Did you know that Piececool also made a Legends-style series of models? Not a lot of attention was given to them, but I managed to come across them by accident quite a while back. These two models, Krohn and Dorado, come from the only “set” in the series, based on a Chinese story called the Three Kingdoms. And that’s about the extent of my knowledge about them. Oh, and these two models/characters also have Chinese names: Zhu Gi Liang and Liu Bei.
As you can tell, though, they took quite a different approach to the figurine style models. For one thing, neither of these models required any curving (though I did add some minor curves myself, where it seemed appropriate). What’s odd is that, despite having no curves, these models almost seem less blocky than the Legends models. They also feature a bit more layering, and a lot more small parts.
I don’t know if I like these models more or less than the Legends line. It’s more of an “it’s different” kind of thing. While these do have a bit more complexity and more differentiation between the various models, they don’t seem as polished as the Legends models – some steps are just a bit frustrating. But I do feel like they have a more striking appearance.
And, as I’ve alluded, these are a little bit more of a challenge, despite having no curved elements. The way they shaped the heads, making them less blocky by “slicing” the corners off, actually makes them harder to form than the Legends heads. And all the little decorative elements, to the clothing / garb add some nice complexity. One place where they were actually easier, though, was with the legs, which have no knees and are over-simplified representations of legs. They can get away with this, though, because of the long garments that hang down and obscure most of the legs.
One part that seemed more challenging than it should have been (as in, it could have been refined / designed a little better) on both of the models was the little shoulder pads / pauldrons / lapels that are over the arm. They are a pain in the butt to align and secure. It seems as if they just aren’t sized to fit in the place where they are supposed to go, and they just don’t line up right, so you get these gaps and strange edge alignments. And some very hard to reach / secure / twist tabs.
On Krohn / Zhu Ge Liang, the head is simplified some by the giant hat, thankfully. Not that the hat is simple, just that the head on Dorado / Liu Bei is much more challenging because of how the curvature to the top of the head is accomplished. That giant hat, does present it’s own challenges, but it was actually Krohn’s garments that gave me the most trouble. First of all, I like to have as many tabs folded on the inside as possible, so I labored to get the tabs on Part 8 to do so. It didn’t go exceptionally well, but would have been much easier if I had planned ahead, and delayed folding down the horizontal flaps (highlighted below) on Parts 6 an 7. I could have closed up Part 8, then slid it down over the flaps, and folded those flaps down, thus enabling me to secure the tabs between the two sections.
The other part of the garment struggle for me was securing the back of the robe / upper-body garment. I want to call it a kimono, but I think that’s Japanese, and I don’t know the culturally appropriate term for a similar garment of Chinese origin. Anyways, my ignorance aside, Putting together the main torso/garment is rather interesting with this model, it’s got several layering parts that I rather like. However, the back is attached after securing the front and sides together along with the bottom/pants. Which makes aligning everything together to get the back panel of the torso attached a bit of a challenge. I didn’t even try to put the tabs from the sides on the inside. And, frustratingly, even when I got all the tabs aligned… I did something wrong, cause it didn’t seem to fit over the flaps from the bottom/legs. I mushed it all together to “fit,” but it’s still got some annoying gaps.
On the fun side, I decided to add a bit of curvature to a few parts of Krohn: the feathered fan, the ribbons hanging down in front, and the thin/long sideburns/hair strips. Oh, and the goatee / beard. It just gives it that nice little touch. With the feathers, I tried to give it a rounded curve out each “feather.” For the ribbons and the sideburns/hair strips I tried to do a very light S-shaped curve that (hopefully) looks like a natural hanging wave. Finally, with the beard, I curved the main section one way, and then re-curved the little tips back somewhat.
Dorado, on the whole, seemed a little easier to me. Excepting, of course, the aforementioned head challenge. What made the head more challenging? Well, it was just that much more of the sliced-corner to deal with. Of course, having that sort of cut-off-corner by itself isn’t really a problem. The challenge comes when you try to wrap that around another edge, like at the top and bottom of the head with Dorado. Finding the right angle of fold to get everything to line up correctly is a real practice in patience. And trial-and-error. But it can be done. Though it doesn’t help that the back of the head is a separate piece (admittedly, if it weren’t, there would be other complications).
I was prepared to attempt my improved approach to attaching the garment around the legs on Dorado, only to find that it was unnecessary, as the part (9) doesn’t wrap completely around. The back panel was still challenging, but seemed to be more cooperative. And I just realized I lied to you earlier. There actually was a small bit of curving on this model. Very-simple, but a curve nonetheless. Which I complicated, of course, by adding some re-curves on the tips of the lion hair that stick out on the sides. I also added similar curving to the sideburns and beard, as well as the super-long ribbon things that hang down off the hat.
Each of these models took roughly an hour to complete. And they each have their own set of unique accents (quite a bit more than Legends models), though I feel like I don’t understand all of them from being outside the culture that they come from (like those things sticking out the side of Krohn’s hat. I have no idea what those are). The YouTube videos for these builds are below: