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Saber Lily Dollfie Dream (Volks)

Photo warning: This is a VERY photo heavy review. If you just want to see Saber Lily in her completed outfits, see the photoshoot post

While I’m not all that much of a Saber fan (as opposed to most TYPE-MOON collectors), there is one version of Saber that I do really like (purely due to her character design). and that would be Saber Lily. Back when I was thinking about creating a custom Dollfie Dream, I was looking through all the existing Volks DDs and the Saber Lily DD caught my attention.

2013-10-06 Saber Lily DD Unboxing

Originally the high price, rarity, and poor official photos turned me off, but as I researched more and more about Dollfies, I came across quite a number of nice looking Saber Lily photo sets (particularly Wolfheinrich’s blog and Strife212’s review). I had also just finished catching up with TYPE-MOON doujinshi circle Crazy Clover Club‘s T-MOON Complex X doujinshis (still waiting for X08 to appear on Mandarake/Rakuten from C84), and thoughts about doing some Arcueid x Saber DD fight scenes were swirling in my head.

Eventually, I caved in, and so when I saw an almost brand new Saber Lily pop up on eBay for $2400 USD, I went straight for it. The auction came with the Lion plushie accessory from the Volks Saber Plain Clothes Set and two blonde wigs (Miruya’s DD WG113 Ivory, and Nine9 Style’s Long wave blond), plus three puppy52dolls bikinis, a santa hat, some hair pins, and a bottle of wig mist as bonus.

For ease of navigating this long review, here’s the section names. Use your browser’s search function to jump sections
– P1: Arrival
– P2: Box
– P3: Unboxing
– P4: DDII body *NSFW*
– P5: Wig
– P6: Lingerie Outfit
– P7: Dress Outfit
– P8: Tiger Plush
– P9: Caliburn
– P10: Armour Set
– P11: Completed

Info
– Type: Dollfie Dream
– Character: Saber Lily
– Series: Fate/Unlimited Codes
– Version:
– Company: Volks
– Sculptor: Misaki Serika
– Release date: 2010/12/12 (Limited + Exclusive)
– Event: Dolls Party 24
– Specs: 1/3, soft vinyl, H=570 mm (22.23 in)
– Price: ¥95000

Links
Volks JP product page
Volks USA product page
MyFigureCollection entry

Buying
Note: This is an exclusive item which you will only find for sale nowadays via 2nd hand markets.I recommend searching Yahoo Auctions Japan and Mandarake for best prices.
Yahoo Auctions Japan
Mandarake

P1: Arrival

The auction winnings arrived in a nice, perfect Dollfie-fitting box, padded with some bubbles, packed nicely and with everything safe and accounted for ^_^
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P2: Box

The Saber Lily DD box is quite special and nicely designed, featuring the Fate/Unlimited Codes logo and a stylized Saber Lily label against a nice white flowery background. The inner slide-out box was also a solid gold/brass colour. Felt quite sturdy and a lot more protective than my Aoi V2’s crappy standard box. The outer plastic sleeve even had an English warning label on it (I’m guessing this Saber Lily DD originated from Volks USA’s Tenshi-no-Sumika in LA) warning to be careful when handling the wig (apparently it’s just glued on and falls off quite easily).

Saber Lily’s box in wraps
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Warning label about wig
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Aoi presents the box unwrapped. Fellow doll owner OhnoRaptors also came by to visit/help out with her DD Airy and PureNeemo Nina, but was too shy to pose in the pics.
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Some closer looks at the box itself
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P3: Unboxing

Hai dere Saber Lily ^_^
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Assembly manual (sealed, so I had to use my swiss-army knife to cut open the sleeve)
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The standard “Dollfie Dream Concept Note” intro pamphlet
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Taking Saber Lily out of the box
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Laying out all the parts. And wow, are there a lot of parts!
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Just her outfit pieces
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P4: DDII body *NSFW*
NSFW warning: This section contains some photos of nude Dollfie Dream parts. Please be advised.

