MARMIT'S BORG SEIJIN FROM ULTRASEVEN

 

Marmit Borg Seijin, 30cm/12

12/07/17- I didn't want to write this article without first re-reading my 2005 Neo Borg Seijin article: It's not easy to come up with stuff for these articles (If I'm lucky, I might come up with one new idea per article) and I didn't want to rehash too much of that content. That means no plot summary. Bummer, huh?

The Neo Borg Seijin project was fun. I made it because I like the design of the alien and I didn't know any company that had made Borg Seijin in the 30cm scale that I collect. Since I've finally learned to look at Japanese sources for this oddball niche stuff, I've found that CCP recently released a show-faithful version of Borg Seijin... but of course, it's too late: Sold out. Thanks to the "previously owned" store, Mandarake, I've learned that Marmit had made some cool 30cm stuff about 5-10 years ago. I bought Icarus Seijin, Shapuray Seijin, and now, Borg Seijin!

This vinyl figure is foot-stamped "2006", (probably released in 2007-2008) which explains why I couldn't find it on the Marmit website, which has archives that go back to 2008. However, I did find it listed as an upcoming 12" mail-order release in an English-language website's archive of many years ago. That was enough confirmation of the size for me to click the "buy" button.

Marmit Borg Seijin, 30cm/12

Marmit Borg Seijin, 30cm/12

It's difficult to comment on its sculpting quality. The original 1:1 suit was a rubber suit, made under tight time constraints and a tight budget. In fact, backlot photos of the actual suit make it look kind of dowdy. The toy figure's sculptor appears to have captured that, including all the original suit's details, with no objectionable proportion errors (to me, at least).

Marmit Borg Seijin, 30cm/12

I was going to complain about what look like engraving chatter marks on some of the frontal radial lines on the head, but a photo of the original suit shows that the lines weren't perfectly clean; the pattern is symmetrical on both sides of the head, so it looks deliberate: My guess is that these were openings that the suit actor used to see, faithfully reproduced on the figure.

In other areas, the lines aren't perfectly evenly spaced: The suit was hand-sculpted, not produced by CNC milling or a 3D printer, and the hand-sculpted 1:6 replica captures the production quality. It would look wrong if they were perfectly spaced.

Based on the backlot photos, maybe it looks slightly bulkier than the actual suit? It's hard to say. Straight out of the baggie, it was wide around the midsection from the frontal view and there was a wider gap at one side of the articulation seam between the hips and torso. It's hollow and made of vinyl, and the parts look like they were hand-trimmed, like a garage kit. The wideness was probably due to flattening during storage-- it was easy to correct by heating and inserting an interior strut; the seam opening was fixed by trimming a bit more off the torso's bottom flange.

Marmit Borg Seijin, 30cm/12

This was available by mail order as an unpainted kit and a "completed" figure. The completed figure's paint job is very basic: It's painted uniformly silver (the same as I did with my Neo Borg Seijin). A modeling treatment (weathering and artificially emphasizing shadows) might make it look more realistic, but I don't think it's necessary.

I only have photos of the CCP version for comparison; the CCP's pose is different and the torso appears to be thinner, but the sculpt quality looks about the same. I do like the look of the five chest rivet heads on CCP's version; they look like LEDs whereas Marmit's are painted white. In the show they appear to be lighted with incandescent bulbs.

This has a bit more articulation than the other Marmit figures: In addition to the head, arms, and torso, the legs are also articulated at the hips, which helps with getting a stable standing pose. The asymmetric pauldrons are also articulated with small bumps that fit into depressions in the gorget.

Naturally, I compared it to my "Neo Borg Seijin", which was loosely guided by pictures of the actual suit. I don't recall why I omitted things like the radial lines on the head, but I do recall that I enjoyed not worrying about making an accurate replica and having the freedom to choose which details and motifs that I wanted to borrow and riff off of.

Just one problem, a truly nerdish conundrum: Now that I have a screen-faithful version, I can no longer think of my female version as a "fix" for the gender flip-flop of the episode: I'm guessing that the suit actor was male-- it's built like and looks male. That creates a weird cognitive dissonance: In giant alien form it sounds female, and in human form, it is a female.

I don't know if this was done deliberately. Was their point to establish that the species in alien form didn't look female (by human standards)? Maybe the suit was originally designed for a male, independent of the casting of the role of the human form? Maybe they believed that depicting the decapitation of a female-looking alien would have been taboo? Or maybe they weren't as nerdly as I am and didn't care?

It was fun to make the female version but it doesn't fit the backstory of the episode... unless I make up my own (it's called "fanfic"): My Neo Borg Seijin is a male in human form and has a deep masculine voice in giant form. See? Geeesh...

Marmit Borg Seijin, 30cm/12

 

 

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