Maschinen Krieger S.A.F.S. Mercenary Corps

Back during the internet's infancy I discovered a little thing called Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000(Ma.K.). Ma.K. was a bit of a mystery to me (it still sort of is, I guess) because there wasn't a whole lot of information to be found except for a lot of pictures and a lot of poorly translated information. Since there was a lack of information and resources, Ma.K. held my interest mainly because of the pictures I saw.

Ma.K. began life as SF3D, the creation of artist Kow Yokoyama as a kind of photo comic (sounds familiar, no?) back in the 1980's in the pages of HobbyJAPAN. SF3D's story was set about 900 years in the future...there was a nuclear war, Earth rendered uninhabitable, humanity moves to space, Earth restores itself...pretty standard fare. The story was enhanced by pictures of kit bashes by Kow, drawing inspiration from WWI and WWII German aircraft and armor. The result was something very different from the "super robot" stuff in vogue in Japan at the time.

There were some licensed Ma.K. model kits during the story's run but there was a dispute between Kow and HobbyJAPAN in the mid-80's, and as a result HobbyJAPAN ended up dropping SF3D. The dispute wasn't resolved until the 1990's, and this is when Kow began releasing products from his story reintroduced as Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000. Since Ma.K. was not overly popular, there have been relatively few "affordable" options for collectors, at least until recently. As a result, while I have been a fan of Ma.K. for close to 15 years, it was just a few months ago I decided to add anything Ma.K. to my collection.

Maschinen Krieger

There are TONS of vehicles and armor and bits of weapons to admire from Ma.K., from hovercraft, to flying machines, to space-based weaponry, but for me it is the powered armor that is the biggest draw. My two favorite books, Heinlein's Starship Trooper and Joe Haldeman's Forever War are "hard sci-fi" stories that deal with powered armor wearing soldiers, and I think that's where I get my interest in Ma.K.'s Super Armored Fighting Suits. This is S.A.F.S set is a 1/35 scale set from Yellow Submarine.


Rudy said...

Hey, great post about these models...I have just come across some of these and am trying to find some history/value.

Thanks, hope trip to japan was fn, haven't been there in 15 years.

Blayne said...

Heyya! Neat blog - I've been reading it every so often for a while.

Curious: How articulated are the Ma.K.'s Super Armored Fighting Suits?

Also, since at 1/35th scale a 6 foot man would be... 2 inches - how tall are these Ma.K suits?


Heavyarms said...

Blayne - The suits are right at 2 and half inches tall, the one pictured with the open cockpit measures about 2 3/8 to the top of the pilot's head.

They barely qualify as articulated, though. The legs can swivel from left to right at the hips and that's it. The arms theoretically can move up and down but because of the armor, they don't move very far at all. On top of that, the legs are all warped and the feet on some of the figures are not flush with the surface they stand on. The H-unit if the foreground you can see is kind of knock-kneed and that's because it can't stand up without point the toes inward.

Blayne said...

Thanks for your reply. :) I was hoping they'd be at least GI JOE 3 3/4th" scale. Still, something I'll keep my eye out for while I'm overseas this year.

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