For the past many months, I’ve been feeling the need to add figures to my models. The models, by themselves, are nice. But to really give the feel of how the boats were used requires additional details, and figures have the added benefit of creating a sense of scale.
I’m not very good at making figures yet, but I’m working on it. In the meantime, I’m trying to use commercially available figures. This isn’t all that difficult in scales like 1/32 (Kobaya), 1/48 (my Kamakura period sea boat is 1/50 – close enough), 1/72 (Higaki Kaisen). But, many of my small boat models are in 1/10 scale. Finding a figure in the right size for a 1/10-scale model is pretty difficult, but I finally settled on something that looks like it might work.
A while ago, I saw some ads for a pair of fully articulated figures, one male, one female. The figures are produced by Bandai, a Japanese toy company that makes action figures. The figures are part of a line called S.H. Figuarts, with the male figure called Body-Kun, and the female figure called Body-Chan.
The male figure is the main one I’m interested in, though I got one of each. The female figure I may set up for use on a bekabune or a taraibune, but the male will be good for the Hozugawa Ayubune, the Tosa Wasen, and others.
The figures are a bit on the small side, though I often see them described as 1/10 scale. The male figure stands about 5.75″, which at 1/10 scale is only 4’9″. The average Japanese male during the Edo period is 5’4″ according to most reports I’ve read on the Internet.
Below are a couple photos of the male figure on the Hozugawa Ayubune model.
With a little modification, I think I can lengthen the torso to make the figure about 5″ tall without too much distortion. This would make him a 5′ tall individual. He’d still be on the short side, but at 4″ below average height, he wouldn’t be out of place. Of course, painting and clothing will still be necessary, but first things first.
Note that the prices for these figures varies widely. There appear to be some very cheap counterfeit versions, and some original versions are priced at $89 or more, but I was able to get a pair of what appear to be original Bandai figures for around $34 on Ebay.
Hopefully, I’ll be posting some photos of one or more figures, painted, and complete with clothing and accessories in the near future. Ω