P.K.H. Nutcracker "Kampfgruppe BALCK"

Published: October 12th, 2017     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Bill O’Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $109.99
Product / Stock #: 46473

The Maschinen Krueger universe was created by artist Kow Yokoyama in the 1980's in a series of cartoons about the repopulation of planet earth after nuclear war, and subsequent battles for control of the planet in the year 2882. The Earth's Independent Provisional Government was formed by the colonists resettling Earth, and they were challenged by the Strahl Demoktatische Republic, who were sent to quell the colonists. The colonist's Independent Mercenary Army used Armoured Fighting Suits to devastating effect, and the Strahl's Defence Force developed the unmanned Nutcracker to counter the fighting suits.

Hasegawa originally issued the Nutcracker in 2011, including two figures. This new release of the Nutcracker is the same kit without the additional fighting suit figures. Four marking and painting options are provided, including the rectangular camouflage scheme on the box cover.

The kit comes on six dark green plastic sprues, one small clear plastic sprue, one sprue of polycaps, and large loose parts for the vehicle's hull and underside. The green plastic is somewhat soft, has some minor flash, and most parts have mold seems that need to be cleaned up. There are some very small parts such as the F2 rocket nozzles and F1 bolt heads. The bolt heads are provided as individual parts or thinner bolt heads that need to be sliced off the sprue. There are sufficient numbers of both so either type can be used.

The instructions are a 7 in. x 10 in. fold-out sheet with eight assembly steps. The instructions include diagrams of the sprues and a list of colors in GSI Creos Aqueous Hobby Color and Mr. Color paints. The instruction diagrams are clear, but have assembly notes spread all over the page. Review each step prior to assembly to determine the correct placement and order of parts.

The Hasegawa decal sheet is 7 5/8 in. x 5 1/8 in. There are many decals for warning labels, vehicle numbers, and unit insignias. The rectangular camouflage blocks are not provided as decals and need to be individually painted. There will be many decals left over. The decals release from the backing sheet quickly, and are thin enough to fold over on themselves. Despite their small size several of the details broke during placement.

Assembly begins with the turret in steps one and two. The fit of the parts is excellent. There are some small parts to deal with in the bolt heads, F1, and the thruster nozzles, F2. Polly caps are used for some of the attachments so they can be positioned or removed for painting. The location of the optional smoke discharge units F3+F4 are a little vague but photos are provided to aid in their placement.

Step three installs parts on the inside of the hull and attaches the bottom. Several of the locating pins on the bottom had broken off, but installation was still relatively easy.

Steps four through six install the attachments on the outside of the hover body. The fit of the parts is excellent and the instructions are quite clear. In step five a radiation plate is attached over the engine. The grill, part C38, is solid plastic, and would have been better with a photoetch open mesh. The back of the radiation plate is full of injection pins that will need to be cleaned up if the plate is installed in the open position.

Step seven installs the turret to the body. Step eight installs the various antennas, searchlight, and laser cannon to the turret, completing construction.

Four painting and marketing options are provided as shown on the separate painting and marketing guide. Paint colors are called out for the rectangle camouflage scheme, but no other camouflage colors are identified. I chose to do the rectangular camouflage scheme as shown on the box art. There are additional notes for each of the four schemes, but they are only in Japanese. Using Google's Translate, I could decipher the notes for the "Kampfgruppe BALCK" option that I used:

"Kampfgruppe BALCK" s.PzAbt 503 2nd Kompanie 5 Zug "Kartoffel Susie"

"Kamp Gruppe Bulk" 503 Heavy Tank Battalion 2nd Squadron 5th Platoon 1

"Initially deployed type 1a Nuts Rocker. From the No. 4 Car of the 5th Platoon of the Squadron. The standard winter camouflage pattern of the same platoon developed in North America's snowless area was called "Caltofuel Susie" (potato is also Suzie) from its appearance. Although it is a painting that looks loud, it is a mountainous area high camouflage effect when hovering has been demonstrated. In late production, the late model with the smoke discharger as standard equipped in the turret was deployed and the smoke disposer was added to the former aircraft as well.

The notes for the other camouflage schemes could similarly be translated.

This is another fun MaK kit that goes together very well and provides an opportunity for very interesting painting and weathering options. The part fit is excellent, and modelers of all skill levels can enjoy the kit. Thanks to Hasagawa for continuing to issue these great MaK kits!

Thanks to the IPMS Review Corps for allowing me to do this review.

  • Base Paint
    Base Paint
  • Hull Assembly
    Hull Assembly
  • Turret Assembly
    Turret Assembly
  • Engine Assembly
    Engine Assembly
  • Marking Instructions
    Marking Instructions
  • Rectangular Camo
    Rectangular Camo
  • Decal Sheet
    Decal Sheet
  • Completed Model 1
    Completed Model 1
  • Completed Model 2
    Completed Model 2