Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MACROSS Factory: a grail returns!

A lot of model builders around the globe - including myself - were stunned to learn that at the recent Shizuoka Hobby Show in Japan Bandai announced they would re-issue the classic Imai MACROSS ARMORED FACTORY kit, from their recently-discovered cache of 1980s Imai tooling.  Bandai acquired extensive model kit product assets of Imai after the smaller company foundered in the tail end of the 1980's anime boom, including a large catalog of Macross kits.  They'd apparently lost track of a large number of them in the decades since, until veteran Imai staffers now on Bandai's payroll helped locate them in the hobby behemoth's long-term storage.  Anyway...  anime and model kit fans will likely recall this massive, 2 & a half foot long 1/100 mecha diorama kit:

This kit was released back in the 1980s in the US by Revell as part of their ROBOTECH line, dubbed the "Robotech Factory".  Apart from and new box and some futzing with the painting and decal placement guidelines for the kit, Revell's kit was essentially identical. (Photo thanks to Google.)

I built one back in high school, but later sold it away after college.  In recent years I expended some effort cobbling together a replacement one on a small budget that I could rebuild.  Vintage ones unassembled easily fetched around $200 or more, and complete built ones were next to impossible to find. This is a dryfit of the results I managed:

This treasure, however, is going to go up for sale, as will a partially-complete and somewhat glue-bombed one since I've decided to just bite the bullet and get the Bandai re-issue.  Of course, I'm not letting go of this until I've got the shiny new one in-hand in what I expect will be very late July or early August, at a cost of nearly $100 after a significant preorder discount and a half-off shipping special to cover the killer postage moving this giant plastic beast from the warehouse of my main source for new Japanese hobby items - Hobby Search.

The Armored Factory is an incredible kit.  Full of vehicles, two great Macross mechs, equipment, and about 30 1-inch tall crewpeople.  I wonder if the model-building skills I've acquired in my 43 years are up to the challenge my 16-year old eyesight grappled with so long ago?  Max & Hikaru - the only remainders of my original 1986 Robotech Factory kit buildup - are probably the only ones would could say right now...

Wanna chat about the 80s Robotech kits?  Wanna buy my dryfit after I get the new one?  Just leave a comment or drop me an e-mail!

1 comment:

  1. Hey A-Ray,
    I had a few of the Bandai Mech kits. I score several at a Comics / Card convention years back. The great thing about those was the models were more like action figures you build yourself! Too bad I wasnt a better model maker back then. Only 2 of them still survived. Ha!