Big things with little cars
Big things with little cars

SF3D is the creation of Kow Yokoyama (sculptor), Hiroshi Ichimura (story editor), and Kunitaka Ima (graphic artist), and ran as a serialized story in the Hobby Japan magazine from 1982 to 1986, and a short movie was even made (part one, part two). The story wasn't well translated into English until recently, so there was some confusion over the content (beyond cool looking powered armor and mecha), but the basic idea is:

World War IV breaks out in 2807 and devastates the planet. The survivors head into the stars and set up colony worlds. Almost fifty years later, Earth is found to have restored itself, and people begin recolonizing Australia (Really? That's where you start?). After twenty hard years, civilization starts developing again, and begins drawing outcasts, criminals, and other undesirables looking to get away from the Galactic Federation. Fearing the colonists may form their own army and try for independence, the Federation grants the Strahl Democratic Republic control of Earth, and they dispatch troops to maintain order. In the face of the SDR's heavy handed efforts, the colonists form the IMA (Independent Mercenary Army) and declare independence. Both sides spend the next four years fighting across the globe, all the while developing new technology, including composite armor, lasers, powered armor suits, walking tanks, anti-grav, and AI-controlled weapons systems...

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Kits of various suits, walkers and AI-units were produced by Nitto until copyright issues terminated the series in 1986. In the middle '90s, Yokoyama was granted full copyright, and the series resumed under the new name: Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000 (Ma. K for short). Nitto's kits were put back into production in 1999, which is were I first found them through Model Expo's mail order catalog. I built about a dozen kits during the next few years, but eventually I got of models entirely, focusing on kitbashing and painting Transformers.

Now I'm back.

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H.A.F.S. Jerry

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The Jerry is a heavily armored walker, designed to compliment the AFS and SAFS in the IMA's ranks. It's equipped with a manipulator arm, heavy laser, and advanced sensors, allowing the pilot to operate the unit without windows.

Illustration for article titled [Model kit] SF3D aka Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000
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The H.A.F.S., like all of Nitto's Ma.K kits, is of mixed media. The body and legs are injection molded ABS, with rubber tubing metal springs, brass wire and mesh, steel wire, and coated wire for details, and two sets of screws and nuts to attach the feet and legs.

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A seated pilot figure is included, and the cockpit is fairly detailed (which is a shame, since you can't see it once the model is complete).

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The hatch opens and closes, and the legs, laser and manipulator are all posable.

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Decals are provided for two units, and the paint schemes for both are rather simple, olive drab over sand as I've done, or brown with green stripes over sand.

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Some of the more service oriented areas I painted steel, and the whole body was given a light dry-brushing of silver and a heavier one of black. Areas of high wear (like the hatch or nose) I brushed with zinc chromate, then layered in silver and black.

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The cowling is removable, which shows off the entire manipulator and interior bulkhead. I added some wire to the cowling as well.

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I added a mix of brown paint and baking soda to the feet, which looks like mud at this scale (1/20).

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Panzer Kampf Anzug (P.K.A.) H0

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This is the SDR's initial attempt to copy the mercenary army's AFS powered suit. The SDR lacked the IMA's sensor technology, which lead to the H0 having a fully glazed canopy.

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There are a few options with this kit. The end effectors can be built with claws as I've done, or with hands. Also, the elbows can be shown with exposed wires, or covered with rubber boots.

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A pilot figure is included (well, his armless upper torso anyway), the arms and legs can be positioned, and the canopy can be opened.

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The H0 is also a mixed media kit, with the aforementioned wire or rubber boots for the elbows, and brass wire and springs for the "power pipes" to the legs.

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The H0 is not equipped with on-board weapons, instead carrying infantry guns or launchers. The kit comes with a panzerfaust-type anti-tank weapon, but it's blah, and the figure can't hold it to my liking, so I substituted a double rocket launcher from Kotobukia' MW04 set.

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Illustration for article titled [Model kit] SF3D aka Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000

Four camo schemes are included, and I went with this gunship gray stripe on ghost gray urban (?) scheme.

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Illustration for article titled [Model kit] SF3D aka Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000

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Now, fight!

Illustration for article titled [Model kit] SF3D aka Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000

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