Luna Tactical Reconnaissance LUM-168 Camel

Published: May 19th, 2013     
Product Image
Box Art
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette - IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/20
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $82.95
Product / Stock #: HSGS6406
Product provided by: Hobbico

As a bit of background, and from Wikipedia, the Maschinen Krieger universe is a science fiction universe created by Japanese artist and sculptor Kow Yokoyama in the 1980s. The franchise originally began as the science fiction series SF3D which ran as monthly installments in the Japanese hobby magazine Hobby Japan from 1982 to 1985. To develop the storyline, Kow Yokoyama collaborated with Hiroshi Ichimura as story editor and Kunitaka Imai as graphic designer. The three creators drew visual inspiration from their combined interest in World War I and World War II armor and aircraft, the American space program and films such as Star Wars, Blade Runner and The Road Warrior. Inspired by the ILM model builders who worked on Star Wars, Yokoyama built the original models from numerous kits including armor, aircraft, and automobiles. He mostly concentrated on powered armor suits, but later included bipedal walking tanks and aircraft with anti-gravity systems.

This release is the Tactical Recon vehicle, the LUM-168 Camel which is a manned walking bipedal vehicle. The kit is 1/20th scale and has 6 ivory colored sprues, a smoke colored clear windscreen, 2 coils of different size vinyl tubing, 2 vinyl frets of specific piping, a large decal sheet, a large sprue of vinyl plugs and a metal whip antennae. The parts are excellent and the well molded.

I broke the build into three parts- the legs, the main body and the cockpit. The legs are handed- and are articulated with all the joints being movable. The are many arms and braces that need to be not glued. Make sure the vinyl attachment points are aligned correctly. The fit is good. I puttied the arms as I went to eliminate seams. The upper and lower legs are built and then connected. I did not add the vinyl lines now to make painting easier.

The main body was built next and required puttying the main seam on the top but with a little sanding, the fit was excellent. I left the exhaust nozzle off and added it last to make the painting easier. Two fuel/oil tanks need built and sanded also and one has a vinyl hose sandwiched in it. These were left off also. The remainder of the detail parts and arms were added and this was set aside to await painting.

The cockpit is awesome. It consists of seventeen internal parts plus lots of vinyl pipes. Parts must be added in order and the instructions are excellent showing the location of the pipes and their attachments. There is also an excellent pilot that could be added. I wanted to include it but it blocks too much of the cockpit. The instructions also have the exact measurements for all the piping. Simply lay it over the instructions, cut to size and add the hose. The cockpit has all the required paint call outs and I weathered it with silver pens, pastels and washes. A quick flat coat and we're ready to paint.

The paint card has four different schemes. The are the same with one exception and that is the collar behind the cockpit. On two of the kits, it is left off and you can see all the piping and wiring. Two have a collar installed making the wiring be hidden. I chose 2nd Flight Test Squadron markings with a burgundy band and burgundy surrounding the "windscreen". A this point, the windscreen was masked and everything primed. The body paint was a mixture mostly white. I used a very light gray and then used a German WWII dark gray for the camouflage. This was sealed and then the collar and the windscreen and surround were masked. I used Tamiya Hull Red for the color. Once all of this was dry for all the sub-assemblies, I used Alclad Gloss and gave the entire kit several gloss coats to prepare for decals.

And there are a lot of decals- the sheets include all the markings and unit badges. I had some issues with the decals on compound curves but a couple doses of Solvaset and time worked well. I flat coated the parts and then cut and added all of the hoses for the legs. I added the three main parts together, added the metal antennae and weathered with pastels and a silver pencil. Another flat coat and I added the windscreen. It fits so well the it snaps into place with no seams!

What a great kit! Whether you are looking for a break from your usual or you are a SciFi fan, this kit is excellent. I really should have done a moon base and have it climbing over some rocks. Most highly recommended! My thanks to Hasegawa and Hobbico for the chance to review this great kit.

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