The Mechawhale universe is an original concept created by German graphic designer, Hauke Scheer. Set in a world where whales have gained psychic powers, the discovery of a hostile alien race forces the whales to undergo enhancement procedures so they can fight in enormous mech suits.
Hauke created a number of digital sketches for different whale fighting suits, ranging from smaller orca and narwhal suits, to a massive blue whale operated tank. Sadly, only the sperm whale infantry suit (aka The Whalehammer) made it into production. (Check out his art and other figure designs here: http://hauke3000.deviantart.com/).
The Mechawhale comes in a sturdy, totally collector friendly orange box. It has large cutouts that allow you to view the contents. Sandwiched in a two-piece plastic insert, the figure is partially wrapped with a sheet of soft, clear plastic which I assume is there to prevent scratches. The shell pops open easily and can be re-used with no problems. A small piece of concept art – it appears to be a cropped still from one of the Mechawhale animations – is adorns the bottom right of the box front. The back of the box briefly details the Mechawhale story. This is somewhat eclipsed by a large warning label which, amongst other things, advises you not to lick, suck, or place the figure in your mouth (!), figure collectors being notoriously kinky that way.
Sculpting and Articulation
The Mechawale is a relatively small figure, standing in at under 5”, although its boxy shape gives it quite a bit of bulk. The overall design is somewhat cartoony, matching the animations rather than some of the more realistic artwork Hauke has produced. The sculpt is reasonably detailed, but is a little on the soft side. This is in part due to the nature of the vinyl material the figure is made from. The whale itself is a good sculpt and has quite a bit of character in the head/face. The mouth is moulded open, and you can see its teeth. The head features a number of scars, just as you might expect to see on a seasoned warrior.
The suit is very angular in its design, and reminds me of heavy-duty construction equipment. Four clamps hold the whale in place (you can see a whale activating a suit in the previously mentioned animations). Two large rockets are mounted on the rear. The arms each have a pair of rockets mounted on their sides and end in large grippers. A couple of mini-guns and some sort of cannons are mounted underneath the suit. The feet are fairly small, but the figure is very stable and I don’t recall it ever having fallen over.
The figure only has five points of articulation. Both mech arms can swivel around a full 360 degree arc. The same can be said of each wrist. The only other articulation is the whale’s tail, which is also a swivel, but is very much restricted by the suit. Still, limited as the articulation is, you can get a reasonable bit of life out of posing the arms in various ways.
The paint apps are nice and clean, if fairly simple. The bulk of the figure is the grey of the whale, and the orange mech parts, but details like the eyes, teeth, rockets and gun muzzles, are picked out in other colours. The eyes are particularly well done. The whale has a subtle greeny-grey highlight which adds some depth to its finish. A brownish dry-brush over the suit highlights all the details, and gives the mechawhale the grimy, battered appearance of a combat veteran. The only thing I’m not that crazy about is the light drybrush over the rockets which has turned them a pinkish colour. I’m tempted to paint them gloss white and red at some point.
I really dug this design when I first saw it. It came with quite a steep price-tag as expected from a limited run, independently produced figure of this type. And the only way to get it was to bite the bullet and import one. Was it worth it? Hell, yes! It’s a great piece, and easily one of the most unusual and unique figures in my collection.