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Maxima Enfield by Kotobukiya

June 11, 2011 By: Nopy Category: Figures

I have about a dozen figures lined up for review, but today I’m going to skip the queue and cover the most recent addition to my collection, a 1/8 scale Maxima Enfield from the JRPG Shining Hearts. I don’t know anything about Maxima or even the Shining Hearts game, but when Kotobukiya released the promo shots of this figure, I thought it looked awesome and I had to get it.

The figure is based off of an illustration by famed artist, Tony Taka (T2). For those of you who don’t know who Tony is, he did the illustrations and character designs for the Shining series of games, as well as for titles such as Sora no Iro Mizu no Iro, Tony’s Heroine Series, and Fault! All of his characters are female, and I think the most identifiable aspect of his work is the way he draws eyes.

Kotobukiya managed to recreate Tony’s illustration in figure form almost perfectly. The dress, sword, and even the card all match what was in the original illustration.

There is no illustration of Maxima’s back side, but I think Kotobukiya also did a great job here. Some figures look great from the front and have a horrible back, but Maxima looks great from every angle.

Now I did say earlier that Kotobukiya did an almost perfect job, so here’s the most obvious area where they fell short. On my particular figure, there are two smudges right around the area that probably (at least for guys) draws the most attention, highlighted by the top two arrows in the picture. From the size and shape, I’m assuming that one of the painters at the factory handled my Maxima when there was still wet paint on his fingers and it slipped through the quality checkers.

The second problem I had was with the design on the front of Maxima’s dress. From the illustration, the groove should extend down around the white design, not go through it. Unlike the paint smudges, this defect seems to be present in all of the figures and not just mine.

There’s nothing I can do about the placement of the design/groove, but I did try to fix one of the smudges. I tried using 600 grit sandpaper to remove the brown paint under Maxima’s boob, but I actually did not find any black paint underneath the brown paint. The only cause I can think of that would make the brown paint go all the way through is that the black paint was also wet when this piece was handled. That would also explain why there’s a black smudge on the white design.

Now I’m thinking of getting some black paint to paint over the brown, so if anyone knows what kind I should get, I’d be happy to hear. Enough with the defects though, back to the figure.

Tony illustrates characters with eyes that have a more circular iris (as opposed to a super-elongated oval) with a black outline. The eyelashes are relatively thin with a feathery appearance and extend across the top of the eye and down the outside corner, but never appear on the bottom of the eye. Kotobukiya managed to keep Tony’s drawing style intact here.

The ribbon around Maxima’s neck has some rough edges, but they aren’t noticeable from a normal viewing distance. I’ve seen better ribbons on other figures (i.e. Liu Meifeng by GSC), but realistically speaking, no one’s going to be sticking this figure in their face to examine the ribbon.

One of the things that make Maxima look great from behind is how her back is exposed. The large bow and the white lines on her collar piece draws your attention to the area, and her smooth white skin in contract with the white clothing, coupled with the excellent sculpt just make you want to stare.

While this has more to do with the character design rather than the figure, I love how it teases you with a peek at Maxima’s zettai ryouki and covers her panties with a semi-transparent underskirt.

Of course, if you really want to see everything underneath the skirt, Maxima comes apart at the waist. I don’t think it’s possible to tell what kind of panties Maxima is wearing (other than that they’re white) from the original illustration, so I’m guessing Kotobukiya took some creative liberties here. Personally, I think the design looks like an arrow pointed at a certain place, something for the guys I guess.

The high-heel boots are about as smooth as they can get, but while they look nice, I’m a bit disappointed with the white pieces under them. I know they’re used to keep the figure stable and prevent it from leaning, but I would have preferred for there to be a gap between the heel and the toe of the boots.

The base is nothing special, but the small size is great for someone like me who’s running out of shelf space for figures.

Maxima comes with two accessories, though I consider them essential to the character and have had them on throughout this photo shoot. The first is a card which she holds between her index and middle finger of her left hand. It is extremely, and I mean EXTREMELY detailed. I have never seen anything with such fine printing on it before. Unfortunately, even with my new camera, I can’t zoom in enough to show all the details so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

The card fits perfectly between Maxima’s fingers, there is nothing else holding it, which just goes to show the precision with which Kotobukiya made the thickness of the card and the gap between the fingers. You can also see from this picture that her hands are very nicely sculpted, with clear joints in every finger.

The other accessory is her katana. The hilt has a smooth and well-defined design, however, if you look at the original illustration, there should be a green glow coming from it. It would have been cool to have the sword glow, but to do that in a figure, you would need lights or use transparent plastic. I think having pieces of green transparent plastic on the hilt of the sword would have just made it look tacky, so I applaud Kotobukiya for making the right choice and sticking with black and silver.

The hand guard also has a star design on it.

The blade of the katana is finely sculpted with no rough edges whatsoever; it’s flawless.

