Space Pirate Battleship Arcadia - Limited Edition

Published: August 30th, 2016     
Product Image
Box top
Reviewed by: 
Clare Wentzel, IPMS# 1096
Scale: 1/1500
Company: Hasegawa
Price: $74.99
Product / Stock #: 64724

Background

This is a kit of the mother ship, Arcadia flown by the space pirate, Captain Harlock from the adventure filled world of Leiji Matsumoto. Originally created in 1977 for a manga TV series, Captain Harlock has appeared in various film and TV shows, most recently a 2013 feature film, "Space Pirate Captain Harlock". This space battleship is used for his interspace travel. The Arcadia carries a number of Space Wolf fighter planes for protection and offense.

The Arcadia is equipped with heavy firepower. The main armament consists of triple-mount pulsar cannon turrets, two on the upper deck and one on the underside. When Captain Harlock's friend, Tochiro, designed the Arcadia, he must have been influenced by pirate ships of old, because the rear of the Arcadia resembles the stern of a Spanish Galleon. I am not sure of the significance of this but it looks neat.

The Kit and Construction

The kit consists of 152 parts in nine different sprues. The sprues are molded in appropriate colors to the final appearance of the model. Most of the parts are molded in an olive green color while the main deck and the rear galleon parts are brown. The parts of the base are black and the add-on skull and cross bone insignia are in white. This kit could actually be assembled without painting and wouldn't look too bad (remember those days?).

I was very impressed with this kit. It was very well engineered. The main fuselage and the nose had internal formers with good sized mounting pins and holes so that the alignment of the component parts was excellent.

I followed the fourteen steps of the instruction sheet in their order and was pleased with the ease of assembly. Every part of the model seemed to have a defined mounting location. Even the smallest parts seemed to have a pin or a slot so that the location was exact. The only fit problems that I had were with four small strakes along the bottom of the hull (parts E18, E19 and E20). I painted the parts before assembly and had some tight fit problems. I opened up the slots to get a better fit but this was one area that in retrospect would have been better to assemble before painting. The other area that required some care was the mounting of the two antennas that angled out to the sides. These had to be held in place while the glue set but this was not a problem.

Painting and Finishing

As I said earlier, I painted most of the parts before assembly. This worked well and in fact, I don't believe that the main deck and the galleon parts could have been easily masked for painting after assembly. As I said earlier, the great fit and positive location of the parts made it easy to assemble the model after painting.

Although the Arcadia has only a minimum of special markings, the kit comes with a finely printed decal sheet. A good portion of the decal sheet is related to various items of trim and filigree on the galleon. I found the decals to be a bit thick and could not get them to completely set down around the filigree. The filigree areas are raised as shown on the attached sprue photo and could be hand painted by those with a very steady hand. I am about half satisfied with my decal job. Some of them are in the perfect location but I misaligned a few. I am still pleased with the final appearance of the model.

The final finishing step was the application of a black acrylic wash in appropriate locations. As I stated before, the kit features great molded-in detail. A little black wash in the intakes, the deck mounted weapons, the bridge, the radar antennas etc. will make the detail pop and the final model look even better.

Conclusions and Recommendations

I can recommend this kit without reservation as long as the modeler has a minimum of experience and can follow directions. This model is a great addition for fans of Captain Harlock and other anime characters. It also is simply a very impressive looking model to add to the shelf. I was impressed how many younger members of our club know about Captain Harlock. Hasegawa should be able to take advantage of this and probably will gain some new customers. IPMS Chapters may also think about this.

Thanks to Hobbico for providing this interesting model for review and to IPMS for allowing me to build this fun kit.

  • Overall view
    Overall view
  • Overall rear view
    Overall rear view
  • Left side
    Left side
  • Underside
    Underside
  • Galleon stern
    Galleon stern
  • Arcadia Fuselage Construction
    Arcadia Fuselage Construction
  • Sprue A
    Sprue A
  • Sprue B
    Sprue B
  • Sprue D & E
    Sprue D & E
  • Arcadia Sprue J Galleon parts
    Arcadia Sprue J Galleon parts
  • Color & Markings
    Color & Markings
  • Decal sheet
    Decal sheet