After 2 weeks of waiting, I finally received my, probably, most awaited kit ever in my plamo hobby.
Check out the unboxing I made!
What is this exactly?This kit is from the Maschinen Krieger (or originally SF3D) series. Specifically, this kit is the 1/20 SK362 Panzer Spahwagen OSKAR (25mm Linear Gun type) under faction named Strahl Demokratische Republik or, I think, roughly translated as Democratic Republic of Strahl.
Maschinen Krieger?Yes, or as it is popularly known, Ma. K. - originally titled as SF3D (as it was titled in its first media in magazines) it eventually took this name after some issues with intellectual rights and other stuff I am not aware of.
|Picture taken from sentinel-toys.com|
Little Info about SF3D/Ma.K.It originally surfaced in the plamo world around the 1980s and quickly garnered a proper following of fans predominantly in Japan. Kits, at first, were mass-produced by a company called Nitto. But due to some issues in legalities and other concerns, the release of new kits or reprints of current ones was not as regular as we would expect (not like Bandai which you can expect a reprint of kits in a few months after). New stocks are known to stop coming out and it became hard to predict when the next batches will come in, left alone the question of when new designs will be released. I believe these issues also led to Nitto kind of dropping Ma. K. as a whole until the company closed a while later. The Ma.K. franchise, fortunately, did not die, as license was acquired by, I would say, a better plamo kit company, Hasegawa. Continuing from where Nitto left off, the proceeded to churn out better kits using better technology and engineering which led to better products. Another company that I feel is a great Ma.K. competitor is WAVE Corporation (the one that made this specific kit). They have, relatively, recently just got into the Ma. K. business and now reviving and improving the Nitto kits from their graves letting people like me get to enjoy kits they had during the late 80s or early 90s. But just to note: Ma.K. kits are still not like as regular as we will think of kits like that of Bandai's. To me, they are more like P-Bandai in which they are still not part of a regular run and stocks will only be good for a few months. Fans will say that if you catch news of a new kit or a reprint of a kit will be released, make sure to pre-order or at least get one as soon as possible because once it goes out of the shelves, who knows when they will be sold again (you might probably find some in the net but it will sold at higher than normal prices). I am guessing this probably due to the cost of licensing wherein they also have to pay royalties to Yokoyama-sensei fore every kit they will sell. I got into Ma.K. relatively late and there are already a lot of designs that I might no longer be able to find anywhere. Oh by the way, there are also other ones that make Ma. K. kits. Companies like Love Love Garden, Brickworks and Hexamodel has, I would say, more regular releases. The only problem is that they are usually garage kits or in other words, resin kits - either consisting of figures, conversion kits or full kits that will be around 2x-3x the price of plastic injection kits which is to be expected of urethane resin kits. But those GKs are well-made and probably will be worth a true model builder's money.
So now, let's jump to the in-box review itself.
|Main box art|
|A Tamiya kit for size reference (if that would help)|
Overall, the box itself looks like a military correspondence which basically sets this series apart from the others.
Parts CountLike most military armor kits, one should expect that there will only be a few runners in the box:
First, the most prominent part of the kit:
The 2nd plastic bag is also worth noting:
|2nd plastic bag|
I also investigated over this specific bag and found this on the sprues.
Polycaps and clear parts are also included
For the below, we have the 'turret' or head of this tank.
Here are the contents of the 2nd bag.
Basically, it contains the parts that are original WAVE parts or probably the improved version of the casting molds used by Nitto before. I believe these runners are cleaner compared to the 1st bag's contents.
Detail-up PartsThe kit in general also includes parts that will give the kit its intended look when finished.
ExtrasOf course, we will need the instruction manual. Otherwise, we won't know how to build it.
There are only a few stage and in terms of assembly. This is unlike Gunpla where it holds your hands as you assemble the kit. Assembly is just a small percentage of the kit; painting and making it realistic is the main point of military armor kits like this.
Final WordsFor me, this specific kit is a very well-made kit. Everything is cleanly casted and will surely be fun to build. WAVE surely puts up a good competition in the Ma.K. world with their releases by sticking on to the real spirit of Ma.K. and updating it to provide a better building experience. I am actually looking forward to getting their other kits while still available, and definitely looking forward to other revivals and new kits they will release in the coming months (they are releasing almost every month so far). I would definitely recommend Ma.K. to modellers (not only from WAVE but also from others like Hasegawa) specially from the military armor line as I have seen thru the works of the Ma.K. community members. I think, however, that most Gunpla builders will not like Ma.K. that much due to the skill-level it requires and due to its motif. It also lacks the promotionary media (like Anime series to feature the desings) to get more fans to buy in but for those who already has the tools and skills for plastic modelling and love for sci-fi in general, you will find Ma.K. to be much for fulfilling than Gunpla. Also, due to the small fan-base of Ma.K., the community became a tightly-knit network of true builders that shares vital modelling tips and information that one Gunpla group can only dream of. I found the Ma. K. community always posting information and modelling techniques and inspiring finished works almost all of the time, instead of just stacks of boxes of untouched kits or just assembled toys panel-lined with markers. All in all, Ma.K. will bring the modeller in us to life.
I will also be doing an unboxing of the Tamiya Panzer IV in one of the pictures, so stay tuned for more :D
Thanks for sticking around :D
If you are in the Philippines, you could get hard to find kits like this one thru Genki Panda.
They have been my go-to shop for Japanese-brand kits for quite some time now :D