IntroductionA few weeks ago, I showed you my progress so far on fighters for the new 5150: Fighter Command ruleset. That's fine as far as it goes, but I need some capital ships as well. I've seen Bandai's "Space Battleship Yamato" [aka "Star Blazers"] series of plastic kits widely recommended for this role; HobbyLink Japan seems to be the most popular source for these. I'm not a great fan of the styling of spaceships in Japanese anime, but I thought I should take a closer look to see why the Bandai kits are so popular.
Ordering from Japan
I put together an order of 4 kits on the HobbyLink Japan site; the postage came to 680yen, or about as much again as the kits themselves. That's not too bad; I figured that I could afford to take a chance for a little over £9.
So what about delivery time? Well, I had a shipping confirmation notice 2 days after payment was made and a carton containing a Japanese customs label and other markings arrived some 6 days later than this. I'd say that 8 days from start to finish was quite acceptable for goods from the other side of the world!
What's in the Boxes?
ConstructionEach kit was very easy to build; the parts fitted together well and there weren't huge numbers of them. Because these will be used as gaming models, I left off some of the more fragile-looking protruding aerials and pylons. I suspect that they would all have been broken the first time I transported these ships!
I also left off a few of the turrets, some of which I felt had very improbable locations (blocked by parts of the superstructure &c, with virtually no field of fire). For the turrets that I did use, I cut down the gun barrels considerably; the Japanese style has excessively long, thin weapons for my taste.
ConclusionI will certainly paint up some of these models and use them in my games, though probably not in the "official" colour schemes as shown on the boxes. The others? I'm not so sure - there are enough competing demands on my time that the ships I like least will be some way down the workload queue. Still, it was a fun experiment and hasn't cost a great deal of money or time so far.
A Request for Help
- Yellow all over, with black nose and red markings.
- 2-tone "camouflage", much as used by the RAF for the past 75 years. Maybe green/brown, grey/green or brown/grey. This might look good, but what would be the point of such camouflage in space?
- Overall block colour (red?), but with "flying circus"-style markings. The leader is just red, while others all have variations to distinguish them, such as black and white stripes on the wings, a yellow fuselage or a blue tail.