Hasegawa 1/1300 Bentenmaru
| KIT #: || 64506 (CW06) |
| PRICE: || $30.99 which included shipping from Japan |
| DECALS: || One option |
| REVIEWER: || Scott Van Aken |
| NOTES: || 2012 release. Includes display stand |
Miniskirt Space Pirates(ミニスカ宇宙海賊Minisuka Pairētsu) is a Japanese light novel series written by Yūichi Sasamoto and published by Asahi Shimbun Shuppan since October 2008. An anime television series adaptation produced by Satelight, under the title Bodacious Space Pirates (モーレツ宇宙海賊Mōretsu Pairētsu), aired in Japan between January 8, 2012 and June 30, 2012. A film adaptation was released in Japanese theaters on February 22, 2014. A web manga adaptation launched on June 2, 2012. Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the manga series for a printed release in North America in August 2015.
The anime version won the 2013 Seiun Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
In the far future where space travel has become the norm, Marika Kato is a high school girl living a rather ordinary life as a member of the space yacht club and a part-time job at a high-class retro café. One day, Marika learns of her recently deceased father, Gonzaemon, who is revealed to have been a Space Pirate who performed legal acts of piracy under the letter of marque. In order for her father's ship, the Bentenmaru (弁天丸), to continue legal operation, Marika, Gonzaemon's direct descendant, is chosen to become the ship's new captain, thus beginning her life as a Space Pirate.
Somewhat unknown to most western modelers is that Hasegawa and other Japanese mainstream model makers have been producing manga and anime related kits for quite some time. This particular kit is of the main pirate ship of the series, the Bentenmaru and appears to have been done in collaboration with Creator Works. From what I have read, I should have listed this as a Creator Works kit as apparently Hasegawa was contracted to mold it for them. There are other ships from the series that have been done, but this is the one that I liked.
As sci-fi subjects go, this one is relatively complex as there are quite a few parts in the kit. Painting will also be more intensive than some other kits as well, requiring a goodly amount of masking and some prepainting of parts in order to get things to look right. An interesting addition is a second, much smaller kit of the Bentenmaru along with a color printed paper 'box' to be assembled in which to hold this second kit. That five piece construct is what you see as sprues S and T on the sprue diagram.
Parts are molded in dark brown, dark red and clear green, undoubtedly to assist with painting. Molding is excellent and the kit appears to be quite well engineered. Looking through the instructions, it very much seems that prepainting parts will help to produce the results that one requires in most cases. The overall length of the finished product will be a little under seven inches so it is a good size for most collections.
There are quite a few inserts involved, which is why you can prepaint parts and get the results you want. Some of the more parts intensive sections of the ship are the main rocket nozzles in the back, the two side engines and the weapons/sensor items. The forward warp engine pieces are in a clear green plastic. I notice that the kit is molded with the bridge windows shuttered. Normally these would be clear. The kit comes with a hefty display stand.
Instructions are completely in Japanese as this intended for the home market and 'furriners' who want to build it will have to deal with the language issues. Gunze paints are the defacto reference for Hasegawa and most of the major colors on the ship will have to be mixed. The overall ship is a dark red shade with large areas in a medium metallic brown or a metallic brownish dark grey. There is an extensive decal sheet with a large logo for the display stand. The painting and decal instructions take up the back side of the large folded instruction sheet and this section is in full color. This is basically a large six view of the ship, something that will be very handy when applying the decals. Markings are nicely printed and the whites are actually white, something I appreciate.
I always like it when I can find a model of something like this from an anime I have enjoyed watching. As with most kits that have tie-ins like this, it is best if you can pick it up within a couple of years or so of its release as these are rarely reissued and it will be only available from the 'collectors' once it becomes scarce. For those with any inkling to watch the anime, there are several sites that will stream the episodes; generally with subtitles. Crunchyroll.com is as good a place as any to do this as they have a huge inventory of anime.
Thanks to me for picking this one up.
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