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Ma.K. Raccoon S.A.F.S. Type R

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  • Member since
    October 2021
Ma.K. Raccoon S.A.F.S. Type R
Posted by PhoenixG on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 1:31 PM

Life introduced a rather complicated detour for the last month.  I am once more able to be at the bench.  I'll be kicking it off with this.

boxart

Received it as a Christmas gift and it has been patiently awaiting attention.  My understanding is this is a Wave reissue.  This is my first Ma.K model and have been looking forward to working on it.

This data card was a neat little surprise.

card

None of this is likely new to those familiar with building Ma.K. but is quite novel for me. :)  Google Lens revealed the above are short stories that explain the variant markings. I have a feeling Google lens will be my new best friend on this build.

I've already started on the torso.  Pics will eventually follow but I noticed additional parts on the sprues not covered in the instructions.  Looks like variant builds were included.  The kit looks pretty sharp as pictured but I am really curious as to what these other parts cover.

I'd be grateful if any the Ma.K. builders out there have knowledge about these "extras" they'd be willing to share.

If this kit is representative of the series I can see why it has such a following.

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 4:32 PM

PhoenixG,

The Raccoon is a reconnaisance verson of the Super Armored Fighting Suit (SAFS).  The thing on its shoulder is a multi-sensor recon pod.  Regular SAFS are equipped with a laser gun on the left arm, but Raccoons have two hands for more mischief.

One interestng feature of the SAFS family is that they are equipped with an indirect vision system, which is why they don't have any windows.  Video data from several cameras located around the body is converted and fed directly to the driver's optic nerves.  Sounds kinda spooky if you ask me.

The enemy's equivalent to this indirect vision system is found in the Kauz (space use) and the Melusine (ground use).  Wave has kitted the Kauz, and the Melusine is coming soon.

There's a whole family of SAFS out there, all available in kit form (SAFS, Raccoon, Fireball, Snake Eye, Raptor, Sea Pig, etc.).

Here are some of mine:

Sea Pig (advanced space version of the Raccoon) under construction.

SAFS (standard ground combat type)

PKA H.0 (enemy standard ground combat type).

There is a whole world behind MaK, to tempt your curiosity and drain your wallet!

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 8:23 PM

 

RealG,

     Thank you for sharing your knowledge and builds! That Sea Pig is gonna be stunning when complete.  I hope you'll post the finished work.

Real G
Regular SAFS are equipped with a laser gun on the left arm, but Raccoons have two hands for more mischief.

LOL, that got me thinking about one set of parts.  I'm pretty sure this is supposed to be the laser gun. 

laserspewpew

With the way it's designed with the polycaps I wouldn't be surprised if I could build it so the left arm was swappable...

Seems like they may have taken one of the other SAFS kit and added some new sprues for this version of the Racoon.  Not complaining, it gives me more out of the box options for the build.

If it isn't a bother, would be curious if these ring any bells for you?

jondoeparts

Figure I'll dry fit the sub assmeblies as instructed and see if I can puzzle out any other parts. 

I noticed there isn't a molded antenna so I'll get to try my hand at sprue stretching.  Should be educational. :)

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Tuesday, May 31, 2022 9:11 PM

Thanks!  The Sea Pig is one of the many 90% finished projects that lurk on my Shelf of Doom.  Embarrassed

Part 4 is where the laser gun power hose attaches to the left side of the body, part 5 is the standard SAFS engine plate.  Parts swapping is not really practical, as it also requires the use of an upper arm segment with a receptacle for the other end of the hose.

Use metal wire for the antenna, as it will be way more durable.

Also, the ankles should have a pair of wires connecting them to the lower legs.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Wednesday, June 1, 2022 2:17 PM

RealG,

You're a font of Ma.K. knowledge!  I'd been trying to search for images of variants without success.  In your two posts I've learned tons and they've helped me refine my searches with greater success.  However, your images and explanations have been by far the most helpful.

Understand the shelf of doom.  So many fun distractions.  Trying to be disciplined and limit the number of builds going at one time.  Having no more than two going at a time seems to be the sweet spot for me.  Helps maintain my focus.  Though it is admittedly hard to resist adding just one more.  :)

Real G
Part 4 is where the laser gun power hose attaches to the left side of the body, part 5 is the standard SAFS engine plate. Parts swapping is not really practical, as it also requires the use of an upper arm segment with a receptacle for the other end of the hose.

