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Amur Catfish (Yujin - Freshwater Fishes Series 2, second release)

Started by sbell, June 30, 2015, 01:49:22 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 Amur Catfish, Silurus asotus , number 21 from the second series. This is a potentially large catfish (the only catfish in the series) that is fond of slower moving water such as irrigation canals and streams. They are found in Eastern Asia and Japan. Amur catfish are predators of smaller fish, which is obvious by the anterior-facing mouth; this is one of the larger native predatory fish in Japan. Despite their size they are kept in aquariums, and are reared or fished for food. Like the other large catfish of Japan, they are also locally associated with causing earthquakes, which is unlikely but gives them a special cultural regard there. The Yujin model gives a length of around 60cm (which is probably more common) but several sources mentioned that they can reach 130cm.

Note—I do not have a model of #20, the Carp, Cyprinus carpio . Maybe someday. There are actually 4 different versions—one is the wild, natural colouring of olive green or brownish; the other three are domestic varieties representing Cyprinus carpio haematopterus. These latter 3 are fairly uncommon.

This model is about 7 cm long, making the figure roughly 1:9 scale based on the Yujin value; using the larger maximum value the figure is closer to 1:19 scale. The figure is another very nice, subtle approach to colouring, with a dark brown base mottled with lighter brown patches throughout the body; the base colour fades to white on the distended belly. There are even shaded and highlighted patches, giving the impression of light and shadows casting over the fish. The fins stand out as translucent yellow, while the two pairs of whiskers (an adult trait) are molded into the body and are dark brown. Overall the fish has a definite hunting appearance to it—the bright black eyes make it look like a fish that is always ready to eat. The base is the raised vertical rock, again grey with a brownish wash. There are a number of silurid catfish made by Japanese companies, but I am not always clear if they intend to be this one, or one of the other 2 species found in Japan ( Silurus biwaensis and Silurus lithophilus ). Kaiyodo has made at least one of each of these other two, and I am certain that other models exist of all 3 catfish.


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.


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