That covers just about every part of this figure. One last gripe I have is that the hair ribbon that next to Maxima’s ponytail doesn’t extend outwards like in the promo shots, instead just goes straight down. It’s not really a flaw though, and moving it closer to the body made the box significantly smaller.

If it weren’t for the smudges and the placement of the groove on the front side, I think Maxima would have been perfect. She is definitely one of the coolest looking figures I have now and the quality is above and beyond any of the other Kotobukiya figures in my collection.

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21 Comments to “Maxima Enfield by Kotobukiya”

  1. Hmmm pretty good looking for a Koto figure!

    The panties they probably consulted the original character sketches…You know the type that illustrators always do for characters that show small details and what have you. Without such things they wouldn’t even know what the back of her dress looked like much less the panties. :p
    Ashlotte recently posted..Review- 1-7 Menace Review NSFW

  2. Another nice figure. I like the ribbons and the collar the most. They’re very detailed. Also, it’s nice how detailed you describe your figure and pointing out the defects. I’m learning which are natural defects and which are not.
    abscissa recently posted..C- Monetary Alteration and Manipulating Odds

  3. Oh that sucks, I think I only gotten a figure with paint issues and even then I’m not sure if that was intentional or not.

    Other than that I’m surprised, I didn’t know it was a Koto figure I thought it was from someone else. That aside can’t say that I like it mostly due to T2, not a fan of his artwork. Other than that though, I give props to Koto for being able to translate a 2D image into a nice looking figure.
    Miette-chan recently posted..Such a busy and fulfilling weekend

  4. might wanna search it against a database to see who’s the culprit. Just kidding.

    It’s a beautiful figure especially from behind cuz that’s where you can see the ribbons, hair and whatnot.
    Hoshiko recently posted..How Willing Are You To Lend Others Your Collections

  5. She turned out quite nice ^^

    I really like the design of this figure, the elegant yet slightly revealing dress looks so nice. Also the face Maxima looks very cool and pretty, these are so pretty painted eyes. I think the way she holds the card between her fingers adds something special to her pose.

    these tiny paint buckets for models from Revell should help with painting the damaged area, just pick the right color, maybe you also have to mix two colors.
    Fabienne recently posted..New Preorders Part 7

  6. Damn, I had considered ordering this figure and your nice shots are making me regret turning her down. For such a simple figure, Koto looks like they got the painting right on and her details like the stripes on her dress and those emblems on each dress segment, look spot on when they could have easily been screwed up. A shame about the smudges though but hopefully not a hard fix for you. Thanks for the review!
    Luth recently posted..Review NSFW- Super Soniko – Regular Edition Creators’ Labo

  7. BioToxic says:

    Looks like Maxima turned out really nice. I find her black dress the most appealing aspect of her design and the paintjob on it looks fab. I like the mixture between fantasy and goth that appears to be going on. The skirt part of the dress reminds me of sword blades, although I have to wonder what would happen is there was a sudden updraft…

    The card being removable is also a neat little feature. I’d have assumed it would be stuck to her. I don’t see much point in having the white under-skirt being removable since the black dress just covers her back up when you reassemble her, but oh well.

    The paint finger print is a shame though. I usually don’t try to fix any paint defects with my figures since I’m scared I’ll make even more mess.

    I wanted to get Maxima myself initially, but I know once I buy her I’d want to get all the other Shining Hearts girls. I bet Kotobukiya made her base small just so space can’t be used as an excuse not to get more xD.

  8. How much do stuff like these cost? I’m new to the whole figurine business. Do they have any functions and stuff like that which are present in action figures?
    TRazor recently posted..The TRazor Layeth the Smackdown on the New Anime – Summer Preview

  9. @Ashlotte:
    I didn’t think of that, there might be some designs of her panties somewhere out there, I haven’t really looked.

    They are indeed, and I’m happy that you’re learning something from my review :)

    I actually wasn’t a fan of Tony’s style either, but after a while it just started to grow on me. I was really impressed with how well Kotobukiya was able to bring it to life.

    Haha, if only I had access to such a database. The back really does have some nice details.

    The dress is definitely one of the nicest things about her design. It looks cool, but also gives you a little tease without looking too perverted. I’ll have to look up where to buy Revell paint. I just know some hobby stores sell paint for model airplanes and stuff, but I don’t know if it’s the right kind.

    She’s still available at some stores if you still want to grab her. I think it’s worth it considering what a good job they did.

    I didn’t consider her look to be very goth, but now that I think about it, I guess it is. I’m sure she would be fine even if there was an updraft, she does have an underskirt on (perhaps that was the reason they added it in her design?)

    I thought the card was going to be stuck on the figure too when I saw the promo shots. My guess is that they kept it separate so there wouldn’t be any globs of plastic between the fingers and the card. It also makes painting it easier.

    You have a point about making things worse, the sandpaper actually made the smudge even more noticeable than before. To me, a defect is a defect, so I fix them when I can.

