By John Lester - images & text © 2009
SF3D started out as a far-future history in Hobby Japan imagined using models kit-bashed from others readily available at the time.
Image: Engine detail
Image: Instrument panel
Image: Surface detail
Image: One of 2 cards
Over the years it's gained a cult following - because, let's face it, the models are pretty cool. These two sites spell it all out much better than I can (at least in English):
In the SF3D/Ma.K universe, the Panzer Jagdkampfflugzeug 85 (Pkf. 85) “Falke” is an Independent Mercenary Army fighter based off a captured enemy (SDR) technology demonstrator. There's a full history and 'specs' for both the 'actual' aircraft and the scratchbuilt model here.
Aficionados have mostly had to scratchbuild if they've wanted a Falke (which gets expensive if you track down all the original - and now out of production - donor kits) - though there have been a couple very limited-run resin kits over the years. All that is in the past with this first release of a new Ma.K series from Hasegawa.
What You Get
Inside the classically-marked box you get six sprues of parts (5 in olive, one in tan) in four bags, plus decals, 2 cards in the classic style depicting seven different marking variants and an errata sheet correcting the instructions.
The kit is comprised of 121 parts (98 in olive styrene, 23 in tan). It's essentially upper and lower hulls plus details - and 23 parts for two figures (seated male pilot and standing female groundcrew). Molding is what you expect from Hasegawa in 2008 --- crisp, no flaws, no flash. Detail is very crisp, whether raised or engraved. Hasegawa knows how to make airplanes and they've transferred those skills to this .... whatever it is, airplane or tank or a mix of the two.
Decals are sharp and perfectly registered. Used to be Hasegawa decals were ivory and not white, but not anymore - the white bits are snow-blind, whiteout white. You get markings for seven craft, including a nifty (and big) Grim Reaper design, plus patches for the crew uniforms. And a Flying Cow - an in-joke for the designer Kow Yokoyama (“Koh” is how his name is said but we gringos go for the bovine pronunciation).
What do you get when you bring a brilliant designer together with one of the world's premiere kit makers? This kit. I'm so excited by this I've tossed work obligations to the side to start gluing parts together (accompanied by Battlestar Galactica music - it seems apropos). Can't find anything not to like about this one. Highly recommended to all skill levels.
Many thanks to my own wallet for providing the review samples. Manufacturers and retailers, interested in getting your wares reviewed and publicized on a site averaging 6000+ readers a day? Contact us!
This page copyright © 2009 Starship Modeler. First posted on 25 March 2009.