| 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.
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).
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.
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
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...