Excellent call out.  It sent me searching the sprues and I think I found it.

alternatearm

But then I have to decide whether to use the RACCOON power plate.

RACPP

Seems like there's a decision in my future.  Build as instructed or finish catologing the parts and tweak the build. Or, purchase a second one to become a customized recon unit.  Wink

That last one is tempting but harder on the pocket book. Big Smile

Real G
Use metal wire for the antenna, as it will be way more durable. Also, the ankles should have a pair of wires connecting them to the lower legs.

Thanks for the tip on the antenna and ankles.  There's locations for the ankle cables but nothing in the instructions.  Should be simple enough to drill them out and use some solder for the cables.

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by SplatterMan on Thursday, June 2, 2022 7:27 AM

Those look great RealG. I watched a few videos by Lincoln Wright and now seeing some of your collection it's got me interested to try one at some point.

Count me as a follower for your build PhoenixG.

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Thursday, June 2, 2022 1:14 PM

MaK is a hard sell in my experience, but those who drink the Kool Aid seem to like it a lot!

My first MaK kit was the Nitto SAFS shown in the pic above, bought from the local Woolworths(!) and built in 1985.  Two things people mention about the genre - the kits are expensive and hard to find.  Both are true, but if you know where to look, it's not too bad.  Your best bet is to get them on-line from Japan.  There are other MaK fans here on the forum, so hopefully they will chime in to share their experience.

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Thursday, June 2, 2022 7:03 PM

Real G
the kits are expensive and hard to find. Both are true, but if you know where to look, it's not too bad. Your best bet is to get them on-line from Japan.

I can vouch for that.  This kit was ordered from Hobby Link Japan, hlj.com(the person who gifted it to me confirmed this).  They have a massive selection of Macross and other kits.  Right now the Ma.K. selection is low but for the kits they have the price is hard to beat.

I haven't even finished this one and I am already putting together an order.  I think I've been bit by the bug.  :)

The shipping may seem high (they are coming from Japan) but if you can order a few models together one usually saves more than ordering the same from a US store or going to the local hobby shop.

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Thursday, June 2, 2022 7:20 PM

Ok, I've been BS-ing for a bit without showing progress.  I started on the torso and for the most part it went together as a breeze.  Highly recommended Google lens as the instructions are in Japanese and there are a couple of spots where translation is really helpful.

They say the kit doesn't require glue and the fit is nice enough you could probably get away with that but I like minimizing seams which means glue.

The back of the torso is two halves and well I misread the directions three times and didn't notice till after they had been glued together, twice.  Luckily the weld wasn't solid and was able to pry them apart.  However, the end result was rather ugly.

bad glue joint

UGLYglue

I ended up liking it as it made me think of a field repair.  Smile  May just keep it and see what I can do to emphasize that.

There's a good number of polycaps that have nothing to do with joint movement.  They are strictly there to help hold it together.

polycap

PC2

Never seen polycaps used this way before.  It's a novel approach to assembly.  So far I am liking it as they design holds the parts nice and snug.

Removed the rest of the major torso parts and primed them with grey Vallejo primer. From the instructions this looks to be a modular build so it should be pretty easy to assemble and paint them in stages.

primedparts

It came with two pilots heads.  As you can see I started working on one already.  Did it while waiting for the glue and primer to dry on the parts.

I've not done human faces before.  I've gone through some of the posts in the figures forum for ideas as well as trolled a little bit of YouTube.  That's why he looks like he has a 5 o'clock shadow.  May have gotten ahead of myself on that one.

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, June 2, 2022 10:26 PM

That's super cool Phoenix! Always thought the Ma.K. stuff was cool but never bought any of it. Really looking forward to seeing how this one works out for you. 

And again cool stuff Real G, would love to see you finish some of them! 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    May 2011
  • From: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posted by Real G on Friday, June 3, 2022 12:44 PM

Gamera

And again cool stuff Real G, would love to see you finish some of them! 

Me too.  Embarrassed

“Ya ya ya, unicorn papoi!”

  • Member since
    February 2022
Posted by SplatterMan on Saturday, June 4, 2022 1:15 AM

Looking good so far PhoenixG. I think you could turn that glue into a real opportunity. Looks like some serious arc welding. The impression I get of Ma.K. is that it's like Star Wars with a "held together with chewing gum and spit" kind of theme.

