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P.K.H.103 Nutcracker 'Kampfgruppe Balck' Ma.K

Hasegawa 1/35 P.K.H.103 Nutcracker 'Kampfgruppe Balck' Ma.K. Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review July 2017 Manufacturer Hasegawa
Subject P.K.H.103 Nutcracker 'Kampfgruppe Balck' Ma.K. Scale 1/35
Kit Number 64111 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Easy build, nice details Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $94.99

First Look

P.K.H.103 Nutcracker 'Kampfgruppe Balck' Ma.K
P.K.H.103 Nutcracker 'Kampfgruppe Balck' Ma.K
P.K.H.103 Nutcracker 'Kampfgruppe Balck' Ma.K
P.K.H.103 Nutcracker 'Kampfgruppe Balck' Ma.K

Maschinen Krieger (Ma.K.) is a science fiction genre that was started in the early 1980s under the banner of SF3D by Japanese artist Kow Yokoyama and was published for a few years in the Japanese hobby magazine Hobby Japan. While many of the science fiction and fantasy kits that are produced in Japan are based on one or more anime (Japanese animation) television and movie series, or at least as a manga (Japanese comics), SF3D was created out of a series of scratch-built futuristic combat vehicles and armored suits. At the time, Nitto produced a series of kits based upon Kow's designs. When a copyright dispute arose in 1985, Hobby Japan dropped the series out of their magazines and Nitto discontinued the kits. Since that time, companies like Modelkasten, Wave, and Brick Works stepped in and continued the genre under a new banner - Maschinen Krieger (Machine Wars). You'll note that while Ma.K. is supposed to take place roughly 900 years into our future, the vehicles, uniforms, and even names/designations are inspired by World War II Germany.

In 2009, Hasegawa entered the Ma.K. universe with their first offering - the 1/20 scale Falke Antigravity Armored Raider Pkf.85 kit. Hasegawa produced this kit in injection-molded styrene and maintained the common 1/20 scale standard to align with the previous Nitto, Wave, etc., kits already on the market. Hasegawa has since followed up with nine additional subjects, which has broadened the popularity of the SF3D/Ma.K. genre well beyond the Japanese market.

Here's the latest Ma.K. release from Hasegawa, the P.K.H.103 Nutcracker which is a reissue from 2010, but this time issued without the two armored suits found in the original Hasegawa release. This kit was also Hasegawa's first to be produced outside of the usual 1/20 scale common to other Ma.K. subjects which might sound bad, but given that it is produced in 1/35 scale, this kit will have the benefit of a wide variety of spares and aftermarket details from the armor-building world to enhance your build.

The 'Nutcracker' is one of Kow's designs though it was originally called P.K.H.103 Nutrocker - the name change may have been a result of the split from the original SF3D universe. The kit is molded in olive green styrene and presented on five parts trees plus the upper and lower hull halves, one clear lens, and one set of vinyl hinges for the movable/posable parts. The Nutcracker was envisioned to be an unmanned fighting vehicle that hovers across the battlefield. The turret houses sensors and a laser cannon.

Hasegawa provides a nice array of details for the model from the nice hover jet exhausts under the hull to the smoke grenade launchers on the sides of the vehicle. Assembly is straightforward and all that this vehicle needs is a distinctive paint scheme which can be as illustrated on the box art or anything inspired by Wehrmacht camouflage of the past.

As you can see in the images, the kit comes with a variety of decal options which you can use to finish your project and these are inspired by Luftwaffe WWII markings including various recognizable group markings (like the Green Hearts of JG 54) and an array of different side numbers.

You can build this kit out of the box and have a very distinctive subject for your shelf, but you can also take the kit in other directions as well. I have another Ma.K. kit in resin that uses this same hover hull with a scout turret from an Sd.Kfz.222, so you really are limited only by your imagination. While Kow's SF3D vision was based around Wehrmacht-like designs, why not flip the scenario around and put a futuristic version of a T-34/76 turret on the hull and follow a Soviet WWII inspired theme? You're only limited by your own imagination!

While the MSRP of the kit might give you pause, the kits from the Ma.K. genre have typically been rather pricey, but street prices tend to be more budget-friendly. Kudos to Hasegawa for keeping this series alive!

For a look at this kit built-up, look here.

My sincere thanks to Hasegawa USA for this review sample!