explain it a bit better at the upcoming WonFes!

゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚ ゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚ ゚・*:.。..。.:*・゚゚・

/Kahotan’s Inner Voice\


∧_∧
( ・∀・) .。0 (Rakutsuki Factory!)
oノ∧つ⊂)
( ( ・∀・).。0 (or rather, ‘Lucky Factory’!)
∪( ∪ ∪
と__)__)

Anyways, see you again tomorrow!!

Planning Team / Kahotan
Twitter ID: gsc_kahotan