My birthday recently passed on the 21st. As an adult I sadly don’t get much of a haul anymore. But on the rare occasion I do get a special kind of wonderful. This year my friends were amazingly generous enough to all chip in and buy me something very special. Since I have been down on my luck recently I have not been able to buy much with what little free cash I have. That means a great deal of tempting but pricy luxury items simply slip through my fingers. But one that is certainly worth lusting for is the Saber & Saber Motored Cuirassier PVC. It is hardly a secret that Saber is my favorite character. And a sword wielding Saber in a suit who is also riding a motorcycle is certainly a fortuitous mixture of things that I find appealing. So naturally this is a figure that has my name all over it. Since it is such a well made figure given to me so generously I had to share a little review with everyone.
For a little background the figure is from Good Smile and is part of their Scale Figure line. While Good Smile is certainly more famous for their Nendoroid and Figma lines their Scale Model figures are quite impressive. They are mostly static PVC statues opposed to their other posable figures but what they lack in dynamic movement they make up for in detail and size. It was sculpted by Takayuki Kawahara. He has done a few Type-Moon figures in the past. I have his Saber Lily -Distant Avalon- and that is a magnificent figure. I also have his smaller set of random Nasuverse figures.
This is figure is based on scenes from the 21st episode of Fate/Zero ,”Knight on Two Wheels”. During the course of the series Irisviel gives Saber her Yamaha V-Max motorcycle as she has become to sickly to ride it. Since Saber has an A Rank ride skill with Kiritsugu as her master she is easily able to ride vehicles like motorcycles at a skill level slightly beyond that of a normal human intuitively. She is not as good as someone of the Rider class in the same situation but is still supernaturally skilled none the less.
During the previous episode someone disguised as Rider kidnaps Irisviel and Saber takes off in hot pursuit on her motorcycle. When she loses track of the doppelgänger she winds up on the trail of the real Rider. This starts an Initial D styled mountainside race with Saber on her bike and Rider on his chariot. When Saber starts falling behind she upgrades her ride by encasing it in Invisible Air which gives it a very unique appearance aka the Motored Cuirassier. The transformation gives her just the boost she needs to close the distance. The figure in question is a reproduction of Saber getting ready to thrown down after just catching up to Rider. An electrifying scene indeed.
The first thing to focus on is the King of Knights herself. Saber in a Suit is rather easy to skimp on if you want to reduce the cost of the figure. She wears an all back three-piece suit. It is not that hard to make it a uniform outfit and still have it be fairly authentic looking. But this sculpt goes the distance to put a good deal of nuance into her clothing. The suit despite being all black has an amazing amount of detail on the little flourishes like the buttons and shoes. They also add in some purple to her undershirt that gives it a nice bit of contrast while keeping her overall aesthetic intact. It also has some wonderful creases on the clothing. The wrinkles bend to how the suit falls on her body given them a real sense of place and movement.
Her hair is also Tomoyo from the Cardcaptor Sakura manga levels of levels of hair porn richness as opposed to the flatter the standard Tomoyo from the anime style hair that most Saber figures have. The amount of distinct hair that are visable in the sculpt is very impressive. It lets her hair have a distinct feeling that it is moving as the bike comes to a sudden stop.
Excalibur is almost always her most detailed accessory on even some of the cheaper Saber figures and this is the case here as well. The sword always it looks impressive with its signature color scheme and fairy script on the blade.
For all the detail on the rider the Motored Cuirassier itself is even more impressive. It is definitely a shiny piece. A good deal of chrome and neon to make it a very vibrant piece in contrast to subdued palate that dominates Saber’s outfit. The only parts of the bike that are not bright are the tires and the engine block. They both look suitably functional. It looks futuristic and fantastical without crossing the line into 80s kiddie cartoon merchandise territory like it could slide into given the amount of flash. It is a fun design that looks sleek yet powerful. It gives the impression of armored horse in combustion engine form. It almost has a Saber themed take on Kaneda’s Bike from Akira. Just like Saber’s outfit the bike is amazingly detailed. Everything from the engine block to the exhaust system looks wonderful. You can move the front wheel a bit but it looks the best when it is sitting in the front groove of the stand.
The final piece is the platform the whole piece sits on. Made to look like a stretch of highway the base is fairly large. It has a nice rough asphalt like texture with some worn divider lines. There are also some chunks of the highway littered over the ground to show the impact of the bike when it came crashing to the ground in this scene. The base does a good sense of creating a setting as opposed to the average genetic featureless stand.
So many times static figures are very simple. There merely have the character stand in a slightly characteristic way. Very good figures will capture the essence of the character with their pose. But Saber Motored Cuirassier goes beyond that. The very dynamic pose that is captured here tells a story. I can tell the exact moment from the story where this figure comes from. (BTW that moment is 6 minutes and 10 seconds into episode 21.) It has a sense of fluidity and gravitas that all but the best figures lack. You can get the Saber figma and the accompanying bike and they are quite impressive. And they work slightly better as an actual toy you can play with. But if you want something that is actually a display piece than this is the only version of the urban knight of the highway you should consider.