Daiki 1/4 Majikina Mina from Samurai Spirits First Look
By Tom Grossman
|Date of Review||November 2006||Manufacturer||Daiki|
|Subject||Majikina Mina from Samurai Spirits||Scale||1/4|
|Kit Number||DAK014||Primary Media||Resin|
|Pros||Very nice, very large kit. Well engineered, rendered and cast||Cons||Some modeling skills required. As warned up front, some parts damaged during shipping. Like many garage kits, this one is already out of production.|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (yen)||$270|
This is one huge box of huge resin pieces that build up into a huge model of a strong woman in a great pose! The character, Mina, is a warrior in the video game Samurai Spirits. Being a modeler with too many kits and too little time, I’ve never played the game myself. A Google search didn’t turn up too much more than she is trained as a monster killer in the universe of the game. That’s about all I know about her background. And right now that’s just fine! I can enjoy this build with nothing more to go on than the scale, complexity and quality of the kit, the strong feminine presence and the adventure of it all! It’s a dynamic pose capturing the young archer in motion.
It’s not hard to imagine her moving fluidly through an exercise, her bow dancing around her as she knocks arrows, draws and shoots with deadly accuracy. Besides that, the finished piece is over 50 cm tall (just under 20”)! And that’s just her! With that bow and her flowing wrap-around, this will be one large kit with a large foot print! She will need a nice, sturdy base as well. Even if it turns out that she can stand on her own, looking at all the work that will go into this one, I would play it safe and pin her to a nice big piece of beautiful hardwood.
The kit has over 30 pieces ranging in size from tiny arrow heads up to her legs and torso and the panels of her skirt. The sculpting is very well done with a good attention to anatomy in the rendering of the body and limbs. The other parts are rendered in the same quality. There are light mold lines with a little flashing.
Parts like the bows that go in Mina’s hair will be a little troublesome to clean up. Even though the mold lines are very light, the level of detail adds a considerable degree of texture. Two strips of arrow fletching are provided. The modeler must also provide the arrow shafts and the cord used for the ties that would hold her wrap-around, thong and halter in place. A different sized line must also be provided for the bow string. The instruction sheet includes a good diagram showing how to tie it.
Speaking of the instructions, these are worthy of a 30 piece model. Two pages of understandable diagrams describe the completion of the figure in 5 major steps. All parts are recognizably rendered and numbered in the diagrams. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to locate any numbers on the parts themselves. With such good diagrams, it wouldn’t take much to number them with a Multiliner or something, should one be so inclined. That might be more efficiently done to the stick each pinned piece will be mounted to for painting. As one would expect, the text is largely Japanese. One of the exceptions is a bubble with bold text in English and Japanese that says NO RECASTING.
The joints at her hips have a block in each for rough alignment. There is some degree of wiggle room and gaping so these will need some filling. Some of this area will be obscured by the cord holding the thong in place. Like most of the parts, the mating surfaces have matching holes at locations for setting the pins that will be needed to hold this big resin kit together. The joint between her neck and head is well placed and of good fit. The only other joint on her body is hidden in the cuff of the glove on the bow hand. No problem there!
Another major joint is between two pieces of the larger section of the wrap-around. The cleats on this one are made with a higher degree of precision and the usual matching guide holes for the pins. There is some gapping so there will be some filling. The back part of the wrap around is held in place with a large triangular cleat that fits into a socket where the coccyx would be. That will take some extra reinforcement! Some will come from the pins that will hold the quiver in place. Extra reinforcement might also be needed for the arms of the bow. Most of the other assemblies will be less challenging but cut to the chase and pin them all!
Her hair is in true big-hair anime fashion and rendered in true anime style. The large pony tail is one piece that will require a healthy pin to secure it. Well keyed and easy to tell apart are three other little strands that attach to the pony tail. The bangs and framing pieces on her head are also cleated and easy to tell apart. Best to put pins in everything! What great fun! (I mean that! I’m a sick puppy that really enjoys clean-up and prep work! With in reason, of course and this kit is very reasonable.)
This is a garage kit. It’s going to take some modeling and problem solving skills. The instructions aren’t even in English! But nobody makes ‘em like the Japanese! The subject is very appealing and so are the challenges this kit offers. This huge kit of an artistically rendered female archer will be a very rewarding build. Lots of great opportunities to practice some basic modeling and some subtle airbrushing! By their nature, garage kits come and go much faster than their mass produced cousins. The foreign roots of these kits make it seem even shorter lived. If you see one you like, best to get it before it’s gone!