Hasegawa 1/20 LUM-168 Camel
|NOTES:||From the Maschinen Krieger line|
Courtesy of Wikipedia
The franchise originally began as the science fiction series SF3D which ran as monthly installments in the Japanese hobby magazine Hobby Japan from 1982 to 1985. To develop the storyline, Kow Yokoyama collaborated with Hiroshi Ichimura as story editor and Kunitaka Imai as graphic designer. The three creators drew visual inspiration from their combined interest in World War I and World War II armor and aircraft, the American space program and films such as Star Wars, Blade Runner and The Road Warrior. Inspired by the ILM model builders who worked on Star Wars, Yokoyama built the original models from numerous kits including armor, aircraft, and automobiles. He mostly concentrated on powered armor suits, but later included bipedal walking tanks and aircraft with anti-gravity systems.
In 1986, there was a dispute with Hobby Japan over the copyright of the series. The magazine dropped SF3D from its line-up of articles and Nitto ceased production of various kits of the series. The matter was tied up in the courts for years until Yokoyama was awarded the full copyright to the series in the 1990s. Yokoyama and Hobby Japan eventually reconciled and restarted their working relationship, ditching the old SF3D name in favor of Maschinen Krieger ZbV3000, otherwise known as Ma.K.
A nuclear World War IV in 2807 kills most of Earth's population and renders the planet uninhabitable. Fifty-two years after the war, a research team from an interstellar union called the Galactic Federation is sent to Earth and discovers that the planet's natural environment has restored itself. The Federation decides to repopulate the planet and sends over colonists to the surface. Cities and towns are eventually reformed over the next 20 years, but this growth attracts the attention of criminals, military deserters, and other lawless elements who wanted to hide on Earth—away from the authorities. A few militias protect the colonists, but the new interlopers often defeat them.
Fearing civil unrest and the colonists forming their own government, the Federation gives the Strahl Democratic Republic (SDR) the right to govern the planet in the late 2870s. The SDR sends three police battalions and three Foreign Legion corps to Earth and uses heavy-handed tactics such as travel restrictions and hard labor camps to restore order, which creates resentment amongst the colonists. In response, the colonists create the Earth Independent Provisional Government and declare independence from the SDR. The SDR immediately establishes a puppet government and attempts to quell the uprising. The wealthy colonists hire mercenaries who are descendants of WWIV veterans to form the Independent Mercenary Army (IMA), which is bolstered by the presence of SDR Foreign Legion defectors. They attack the SDR forces and the battle to control Earth begins in 2882.
Over the next four years, the SDR and IMA fight each other at several locations worldwide while developing new technology along the way. The war turns up a notch in June 2883 when the IMA deploys a new weapon - the Armored Fighting Suit powered armor - to devastating effect. The SDR eventually builds their own AFS units.
In the last SF3D installment published in the December 1986 issue of Hobby Japan, the IMA successfully defeats the new SDR Königs Kröte unmanned command-and-control mecha using a computer virus that also creates a new artificial intelligence system on the moon.
Inside a largish box are three bags of sprues. The top bag holds the large white body parts and a smaller bag of vinyl cord and lengths of steel music wire. The second bag holds the clear, smoke-tinted windshield. Contained in the third bag are four white styrene sprues, three for the Camel and one for the driver figure. Two sprues of dark gray detail parts and two sprues of black vinyl with a satin patina also fill the bag. Total parts count (excluding spares) is 165 No flash is present in this example and the mold seams are discrete.
A single sheet printed on both sides and folded four times to create 10 panels holds the instructions. The first panel is the cover and includes a symbol key and paint chart. Colors are cited for Aqueous Hobby Color and Mr. Color. Kanji and English descriptions are also included. Panel 2 has the parts map. The next two panels cover the construction of the legs through nine steps. The next four and a-half panels illustrate how to build the interior of the body and cockpit over 11 steps. Assembly of the figure and seat, plus their installation are covered in the following four steps. Final assembly is done in step 28.
Diagrams indicate that the leg parts are assembled by press fitting. There are a lot of no-glue icons present, so I’m guessing that the legs articulate. They also are built up in left and right sub-assemblies, so it is important to keep track of everything as the build progresses.
A separate card holds paint and decal instructions. Unfortunately, it’s printed in gray scale on sandy-yellow colored stock, just like the box. Three options are for different regiments: 1) 320th Armed Regiment, S Company in a two-tone gray over white scheme, 2) 7th Yeomanry Regiment, 3rd Ground Attack Company in a dark mottle over mid gray with a blue collar on the body, 3) 101st Regimental Space Combat Team in white. The fourth option is for the 2nd Flight Test Squadron with a three-tone mottle and red collar scheme.
There’s something in this kit for every modeler, be the preferred subject a Gundam, plane, Sci-fi, car, truck, construction, figure, or armor. OK, maybe not so much for a ship modeler, but there is one color call-out for “sail”. The kit looks like it’s up to Hasegawa’s standards.
The assembly sequence appears straight forward but pre-painting parts will take some planning. It would be interesting illuminate the cockpit with a faint red glow.
The history printed in English on the side of the box doesn’t translate well and I had to re-read the Wikipedia story line several times to hazard a guess that the Camel was deployed by the SDR as part of their initial suppression efforts. I’m not sure if this is a model from the good guys or the bad.
Regardless, one can paint and weather this model to suit one’s fancy and have fun creating a base for the model to stand upon.
Copyright ModelingMadness.com. All rights reserved. No reproduction in part or in whole without express permission.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Review Index Page
Back to the Previews Index Page