Space & Sci-Fi Vehicles

Reviews of products for scale space and science fiction vehicle models.

P.K.H. Nutcracker "Kampfgruppe BALCK"

Published: October 12th, 2017     
P.K.H. Nutcracker "Kampfgruppe BALCK"
Reviewed by: Bill O'Malley - IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hasegawa

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.

SM.03 Sazabi Custom

Published: September 4th, 2017     
SM.03 Sazabi Custom
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035

This is Michael Rinaldi's third book in this series, the first being on the Industria Mechanika 1/35 FichtenFoo's Fantastical Fish-shaped Submersible resin kit with the second being the Trumpeter 1/35 Stalinetz S.65 Russian Army tractor kit. This issue focuses on the Bandai 1/100 Sazabi Gundam Mecha that has been customized. The Single Model (SM) series represents a focus on a specific kit and as such is a limited edition (i.e. Only One Print Run!). This singular focus permits Michael Rinaldi to tackle topics outside of his successful TankArt series and allows him to address finishes that he has not attempted before. A core premise of the new book series is to explore and redefine artistic and creative finishes for each subject.

Out of This World Modeling

Published: August 27th, 2017     
Out of This World Modeling
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035

Aaron Skinner started out early in publishing, founding his High School student newspaper in the early eighties. He has been an avid modeler since the age of six (supported by his grandfather). He graduated from The University of Queensland in 1992 with his degree in Journalism and History. He has worked with several newspapers in Arkansas and Texas as a photographer and reporter from 1994 until in joined Fine Scale Modeler in 2006. He was promoted from Associate Editor to Senior Editor in 2015 and has authored several modeling books, including: Essential Skills for Scale Modelers (2011), Modeling Airliners (2012), and Airbrushing for Scale Modelers (2015). He is active representing Fine Scale Modeler and providing presentations at contests and shows, recently returning to Dallas for Squadron's EagleQuest in June 2017. He has a regular video kit review with Elizabeth Nash that I wholeheartedly endorse that you can receive through email or at the website.

North American X-15

Published: June 6th, 2017     
North American X-15
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell - IPMS# 49715

This book goes into great detail of what I consider the best X-Plane of them all, the X-15. This X-plane was the last of the Manned Rocket planes, it went beyond Mach 6, and if the project had continued, would I am sure have passed Mach 7. The X-15 reached the edge of space at 380,000 feet altitude. The project was the first by North American, as they won the contract over Bell and Douglas, who had until this been the main developers of the X-Planes.

There is a lot to the story of the X-15, and this book goes into a lot of detail in an informative and entertaining way. The book draws you in and keeps your attention. I read the book in one sitting and enjoyed it greatly. The book covers all the issues and problems, alongside the great steps forward, the X-15 helped achieve, and the advances in systems, airframe, engines, and materials.

I recommend this book to everyone with an interest in the X-Planes, and especially the X-15. It has some wonderful pictures that are great for modeler's as well.

Thanks go to Osprey Publishing for providing this book to review and IPMS USA for allowing me to review it for them.


Published: May 28th, 2017     
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell - IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/24
Company: Round 2 Models

This is a re-issue by Round2 of a kit first released a few years ago by AMT.

This is a kit of the BatBoat from the movie Batman Returns, and featured in the movie climax.

In the box is:

  • 1 chrome sprue
  • 3 x wing parts
  • 1 black sprue
  • 1 upper hull section
  • 1 lower hull section
  • 1 cardboard fold out backdrop (based on scene from the movie)
  • 1 instruction booklet

All of the 18 parts are well molded and great detail, the only issue is the large number of ejector pin marks on the rear and side wing parts. The instruction booklet is easy to follow and well-illustrated.


Stage 1, 2 and 3 is the construction of the Batboat interior and installing it into the lower hull. The interior parts were painted and some shading/weathering added to make it look sharp. This was the only painting needed on this kit.

Stage 4 is the install of the jet nozzle which needed the chrome removed to enable it to be glued.