Wednesday, 4 August 2010
attack of the cloned model kits!
Ok, so you are on Ebay looking for Kerberos Panzer Cops figures. You see all Takara, Medicom and Dragon figures listed for extortionate prices and you suddenly lose hope of ever buying. But whats that!? Why, theres a Kerberos Panzer Cop 1/6 model kit for only 12 bucks! Suddenly hope has returned! You click 'Buy It Now' and a week later you open the box to find..... a slightly warped 1/7 scale Kerberos Panzer Cop kit. it looks tiny, and when built and stood next to your 1/6 figures, it is tiny.
This scenario may not be bad for you if scale insn't an issue, as the kit once built and painted looks awesome! It is a pirate recast of the Kaiyodo/Buildup kit and originates from Thailand. It is actually quite useful as the cut out armour fits snugly on female 1/6 figures (the helmet is way too small though) and if you collect 1/7 (10inch) figures such as HM Armed Forces it makes for great custom fodder. At 12 bucks you can't really go wrong, especially if you can't afford the official kits/ figures.
But pirate recasts arent all underscaled. No, in fact, the Thai recast kit on Ebay is one of four recasts i've come accross, and the other three are correctly scaled to 1/6! Hooray for recasters who pull non shrinking molds!
The 1/7 Ebay recast is made of white resin and based on the Kaiyodo/Buildup sculpt, as are two of the other recasts, the grey plastic recast (from Hong Kong) and a black plastic recast (not certain of origin, but likely Hong Kong/China). the Hong Kong recasters also recatsed the fourth recast in my list, the comic version Panzer Cop in grey plastic, recast from the Kaiyodo sculpt (which I will look at later).
These larger recasts are pretty good actually, without any significant loss of detail, so if you see the 1/6 recasts you may as well snag them as they are easier to get and cheaper than the official kits. Ebay only has the smaller resin kit, but the others occasionally show up also, and searching modelers websites 'for sale' sections may yield a good deal.
For the smaller resin kit I paid $12 USD (exc postage) so quite cheap. The black plastic kit I paid about $30 USD (exc postage)if I remember correctly, while I paid about $16 USD for the grey plastic kit (exc postage, plus got free 1/6 medicom Kerberos figure!) the grey comic version kit was I think about $50 USD, but it may have been less. I havent seen any of these kits go above $65 USD so dont pay more than 60 bucks for the grey kits or the black one, and dont pay more than 25 bucks for the small white kit.
P.S. I don't condone any kind of piracy, and I encourage you to buy the official kits (the quality is better, and the vinyl is much easier to build) if at all possible.
It does surprise me though that there aren't more recasts knocking about, especially of the newer figures. the factories must have very good security!
Oh, and don't hesitate to contact me if you know of any official or pirate kits/figures that I havent mentioned, I am eager to hear of any!