Three-Spined Sticklback Fish (Yujin - Freshwater Fishes Series 1, second release

Started by sbell, June 24, 2015, 03:26:22 AM

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This walk around is part of my series of the Yujin Freshwater Fish series. Part of this will be repeating this same introductory and concluding info because copy-and-paste is easy, and it keeps things consistent.  So feel free to only read this once (or never...) as well as the stuff at the end. My main motivation is that Yujin does not have many walk arounds on this site, which is a shame because they make some great models. It is also an attempt to flood (!) the site with some fishes, because there simply have not been enough lately. ;)

One other thing--when I give the lengths of the living species, I will be using the length given on the figure's paper for consistency. Some of them seemed off, but they seem close—often better than my original usage of the Fishbase TL (unless the FB one is more interesting...). When there are more than one, I will use the higher values. And the scales will be rounded and approximate!

So now, the fish!

This figure is the Three-spined Stickleback (or Tiddler in Great Britain, because that's kind of hilarious), Gasterosteus aculeatus , number 12 from the first series. This is the only representative of the stickleback order in the set. They stand out primarily for the large, prominent dorsal spines in front of the more normal dorsal fin (3-spines is the norm, but 2 or 4 also occur). Three-spined sticklebacks are found throughout much of the hemisphere; this subspecies (right off the Yujin paper) is the one most commonly found in Asia (including, of course, Japan) all the way over to the UK. The adults are freshwater or brackish, but some populations are anadromous (young are born at sea) while others are strictly freshwater; there are occasional incidents of marine adults as well. Stickleback are notable for their reproductive behaviour—males build nests to attract mates, and then care for the brood on his own (or broods, if he can entice more than one female). Given the side geographic range, it's no surprise that there is a wide range of morphological, reproductive and environmental variation. The Yujin model (and other sources) states that the normal size is around 10cm (5 cm is more common).

This model is about 4 cm long, making the figure roughly 1:3 (maybe even as much as 1:1, depending on the TL used). The figure is another brightly coloured one, but is almost subdued compared to some live ones. Unlike many of the Yujin models, this one is not distinctly male—or at least not a brooding male, as it does not have the bright red throat patch. It's also more bluish than greenish, but given the variability in the species (or even the subspecies) this isn't really a major issue. There is a lot of detail in the sculpting, complete with the thin creases along the body representing the lateral plating found in the species (given the depth and number, the figure represents a freshwater individual). The base for this one is the grey wood stem, although a stream bottom might make more sense; the research for these figures is making me think about this sort of thing now! I am pretty sure I have seen this species made by Kaiyodo a few times, possibly in the Birdtales line (I think it's in a nest), but I don't know for sure. Given the wide range and unique appearance, one would think there would be others.


I refer to this one as the bowhunting tournament pose--a hole in it, tossed on its back...but it's easy to see the detail that Yujin puts into every side of the models (and can often see the numbers in the photos).

For those not familiar, the Yujin Freshwater fishes were released as two series of fish, for a total of 32 fish figures. This number includes at least 3 secret figures (whose numbers remain in sequence--all figures are marked somewhere with the number) but does not incorporate a number of re-issues and repaints; there was at least one complete reissue (from which mine all come so far). The original releases, from what I can find, had yellow papers; the second release used light blue for the Series I and black for Series II. The entire set, with all variants and secrets, is actually available as a boxed set on YAJ (for around $300!), but individual figures can be found there or even on eBay for a variety of prices (the secrets & specials are of course the most expensive). Myself, there are still two or three species I don't have, but I haven't put a lot of effort into changing that...

Another nice thing about these Yujin fish model is that, like most Yujin releases, almost all of them come with a natural base and acrylic stem to display them (the Series II has a few exceptions). There are 4 or 5 bases used, plus a few unique ones for some specials. When I received mine several years ago, the fish+acrylic stems were not directly associated with the bases, so I just went with whatever worked (so if you have one or two, and the base is different, now you know why--I couldn't find a way to be sure if the bases were specific). All of the bases are based on environment--wood stems, gravel, river rocks, silt+plants, that sort of thing. Most are monochromatic, but a few are painted differently (again, often for the specials). In fact, if I wanted to get really pedantic, the bases themselves are labelled with letters based on the style, but I won't.