F.S.S. Christine V by Volks
Okay, how I got this was weird.
I missed out on this kit months ago when it was released by Volks. I missed it because it went out of stock as soon as it went on for sale.
Some days later, I saw it on the Yahoo Japan auction site. The original price for this kit is 10,000yen. I got into a small bidding war and lost out. It was won at 15,000yen by someone else. I wasn’t bidding high because I knew I’d see more of this and that Volks would eventually re-release this kit at one point in the future.
A month later, I saw another kit on the auction site. Again, I wasn’t diehard on this kit, so I placed a modest bid of 10,000yen and completely forgot about it. I fully expected to lose it again.
Then, an e-mail came, stating that I won it at 7,900yen. I was, like, what the f -.
This was when I realized I ended up purchasing a bootleg because it should have ended somewhere around 15,000yen. Since it appeared to have shipped within Japan, I had a suspicion that it may have been E2046.
And it was.
If you are experienced with Japanese garage kits, you would know E2046 and GK Taiwan. E2046 operates out of Japan. GK Taiwan operates out of …, well, Taiwan.
Personally, I had purchased only from GK Taiwan until I accidentally purchased this kit. That is because GK Taiwan had what I wanted, and E2046 never had what I needed.
I’ve been hearing that quality of E20346 kits is inferior. Well, we will see soon.
About Christine V herself.
Christine V is a headliner of Fillmore Empire. She can be seen as a tragic figure. She murders a classmate when she is around 10 years old which complicates a lot of things for her. Her first appearance is volume 10, and she is one of 2nd generations characters.
Joker galactic law states that, if a headliner kills a normal human, the headliner in question must be executed. Based on that, Christine faces an execution.
However, being too young as well as several other factors, she is spared with a catch. She is asked to choose to either be outright executed or live a life of a cursed knight. She chooses the latter (no surprise there). At the same moment, she also inherits her father’s GTM as well as his fatima. Her father’s death is questionable. She is told thar he died in a battle, but the way his fatima acts tells me that there is something else.
Since the judgement, she lives on with a social stigma on her back as a cursed knight although this view clearly changes in later volumes.
As she enters her coming of age, she is treated like a baby machine. She is told blatantly to “open her legs” and accept men to produce more headliners for the empire.
She resists and tries to act as a royal bodyguard to her king whom she has some feelings for. That is where she stands by F.S.S. volume 16.
She and Erniuth dai gu Fillmore go way back and have feelings for each other, but their romance can’t be realized due to several factors outside of their control. Erniuth eventually marries someone else (The woman seen above).
I said I’d compare the quality. I will now.
For the record, I’ve dealt with about 6 kits from GK Taiwan. The last one was from 2021, so I am pretty up to date with their quality. I also have plenty of experience with Volks kits which is what E2046 has made a bootleg of.
So, I feel I am quite qualified to make an opinion on this.
Now, if you have old preconception that bootlegs are of far worse quality, get that outta your head now. At least when it comes to bootlegs from GK Taiwan, so far their bootlegs have matched its original quality. On one occasion, I felt they even exceeded its original quality.
Upon looking at the box from E2046, it is clear that they’ve put in efforts on not trying to look cheap. It’s got its own barcode, and the box has its own E2046 logo on top of it. GK Taiwan does the same.
This may make you question their moral compass. However, if you’ve been into Japanese garage kits for a while, you will feel that these bootlegs companies do deserve to exist.
A Japanese garage kit is rarely, if ever, manufactured the second time. Whatever quantity they get out of the first production, that is it. The ONLY exception to this has been Volks. This makes kits very rare which, in return makes it expensive once scalpers get a hold of such kits.
Bootleg companies, such as GK Taiwan and E2046, fill a niche role where they make bootlegs of extremely rare and completely out of print garage kits. Personally, I feel there is nothing wrong with such a practice. The original creators have earned their money because all of their kits were sold out. Since they are refusing to print more, someone else is doing that.
It’s scalpers that lose out on their profit. Who the duck cares about scalpers.
