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Check Out Club Meeting: October 2011 Meeting

Featured In: October 2011 Newsletter

PKA H.0 Correction Set
Mfr: Brick works
Scale: 1/20
MSRP: 3,000 Yen (approx $39.40)
Materials: Injection molded styrene
Available from: Hobbylink Japan www.hlj.com

Okay this is an odd accessory that I did not expect to see. The old Nitto PKA H.0 kit (build article featured in the October 2009 club rag) had a poorly molded canopy that was thick and distorted. The profile was also a little blunt at the top. The right side window did not fit properly, and was fiddly to get to fit flush with the body. What to do, what to do…

What’s in the (small) box?

Brick Works is a Japanese company that specializes in resin figures catering to Maschinen Krieger (MaK) fans, so it was something of a surprise that they have produced an injection molded accessory set. Actually, the maker is Pink Tank, so maybe Brick Works is acting as a sort of retail/distribution partner.

Anyway, inside the small faux kraft paper box one finds a canopy and body halves molded in clear plastic, and a sand colored sprue with replacement parts for the body, arms, and knees. A small instruction sheet clearly describes (in Japanese) how everything fits.

The body halves have the side windows molded in place, so aside from some masking, installation is now trouble free. The large canopy is attached to the sprue in such a way as to avoid damaging the part when being removed. Of course the builder is still responsible to avoid cracking and scratching the canopy when cleaning it up. I noticed a couple of things. The new canopy will not fit the old kit body, so a simple swap will not be possible. The new body halves lack details that are on the old kit, like weld lines and a couple of access panels. Since the side windows are molded in place, the pilot must be installed prior to the body halves being glued together.

The clear sprue.

The sand colored sprues. Extensive use of slide molds is in evidence, as the open exhaust pipe below demonstrates.

The arm pieces provided allow the installation of aftermarket poly cap joints to be used, but are not included. No indication of which set to use is made either. The lower arms use slide molds to allow them to be made as one piece. Slide molding is also used for the open exhaust pipe, which looks a lot better than my homemade attempt. The one piece knee ring armor replaces the kit’s two piece parts.

Conclusion

As with anything, there are good and bad points to this set. On the good side, the new canopy is a definite improvement in shape over the original kit version, having the correct, slightly pointed top. It is also very clear, avoiding the “funhouse mirror” look of the original. The open exhaust pipe looks really sharp. The arm pieces, while well molded, are not absolutely needed in my opinion. Number one on the down side is the price. The accessory set costs more than the base kit. The lack of compatible poly cap joints is also kind of annoying. If you are not a Gundam/anime modeler, you will be SOL here. Finally, the clear parts are not smoked like the original kit, and the body lacks fine detail. In the end, you (and your wallet) must decide if this set is worth it.

Distortion from the new canopy is virtually zero.

It’s kind of hard to tell from this crappy photo, but the top of the new canopy is more pointed compared to the original kit part.

This is my PKA H.0 kit with a hollowed out exhaust. The Brick Works part looks way better, having thinner edges and inner fin detail.

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