About Me

My Photo

I work for Toys for Bob / Activision. Posts here are my personal views, and do not necessarily reflect that of my employer. 

Search This Blog

Loading...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

SFBT-3 Artist Figure Review



It's hard to define S.F.B.T-3, is it a toy, action figure, model, mannequin, maquette, or a doll? Whatever purpose it's made for, I am reviewing it as an artist pose-able figure, for concept art.

Useful artist mannequin are hard to find. There are lots of them out there, but most are useless, lacking pose-ability or not enough attention to anatomy. The wooden ones that you see in any art supply store, are especially useless. I've been in search of a good pose-able figure to drawn from, for quite some time now, and I'm happy to have found an amazing ultra poseable figure. It works amazingly well for figuring out poses.

We are all hard wired to read body language. We subconsciously notice the most subtle of poses with the human body, which makes drawing compelling figures especially tricky. References always makes the art better, and having a really good pose-able figure at your finger tips, can really help. I find it easier to figure out poses on this figure, than to do it via 3D software with a good rig.When you squint at this figure, you can really read the forms, and even make out the general muscles and shapes. This figure serves as a good model, and works great for seeing shadows across the body. It also keeps the silhouette extremely well, due to the massive amount of plastic parts, with the sole purpose of keeps the form as you pose. The attention to detail, and the number of parts, are insane. There are no screws, everything seems to just fit together. I've had the wrist and feet come loose several times, but they just fit back in easily. So far there hasn't been any loose joints that will not hold shape, only time will tell, how well it will hold up over time. I'll be keeping a special eye on the ball joints that supports weight. Luckily, the shoulders has 3 independent joints, which will help relieve the stress on a high use area. I've been posing this figure a lot for a week, and so far no issues of holding the pose.

SFBT-3 has over 80 points of articulation. The shoulders, arms and fingers, are especially impressive. There are even rotatable eyes and eyelids. It is made from a very hard plastic, and does not feel cheap. This is the only figure in this line, there are no other body types etc. I'd love to have a version with the breasts toned down... they are rather high and ahhhh... stylized. More optional heads would be cool too. I'd actually love to have a more faceless head, just enough to read the angles and shapes. But even as is, for purposes of concept art, it works great. I'm finding that I am able to pose this female figure, but adopt it to different proportions and gender, without much trouble.

In full disclosure, I got this free from the Japanese manufacturer Dolk Station, to do this review. Unfortunately this figure is priced at $300, ouch! But considering what it must have went  into making this figure, and how useful it is, it will be worth it for some. I just hope that it becomes successful enough to see a price drop in the future. It really is an work of art, and engineering marvel.

Some pose examples:



Pros:
-It is the most pose-able figure on the market
-Beautiful, an engineering/artistic feat.
-Nice hard plastic, does not feel cheap
-Comes with display stand

Cons:
-High price. As of Sept of 2013, it is priced at $300 US + $14 shipping from Japan to the US.


To order SFBT-3:
English: http://dolk.jp/s.f.b.t/en/
Chinese: http://dolk.jp/s.f.b.t/cn/
Japanese: http://dolk.jp/index.php

34 comments:

  1. Very nice. I've often looked at Lay Figures. and came to the conclusion that thay were all more or less useless. The worst offenders are those appalling hand models, if you want a hand model glance down at the end of your arms. This looks really good, with the exception (as you mention) of the disappointing breasts.
    Thanks, always enjoy your blog. On the basis of your review I bought a Samsung Galaxy 10.1, love it.
    All the best,
    Barry in Germany

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, even with the issues with breasts and such, it's still an extremely useful figure. You can work around that easily. The price is what is difficult to work around....

      And great, thanks for the kind words. I'm glad to hear that 10.1 is working out for you!

      Delete
  2. Thanks for reviewing this figure. One pose that seems to elude all the action figures I've tried is an accurate "aiming down the barrel of a rifle" pose. Usually the shoulder joint is the culprit, though the neck joint also plays a role. The shoulder on this figure does look great, but I'm still not convinced it can compress enough, and the head/neck joint angle properly for a convincing rifle-aim pose. I draw a military comic, and at $300, whether or not the figure can do this pose is a deal-breaker for me. Can it? Also, does the stand allow for "flying" (horizontal) poses? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am not sure if it can compress to the degree that you are looking for.... I don't have a rifle to pose with it. The stand does not allow for a flying pose, it attaches only at the back, and the stand does not allow for it to angle at a degree for flying.... well, it can fly on her back, or sideways. You can wedge the stand on it's side against something though I guess :)

      Delete
    2. Same Anonymous here. Thank you for the response. This is a great looking figure, but I think my search will have to lead me elsewhere. It is puzzling to me that such a useful pose, and the ability to do similar "shoulder-shrug" poses, never seems to be built in to such pricey super-figures.