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Saturday, June 4, 2022 10:50 PM

Real G

 

 
Gamera

And again cool stuff Real G, would love to see you finish some of them! 

 

 

Me too.  Embarrassed

 

Seeing some of everyone's project lists I begin to understand why I don't have any shelf queens, yet.  It's not disicipline on my part, it's that my stash isn't big enough!  There's still space in the closet that hasn't been consumed by models.  Big Smile

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Saturday, June 4, 2022 11:01 PM

SplatterMan

Looking good so far PhoenixG. I think you could turn that glue into a real opportunity. Looks like some serious arc welding. The impression I get of Ma.K. is that it's like Star Wars with a "held together with chewing gum and spit" kind of theme.

 

I completely agree with you.  I've been fitting parts around it to get a feel for how it would look and I am definitely going to keep that ugly glue seam.

weld

The power plants bring to mind oversized lawn mower engines.  That round piece makes me think of a filler cap on a gas tank.  Thinking that's going to need some fuel stains around it.  :)

The sensor pod's attachment column has an ugly gap that I don't like.  I have Tamiya Putty but it's solvent based and I don't think I'll be able to shape it well with sanding.  Decided to order some Vallejo water based putty.  My thought is being able to clean up and shape it with damp cotton swabs will work better.   Least ways that's the hope.  Having never used the stuff before the results may vary.  As always tips, suggestions, and warnings are most welcome.

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Sunday, June 5, 2022 8:25 PM

Looks good, like where you're going!!! 

I know Perfect Plastic Putty is great as a water-based putty you can clean up with a cotton swab-never tried the Vallejo stuff but it should work just as well. 

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Sunday, June 5, 2022 11:20 PM

Gamera

Looks good, like where you're going!!! 

I know Perfect Plastic Putty is great as a water-based putty you can clean up with a cotton swab-never tried the Vallejo stuff but it should work just as well. 

 

Thanks!
I ordered the Vallejo as it popped up while grabbing some new colors to add.  I'll add Perfect Plastic Putty to my watchlist.  Will let you know how it works out.

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Sunday, June 5, 2022 11:36 PM

This model is requiring me to think a lot more about paint prep and assembly.  I almost glued a hand together before realizing the space between the fingers was too tight to ensure a good even coat of paint.  Instead, used my copious blue tack reserve to attach them to a toothpick for priming.

hand1

hand2

The end result was giving me flashbacks to Akira.

Final color for the hands will be a dark grey blue.

In between that I've been working on the pilot tub.  Went with read leather interior and brownwashed it for dirt and shadows.  Pleased with it's progress.

pilottub

That little square in the front makes me think of a monitor.  RealG said the suit uses a direct neural interface, but once the idea hit it stuck.  Going to paint that square black and then some gloss to make it look like a screen.  Maybe the techs use it for diagnostics.

The exterior color was going to originally be a grey with red splotches but while looking at the paint rack decided to go with a green on green camo pattern.   Possibly Russian green with gunship green splotches.

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Tuesday, June 7, 2022 6:14 PM

Tested the idea on some of those extra parts.  To put it simply, the green on green was a flop.  Crying
The hues selected were too similar.  Tried Russian Green + Gunship, as well as Light Green + Gunship.  Thought there would be more contrast between them.

fail

The camera exaggerated the results but not by much.  The parts are scheduled for a bath in prep for the next test.  New colors are TBD.

 

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Thursday, June 9, 2022 9:06 AM

It all looks good to me, nice work!!! Yes

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, June 9, 2022 10:37 AM

Great build and great progress, PG!

As far as putty goes, on my MaK builds, there are two kinds of puttying jobs, and I use different putty for each.

For seams, like the seams on the leg or arm halves, on the torso-seams that are like seams on kits of other subjects-then I use a solvent-based putty, as I do on those other kinds of kits.  It used to be Squadron white (the old/original formula), but my tube eventually aged and hardened.  So I switched to Tamiya's putty.  I am also trying Perfect Plastic Putty, but I prefer Tamiya's putty for this job, at this point.

