Willow Shiner (Yujin - Freshwater Fishes Series 2, second and first release)

Started by sbell, August 30, 2015, 12:42:05 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


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 Willow Shiner (or in Japan, Honmoroko), Gnathopogon caerulescens , number 18 from the second series. Yes, I was able to chase one down (actually, two one from release 1, one from release 2!) so I only have one more species, #20, the Carp, to chase down.

The Willow Shiner is a medium-sized minnow, part of the carp family. This species is endemic to Lake Biwa in Japan, but has been released in other waters as they are popular food fishes. Unfortunately, this popularity lead to overfishing in Lake Biwa, leading the Japanese environment ministry to list them as critically endangered. And also driving up the prices of the fish to luxury-food levels, which probably didn't help. They are mid-water hunters, feeding on plankton, insects and other small swimming organisms. The Yujin model gives a length of 14cm, which is close to the 15cm I found elsewhere.

This model measures 5cm long, giving a scale of 1:3. The two models are similar but not exactly the same in colour—this is the first time I have had the same model from both releases to compare. The Second release version is lighter overall, with a light, shiny copper dorsal colour with a distinct cream coloured side and belly. The lateral line is marked by a thin green stripe from the gill to the base of the tail, this line is bordered top and bottom by the cream colour. Most fins are nearly transparent, with light brown along the fin rays. The pectoral fins are an exception, being somewhat translucent but painted a dark brown overall. The scales are large and deeply sculpted. The eyes are large and light golden, with big black pupil.

The First Release figure is very similar, with some subtle differences. First, the dorsal colouration is a much darker copper colour, and extends all the way to the lateral line. The sides and ventral surface are a little darker. The green lateral line stripe is a darker green than the Second Release, and does not extend to the base of the tail. All of the fins, including the pectoral, are the transparent material, with dark brown along the fin rays. The eyes are more silvery, with the same dark black pupil.

Overall, the differences are subtle but become clear. The paint job on the second release model is more defined and detailed, and this may be true of the two lines overall (I only have one other to definitively compare at this point). The First Release version came to me on the brown gravel-with-plant base; the Second Release is on the same base, but the gravel is painted in various colours.

I am not aware of other Willow Shiner models; if they do exist they would likely be from Japan. Possibly from Yujin again, as a strap figure or something!

Pictures (In the order described above, second release then first):




COMPARISONS (First Release on the left, Second on the Right):

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.



The decorated base is a good point for this little figures  ^-^.
My website: Paleo-Creatures
My website's facebook: Paleo-Creatures


Quote from: brontodocus on September 06, 2015, 10:51:25 AM
Sweet little figure! :) Not sure if I've ever seen a photo of it.

It took a sur[risingly long time for me to track one down (and, of course, wound up with 2). Since then, several more have shown up on YAJ. Of course.