When Cattleya was first announced as part of the Megahouse Excellent Model Queen’s Blade lineup last September I was overjoyed. Given her ponderous dimensions and niche fetish appeal I thought her inclusion in the series would be unlikely, but it seems someone with decision-making power at Megahouse HQ recognized the appeal of her monumental design for what it was, and decided that justice must be done. The justice ended up so great that it could hardly be contained by Cattleya’s 120-cm bust, so I give fair warning – if the prospect of such developed womanly attributes makes you less than excited this review is not for you. Otherwise, read on for more gushing fanboyism than is probably appropriate:

Original Design: Kaneko Hiraku (Wikipedia)
Sculptor: Yamachichi (Heavy Gauge)
Source: Queen’s Blade (combat artbook series)
Scale: 1/8 (23 cm tall – Cattleya, 29.5 cm tall – w/sword, 13 cm tall – Rana)
Option Parts: “Giantkiller” sword
Materials: PVC
Release Date: mid-February, 2008
Production: Megahouse
Price: 7,350 JPY (tax included)
Current Availability: [KNC] [HLJ] [HS] [TL]
Support HD!: [PA] [JLIST]
Related: Queen’s Blade Cattleya combat artbook


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Heisei Democracy Figure Review: Excellent Model CORE Queen's Blade P-5 Cattleya

Cattleya is the 12th character released in the series of Queen’s Blade combat artbooks (labeled as 13th on the site due to Yuumil being announced before her). Following her release in March of 2007 Cattleya quickly gained a cult following among devotees of the stylized 2D MILF genre of Japanese erotica, with proportions that defied several physical and biological laws and a built in shota sidekick that made her natural fodder for a certain type of doujinshi. Her popularity was largely due to the artistic design and illustrations provided by veteran animator Kaneko Hiraku, who had previously illustrated Queen’s Blade Reina (though Reina’s original design was from Hisayuki Hirokazu).


Queen’s Blade Cattleya combat artbook

The Queen’s Blade Cattleya combat artbook can be purchased here, and doujinshi featuring her can be purchased via download from DLsite here.

Sculpt

As a member of the elite Heavy Gauge sculpting unit, Yamachichi was in my opinion the perfect choice to tackle the production of Megahouse’s Cattleya. He incarnates her physicality perfectly, and at a scale where only the most skilled professionals can convey any significant mass he manages to give her a sense of presence that makes her seem far larger and more solid than her 23 centimeter height would suggest.

In this sculpt Yamachichi displays a masterfully subtle understanding of the human form that allows him to bend standard rules of anatomy while retaining a sense of immediate realism, a skill that places him on par with Kaneko Hiraku in co-mastery of the supple exaggeration that I personally find so addictive. At this level of skill it seems to me that witnessing this sculpt is viewing a conversation between two confident and superbly confident craftsmen with one sustaining vision, and that vision is hotness. To top it all off, the petite 1/8 scale features of her face that could so easily be ruined by an inexpert hand are granted a becoming allure that allows her to stand up to scrutiny even at close range.

The chosen pose is classic in its dynamism, almost Greco-Roman in its deliberate exploration of the various planes and curves of the body, designed to showcase her musculature and distinctive features while hiding them beneath a soft veil of skin.

Oh, and “Yamachichi” can be read as 山乳, or “mountain breast”. Best name for a sculptor ever.

Production

The superb quality of Megahouse’s Excellent Model CORE line remains intact in this release, and I have no complaints or criticisms whatsoever. Given constraints of the production process I can’t imagine how this figure could have been improved – seams are nonexistent save for under her chin (necessary to remove her head for the castoff process), mold lines are barely visible, and the paint job is a superb realization of Kaneko’s original illustrations. The gloss/semi-gloss finish of her outfit and the superbly shaded matte finish of her skin are exactly as they should be. Detail work in both casting and paint is crisp and precise. As a figure fan I don’t know that more than this can be asked.

Conclusion

Megahouse’s Excellent Model CORE Queen’s Blade P-5 Cattleya is a brilliant piece of artistry and craftsmanship, a meeting of the minds of two expert caricaturists skilled in the postmodern art of two-dimensionally deforming the human female into an exaggerated marvel that one may have to be slightly mad to appreciate. For those of us who do appreciate such 2D pyrotechnics I doubt there is much more that needs to be said; this is simply one of the best figures ever produced. For the rest, please pardon our little fetish; I think we can all agree though that the craftsmanship here is superb, and that Megahouse has outdone themselves yet again. I can’t wait to see what the next Queen’s Blade Excellent Model has to offer!

Overall Score: 10/10

If you would like to support HD with your purchase, Cattleya is still available at J-List, as is her combat artbook.

Note: More thorough reviews of Cattleya’s son Rana can no doubt be found elsewhere. He’s not why I bought this figure, so I’ve taken the liberty of merely acknowledging his presence visually and moving on.

Note 2: I picked up the alternate color standalone version of Cattleya as well, and will be presenting her in simple image gallery form at a later date (hopefully soon).