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Roughskin Sculpin (Yujin - Freshwater Fishes Series 2, second release)

Started by sbell, July 08, 2015, 08:41:15 PM

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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 Roughskin Sculpin (hilariously, the Japanese name apparently translates to "God of the Mountain!"), Trachidermus fasciatus , number 27 from the second series (we're down to the last 5! Unless I get the ones I am missing...). This is the first and only sculpin (Cottidae) in the Yujin series. They are medium-sized fish, inhabiting river bottoms and preying on fish and invertebrates. They are native to coastal waters and rivers in China, Korea and Japan. Like many of the freshwater fish we've seen, the Roughskin Sculpin is catadromous, spawning in river delta mudflats and then swimming upstream to grow into adults; they nest in any structures they can find, including garbage like glass bottles, where males often guard the nests. Apparently, habitat degradation has negatively affected Roughskin Sculpin populations, but I found conflicting info on whether or not they have an official status designation. Apparently, they have been considered a luxury food item, but not commonly eaten. The Yujin model gives a length of 16cm, which is about on average given the range I found of anything from 14cm to 20cm.

This model measures 6.5cm long, giving a scale of 1:2 (the scale factor is close to 2.5, but rounding! does things). The figure is another very complicated pattern. The fish is painted to be very shiny, representing the lack of scales of these fish. It is coloured light brown with dark brown markings across the body in an irregular pattern of spots, blotches and bars. The ventral surface is plain white, with some scattered light brown spots along the lateral margins. The fins are a translucent yellow with thick fin rays. The fins are covered with small, scattered dark and light brown blotches. The pectoral fins are especially large, as is expected in sculpins. The head is sculpted with a lot of detail, featuring the ridges and knobs common to sculpins. This another figure that is made in two pieces, separating the head + pectoral fish from the rest of the body. This is also the first of the Yujin fish to be made without any base at all—perhaps, given the bottom-dwelling habits, they decided not to bother giving it a 'swimming' behaviour; most of the last figure in the series do not have bases, and all of these are bottom dwellers.

Most sculpin figures that I am aware of are made in Japan (despite being found around the world), representing a few different Japanese species (I have 3 Japanese sculpin figures, of 3 different species). The companies include Kaiyodo, Colorata and Kitan, plus probably a few others (any fish referred to as a 'god' is likely to be made as a few figures!).


This is the figure in its two pieces—as the figure is not unusually large, and there is no base, the 2 pieces may have been required or preferred to properly capture the detail of the head.

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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Really beautiful! It looks almost identical to the sculpin we get here, although it seems their breeding habits are very different since you won't find ours in fresh water.


Quote from: stargatedalek on July 09, 2015, 03:59:58 PM
Really beautiful! It looks almost identical to the sculpin we get here, although it seems their breeding habits are very different since you won't find ours in fresh water.

See, we have some here in Alberta, strictly freshwater, but they are far more...lumpy...looking.


This is a photo set to compare the figures from the First & Second release of the Series II Roughskin Sculpin Trachidermus fasciatus, number 27 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 Roughskin Sculpin, both have appropriately complex patterns. The most obvious difference is the great amount of white on the head of Release 1, which becomes more brown and black in Release 2, and the greater amount of markings and counter shading in Release 2.

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

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