Wave 1/24 Tachikoma

KIT #: KK-01
PRICE: $40.00 which included shipping from Japan
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Produced in 2005. Include Motoko Kusanagi figure.


A Tachikoma (タチコマ) is a fictional artificial intelligence, walker/roller in the Ghost in the Shell universe; appearing in the manga, created by Masamune Shirow, and the Stand Alone Complex sub-universe. Nine of them are assigned to Section 9's use originally. They are spider-like, multi-legged combat vehicles, equipped with artificial intelligence. The spider design appears in other places in Shirow's work, like the Appleseed manga. Shirow is noted to keep numerous spiders as pets.

Production I.G was unable to use the Fuchikoma design in the 2002 Stand Alone Complex anime TV series due to copyright conflicts. However, Masamune Shirow was able to design a legally safe equivalent to the spider-tanks for the new show, which he named the "Tachikoma". There are distinct differences in the design, most significantly in the 'eyes' and the vertically oriented abdomen. Still, the tanks are easily recognizable as descendants of the original Fuchikoma. Their AI 'personalities' and roles in the new series are indistinguishable from their predecessors in the manga.


Back around 2000 I became interested in anime. Rather a late start in life for some, but so it is. It has taken me a while to really get involved in the Ghost in the Shell (GITS) series, first only purchasing the two main movies: Ghost in the Shell (1995) and Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence (2004). Both are excellent anime for those who might be interested. Recently, I decided to give the TV series a go and picked up the Stand Alone Complex (SAC) offerings (two seasons worth and so 52 episodes). Also the 2005 TV movie set in the SAC world, Solid State Society.

I've always liked the machines and vehicles in sci-fi/anime and so after watching these, I looked to see if there was a model done of the AI tanks, the Tachikomas. Much to my delight, I found that Wave had produced one in 2005 so I started looking for one. Naturally, I found a lot at ridiculous prices, but eventually located one at a more reasonable cost so ordered it.

What arrived was a box that included four box size colored sprues; two in blue and two in white. A smaller dark grey sprue and a tan sprue for the figure of Motoko Kusinagi were also included. These latter two are vinyl and the dark grey parts are all parts of hinges. The molding on the kit is excellent with no flash at all. It very much appears that the kit is designed like the myriad of robot kits that are so popular with younger builders. There attachment pins and sockets are very large and it may be that this is a near-snap kit.

One basically traps all the vinyl joints between pieces of arms and such, inserting the other sections into them to provide articulated joints. There are a lot of parts in the kit as there are a lot of articulated pieces, There are basically two optional settings. One is the feet, which can be splayed or one can install the wheeled versions. The forward pod can be built as shown on the box art or with the Gatling cannon.

Instructions are nicely done and in Japanese, sales outside the country not considered sufficient to warrant dual or triple language instructions. However, everything is pretty easy to understand so there should be no issues. The instruction booklet is nicely done and on the back are all the color references using Gunze paints. There is no painting information during construction, the views in the single page painting guide as well as the box art to be used for this. No decals are provided nor required.  


In all, this is a very nicely engineered kit of a subject that I would say the majority of those reading have never heard. If you are a fan of this series, it would be worth your efforts to seek this one out.



June 2014 

Thanks to me for picking this one up.

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