The other puttying job is for replacing the kit's joint covers.  The kit parts are OK, and if you want to retain joint mobility, then they're fine.  But most MaK builders replace them, most often by using a sculpting putty to cover them and then shape them to taste.  I use Aves ("ay-veez") Apoxie Sculpt, but there are other products which are probably as good-Miliput, Green Stuff, among others.  Apoxie Sculpt is a 2-part epoxy, with the putty and a hardener, that you mix in equal proportion. I pack that into the joints and then use a toothpick to shape the folds.

I also use Apoxie Sculpt to add weld beads. On the old Nitto kids, weld beads are sometimes molded on, but they're small and sometimes kind of faint.  With putty, I can add ones that look better.  I'll roll a small, thin "snake" of the putty, lay it down on the model where I want it, and then use a knife blade to make the "beads".

Another tip is to replace the kit's power hoses.  They're made of that soft plastic, too, and getting paint to adhere is problematic.  There are various techniques here, too.  Some guys use fine springs around a fine wire core.  In fact, the old Nitto kits provided springs and wire for this purpose.  Springs are available from makers of race car kits, like Tamiya, Fujimi, and others.

I like to use wire solder, wrapped with fine wire, to replace the power hoses.  Wire solder is soft enough to bend to various shapes, but not so soft that it can be distorted by accident.  I use fine beading wire to wrap the wire solder core.  As far as painting goes, I find that my usual Tamiya surface primer adheres well enough to the wire, to support the finish colors.  I have also used Mr Surfacer to prime the hoses, and I've used thinned white glue, too.  That had the effect of filling in the loops of wire a little more, too, which improved the look.

Beside those tips, another I can offer is: throw nothing away, save any odd bits of things, because you can scratchbuild and add details to these kits.  That's part of the beauty of Maschinen Krieger.  There is "canon", in Kow-sensei's original designs, but there is a lot of room for imagination, too.

I look forward to seeing your updates on this build!

Best regards,

Brad

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Thursday, June 9, 2022 11:23 AM

Hi!

       I just started on a set out of curiosity. These things are fun. I have the window equipped one ready to paint and just a few more steps for the other. The word Melusine is the only thing on the box I understood. Plus I don't usually do to much 1/35 stuff. I understnd you can get bigger ones, But, these little scudders are to much fun to switch! Yours inspires me!

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Saturday, June 11, 2022 4:08 PM

Thanks Baron!

I'd just primed those Polycap parts while posting about the paint test.  Adherence of the paint has been a concern.  It's been a busy week so haven't been back to the bench to check on them and see how durable the paint is.

I'd thought about running a fine grit sandpaper on the parts to see if that gives more tooth for the paint to adhere too on the polycaps.  Any experience with trying that?

the Baron
The other puttying job is for replacing the kit's joint covers. The kit parts are OK, and if you want to retain joint mobility, then they're fine. But most MaK builders replace them, most often by using a sculpting putty to cover them and then shape them to taste. I use Aves ("ay-veez") Apoxie Sculpt,

Dug into that Aves Apoxie sculpt.  Impressed that it comes in a variety of colors.  That could be handy.

For the power hoses I had heard of some people using guitar strings in similar situations, but will likely be too stiff to pose well.  Thoughts on that?  I'll probably stick with the included power hoses for this build.

the Baron
Beside those tips, another I can offer is: throw nothing away, save any odd bits of things, because you can scratchbuild and add details to these kits. That's part of the beauty of Maschinen Krieger. There is "canon", in Kow-sensei's original designs, but there is a lot of room for imagination, too.

Absolutely!  Been making note of the extra parts so they can be set aside.  Already ordered a second Raccoon with plans to try my hand at customizing.  Embarrassed

 

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Saturday, June 11, 2022 5:00 PM

Hi Tanker-Builder!

Please post pictures when they're done! 

I believe the most common scale in the series is 1/20th. Ma.K. is turning out to be quite fun to work on and doesn't look like it will be much larger than the 1/72 Macross kits I've done.  It's probably self-evident that I do a fair amount of Star Wars and Macross.  It's been a breath of fresh of air working on a new series. 

HLJ is going to be getting the lions share of my discretionary income in the near future. I've wishlisted several of the Ma.K. kits to continue exploring the series.  Big Smile

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Saturday, June 11, 2022 5:10 PM

Gamera

It all looks good to me, nice work!!! Yes

 

Has me re-examining my take on the paint job.  I'd wanted a more striking contrast between the colors but the subtle shifts in color could work as well.
I'll give it a think and let you know.
 