One may argue that making bootlegs of this Volks kit which is clearly new is wrong. True. At the same time, Volks made so few of them that it was sold out even before it went online on their website. I didn’t even have a chance to buy it. I believe it must have been first come first serve. Basically, it was sold out physically, and Volks had nothing to sell online.
If I can’t get a hold of a legit kit from its own manufacturer in a legit way, then I might as well get a bootleg. My hands are forced is what I am saying although I must point out that I purchased this accidentally.
Oh, shit, I’ve written a bit too much here. Let’s get back on the topic which is the quality of this kit.
The kit, again
The bottom line is that the quality ain’t too bad. It certainly does not look like this is a bootleg kit if I didn’t already have the prior knowledge. Fingers are sharp. Details seem crisp. Mold injection lines/spots are proper. Nothing tells me that this is a bootleg kit. The only evidence is the giant “E2046” text. Kinda … ironic.
In the end, I am positive that the quality of this kit is on par with its original because I am giving this kit 7 out of 10 which is a pretty high score from me.
However, upon assembling her giant, and heavy, skirt, I see some gaps which isn’t too surprising. Is it because this is a bootleg though? I don’t know for sure but I believe so because Volks makes the best complex resin kits. They wouldn’t have screwed up.
Regardless, this is easily fixable by just shoving paste into its gap.
Once patched up, I let the paste dry for a night. Then I apply gray color via airbrush. Then I apply a pink color manually with a brush.
As for her legs, on the original picture, it is supposed to be matte black stocking and glossy high heels. However, I’ve chosen to go with see-through stocking and black high heels. I am doing this in order to differentiate the color. This is a more complex process, but I’ve had bad luck with matte black and glossy black mixing together before. I wish to avoid that.
The progress of matte see through stocking is that apply skin color, then very lightly airbrush black over it, then I must apply varnish once dried enough. That is because repairing spots is not possible with this. Therefore, the paint must be protected before handing them.
The rest of the job is simple; just paint with a brush. It is done already.
Something of a note. I’ve cut off a large exclusion on her foot that is supposed to go into the stand (the blue thingy). I’ve done so in order to save her leg which seems rather fragile. The leg is supposed to support the whole weight from leaning sideways. I feel like the leg would snap one day due to its weight, so I’ve decided to cut it off and use another support.
In the end, this bootleg is of the highest quality. I can safely say that it is on par with GK Taiwan. If I didn’t know this was a bootleg, I wouldn’t have known.
The figure, overall, is a pretty good looking one. I am pretty happy how it turned out. But I would have preferred another pose with another outfit. There is an iconic one.
I would have preferred the above pose with the outfit.
Anyway, would I still go for a legit one? I will if Volks ever re-releases. I am no longer going to look for it on Yahoo auction however because my curiosity about this kit has been satisfied.
You may have noticed a big scar on her right shoulder. The scar was caused by none other than Dougulas Kaien. Who is Dougulas Kaien? He was basically the most powerful headliner for a period. He was a big playboy who slept with women left and right. He was a very playful character. His fatima was Auxo, a very unique fatima in her own right. I have shit ton to write about her, should I get a hold of her garage kit.
One of his habits was playing a fool and teach other headliners a lesson.
The incident happened in volume 10 where Christine got into a fight with another girl of her age and drew out her blade. Because the two girls were both headliners, normal people couldn’t dare stopping them because they’d be killed.
Kaien stepped in and asked them if they wanted to fight him. Because he was really good at playing a fool, both girls drew blades at him, thinking he was just a weak headliner.
Long story short, look below.
If you look closely, Christine actually loses her arm outright in the scene. It is attached back later.
It is hinted very clearly that no headliner removes scars caused by a sword saint because it is not a scar but a medal.
The only “human” female on the cover.
15 out of 16 volumes, each cover has a fatima with an exception of volume 5 where there is just a mortar headd. Volume 12 is the another exception where we see Christine V (a human) instead of a fatima.
I am not sure what that implies.