More Progress on the Skinhead: I added some texture to the knee pads and other armouring plates and also on the solid hood that replaces the PKA clear one. Texturing was achieved with Mr Surfacer 500 dabbed on with an old stiff brush and the lightly sanded after it dried.
I then primed the model with Gaianotes EVO black from the airbrush. The primer turned out fairly rough: I probably needed more thinner…
After the primer, I brushed on a quick, very thin coat of Mr. Color Mahogany to provide first layer of colour and break up the flat primer.
Next up actual painting.

Maschinen Krieger 1/20 Skinhead WIP - priming and base coat


After 6 months away from this project I am finally back with some progress! All the sub-assemblies are complete and ready for surfacing and priming. The only missing items (and I forget them every time in my rush to start painting) are the power coils and the pipe for the tank.

Maschinen Krieger 1/20 Skinhead WIP - rear with tank rack
The tank rack is finally glued, but I’ll probably need to use a pin to glue the tank, rather than relying on surface adhesion only: it all looks a bit fragile.

Maschinen Krieger 1/20 Skinhead WIP - front view
All the smaller parts and the limbs are ready for texturing with Mr Surfacer and priming.Maschinen Krieger 1/20 Skinhead WIP - Parts ready for priming

Maschinen Krieger 1/20 Skinhead WIP - front and right side
The construction of the Skinhead is proceeding, not without hiccups, but at least it is proceeding. Straight after taking these photos I went to detach the legs from the body (I’ll paint them separately) and I broke one of the connections. So now I have to fix that by means of a brass rod. I guess that’s what I should expect when working with old and brittle plastic (these kits are from the mid eighties after all).
Anyway, pretty happy with the progress so far. Still a bit of blu tack to hold together some of the parts but nothing major. Probably another couple of hours of work and I’ll be ready for priming.
Thanks for reading!
Maschinen Krieger 1/20 Skinhead WIP - left rear side

APMA’s annual Scale Model Show in Sydney will be held this Saturday, November 2, 2013 at Paramatta RSL Club.
I’ll be taking three of my Ma.k models to the show: the Krote, the SAFS Raptor in desert camo and the AFS Night Stalker, all in 1/20 and complemented by the SAFS pilot.

Normally the Ma.k presence at the show is very scarce, so if you live in the Sydney area and have a Ma.k model you want to show, bring it along!
Maschinen Krieger Krote, Raptor, Night Stalker

Today I am going to review one of the models recently released by Hexamodel, a relatively new kit maker from South Korea. Hexamodel has been creating some remarkable kits in the recent past, like two 1/20 versions of the Sandstalker and two of the Oskar. Unfortunately until recently those kits were sold exclusively at Wonderfest. Since October 2013 Hexamodel offer a mail order service making that easier for enthusiasts outside Japan to purchase their kits.
Hexamodel’s kits are characterized by great accuracy and sharp details obtained by combining a range of techniques like 3D scanning of Kow Yokoyama’s originals, research of the donor kits and of the original, life size vehicles and by means of a high quality casting process. All of this comes at a cost, but this is on par with similar complexity resin kits from other renowned makers in the Maschinen Krieger genre.

Hexamodel 1/20 Oskar - Box Content

The model I’ll be focusing on is the Panzer Spawagen Oskar in 1/20 scale. The Oskar is an unmanned vehicle that was introduced by the Strahl army as a cheaper alternative to the Neuspotter (an anti-gravity reconnaissance unit). The Oskar shares the same “head” as the Neuspotter (and therefore the same A.I. system), but instead of the anti-gravity pods, it relies on a fairly large hovering platform for moving around on land. The Oskar is armed with either a rail gun or a laser (the version in this review is equipped with the latter).

Back in the early 2000s Modelkasten produced a 1/20 kit of the Oskar that featured a vacu-formed hull, resin parts for the engine cover and the gun and Nitto styrene sprues for the Neuspotter head. Needless to say, the vacu-formed hull represents a bit of a challenge when building the Modelkasten model: it often got damaged in the box and had to be reinforced in order to keep the shape and to allow for some stability over time. On top of that the Modelkasten kit didn’t provide the bottom part of the hull.
Hexamodel 1/20 Oskar - Resin cast Hull and bottom
The Hexamodel kit provides a resin cast hull with openable compartment hatches and engine hood,  internal ribs that make it strong enough and that provide detail and with a fully detailed bottom with fan vents and other mechanical parts. The kit engineering is quite amazing for a resin kit: not only does it include parts to build the full interior of the body, but the hatches for the engine and the electronics compartment can be opened and closed through a set of hinges and (fake) hydraulic cylinders.