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Small pamphlet describing how to disassemble the DDII body
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Saber Lily naked :O
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What are you looking at! >_<
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Saber Lily has a standard DDII M-bust
In the power level rankings, this also means she would lose to the L-bust Arcueid ;3
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The ball joint on the DDII body is far more visible than on the DDIII body, but this also allows it to rotate more freely
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There’s slight mold differences between the DDII and DDIII hands, but they’re more or less compatible
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The ankles felt a lot looser than DDIII’s
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Nothing noteworthy of her back other than dat ass
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The knee hinge look really odd from the back – they poke out when you straighten the knees like such (in the DDIII body, it’s a ball joint)
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The back of the feet has a huge intentional bump… I think this is to make the feet level while maintaining that arc look? (less stable than the DDIII’s flat feet though)
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Detailed toes ^_^ (which just ends up getting hidden by shoes/socks xD)
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Saber Lily’s head mold looks a lot better and cuter in person than in photos
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The back of her head is really elongated though, probably due to the wig shape (it does bother me a bit though without the wig)
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On the back of the Saber Lily head mold is engraved “© 2010 VOLKS INC JAPAN”
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P5: Wig

According to the seller, the wig was taken out of its bag once, but gently handled. I didn’t see any damage or issues luckily ^_^DSC09486
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The black bow on the back tends to curve forward. I flipped it to fold backwards so that it looks more apparent and visible from the front.
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Saber Lily’s ahoge ;3
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The inside of the wig is a standard stretchy mesh. I doubt there’ll be staining issues, so I didn’t bother getting a Lily a head cap
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Brushed the wig a bit and out came a lot of loose strands. To be expected I guess, not all that bad.
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Used a bit of hair mist (meant to use hair oil but I mixed up the two) and put it on Saber Lily’s head. Looks nice ^_^
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Shy Lily is shy
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I really like her pony tail, so nice and poofy
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The pointy hair is due to the hair mist. Looks alright I guess. There’s a bunch of strands of hair that point backward instead of down, but they’re too long and get blocked by the ribbon, so they bend outward. Not sure what to do with them since they don’t naturally pat down and I don’t want to trim them ; /
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Her face looks a lot better than the promo pics ; )
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P6: Lingerie Outfit

The majority of the clothy outfit parts were in one bagDSC09549
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Opened up, all clothy pieces laid out
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The neck collar?
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The neck collar holds together via a metal hook and string loop
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Lingerie outfit pieces
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OhnoRaptors said something about medieval women wearing corsets. I personally don’t find it too cute looking (and it was actually very loose fitting and barely covered Lily’s bust) but whatever.
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The corset is closed via velcros rather than hooks
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Saber Lily’s white panties with mini black ribbons ^_^
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Long white (garterbelt) stockings
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There’s a nice looking pattern at the top of the stockins
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The ends of the stocking straps button on to the bottom of the corset. We couldn’t figure out whether or not the straps were meant to go under or over the panties, but in the end we decided over.
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Saber Lily in her full lingerie set, posing with OhnoRaptor’s Nina. More (sexy) pictures of Lily in lingerie can be found in the photoshoot post (see link at top of this post)
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OhnoRaptor’s Nina using one of Saber Lily’s arm covers as a mini-dress – it fit perfectly ^_^
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P7: Dress Outfit

