Aoshima 1/32 Weather Satellite 'Himawari'
KIT #: 003855
PRICE: 2400 yen
DECALS: None provided or needed
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Space Craft Series #7


Himawari orGeostationary Meteorological Satellite (GMS), was a series of Japanese weather satellites operated by the Japan Meteorological Agency. The first GMS satellite was launched 14 July 1977 from Cape Canaveral. The fifth and final satellite was launched 18 March 1995 from Tanegashima. The satellites were replaced by the Multifunctional Transport Satellite series.


It is great that Aoshima is doing these interesting spacecraft and satellite kits. While I would like to see them branch out more to US and European vehicles, it is equally nice that they are concentrating on Japanese equipment, something that few of us get the chance to read about, much less see in a plastic kit.

This is your standard mid-90's weather satellite. It comes on three sprues, of which one is clear. This clear sprue also contains a stand. The stand allows the satellite to be posed in a number of angles, but the angle will need to be fixed for it does not seem like the pivot point is all that tight to allow the somewhat heavy model to be moved much.

As you can easily see, this is not exactly a parts intensive kit. You have the body of the satellite with the sensors, the upper section that has the power cells and a pair of antennas. These two antennas are in clear plastic and the modeler paints the gold bits. A neat note in the instructions shows that the way to get the gold outer spirals on the high gain antenna is to put paint on a piece of paper and roll the part in the paint. A neat ideal. For those wondering, the gold foil is not included nor is the body molded with a foil exterior.

Instruction, though mostly in Japanese, are well drawn and have the usual Gunze paint references. No decals are provided and none are really needed.


An excellent kit and for those who are quick painters, this can easily be done in a few days. Most of the time to completion appears will be taken with the painting of the kit. Get your metallics ready for this one!


November 2012

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