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Monday, June 13, 2022 9:36 AM

Hi, PG!  Regarding sanding the soft plastic, no, I never bothered.  I had talked to other MaK builders before I got that far on my first build, and went right to putty for the joints, and wire for the hoses.  Though a tip I have from my youth, painting Airfix and Atlantic figures, is to use thinned white glue, too, as a sort of primer.

You're correct about guitar strings, too, some MaK builders use them.  I never had any handy, so I never tried.  The wire solder and wire technique works well enough for me.  I have used springs, too, with an old Nitto kit.  A spring over a wire core works well, but I found that fixing the ends of the sprint into the holes took a bit of extra effort. The ends of the spring tend to leave a little gap.  I found that if I unwound the spring a little bit, I could stick that straightened bit into the hole along with the wire.  That's what I do when I make the hoses with wire solder and wire.  That made it easier to get a cleaner "seam" where the hose enters the suit.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 8:28 PM

the Baron
use thinned white glue, too, as a sort of primer.

The primer peeled right off all the plain polycap parts.  I've lightly sanded and primed all the Polycap parts again.  It's still curing.  If that doesn't work I am definitely giving the thinned white glue a try.

I have some old guitar strings liyng somewhere.  Will dig them out for the next Ma.K. build, as well as look for fine guage wire to try out the wrapped solder.  Having options at hand is always a good thing.  That slight unwinding at then ends is good to keep in mind.

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 8:47 PM

My being indecisive about the paint scheme has really held up this build.  Decided to do a camouflage test run on some coated cardboard that was laying around.  In the process new idea came to me.  Doing a very dark color scheme.  Thinking this would look great as a night recon rig. 

camotest

The top half background if black the bottom half is dark grey blue.  Used the same secondary colors top and bottom.  Like how the black mutes the colors so that's going to be the base for it.  Still haven't decided which of top rightmost colors would create the most interesting look.  I welcome the thoughts of the group.

In the meantime, started laying the black down on the parts I've completed.

prep

Finally, some progress!

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    November 2009
  • From: SW Virginia
Posted by Gamera on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 8:11 PM

Phoenix, sometimes if I'm not sure about a scheme I'll trace out one of the line drawings from the instructions and then colour it in with coloured pencil to try to get an idea of what works and what don't 

But I like what you've got. No idea how it looks in person but it looks good in the photos.

 

BTW: I like rubber bumper paint in a spray can from the auto shop for rubber type plastic. I wash rubber style tank treads really well and then spray the bumper paint on them for a primer. Usually it works pretty well. Sometimes the paint still flakes off, I guess it's different types of the rubber plastic.  

"I dream in fire but work in clay." -Arthur Machen

 

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 9:34 PM

Gamera
Phoenix, sometimes if I'm not sure about a scheme I'll trace out one of the line drawings from the instructions and then colour it in with coloured pencil to try to get an idea of what works and what don't

 
Now there's a pro-tip if I ever saw one.  Never occurred to me to try that.  Even have a big old box of colored pencils at my bench courtesy of my daughter.  The idea was to use them for adding wear but I haven't tried that method yet.  Now they'll have two uses!
 
Gamera
I like rubber bumper paint in a spray can from the auto shop for rubber type plastic. I wash rubber style tank treads really well and then spray the bumper paint on them for a primer. Usually it works pretty well. Sometimes the paint still flakes off, I guess it's different types of the rubber plastic.
 
You know, I usually go to the auto shop for things like oil and replacement headlights.  Never occurred to me to shop there for modeling supplies, but what you said makes perfect sense. Now I have three reasons to go to the auto shop.  Which reminds me.  I do need a new headlight. The last one fell out of the car, lens and all.  Weirdest thing.   Big Smile

On The Bench:

TBD

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by PhoenixG on Wednesday, June 15, 2022 9:45 PM

Progress is happening in small steps.

Picked up some liquid mask try out and thought the hatch would be a good place to test.  It's the slightly blue glossy bits.  I outlined the sections to see if it could save me a little time when painting details.masking

Not my best paint job.  I was trying to brush with model air.  Not a good idea.  There's a reason it's called model air.  When done the mask came off easily.  Reminded me of rubber cement.

Taking into account the modeler doing the work, it turned out pretty well.

unmasked

 

Pilot tub progress.

rubadub

The head is still a WIP.  I find his current look a little unnerving...

On The Bench:

TBD

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