All the dress outfit pieces layed out (turns out the piece on the top-right isn’t part of the dress outfit but for the later armour set)
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Dress outfit top. Looks much better than the corset in my opinion and properly covers Lily’s bust.
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The dress top is fastened on the inside via hooks and string loops
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Fits nice and snuggly, and looks elegant too!
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Arm covers? Not sure what they’re called, but they slip over the arm and look nice
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The bottom part of the dress was quite large and amazing looking.
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Back of dress
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Front of dress
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On the back of the bottom dress part is a zipper that unzips part way down so you can slip the part on like a skirt
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Really nice fabric and sewing job overall, just a few kinks and knots on the inside, but overall, Keripo was pleased ^_^
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The inside is all white, so no staining worries
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Between the layers of fabric are hidden bendable wires which help the dress form shape, allowing for more dynamic poses
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Slipping on the dress over Lily’s stockings and panties
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Above the zipper is yet another inside hook and thread loop. I have a feeling that the thin thread loop will be the first thing to break ; /
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Lily’s simple black heels. Unlike most high heels, these don’t end in a sharp point but rather round off at the end more than usual (compared to Arcueid’s pointy black heels at least). They’re kinda bland to be honest and I’m not much of a fan of them, but at least they’re accurate to the artwork.
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The texture of the bottom of the heels was some bumpy pattern. I’m guessing it’s for grip?
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Heels slip right over the stockings
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Saber Lily comes with alternate glove hands and black hand joints. The glove hands are meant for the dress outfit and the black hand joints are meant for the gauntlet hands. Note that these were actually opened earlier since they were in the same sleeve as the instructions manual and pamphlet.
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Her alternate white glove hands are meant to go with the dress outfit
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Saber Lily in her complete dress outfit (except the white glove hands, forgot to swap them in for this pic). Really like the dress outfit, looks really elegant on her. See the photoshoot link at the top for more photos.
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P8: Tiger Plush

This is the tiger plush that comes with the Volks’ Plain Clothes Set. It’s not meant for Saber Lily but came with the auction. Both OhnoRaptors and Strife212 like it and think it’s cute, but I personally would have preferred something that looked more like the Saber lion car in Carnival Phantasm, but that came long after this was made (and this design is canon). Oh well.
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The whiskers are flexible rods of plastic. As long as you treat them nicely, they should stay straight.
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There’s some sloppy glueing job in the tail. Either that or they needed to have added more fur to the tail end. The tail itself also felt like a shoelace ; /
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P9: Caliburn

Saber Lily’s weapon, Caliburn, comes in a separate box. In most legends, Caliburn is the decorative sword that Arthur Pendragon (Altria Pendragon in the Nasuverse) pulled out of the sword, i.e. the famous “Sword in the Stone”. In the Nasuverse explanation, Caliburn is broken in battle and King Arthur (Saber) receives Excalibur as her new battle weapon from the Lady of the Lake. You can read more about this on the TYPE-MOON wikia
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Saber Lily admiring her sword
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Box opened. Both Caliburn and it’s (unnamed) scabbard are well protected in thick bubblewrap.
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Caliburn in bubble wrap
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Under the bubble wrap is yet another taped-folded-over sleeve
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The end of the sword is (somewhat) protected with a strip of paper
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Caliburn in it’s full glory
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The hilt is pretty nicely painted and detailed
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Engravings on the blade of Caliburn. I’ve yet to find any historical/lore references for what the rune engraving is supposed to say, so I’m guessing Takeuchi/someone at TYPE-MOON just made up some runes.
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Some symbol at the end of the sword. Like the hilt design, this is more Takeuchi’s artistic rendition than based on any actual drawings.
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From different angles
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Caliburn’s scabbard. Unlike Excalibur’s Avalon scabbard, Caliburn’s scabbard is not given any special name (some legends say that Caliburn also holds the same restorative properties as described of Avalon).
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Like with Caliburn, the scabbard is heavily ornamented and based on artistic rendition. Keep in mind that, unlike Excalibur, Caliburn was more or less a ceremonial sword and thus focused more on decorativeness than battle-readiness.
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I noticed that on one part of the scabbard, the paint was starting to crack. And it was made only 3 years ago ; /
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The paint job along the sides was a bit sloppy, but no one looks there anyway
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Different angles
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Caliburn with it’s scabbard
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Caliburn in it’s scabbard. It slides in and fits quite snuggly. I wouldn’t force it though as there’s no padding to protect the paint job of the hilt
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Armour Set

