For many years I (Ash) have collected and displayed models, statues or action figures, whatever you call them, mostly faeries, occasionally superheros and the odd anime character, but this year i’ve discovered a new source for my infatuation. E2046.com
Many years ago I bought a little figure an anime Character of Belldandy at the beach, I found in Forbidden Planet, it was cheap and needed repairing. I had no idea who or what Belldandy was and it just looked like someone I knew and I thought it was cute. I took it home fixed her, repainted her and she sat on the shelf and that was that.
Then I saw another figure of a bird woman, a naked female, transforming in to or out of a bird, with feathered wings and a claw foot, but was shocked at the price and it remained a wish, until i discovered a model shop in Lavender Hill and a copy of the very figure i had wished for, it was painted gold and was chipped, the shop sold it to me really cheap, with a pot of paint stripper. Once again i got her home, removed the gold paint, repaired the wing, sanded her down and even made a few adjustments (shaped her boobs to a sensible more realistic size, from the comicbookesque shape they were, she would never have been able to fly with them!), I repainted her in flesh tones and Peregrin Falcon feathers and loved her, I was really proud of ‘Seline’ the winged creature, but she has been through the wars over the years, having been knocked and broken a few times, wing damage, she had her legs snapped and repaired and she’s been repainted at least twice. Earlier this year i made her a next to stand in and finally made her a little more sturdy and balanced and she remains a favourite.
There are others, half a dozen or so faeries from Nemesis Now, the Gothic Figures company, whose figures are often sexy, scantily clad females, sometimes winged, sometimes Gothic Hellcats or Vixens, they also sell gorgeous skulls and animals all with that dark, macabre essence, but i’ve always favoured the corset wearing, gothic or even SteamPunk Faeries and they have fuelled my work in photograph, drawing and writing alike.
Then there came the anime figures. I watched Gantz and really liked Shimohira Reika, so I ordered the X-shotgun Figure, but received the more scantily clad version I contacted the company and was told to keep it. I never did get the one i wanted.
There have been other mistakes too A 2b from Nier Automata turned out to be tiny – it was meant to be a 6inch version, but that was the size of the box it came in, I bought Asuka Langley figure before even watching Evangelion and then when i did i realised i couldn’t stand the character (she was pretty, but bloody annoying!) Similarly Inari from Guilty Crown was beautiful, the anime was just boring! I recently reworked the Asuka figure, sanding her down, repainting her and making her into my own Catwoman Figure, equipped with a full length Cat-of-Nine-tails, Inari remains she’s still pretty no matter how boring her show was!!
With this reworking of models i started to look for those statues I’m missing the Gantz O figure and the a better size 2b and came across a website and a company based in China. E2046.com they had hundreds of models at really good prices, I looked through their catalogue and started dreaming of the possibilities of an army of 002’s from Darling in the Franxx or a full squad of Sailor Mars and the other stars (from Sailor Moon), but in the end I settled on two. The Nier 2b with the giant sword and a pretty little bunny eared girl called Yae sitting in a Cherry blossom tree.
I ordered them and waited.
The Website is full of stuff and in order to purchase you make an account and then you are opened to a whole world of stuff to do, it’s not just a shop, it’s a community. The company started in 2006 selling figures and very soon started to make and design their own, first with one, a Gothic Lolita Girl, then a run of five different figures, these days they make hundreds, all discussed, chosen, designed, voted on and then cost proofed, then the Ori Figure is set out for tender, shared with the public to see who would willingly Pre-Order the figure and pay a reduced fee ahead of production, – thus helping the company afford the production and guarantee sales and the buyers get their hands on the fist run of the figures. Once the Pre-Order has been filled and production starts, the figure is listed as Ordered, the order will be made for the required Pre-Orders, plus extras to fill the expected additional sales. A first model is made and sent to the company and one of their artists, puts it together and confirms it is good to go, then they mark it as assembled without issue and the print run can begin.
When the order is complete, the pre-orders are sent out and the rest is ready to buy at a slightly higher cost. So it pays to get in early but there is no way of knowing how long you may wait for the orders numbers to be filled and so it’s a gamble, you may be the first to order and could wait a year, or be the last to fill the requirement and the order could be with you in a month. Or you can just buy something that is ‘In Stock’ and pay the extra. I tried to Pre-Order a Psylocke from X-Men Figure, but after 8 months of waiting the order was still 17 short so I ended up cancelling my order and buying another figure instead (which remains in the box waiting to be put together, but more on that in a minute).
