Tuesday, February 23, 2016

O-I Super Heavy Tank

The actual appearance of the O-I super heavy tank has been shrouded in mystery for decades, leaving model manufacturers to produce their own renditions of the tank based on sketchy details and pure conjecture.

1/144 100 ton tank from
Matuo Kasten (マツオカステン)

1/144 100 ton tank from
Atelier Infinite (アトリエ インフィニティー)

1/144 120 ton tank from Atelier Infinite

1/72 tank from World at Arms

Recently however, records and plans related to the tank were recovered by Kunihiro Suzuki (president of Fine Molds) [1],[2]. The material was found at Wakajishi Shrine, built on the site of the Army Youth Tank School (陸軍少年戦車兵学校), which was associated with the Chiba Army Tank School (千葉陸軍戦車学校).

With the blueprints on hand, Fine Molds announced the release of a 1/72 O-I tank, and promoted the kit along with Wargaming.net which had announced the addition of a digital version of the O-I (drawn up from the same plans) to the World of Tanks online game.

Wargaming Japan O-I tank display
at the 2015 Tokyo Game Show

I pre-ordered the kit when it was first announced, but the model has only recently arrived from Japan, having sat in my "private warehouse" at HLJ since December.

I like the box art, but my box has an
ugly WoT advertising sticker on it...

The box contained marketing material for World of Tanks and Girls und Panzer.

招待コード を 与える 最初 の メール

Just looking at the size of the upper hull makes the model seem more like a 1/48 scale kit than a 1/72 scale kit.

The upper hull is 66mm wide!

Decals include options for six different tank units. I will go with markings for the 35th Tank Regiment (2) for my tank.

The 35th, along with the 34th, 51st, and 52nd Tank Regiments would have been stationed in Manchuria near the close of WWII.

The other regiments represented on the decal sheet may have been among the 10 original regiments stationed in Manchuria (I didn't bother verifying if they were or not), but historically they are more closely associated with other regions like Saipan, the Philippines, Malaya, etc.

I'm assembling the tank pretty much out of the box. The instructions are straight forward, though I'm not sure why step 4 asks you to drill a hole in a location where a hole already exists.

The assembly of the 47mm cannons for the smaller turrets is overly complex, and makes the barrel structurally weak.

If you actually want the barrel to pivot, I would recommend modifying C22 so that it does not fit so tightly in C20.

The design and fit of the main gun is a lot better, but be sure to fit B11 into B20 before attaching the barrel.

The turret has a simple hexagonal cross section as shown in the plans, but I can't help but think that the actual production turret would have been more like the 6-sided turret used for the Chi-Ri.

To be continued...

Monday, February 15, 2016


The Aragami (荒神, アラガミ; violent gods) are giant chimeric monsters from the game God Eater. I have not played the game, but it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world overrun by various species of Aragami whom the players kill and harvest for resources.

The game franchise expanded into an animated version of the story which started airing last year. The anime version of God Eater belongs to the action-oriented seinen genre, with violence, gore, and underboob.

The story is pretty standard fare, but one thing that really stood out for me was the primary antagonist Aragami known as Dyaus Pita.

I found the creature to be terrifying, particularly because it had a human face which seemed to be completely devoid of human intelligence.

Anyway, I liked the monster so much, I went ahead and bought some of the Bandai trading figures (超造形魂; Chouzoukei Damashii) that were made for the game.

The Vajra Aragami is the base type of its species. For some reason, it is always shown with a broken fang.

Dyaus Pita, a sub-type of the Vajra. There is also another version in the game known as Dyaus Pita (Resurrection) with skeletal dragon-like wings.

Prithvi Mata, is another sub-type of the Vajra. It has not appeared in the anime.

All three of the figures have the same basic body, but vary with respect to paint scheme, face/head, and neck frills. They also come with their own 80mm bases.

As far as size goes, I think they work well with 1/72 scale humans when compared to the 1:1 scale Vajra display used at events [1],[2and how they are portrayed in the games.

The anime versions of the creatures on the other hand, are a lot bigger (although the size will vary a bit within the game as well). This being the case, I see the option for some to use the figures for 10mm or 15mm gaming as well.

The final monster from the set that looked interesting was Sariel.

It is a chimeric creature that seems to be part siren and part butterfly, with maybe a bit of fish mixed in. I don't know anything else about it, and I don't think it has appeared in the anime at all.

Friday, February 5, 2016

The Wonderful Fish

Decomposed carcasses of large sea animals are often mistaken for the remains of various types of sea monsters. They appear frequently enough, that the term "globster" was coined to describe them.

A walking shark?

The remains of basking sharks are some of the more typical finds that have generated much speculation in the cryptozoology community.

Size estimates for basking sharks place them in the 20 to 26 foot range, but specimens can reach up to 30 or even 40 feet in length. The larger sharks are probably rare at best in modern times due to overfishing and deliberate eradication programs.

The model I own is made by Colorata, and at 5" in length (nose to tip of caudal fin), represents a larger specimen of the basking shark.

The Colorata shark comes from the Sharks of the World Deluxe Set, which includes versions of all three filter feeding shark species (a regular Sharks of the World Set also exists, but it has different models in it).

The other 1/72 scale shark in this set is a whale shark. It is 6" long, which makes it the size of a largish whale shark (36 feet in length).

A couple of other candidates for 1/72 whale sharks (which I do not own) include the whale shark from the regular Colorata Sharks of the World Set, and the 1/40 scale Wild Safari whale shark. The other Colorata shark can be used as a smaller whale shark (25 to 30 feet long), while the Wild Safari model can represent the reputed 60 foot whale shark.

Rounding out my collection of filter feeding sharks is the Kaiyodo megamouth shark (Choco Egg Animals Of Japan Series 4). The megamouth shark was only discovered in 1976, and remains infrequently encountered in the wild.

The Kaiyodo model is 3.5" long (from snout to tip of caudal fin), which is somewhat longer than the 13 to 18 foot size range for megamouth sharks.

The final pictures compare the models of the three different species of filter feeding sharks.