When switching to the armour set, there’s an extra layered skirt that goes over her dress bottom, as well as a mesh ring that goes under (as additional support against the weight of the waist plates). I have a feeling I was supposed to add the mesh ring earlier as part of the dress outfit. Oh well.
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Front of layered skirt
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Back of layered skirt
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I think the metal thingies are to weigh the cloth down?
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The skirt buttons around the waist, on top of the dress top
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Shortened stockings, with the socks part removed (since she’ll be wearing armoured boots in the armour set)
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Slipped on the legs after removing the feet, along with the mesh ring. Please excuse me for the skirt flip Lily ;3
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Cloth knee guards
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These slide right over the stockings, at the knee joint
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Guess what’s in these boxes?
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Armour set parts! Here’s the chest piece, which gets it’s own separate box
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The chest piece is well protected with an extra layer of plastic blister
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Chest piece unboxed. Note that it is actually two pieces – the front chest part, and a flexible half-ring that is meant to be detached and wrap around the back of the waist to hold the chest piece in place.
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What’s in the other box? The rest of the armour set!
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The armour set uses completely separate feet that swap in with the regular feet. Was a lot more detailed than I expected, though not as stable due to the small heel.
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Leg armour pieces
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Waist plates.
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On the inside of the plates are plastic hooks for the back harness to loop through. The paint job on the inside looks a bit sloppy, but it’s fine cause it’s the inside.
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A front piece is used to hook and secure the two pieces together, sliding into the plastic nubs on the inside of the plates
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Thigh plates. These pieces slip right above the knee
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Forearm armour
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Armoured hands. There’s two sword-holding hands (left and right) and one special scabbard-holding hand (left)
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All the armour pieces, layed out based on corresponding body part
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With Caliburn
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With Saber Lily
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The chest piece is actually kind of hard to keep on, mainly because the connecting band is very loose (both the holes and the nubs are just made of soft vinyl and don’t fit tightly together). This is probably my biggest complaint with the DD – the chest piece keeps falling off each time I accidentally bump it. There’s nothing much I can do to tighten the fit other than gluing the parts together (but then I wouldn’t be able to remove the chest piece >_<)
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There’s a leather harness that is used to keep the waist plates together
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It hooks together on the inside via hooks and string loops
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Had to follow the instructions manual for this part since it was a bit confusing. First push the strap under the hooks on the waist plate (I did it upside down accidentally in this photo)…
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…then attach the two plates together using that front armour strip…
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…then loop the connected four pieces around Lily’s waist and close the harness via the hooks.
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The front should look like this
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The thigh armour just slides up the leg and should be rested right above the knee (make sure the black knee cloth goes under the armour to prevent paint transfer)
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The leg armour slips up right after
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Attach the armoured feet nice and tightly
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Remove the gloved hands an slip on the forearm armour (note that it’s actually 3 armour parts that are tightly connected – push them together if they become loose)
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Attach the armoured hands
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All connected! Saber Lily in her full armoured set
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P11: Completed

Here’s Saber Lily in her complete knight outfit holding Caliburn.
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The unboxing + photographing process took the entire weekend (mainly because I was really slow with photographing and took many redundant photos). Between the different outfits, I took separate photos of Saber Lily in different poses. Those pictures will be posted in the photoshoot post linked at the top of this post.

Overall, I am really glad I got Saber Lily as she’s absolutely stunning (badass in her armoured set and elegant in her dress outfit) and well worth the high price. My main complaints would be the loose and inflexible DDII body (I’ve been spoiled by Aoi’s DDIII body), the loose chest armour piece, and the hard-to-attach Caliburn scabbard (more on this in the photoshoot post), but the sheer beauty of everything else made up for it.

For those still on the edge for getting Saber Lily/some other limited edition Dollfie Dream, I hope this photo review helped! For those who already are DD owners, I hope you enjoyed reliving the unboxing experience ^_^

~Keripo

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/keripo/sets/72157635625938246
MyFigureCollection: http://myfigurecollection.net/blog/10593

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