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Northern Snakehead (Yujin - Freshwater Fishes Series 2, second release)

Started by sbell, July 03, 2015, 03:12:08 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 Northern Snakehead, Channa argus , number 24 from the second series. These large, strictly freshwater predators are naturally found in the Korean Peninsula, China and Russia. Given the northern range, it is not surprising that they are cold tolerant, and have since been introduced to several other places including the US, Japan and parts of Europe (so far Canada has kept them out, but they are heading to the Great Lakes, so we'll see how that goes). They are considered a food source, which explains their widespread occurrence; their large size, adaptability and voracious appetites, however, can be disastrous for local ecosystems, especially ones where the original top predators (like gars) have been removed or reduced, letting the northern snakehead become the top fish wherever it is found. They are also obligate air breathers, able to survive for short times out of water and possibly find new bodies of water, which makes them even harder to contain. The Yujin model gives a length of 90cm, but several other online sources gave a largest-known length of 150cm!

This was actually one of my first two Yujin freshwater fish figures, because despite the terrible havoc they can play when introduced, they are such cool fish—I've only kept a much smaller, more docile species but I have seen these ones in aquaria, and they can be very impressive. This is also one of my favorite Yujin fish models, and one of the few where I have more than one.

This model measures 7cm long, giving a scale of 1:13 with the Yujin value; using the longest length of 150cm, the scale would be more like 1:21. The model is sculpted in a cruising pose, with pectoral fins pressed tight to the body, slightly curved with big bright eyes. This version of the figure does a great job capturing the light brown base-colouring with dark brown blotches forming bands along the sides. The figure does a great job illustrating a key colouring feature, two thick brown bands at the base of the tail, the posterior-most of which does not have any light markings behind it. The rest of the body has variable brown washes over it, giving the fish a life-like colouring. (From pictures, the First Release of this figure from Yujin looks more like a different species like C. maculatus even if it is not supposed to be). The fins are all translucent yellow or brown. The base that this one is on is the same as the arowana one, essentially a mound of river bottom with branches, but completely grey. This is, as far as I have found so far, the only snakehead model that has been made, although I would like to be proven wrong.  I already mentioned the Yujin First Release version, which maybe I'll pick up some day, but otherwise these fish are mostly ignored as toys.

The Northern Snakehead is also the first of the Series II fishes two come in two pieces, with the head coming off at the opercula.


The two pieces:

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). In this instance, it's fortunate that I have two, because I couldn't get the rod out of the fish on the base (the other is not displayed on a base). It's also the one I used for the two-piece picture.

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.


Ah, wonderful! 8) A channid, that's something still missing in my collection.


Quote from: brontodocus on July 06, 2015, 11:00:20 PM
Ah, wonderful! 8) A channid, that's something still missing in my collection.

I know! They're such cool fish--and widespread, whether that's good or not? :-\

There are really soooo many fish families that aren't represented in figures. Trout and goldfish are fine, but we need more variety!


I didnt know that Yuijin had done a figure of this species  :o.
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This is a photo set to compare the figures from the First & Second release of the Series II Northern Snakehead Channa argus, number 24 in the series.

As will be seen in any of these 1 & 2 comparisons, the Release 1 figures tend to have a simpler paint job, with far less nuance to them. In many instances the patterns and details are simplified, in particular markings and the face region. The fins are also often left with less colour or pattern.

In the Northern Snakehead, the overall pattern difference is striking. The R1 figure is more yellow, with less shading and bands of black; the R2 has marking of brown only, with a fine shading from dark to very light brown. The heads are especially different, with fewer, thicker black stripes on the R1 compared to the more detailed brown marking on the R2.

Comparisons (R2 on the left, R1 on the right):

And because Kevin hasn't been out for a swim for a while.

Beetle guy

To beetle or not to beetle.


I am the Dinosaur King!


Quote from: AcroSauroTaurus on February 29, 2016, 04:44:57 AM
I love Snakehead fish. Awesome figure!

Of the First & Second releases, getting both snakeheads was a plus for me--snakeheads don't otherwise get made as figures.