There are tons of different models from Transformer robots to Adult Versions of characters but given the Asian sensorship the pictures of the figures tend to have big boxes over the boobs and groins in order to preserve the modesty of the statues sat there with their legs open!
If you buy a few items in Pre-order or buy a set number of models you get VIP status and get more bonuses, as well as credit for buying and more incentive to buy more! Such as anExtra 7% Discount on any product, Inquiries will be handled in higher priority & Dedicated promotions and offers for VIP members.
There is a gallery to show off your finished models, (I have just received the compliment of ‘Gallery of the Day’ for my Yae Sukura’ Figure) with prizes each month for the best paint job, overall design and dioramas the figures are set in, you can win up to $100 credit.
You can make wishlists of all those statues you want to buy and when they become available you get emails telling you the reduced costs etc. They also sell everything you would need to make your models, from glue to paint, bases to brushes and all it seems at really cheap prices (just make sure to buy them with the figures, because the carriage would be quite a lot on their own).
So what of the models? What do you get?
Well when you order you see photos of the contents and you can see how many pieces their are and everything else in the yellow box. What isn’t clear is that sometimes there are no instructions and when there are instructions well sometimes you might be better off without them! There is usually a photo of all the pieces and a number attached, then if there is a diagram for assembly you need the number to match to the diagram, the problem is, that the photos of the individual pieces seems to a challenge, you see the number 58 is a piece of PVC, it looks like a straight stick, but is in fact a curve bit of hair, they have just photographed it at the most unhelpful angle they could find. You have to really study the photo for any clue as to which of the 80 pieces in the box number 58 could be and then 58 will need to fix into 25 and that is equally difficult to spot and the diagram just indicates that these pieces join to that piece over there, somewhere near the body, but it could be in front, behind, facing forward or twisted round, their really isn’t any details given and you think i’d be better off with no instructions, then you get the 2b Model and it has no instructions and you realise even bad instructions are better than nothing. In the end the 2b model wasn’t that difficult to construct, it just would have helped to know to put the sword in her hand before gluing the arm to the torso, I didn’t and had to saw the sword in half in order to fit it in her hand. The Yae sitting in the tree was much more problematic even with instructions and it took both Bob and I using all hands and our mouths to fit the hair to the head, because we put the head on the body first.
When Bob saw and helped solve the hair issue of Yae she was instantly intrigued and wanted her own figure to construct and after a long search through the thousands of choices, she picked Velvet Crowe, from the Pre-Order section and must have been one of those to top up the required order amount, because a few weeks later she had an email informing her that the package was out for delivery.
Postage can be however you want it, airmail, land or even put on a boat for a scenic tour and a month long delivery, of course you pay for faster transit, but airmail is £6.99 and the parcel is marked gift upon arrival – because of the stupid UK Import costs.
There are many incentives on the website including Promotions where every week even every day there is some excuse to get anything from 10% to 45% off.
Gathering is pre-painted models, painted with high quality paints to really high standards, but you will pay the price, so if you want the figure but don’t have the time or skill to do it yourself then take a look at the Gathering.
ANTIHERO is what e2046 do best really, Antihero are GK versions of the most popular PVC models, which means cheaper versions of those models that are either pre-painted (Gathering) or available from other usually (Japanese) manufactures, (like the Psylocke model i pre-ordered). The GK versions may be smaller but they can end up looking just as good as the original if you have the time and skill.
Last one, is as it sounds the last one, reduced even more, often a massive 50-60% reduction.
Hot product & Top 100 Are the most popular and last but not least is the aforementioned Wishlist, where you can save all those figures you want one day and at the cost of them it is more a case of ‘where would i put them all’, rather than ‘when i can afford them’.
So in all there are a few construction issues and a better parts photo of the figures are clearly needed (& instruction diagram and/or process list needed in many of the models, but if you like anime or comic book characters and could see yourself owning a 1:12th scale version of Wolverine or Lara Croft then you could do worse than head over to www.e2046.com and see what you can find, there! We will be back i’m sure and you can get an introductory discount and help us out HERE