Monday, 12 August 2019

Zensh-Iku, Captain of the Children of the Sea from Abyssoul

Zensh-Iku is the first full figure to join the growing Abyssoul range and sits well in the 75mm size. Initially she was teased on the Abyssoul Facebook page with the original concept art by Mirko Failoni (as shown here).


(Art by Mirko Failoni)

I remember seeing the post and being drawn in by this original design. Bits that really stuck out were:
  • Oriental influence which I like when done well,
  • fantasy/ steampunk style bionic arm,
  • not looking anything like many of the common pin-up style figures often sold in the miniatures market.
This last part really stood out as finding a female fantasy or sci-fi figure which doesn't have a perfect plastic surgery enhanced physique, combat bikini or boob plate armour, combat heels, or a forced pose is extremely difficult. The most this design had was a leg and shoulder showing.

The pose in the art was calm but at the same time confident too. Not a combat pose but certainly looks like that could change in any moment. I wanted to see how it would translate and was secretly hoping for a traditional clay or putty sculpt... which I was disappointed to find out would not be the case.

Then the render teaser was shown with sculpting in the hands of Valerio Carbone.

(3D sculpt by Valerio Carbone)
I was pleasantly surprised by how well Valerio had interpreted Mirko's art but I was still hesitant as I have found the 3D sculpts often feel a bit soulless, too clean, and sometimes have odd parts that just don't feel quite as well made as many of the traditional sculptors create. Perhaps I'm just in the mind set that 3D works well for gaming and smaller scale miniatures (Games Workshop and Corvus Belli use it to excellent standard for example).

So then; Zensh-Iku has been released and I've seen a couple being worked on via Facebook but otherwise she kind of went quiet. Coupled with me being busy with real life stuff and the usual bombardment or new releases by many companies on social media; she kind of slipped out of thought.

And then today happened.

Norm and Fausto (Abyssoul) had been talking and arranged for a copy to be sent to me to review. And I'm only telling you this so you know that anything I say here is directed at people looking for new miniatures, those creating miniatures, and those involved in any part of the process to bring a figure to your hands. Nothing is ever perfect but for me to just say "this is amazing and the best thing you'll own" would be unfair to you all. So after talking about the artist and sculptor (that's already three people including Fausto who runs Abyssoul), lets finally (sorry for the wait) look at the figure you would buy.

Here is the packet I received this morning.


Fairly standard sturdy black box. Not top end but the addition of the tied string and wax seal (which is a bit fancy) does give it a more personal touch.


When opening I was greeted by a numbered thank you card with the company logo art on the reverse. I'm a sucker for little touches like this as it shows the company is happy to put in that little extra time.


Every part was sealed together within one bag and the smaller parts held within a smaller bag inside so no rummaging for bag after bag. I know that seems like nothing special but I like it.


You get nine pieces in total with two head options. One with a long tied pony tail which literally has bells on, or one with her face covered and some strange tentacle like smoke plume coming from a bamboo like hat.


Now I can't talk about the heads without showing some detail. Especially as one of my main issues with 3D sculpting is how perfect and symmetrical faces are.

Pretty pleased with how she looks under that large hat. Enough detail to play around with and doesn't look like a manga school girl. The hair and hats are quite textured so may cause a bit of extra painting work but do look good. Only thing I do wish though is that the hats could've been separate. Not for anything other than to make it easier to get my brushes to that face. Still; I can't fault the casting Ciprian has done to reproduce the details so well.


A few details really caught my eye which I hadn't noticed in any on-line pictures so far. 

The swords are obviously katana influenced and the way the tsuba (guard) has been sculpted and cast is lovely. There is even two oval like shapes on them (there's a second in it's scabbard) which are so thin that you can hollow them out with ease.


Even more details can be found on the shoulder armour and her instrument. Glad I have some extremely small brushes.


Last bit about details I promise. There is something sculpted on the bracelet. Makes me think of C'thulhu. And it sure looks like that pipe is some sort of animal skull. Nice characterful touches.

So what about the resin quality and overall quality I hear you asking (or maybe that's a "get on with it!").
It's good. Really good. If I didn't know that it's resin I'd be thinking it's plastic being honest with you. The way it all fits together is really excellent. I did this with a bit of blutac and removed nothing. This is straight out of the packet.


Pretty good for not doing any clean up at all.

Does that make it perfect? No. But then again, I've never come across any model that needs nothing done at all.

Keys and sockets for connecting parts are about as good as I've seen. Match up excellently. Couple need a little sanding or scraping. But I doubt I'll be needing to use any filler anywhere.



As you can see, there are some mould lines in places which could be tricky if you're not used to cleaning things like this up but these are easy to remove with sanding sticks, rolled sand paper, or scraping tools of some kind. Just take your time (it's quite therapeutic honest).

Would be rude not to give her a clean up and I was right about mould lines being easy to remove. One area to be careful with is the top of the left leg. I thought I'd sand it a little to match up the detail it's designed to sit into flushly. Well... I was wrong and the way it is cut and cast actually works well and I've made myself a little filling work to do (yes... I can hear Norm laughing at me when he reads this).





My personal thoughts on this?
In case you hadn't guessed already, I really like the design. The large cloth area on her clothing looks like it would be great for some freehand patterns (by others...mine brush skill isn't that good). There's a great mix of folded materials, hard armour plates, soft skin, hair, weapons, and some fine details too. Though I don't think I'll go for the full helmet head as the face has quite a bit of character which I want to see.

She's also proof that female miniatures can be produced and look feminine without having to have huge breasts, suggestive poses, and nearly no clothing. 

If this is a figure you would like to add to your collection she is available from Abyssoul for €50 (£45.77 at time of writing) though it's worth keeping an eye on the Facebook page for possible offers and also other releases from them too.

Thank you for reaching this point and don't forget; say no to recasts!

2 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Cheers Nap.
      She's a lovely figure and really high quality too. And they have more plans too which should be interesting.

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