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Hasegawa 1/20 scale Ma.K. Lum-168 Camel

RELATED TOPICS: SCI-FI / FANTASY
Kit:64006 // Scale:1/20 // Price:$134.99
Manufacturer:
Hasegawa, from Great Planes Model Distributors, 217-398-3630
Pros:
Good cockpit detail, large selection of markings, brilliantly clear tinted canopy
Cons:
Basic figure; lack of detail-painting instructions
Comments:
Injection-molded, 260 parts (51 vinyl, wire), decals
Hasegawa_MaK_box
Hasegawa_MaK02
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Hasegawa_MaK08

Thirty years ago, Kow Yokoyama, Hiroshi Ichimura, and Kunitaka Imai created a monthly series for Hobby Japan magazine featuring 1/20 scale scratchbuilt models. The series chronicled the conflict between the Strahl Democratic Republic (SDR) and mercenaries hired by the colonists of a repopulated Earth in the 29th century. Titled “SF3D,” the series ran for three years. After a long dispute over copyright was settled in the 1990s, Yokoyama dropped the “SF3D” name (owned by Hobby Japan) for “Maschinen Krieger ZbV3000”, or Ma.K. for short.

A few years ago, Hasegawa obtained the license to produce Ma.K. kits and has been producing some of the larger vehicles from the series — most recently, the Luna Tactical Reconnaissance Machine LUM-168 Camel.

The kit features well-detailed moldings in light and dark gray plastic. One large, tinted clear piece is provided for the cockpit windscreen. Several sections of flexible vinyl rod, as well as some molded vinyl ribbed hoses, are included for the hydraulic lines. Decals are provided for several vehicles, with six different color schemes covered in the painting guide. Vinyl joints are provided so the legs and rocket nozzle can be articulated, but their final movement is somewhat limited. A pilot figure is also provided, but I found the molding a bit on the soft side.

Per the instructions, I started by building the legs. Follow the assembly directions carefully so you wind up with a left and a right leg; it is easy to get parts turned around. I built one leg completely, then the other, and I still reversed one part (the connecting link D48) on one of the legs. I had trouble getting the mid-leg pieces (D22, D23) together over the vinyl joints until I used a woodworking clamp to squeeze them together.

Building the body went smoothly. I left off the rocket nozzle, exhaust shield (C17), antennas, and hydraulic tank until after painting and decaling. I did need to use a little Mr. Surfacer 500 on all of the body joints.

The halves of the cockpit globe fit well but still needed a little dab of Mr. Surfacer to eliminate the joint. The painting instructions for the interior details is a bit sparse, basically painting almost everything dark gray. I picked out several components and painted them different colors to add a little life to the cockpit. Although you can’t see much of the inside surface of the cockpit globe once the interior parts are installed, I painted it flat black to hide any that would show. Install the cockpit parts exactly in the order shown in the instructions or you could run into trouble. When installing the first piece (the back, B2) I test-fitted the two side pieces to make sure everything fit before adding glue to the back. The windscreen fits well without glue, so I used it to mask the cockpit after masking the clear area with Tamiya tape.

My limited figure-painting skills could not improve the poorly molded pilot figure, so I left it out. 

I painted my Camel with various Tamiya and Vallejo grays, doing my best to re-create the mottled look in the painting guide. For the red collar and windshield frame, I added a bit of flat brown to Tamiya’s red.

After a couple of coats of Tamiya clear gloss, I added the decals. All of them went on well, using Micro Sol and Micro Set solutions, until I came to the large Ps on the rear humps. I needed the big gun — Solvaset — to get those down on the compound curves. A wash of Vandyke brown artist’s oils and light dry-brushing with light gray really added depth to the model.

After a coat of Vallejo flat clear dried, I added all the vinyl hydraulic hoses. I especially liked the full-size cutting guides that are included in the instructions for each hose.

I spent about 26 hours building my LUM-168 Camel, with most of the time spent on painting and decaling. I’m really impressed with the look of the finished model. It was fun to build something so different — I think any modeler with average modeling skills could tackle this kit, too.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the November 2013 FineScale Modeler.

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