Fujimi 1/72 SUB VTOL
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||New Tool Kit|
Ultraman(ウルトラマンUrutoraman) is a Japanese Tokusatsu Television series that first aired in 1966. Ultraman is a follow-up to the television series Ultra Q, though not technically a sequel or spin-off. The show was produced by Tokyo Broadcasting System and Tsuburaya Productions, and was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967, with a total of 39 episodes (40, counting the pre-premiere special that aired on July 10, 1966).
Although Ultraman is the first series to feature an Ultra-Crusader, it is actually the second show in the Ultra Series. Ultra Q was the first. In fact, Ultraman opens with the Ultra Q logo exploding into the Ultraman logo. Ultraman ultimately became a major pop culture phenomenon in Japan. The shows success spawned dozens of sequels, spin-offs, imitators, parodies and remakes.
To distinguish him from subsequent Ultra-Crusaders, Ultraman is referred to as the Original Ultraman (初代ウルトラマンShodai Urutoraman), The First Ultraman, or Ultraman Hayata (a reference to his host's surname).
The Sub-VTOL, a smaller, triangular version of the Jet VTOL, is actually an STOL with no VTOL capabilities. This was the vehicle piloted by Shin Hayata when he crashed it into Ultraman's "TravelSphere" ship in "Ultra Operation Number One," the first episode, and destroyed both. It is generally not used to attack monsters, as it lacks the heavier firepower and carrying space of the Jet VTOL.
Well, there you have it. It took a bit of sleuthing to dig up the background on this, but now I know as I thought it was an original design. As you might suspect, the Fujimi instructions are almost totally in Japanese so it was nearly impossible to figure out what this one was.
Nicely molded and free from flash, ejector marks and other molding nasties, the kit is a pretty simple one as kits go. There are four main grey sprues and two clear sprues with one being a darkened shade. The builder has the option of which one of these to use on the kit, though using the darkened set will make much of the interior detail invisible.
That would be a shame as the kit does have a very nicely done interior with all sorts of detail and oodles of instrument panels and dials (which is very important for sci-fi). The clear bits are installed from the inside so some decision on which to use will need to come early in the build. The fins are all two piece affairs with a nicely done exhaust section for the back and a clear nose cap (obviously to help in landing though there are no gear doors that I could see).
One set of sprues is dedicated to a launching ramp/display stand. There will need to be a lot of seam scraping for all the framework that is included in this piece.
Not surprisingly, the instructions, which are well done and easy to follow, provide only Gunze paint numbers. The lone marking option is overall silver with red bits. These red bits are all included on a large and well printed decal sheet. Having used Fujimi decals in the past, I know that they work best with rather hot water.
There are a lot of folks in Japan who like this sort of thing and that is why Fujimi developed this kit. It is great to see them being imported to the US. I happen to like things like this and hope it does well so more can be made available to us.
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. If your local shop does not have it, ask them to get it for you.
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