Kit Data

Maker: Hexamodel (South Korea)
Release Date: October 2013
Type: resin with multimedia parts (metal rods, tubes and vinyl lines)
Parts: large number of resin parts (includes fully detailed interior)
Decals: not provided
Camo Card: not provided
Instructions: detailed instructions and parts lists
Price: US $350
Availability: from the Hexamodel website or at Wonderfest.

Box and Box-art
Hexamodel 1/20 Oskar - Box art
As this is a “garage” kit, the box is a fairly standard cardboard one, with a graphic of the Oskar on top. It has to be said that the box is quite small for the kit and there is no room whatsoever for any padding, which would have been useful because a few of the ribs inside the hull got broken during shipping. A minor damage on parts that cannot be seen, but an indication of how tight the packaging is.

Parts and casting

The casting quality of this kit is very high with plenty of we’ll defined details and virtually no bubbles. The way the moulds were created means that there are very little, if at all, parting lines to clean up: many of the parts can be assembled without any cleaning. The casting of the hull is really beautiful and sharp in details, with a textured surface that should help the paint sticking. The interior is also very we’ll cast and detailed: look at the radiator fins and you’ll see what I am talking about.

Hexamodel 1/20 Oskar - Engine and internal parts

Hexamodel 1/20 Oskar - interior detail of hull and engine cover

Aside from the complexity of the mechanism to open the hatches, this looks like a kit that will go together quite easily. For example, the photo below shows the alignment pins on the two halves of the head.

Hexamodel 1/20 Oskar - the two halves of the head.jpg

The kit also includes metal parts to build the hinges and the hydraulic cylinders and vinyl tubes for the engine lines.

Hexamodel 1/20 Oskar - Metal and vinyl parts

Decals and Camo card
The kit doesn’t include either decals or a Camo card with paint schemes.

Instructions sheet
The instruction sheet is very detailed and comprehensive. Definitely much better than what I expect from a Resin cast kit. The instructions cover also the layout of the engine lines and the construction of the hinges to allow the opening of the hatches.
There is also a sheet with the full parts breakdown.
Hexamodel 1/20 Oskar - Instructions

This is a fantastic kit that will make many a modeller happy. It is expensive and understandably so considering the size of the model, the number of parts and the quality of the casting. Having said that, the price will probably drive some of the potential customers to wait for the styrene version of the Oskar that Wave announced for next year and that will most likely come at a fraction of the cost of the resin kit.
I think the Hexamodel kit is a great buy because, as I said it’s of really high quality and because of the two, for me killer features: the openable hatches and the fully detailed interior. The only improvement I would make is more padding in the packaging. Apart from that, it is great.
Thanks for reading!

1/20 Ma.k Skinhead WIP - Body with side and front sensors
Quite a bit of work done on the torso of the Skinhead: I scratch-built the side sensors and the C-shaped inserts, modelled the tank, attached the base of the front sensor and added the handle to open the hood.

1/20 Ma.k Skinhead WIP - Rear of body with tank
I also did quite a bit of work on the legs and arms, although I don’t have pictures of that. Next up I’ll build the support for the tank and finalise the limbs.
Thanks for reading!

Here is some initial progress with the kit bash of the Skinhead.
The start of this build which should have been quite straightforward has instead turned out quite troubled. First of all the Mr.Hobby glue didn’t work with the old Nitto Styrene so I had to redo quite a number of sub assemblies using the Revell glue. Then I warped beyond repair the canopy of the PKA trying to fix some of the shape issues that it had. So I had to build a new canopy with Aves.

1/20 Ma.k Skinhead WIP - rebuilding the canopy
To do that I first built a support for the Putty and then I laid a couple of layers of that on top. I smoothened the Aves with a wet paper cloth and a wet plastic tube. Turned out ok I think, but only a coat of primer will tell.

1/20 Ma.k Skinhead WIP - sculpted canopy

Next up I’ll have to scribe the panel lines and build the sensors and the tank.
Thanks for reading!