Asian Arowana (Yujin - Freshwater Fishes Series 1, second release)

Started by sbell, June 26, 2015, 04:01:11 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 Asian Arowana (or Asian Bonytongue, or Dragonfish), Scleropages formosus , number 14 from the first series—but it's the Special Secret (it is, however, labelled with a '14')! In some ways, this is one of the easiest fish to write about, because this Southeast Asian bonytongue is a well-known and popular aquarium fish. On the other hand, its familiarity means that there is less to say, so I'll be brief. Asian arowana are an osteoglossid, known as a group as the bonytongues due to the toothed bone on the floor of the mouth. They are voracious, large-bodied predators originally found in much of the Southeast Asian peninsula, although they are endangered in the wild due to habitat loss, hunting for food and collection for the aquarium trade. Fortunately they are also bred in captivity or on farms, and have produced a wide range of colours influenced by their geographic ranges (which may or may not indicate separate species—again, taxonomy). This figure represents one of the red varieties, but a rarer green dragon version also exists. The Yujin Asian Arowana model gives the size of 90cm, and I have seen live aquarium specimens of this size, which is a pretty impressive fish.

This model is 7.2 cm long, making the figure roughly 1:13. As I mentioned above, the fish is one of the red varieties, and each scale is painted red on the posterior margin with a dark brown or gold to the front—this paint job is fantastic, and the figure really shines. There is a great deal of attention given to the details of this fish, from the well-sculpted eyes and mouth margin, to the detailed fins and patterns on the opercula. This figure comes with one of the special bases—a mound of river bottom with sticks embedded in it; it is also painted in all of its details. I'm not even going to try to list all of the Asian Arowana models that area available—they have been made by Toba Aquarium, Kaiyodo in a several forms, Colorata, and even other, random companies. I have 7 different models myself, and I know that there are several others (including, as mentioned, a green dragon version from Yujin).

Although the figures is not as overall massive as the Barramundi or Huchen, the Asian Arowana is also a 2-part figure, with the separation occurring right at the back of the gills, which is really the most natural placement.


This is the figure in two parts:

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.