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Starry Flounder (Yujin - Freshwater Fishes Series 2, second release)

Started by sbell, July 13, 2015, 06:35:01 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 Starry Flounder (or inn Japanese, Kawagarei, among other names), Platichthys stellatus , number 31 from the second series—and, sadly, THE LAST FIGURE IN THE SERIES! Which means that until/unless I guess the two missing ones, or some other versions of some of the figures, this is the end of the walkarounds. I may also eventually throw in some Yujin fish from the other Saltwater Series, but I don't know when!

Of all the fish in the collection, the Starry Flounder may be the most distinctive. This is a 'right-eye flounder', meaning that as the fish grows into adulthood, the eyes tend to move over to the right side of the body (juveniles are born with eyes and body shape like a normal fish); sometimes the right eye moves to the left side of the body. They are predatory fish, eating fish, molluscs, crustaceans and even brittle stars. Like all flounders, the Starry Flounder is a master of camouflage, blending into the substrate to wait for prey and ambush it. Starry Flounders are important game fish as well as being commercially important to fisheries. They are found throughout the Northern Pacific, on both sides, meaning that they extend from Korea and Japan across to Alaska down the coast of Canada to the US Pacific. This Starry Flounder is an unusual one for the Freshwater series, given the flounders are usually thought of as marine animals. While they are generally marine, and potentially deep water marine, they can be found inshore and even in estuarine environments. They will, however, move far upriver, as much as 120km, possibly for breeding or at least growing into adults. So, the Starry Flounder can be part of the Freshwater Series, why not? The Yujin model gives a length of 55cm, but most other sources I found gave a maximum size of 91cm.

This model measures 6cm long, giving a scale of roughly 1:9 (1:15 using the length of 91cm). The Starry Flounder is in a flat pose—kind of boring, but as it is one that does not have a base, there was not much else that they could really do (unlike the Colorata halibut, which has a base and is in an undulating pose). Starting with the bottom, this fish is clearly a full grown adult, with no colour (it fades away after they transform) except some pink washes highlighting the sculpting around the head and lateral line. The muscle tissue is visible as white chevrons on the slightly darker-white background. The only 'ventral' fin, the left pectoral, is sculpted as an impression on the body, painted grey and white. The 'top' surface is far more colorful, of course. Like many flatfish, the Starry Flounder can be quite variable in its patterns, so they appear to have gone all out! The body is a mixture of dark brown and olive-green, with numerous white markings along each edge (the original dorsal and ventral surface). On either side of the lateral line are a series of white circles from the gills to the base of the tail fin. The pelvic and 'dorsal' pectoral fins are a translucent orange. The dorsal and anal fin, as well as the tail fin, are also dark orange, with thick black bars along them. Yujin did a really good job with this, as these markings on the fins are (apparently) a reliable species identifier. The eyes, of course, are well done--big a bulbous, and placed very assymetrically, with the 'travelling' eye near the original 'top' of the head, as it should be. When it comes to other Starry Flounder figures, I can't find any; even among other flatfish there do not appear to be a lot of them. I mentioned the Colorata one (from the Saltwater Fishes box), and there is a Kaiyodo 'food fish' set with a different flounder (it might be a Starry, but I couldn't definitively find its species). There are also strap and magnet figures from Yujin, which may be the same figure as the Freshwater Fishes one, but I don't know for sure (the eel, for example, is completely different but not as good).


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.


Wonderful. It is the first time that I see a figure of a flatfish. The schema of color is really good and the detail of the eyes is one of the best points. Thanks you again  ^-^.
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Great! :) It's even more interesting because it's a flounder which means it's left-eyed in contrast to other members of its family (the "righteye flounders"!). It's a pity flatfishes are so rarely made as figures.


This is a photo set to compare the figures from the First & Second release of the Series II Starry Flounder Platichthys stellatus, number 31 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 Starry Flounder, they are almost painted like different species (or, given some flounders' ability to alter their colours to suit a substrate, they are from different surfaces). The R1 has an even mix of dark brown with cream-colored margins and blotches with a smattering of small white dots. The R2, on the other hand, is more subtly colored with a range of browns and olive, and finer, smaller white markings throughout, along with a lot of black dots. This same patterning difference carries into the face. Even the dorsal and anal fins are very different. And on the 'bottom' of the fish (originally the 'right hand side') the paint is different.

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

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