Bandai Regal Blue Tang 'Dory'

KIT #: 0206303
PRICE: 1000 yen SRP
DECALS: One option and they are stickers
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Snap kit


Finding Nemo is a 2003 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. Written and directed by Andrew Stanton with co-direction by Lee Unkrich, the film stars the voices of Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, and Willem Dafoe. It tells the story of the overprotective Ocellaris clownfish named Marlin who, along with a regal blue tang named Dory, searches for his abducted son Nemo all the way to Sydney Harbour. Along the way, Marlin learns to take risks and comes to terms with Nemo taking care of himself.

Finding Nemo was released on May 30, 2003, and has received universal critical acclaim since then. The film won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and was nominated in three more categories, including Best Original Screenplay. Finding Nemo became the highest-grossing animated film at the time and was the second highest-grossing film of 2003, earning a total of $871 million worldwide by the end of its initial theatrical run.

The film is the best-selling DVD title of all time, with over 40 million copies sold as of 2006, and was the highest-grossing G-rated film of all time before Pixar's own Toy Story 3 overtook it. The film was re-released in 3D in 2012. In 2008, the American Film Institute named it the 10th greatest animated film ever made as part of their 10 Top 10 lists. A sequel, Finding Dory, was released on June 17, 2016 in the United States.

Couple of interesting bits. So popular was the film that the clownfish has all but disappeared from several tropical reefs so much was the demand by hobbyists. The sequel has so far reached levels of success that are nearly that of the original movie.


While hobby shop surfing, I ran across this kit sold by a dealer in Japan. It is pretty much a snap kit and is molded in the appropriate colors so that beginning modelers will be able to build a credible model without any additional tools. The rest of us will paint and detail it.

The kit comes complete with a base which represents a section of reef and coral that holds the model in place. We are provided with three different faces, each with a different expression. I would assume that these may well be interchangeable. In addition, there are two sets of eyes, each a bit different.

Instructions are in Japanese and provide full color assembly sequences. Those not painting this one will have it together in probably a half hour. No decals with this one, but a sticker sheet instead. Most of the stickers are used to decorate the base, but some are required for the body. No scale is provided (no pun intended), but it looks like it may be a bit bigger than life. 


This is basically a snap kit, but, like most modelers, I cannot bear the sight of naked plastic. So I broke out the paint. The very dark blue areas were painted with Testors Insignia Blue, the lighter blues with French Blue, and the yellow with some FasColor slot car body paint. The yellow bits had to be painted white first, but other than that no real issues. I also painted the pectoral fins rather than use the stickers and also painted the eyeballs white.

For the inside of the mouth, I chose a light orange. There are three heads in the kit and I picked the smiling one shown on the box art. This meant painting the 'teeth' white for which I used Tamiya X-1. One thing about the interchangeable heads is that it has a large seam the runs the height of the model. I decided to fill in most of it, leaving the areas around the upper head as they were. These would be delineated by the dark blue inserts. I also painted the dorsal and ventral fins with the insignia blue.

A display stand is provided with some coral bits that are really only complete on about 60% of the parts. The 'back' pieces are simply a brace network. The really dedicated will fill those in, but that is not I. For the base, I used Vallejo acrylics. Most of the 'sand' was painted buff with the large coral head in purple with black, the shell in Humbrol white acrylic and the starfish using a flesh tone.

With the painting done, I plugged in the side fins. These were a very tight fit, thanks to the additional coat of paint. This whole thing was then placed on the display stand. I then sprayed on several coats of gloss clear as the insignia blue was matte and fish are not. I did use stickers for the eyes and also for the tag. The eyes simply push in place.


OK, so mark this down as your editor's slip off into another universe for a bit, but you have to admit that it is an interesting subject for a kit. The finished result looks nice enough and adds something a bit different to the usual mass of Shermans, 109s and such. The kit is easy to find if you don't mind shopping overseas, easy enough to build that you can have your kids do it, and those of us who cannot stand the sight of bare plastic, can paint it up to make it look even better. Not sure how 'neat' this is, but you can move the flippers quite a bit and Dory can also be moved several degrees around on the ball to which the model is plugged. I liked the optional faces and eyes, but in the end chose the most 'normal of the three.

Oh yes, for those who want to know how large this is, it measures about 5 or so  inches from nose to tail. 


5 May 2017

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