      Delete
  3. The manufacturer's site says that there are certain parts like the chest that can be switched to give a different appearance. Did any optional parts come in your package?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it was shipped as shown. Figure and stand, no optional parts included.

      Delete
  4. How large is it? It's a little hard to tell and the mfg. site has no dimensions on it that I could see.

    ReplyDelete
  5. You don't show any poses where she gets into a back arch. Can the model bend backwards?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Still trying to find out if the figure can do a back arch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Added a new picture in the end, of extreme back bend that it can do. The backbone is not super poseable.... or I should say, is about as poseable as mine is in real life. It can bend forward better than it can bend back and twists to the sides.

      Delete
  7. And what about shipping to Russia?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Great review! It answered a lot of questions about this figure for me, leaving only the most crucial of all: how the hell can I afford this!? But I'll save my pennies for this one -- I imagine it'll be orders of magnitude more useful than the Mami Futami Revoltech Fraulein I currently use.

    ReplyDelete
  9. yo tell the makers of this thing to make a male a version.
    and for the hell of it different models, fat, giant, brute,.etc it looks useful.

    ReplyDelete
  10. tell the makers to make more different versions of this thing male, brute, etc artist round the world would buy it.
    bout time someone upgraded the art mannequin.

    ReplyDelete
  11. What about the male version?

    ReplyDelete
  12. get back to me bro. any way you could talk to the manufacturer to take a second of toys and do a line of these nice comic book figures? dont care the price, anyone who wants in on that industry would bust a gut laughing that someone finnaly made one of those :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. all yall spread the word that the artist mannequin of your dreams is here!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Say, I-Wei, did you purchase through the english buying option? Did you simply send the funds to "nan5210@hanmail.net"? Just wanted to make sure,the system seems a little open to exploitation...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry TJ, I received it as a review unit, so I did not go through their purchasing system. Maybe send them an email to confirm?

      Delete
    2. Oh yes you did say in your review, silly me :D Thanks for the tip though, and, great review BTW!!

      Delete
  15. its creepy i want one

    ReplyDelete
  16. Do you still have the doll and use it much??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and I use it from time to time, especially when I have to draw from difficult angles and poses.

      Delete
    2. I noticed they don't sell it at the moment on the website and could only find it for a ridiculous price on ebay (which i can't afford to pay) and i was wondering if you know whether they'll still be selling it anymore or that it's just been put on hold for an undetermined time? I'm a digital artist and would really like to have one.

      Delete
    3. Sorry, no I don't know when they will restock, or if they stopped production. Hopefully it will be back soon.

      Delete
  17. Do they sell a 'unisex' version? I'd love to have something like this for generic drawing....

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hey everyone. I finally got mine yesterday after placing my order all the way back in January. I'm gonna answer a few frequently asked questions:

    -Yes, you send the money to that shady hanmail address.
    -They are all made entirely by a single person which is why it takes that long, there is a huge back order which is why as of this writing they have stopped taking orders. You have to wait until they open them again, ETA unknown for USA.
    -Yes, there is a male version planned. According to the m-field site (the maker of the SFBT3's company site) He previewed it last May as the prototype of the "SFBT4" in an art fair, but I can't find any pictures of the fair. The fair was the "Design festa #39" and he showed the male SFBT4 prototype on the E-382 booth on Sunday May 18 2014.

    The figure is GREAT and definitely worth it. Even after watching I-Wei Huang's video over and over again I was still blown away after holding it in my hands. It looks much better in real life too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Great! glad to hear that you were able to finally get a hold of one!

      Delete
  19. Anyone want to resell your "S.F.B.T-3"? Please kindly contact me via info@fdsshare.com. Price is negotiable. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I seriously want one of these! I emailed the site as the cart wasn't working. Looking forward to a repsonse and second hand will be fine!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Came across the S.R.F.B-3 about a year ago while looking for artists mannequins. I still want one.

    ReplyDelete