Miniatures Unboxing: Re-Ment’s “The Japanese Room ~Chigaidana Set~”

I’ve started a new hobby: collecting Japanese miniatures. This was partly to take my mind off dark and depressing thoughts—but on some level, I also wanted to bring Japan a little closer to me during a time when travelling there isn’t possible. Since I couldn’t experience my favourite holiday destination in full-sized reality, a scaled-down facsimile would have to do.

In today’s unboxing, we’ll take a close look at Re-Ment’s 「THE 和室 ~違い棚セット~」(THE Washitsu ~Chigaidana Setto~ / “The Japanese Room ~Staggered Shelves Set~”), part of its Puchi Sample series.

Now I did say that I took up this hobby for, shall we say, personal well-being…but the immediate trigger was my recent purchase of Max Factory’s Shima Rin nendoroid figure. At the time, I also started looking for a background setting for photo shoots with that and other nendoroids, but Good Smile’s purpose-built “nendoroid playsets” are a little hard to come by (even on the secondhand market). After a high-and-low search for suitable alternatives, I finally settled on Re-Ment’s “Japanese Room”.

There are actually two models of “Japanese Room” in Re-Ment’s well-known Puchi Sample series: one fitted with chigaidana (staggered shelves), the other with an oshiire (closet). Both room sets can be used either independently or combined—using various configurations—into a larger space. We’ll cover the chigaidana version in this post and the oshiire version in a future entry.

Right, let’s have a look at the box. The front shows the default recommended configuration for this room set, and the back shows one possible way to combine it with its sister set. Note that the table and most of the other objects seen in these images are NOT included; those are from other Puchi Sample miniature sets and are shown only for illustration.

The various components are packed into clear plastic bags. There’s also an instruction sheet (in Japanese only) describing how to fit the various pieces together.

In lieu of a step-by-step assembly description, here are two unboxing videos (not by me!) demonstrating how the room can be put together. Note that these videos cover both of Re-Ment’s Japanese Room sets.

The tatami floor pieces lock into each other using removable flat pegs, and the foot of each wall section attaches to the edge of the floor pieces using the same type of peg. For added stability, the wall pieces are secured to each other by means of brackets, which differ in shape depending on whether they’re for straight sections or corners.

You’ll be left with a small number of extra brackets and pegs after completing the build. I’d strongly suggest keeping these spares (rather than tossing them into the bin)—they might come in handy as replacements or as additional parts when joining more than one room set together.

And here is the finished product—well, according to the box-front default configuration anyway. One is entirely free to adopt a layout of one’s own choosing (limited only by the peg and bracket arrangements).

The lower closet space built into the chigaidana alcove is fitted with functional sliding doors, and there’s actually a bit of room in there for storing small items. The smaller closet in the upper section is purely ornamental, with moulded doors that do not slide open.

Although the room comes essentially unfurnished, two accessories are included in each set: a zaisu (floor seat) and a decorated fan with display stand.

The pieces fit well together for the most part. That said, I’ve observed a small corner gap, which may be more noticeable depending on how one lights the scene. (I plan to remedy this by discreetly taping a piece of paper or card over the gap on the other side, to keep light from shining through and highlighting the divide.)

To give a sense of scale, let’s have nendoroid Hinata strike a pose next to the alcove.

In terms of fit…well, it’s not always easy to match nendoroids to companion accessories (unless they’re issued by Good Smile themselves), given these figures’ outsized heads and undersized bodies. The unnatural proportions mean that nendoroids don’t fit cleanly into a standard ratio, but fall somewhere within a range: between 1/6 and 1/12 is what I normally see quoted online. For all that, I’d say that the Re-Ment room works quite nicely as a nendoroid backdrop.

From what I’ve seen/read, the Re-Ment Japanese Room is approximately the same height as Good Smile’s nendoroid playsets—but not quite as deep. For those requiring extra depth (which may help with photography, especially when employing nendoroids or other figures), my next post will show one way to add space when combining the chigaidana set to its companion oshiire set.

My assessment: a recommended buy for collectors in need of a setting for their Puchi Sample miniatures, as well as for those in search of an alternative to Good Smile’s in-house nendoroid playsets.

Cheerio.


Re-Ment’sTHE 和室 ~違い棚セット~was originally released on 11 December 2017, with a list price of JPY 3,500 (plus tax). It is currently listed as a discontinued product on Re-Ment’s official site, but remains available (as of this writing) through Amazon Japan.

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