Yodasnews Review: Anakin Skywalker – Sith Apprentice (Vinyl Model Kit)
Review and Photography by Mark Picirilli (Yoda027) - Editing and Image Composition by Jeffrey A. Gouse (SithLord0498)
Sponsored by Things From Another World (TFAW.com) Review Date: 11/10/2008
As Yodasnews’ ongoing Kotobukiya series continues, today’s review of the Anakin Skywalker (Sith Apprentice) model bears an extra special treat for our loyal readers—it was photographed and written by our site administrator, Mark. After more than 60+ reviews, you’ll be seeing products through the eyes of another collector. He’ll be bringing you the next several reviews as well, but I’ll be dropping back in on “Cyber Monday” (December 1) with an extensive review of the Kotobukiya McQuarrie Concept Luke vs. Vader model.
Without further ado, take it away, Mark…
--J. Gouse (SithLord0498)
SCULPTING: Above Average
Kotobukiya’s human likenesses tend to have a more generic, anime-style look to them, which is not surprising because they are a Japanese company. However, looking at this model does make you think of Hayden Christensen—or, at the very least, Elijah Wood’s “emo” twin. In fact, Anakin is one of the better human likenesses in the Star Wars line. The down side is that this is supposed to be the evil version of Anakin, but the facial expression is just too bland. The same is true for the pose. Rather than being menacing or intimidating, it’s passive and a bit awkward.
As for the costume, Kotobukiya did a fantastic job on Anakin’s dark colored tabbards. The way they sculpted the crinkling is a great imitation of the thin and crisp leather tabbards on Hayden’s costume. It’s clear that Kotobukiya was trying to go for a wind-swept look to Anakin’s heavy cloak, and they succeeded for the most part. There are some places where the robes are too static, and the texture is extremely bumpy for some reason.
Still, Kotobukiya did a more than passable job on Sith Anakin. The sculpting is simply not at the same level as their previously reviewed armored and non-human characters.
PAINT APPLICATIONS: Above Average
Because the majority of the model is a whirlwind of robes, the painting is confined to the face, hands, saber, and belt. Nothing really stands out as exemplary, but they are sufficient for this piece. The “Sith eyes” are nice if not a little wide-eyed, and the lightsaber hilt appears very accurate. The silver paint on the mechanical gauntlet has some runniness to it, but the naked eye will not really pick up on it. The belt, on the other hand, has some issues with a lack of crisp paint detail. Anakin’s human hand has one too many coats of paint, resulting in looking like a “human hand glove”. The boots have a two-tone color scheme that does a respectable job imitating worn leather, and the cloak has subtle color variations that provide some depth.
DISPLAY BASE: Excellent
Anakin’s display base is a replica of a Mustafarian lava flow, and it looks really, really good. Kotobukiya certainly paid very close attention to details such as the shards of cooled lava rock and the white-hot flowing lava. They blended the red, orange, and yellow hues of the lava very well in an attempt to give the appearance of liquid. However, it does tend to look more like flowing blood than lava. As with previous Kotobukiya display bases, the figure stands very securely on it. Also, this base is designed to slide against the lava base on the Episode III Darth Vader model kit so that both sculptures can be displayed together.
EASE OF ASSEMBLY and DURABILITY: Above Average (Due to Factory Flaw)
We can’t mention something like that in the rating and leave you hanging for too long, so we’ll deal with our model’s flaw first (the reason why it didn’t score “Excellent”).
While trying to attach the legs, I noticed a problem. One leg was way off and would not attach to the foot peg. I tried every possible approach, but there was no way it was going to make it. Finally, I carefully broke the glue seal that held the boot in place, and I saw the problem. The peg on the bottom of Anakin’s leg was not lined up correctly with the hole in the boot. I simply realigned the peg and pushed it back together. It stayed tight, and everything lined up perfectly. Overall, it was a very easy fix, but it required a cool head to think through.
Afterward, I went on-line to see if anyone else reported this issue and came up dry. That’s good news because it makes this an isolated issue and something that should not dissuade you from purchasing this model. However, it occurred on this sample, so it needed to be addressed in this review.
The only other issue was that the arms really took more than a little “hard push” to get them in all the way, much harder than other Kotobukiya models. Outside of those two issues, it was very easy to assemble. Honestly, it took longer to undo all the twist-ties that kept Anakin in the box. As far as durability, this is as solid as the Imperial Scout Trooper—although the lightsaber blade is obviously a vulnerable spot.
OVERALL RATING: Above Average
The Kotobukiya Anakin Skywalker (Sith Apprentice) model is a well-executed and fun-looking piece, and it is also a fairly accurate depiction of Anakin as the pre-injury Sith Lord—even if the likeness is more in line with Japanese anime. Another boost for this piece is that, with the exception of Hasbro and Sideshow Collectibles, it is currently one of the only full-figure renditions of this iconic character in transition. At just under ten inches tall, it’s big enough to look great on display but small enough to fit on a standard bookshelf or IKEA “Detolf” case.
As with our previous two Kotobukiya reviews, this model kit is currently available for 50% off the retail price at TFAW.com. At $49.99, this is a great time to either add this to your own collection or pick it up as a holiday gift for the Star Wars collector in your life.
But you need to act quickly because these models are steadily selling out.