Saturday, September 7, 2019

Giant Goldfish

from Goldfish Breeds and other Aquarium Fishes (1908)

The only appearance of giant goldfish in D&D that I am aware of was from module M4 Five Coins for a Kingdom.

Auratus: AC 7; HD 600; hp 2500; AT 0; D Nil; MV 120'; Save F36; AL N; THAC0 Nil.

The Aurati are colossal, hydrogen filled, 600–800' long orange and white telescope goldfish. They float through the air, and are used as a mode of transportation in the outer plane of Eloysia. Their temperament is described as docile and completely harmless.

A giant goldfish also appears in the Temple of the Jade Serpent in World of Warcraft.

The Talking Fish is a reference to a Chinese folktale.

The Talking Fish (as the goldfish is called) swims through the air in a watery ecosphere. It attacks with a Bubble Spray that inflicts cold damage.

The same model is also used for the goldfish pet in the WoW Pet Battle mini-game.

Most recently however, giant goldfish appeared in the manga Shibuya Kingyo (渋谷金魚). The story is essentially a zombie apocalypse story with giant goldfish in place of zombies. The Shibuya district of Tokyo becomes enveloped by a mysterious bowl shaped barrier infested with man-eating goldfish that swim through the air.

The goldfish make short work of the people in Shibuya, but it's lucky for the goldfish that the barrier was not centered around Tsukiji, or things could have easily been the other way around.

I know it might seem silly, but I think that they would certainly make for surprising and unexpected monsters if called up by a wizard with the Summon Monster spell.

I think that they would also make for unusual mounts (in the same vein as module M4) if you happen to run a more whimsical campaign.

There are any number of models that can be used for miniatures, ranging from cheap rubber toys to the expensive gashapon from Yujin. The ones I own are just a couple examples of the wide variety of goldfish gashapon manufactured by Kaiyodo.

The first two models are Ranchu goldfish from the Furuta Choco Egg Pet Animals Collection (チョコエッグ・ペット動物コレクション no. 19 and 20).

The Ranchu are two piece models and come with a stand. They were made in clear plastic so the tail fins have a nice translucent appearance.

The next three models are Demekin goldfish from the Takara ChocoQ animaltales Pet Animals Series 3 (チョコQ・アニマテイルズ・ペット動物3 no. 86, 87, and 88).

The Demekin are four piece models and come with a stand. The tail fins are made in clear plastic, but I think the bodies are made with opaque plastic since the dorsal fins do not have the same translucency.

If I can find some really cheap plastic goldfish, I'm going to try my hand at adding some caparisons and saddles on a few of them for fun.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Pink Cadillac

The pink Cadillac became a popular culture icon because of Elvis Presley There are no specific models of his car in 1/72 scale, but there are several diecast Cadillacs that come close in size, and not a few of those that are pink.

The first two models are made by Matchbox. The car on the left is a 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood in pink with a silver top, while the other is a '69 Cadillac Sedan DeVille in metallic lavender.

The Fleetwood scales out to somewhere between 1/73 and 1/74 scale. This particular model is all metal, but I think that most of the more commonly available versions of this model are made with a plastic top. Despite the cheaper material, the plastic-top versions come with chrome trim and the Cadillac lettering on the sides.

Graceland Collection Pink Cadillac

The DeVille is stated to be 1/75 scale. A pink version exists, but I've never seen it in stores.

The next two cars are a Matchbox 1956 Cadillac Eldorado in sea green, and a Tomica Cadillac Eldorado Biarritz in pink.

The Matchbox Eldorado does not have a stated scale, but the wheelbase is almost spot on for 1/72. There is a purple version of this car in the Graceland Collection, but no pink one. The body of the car is slightly longer than the Tomica car, but they are about the same width. The Tomica car is 1/75 scale, and represents a 4th generation Eldorado.

The final cars are Hot Wheels 1959 Cadillac Eldorados.

The width is about 1/78 scale, but the length is 1/64 scale. I'm not quite sure what to do with them right now, but maybe they can be a source of parts for future conversions.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

The Space Jockey

The fossilized remains of the Space Jockey from the film Alien is one of the most iconic and mysterious figures in science fiction moviedom.

There are many renditions of the model, but the one that I've thought about getting for the longest time has been the old 1/60 vinyl kit made by Halcyon back in 1992.

Every time I see an article or video showing somebody's build of the model, I can't help but think that the figures are actually 1/72 rather than 1/60. I can't really justify the current price tag of the model just to find out though.

There is also a resin knock-off of the Halcyon kit, but from the pictures that I've seen of the parts, it looks to be a very poor copy of the original.

Recently, I thought that with a little work, some of the toy Space Jockey figures could be a cheap alternative.

As fate would have it, I saw a batch of Alien toys being sold as a lot on eBay. I put in my best offer, and a couple of days later the figures arrived at my doorstep.

The first figure is the one that I consider the best of the bunch. It is the Mez-Itz Space Jockey made by Mezco Toyz.

The figure comes with a large base as a separate piece, so it looks the closest to the Halcyon kit, and it also happens to be a hollow vinyl model. The only thing that I don't like about the model is that it has the flattened head typical of Mez-Itz figures. It is also inaccurate because the chest was not sculpted with burst open ribs.

The next figure is the Minimates Space Jockey.

The figure is a lot chunkier and not as well painted as the Mez-Itz figure, but it is a nice solid piece of PVC. It also has the flat head typical of Minimates figures, and Minimates arms as well.

The lot also came with the Deluxe Toys R Us exclusive Minimates Space Jockey.

The figure is pretty much the same as the regular version, except it is painted to simulate the lighting effects in the film.

The final figure is the Kubrick Space Jockey.

This is the smallest figure of the bunch, and also the hardest to find. It has typical Kubrick arms, but it has a decent representation of the Space Jockey's head.

Perhaps the Mez-Itz and Minimates figures are still a little undersized for 1/72 scale, but I think they would still look pretty good as terrain pieces. The main thing that would need to be fixed are the flat heads.