    It’s a funny thing that you mention the other Shining Hearts girls. Because of Maxima, I actually ordered all of them in the line-up.

    Including shipping, I paid 6720 yen (87.16 CAD) for Maxima. That’s about average price for a good quality scaled figure. Nendoroids cost me about 40-50 CAD while large and/or high-end figures cost ~150 CAD. That’s all including shipping. If you don’t have money, I wouldn’t recommend getting a figure because pretty soon you’ll want more.

  10. @ Nopy
    I mainly have used Revell colors in the past because they were good to handle, I also tried Tamiya and Humbroll, but I disliked the more low viscosity of them. Maybe it was just a personal impression. Anyway two things you should pay atttention to are; to thoroughly agitate the color in the paint bucket before using and not to put too much paint on the brush. I would suggest to practise on a unimportant piece of plastic, to so see if the dried clolor fits to the dress of Maxima if you aren’t used to painting things ;).
    Fabienne recently posted..Review Melissa Seraphy from GSC

  11. I had a REALLY hard time turning away from this figure. When I was making cut backs in my collection I decided to not buy anymore Shining Kotobukiya figures (unless I managed to get a great price) because their releases just seemed ENDLESS! But then this beauty was announced, she has A LOT going for her that I love. But in the end I held true to my word and passed on her. But that doesn’t mean I can’t admire the images of her from owners. She looks fabulous minus those flaws beneath her bust!
    lovelyduckie recently posted..May Figure Haul and Beato Arrives

  12. Oh my god! It’s beautiful isn’t?!
    dreaming Artemis recently posted..Autocity Super GT Roadshow 2011

  13. Very very nice figure. Like lovelyduckie, I’ve bought too many Shining figures already, so I had a “wait and see” approach to this one. It looks like another one that I might have to buy. Sucks that you got one that’s flawed like that though. You’ll have quite a bit of trouble trying to match that exact same black, unfortunately.

    Have you tried contacting the retailer and telling them you got a defective one and would like an exchange? This kind of flaw would bug me to no end, since I’m quite the perfectionist.
    Radiant recently posted..Awesomesauce Girl

  14. Oh yeah, and I also should point out that if you look really carefully at the illustration, the panties’ design is there. Her little skirt is semi-transparent.
    Radiant recently posted..Awesomesauce Girl

  15. @Fabienne:
    Thanks for the advice, I hope I can manage to fix her up and not make things worse.

    I thought about buying all of the Shining figures, but I decided to just stick with the Shining Hearts series since I liked the character designs better.

    @dreaming Artemis:
    Definitely, Kotobukiya did an excellent job.

    It’ll proabably take me a lot of time to match the colours too, I haven’t painted anything since I was a teenager. I think AmiAmi has a statement somewhere saying they aren’t responsible for manufacturing defects, but I haven’t looked into it.

    I guess you can sort of make out her panties, but I find it hard to see any design on it.

  16. T_T the paint,but still she looks pretty :D

    that mark on her lingerie looks like anchor for me ^^

  17. Key-Fan says:

    Nopy: You could still try it. Most shops have some policies they don’t always enforce (even though they obviously often do^^). Otacute NEVER EVER cancels a Preorder. You can read it on their site at least. But I know of quite some cancellations which they made possible^^

    Obviously AmiAmi does not have to exchange her (and the question is, if you even wanted, as you would have to pay at least the back-shipping of the defective one^^), since they are not at fault anyway. But when asked nicely and with a picture (it’s not some minor defect like 99% of all figures have, but a rather bad one) I guess you stand a chance.
    It’s obiously not a problem of shipping via SAL (if u did) or anything, so they might let you off^^

    If you decide to paint her though, post some pics afterwards =D good luck if you do, too.

  18. These Shining girls really look fantastic, don’t they? I don’t know anything about them but the figs look amazing. Too bad Maxima has some flaws, hope you’ll get to fix her so the smudges will be less noticeable.

  19. @Aya:
    When it looks like an arrow, who wouldn’t like it?

    I’ve actually had an order cancelled by Otacute before. I still order from them, but now I’m more wary when it comes to figures I really want.

    Regarding asking for an exchange, I’m not really up for mailing her back and waiting for a second one, especially with the postal strike right now. I’m just going to give painting her a try and hope for the best.

    They are really nice, I’m probably going to order the whole Shining Hearts set.

  20. I have a soft spot in my heart for figures from Tony Taka’s Shining series. I think Tony Taka does some of the sexiest, most beautiful female illustrations ever. And most of the figures based on his art has been gorgeous as well.

    This figure is stunning as well. It’s too bad those smudges are there. :(

    Didn’t realize there was a difference in the grooves between illustration and figure. Good eye!

    Anyway, still a sexy figure in my opinion.

  21. @Yi:
    If I could afford all of the figures based on Tony’s illustrations, I’d get them all, but alas, I can’t. At least this one turned out very well even with the smudges.


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