Sakura Wars mecha model kits (and more)

Mecha:

Sakura Wars

Club-M, in cooperation with Kaiyodo, released the Kobu from the original Sakura Taisen game as a free-pose resin kit in 1997. The 1/24 kit can be assembled in various poses, but has no articulation - it needs to be pinned in one position. It includes white metal parts for various details and the weapons. It can be build as any of the seven original Kobus, either according to how they look in the original CG (each has a gun hand) or with two normal hands. It also includes Maria's custom cannon. A strange aspect of the kit is how both Kohran's and Kanna's Kobu can only be build with one weapon instead of their more common depiction of having two. The kit was sculpted by Tanmen (who also did many Macross kit designs) and originally cost ¥6,500. Some pictures of my unassembled kit: Box, Contents 1, Contents 2, Contents 3, Photo of completed kits, Instructions 1, Instructions 2, Instructions 3

Club-M also released a 1/24 scale Jinbu, the mid-game upgrade from the Kobu, as a free-pose resin kit with white metal detail parts and weapons, in 1998. It has the same peculiarities as their Kobu and originally cost ¥14,800. Some pictures of my unassembled kit: Box, Contents, Instructions.

Sakura Wars 2

Wave produced all of the Sakura Taisen 2 Kobu Kai as 1/24 scale plastic model kits in 1999. Each kit comes with polycaps to make it movable, includes a figure of its pilot, and a decal sheet with markings. A year later, they also produced chromed versions, only two of which saw a regular release (Sakura and Iris). The limited chromed versions come with clear figures of their pilots, while the chromed Sakura and Iris Kobus come with two figures of their pilots (one in pilot suit and one in casual wear) and exclusive decal sheets. Wave later (in 2003) also released the Kobu Kai Multiplex, a white Kobu Kai that came with all the weapons and all the pilot figures, enabling you to build any version. This version is easily the one with the most bang for your bucks. The table below lists all the kits released.

Kit name Kit code Price (¥) Year
Kobu Kai for Sakura (box) SK-01 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Iris SK-02 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Kohran SK-03 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Reni SK-04 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Orihime (box) SK-05 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Ogami SK-06 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Sumire (box, contents, instructions 1, instructions 2) SK-07 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Maria SK-08 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Kanna (box) SK-09 ¥1,200 1999
Kobu Kai for Sakura (chromed) (box, contents) SK-10 ¥2,200 2000
Kobu Kai for Iris (chromed) (box, completed kit) SK-11 ¥2,200 2000
Kobu Kai for Kohran (chromed, limited) (Hobby Japan picture) SK-?? ¥2,200? 2000
Kobu Kai for Reni (chromed, limited) (Hobby Japan picture) SK-?? ¥2,200? 2000
Kobu Kai for Orihime (chromed, limited) (Hobby Japan picture) SK-?? ¥2,200? 2000
Kobu Kai for Ogami (chromed, limited) (Hobby Japan picture) SK-?? ¥2,200? 2000
Kobu Kai for Sumire (chromed, limited) (Hobby Japan picture) SK-?? ¥2,200? 2000
Kobu Kai for Maria (chromed, limited) (Hobby Japan picture) SK-?? ¥2,200? 2000
Kobu Kai for Kanna (chromed, limited) (Hobby Japan picture) SK-?? ¥2,200? 2000
Kobu Kai Multiplex (box) SK-20 ¥2,200 2003

A 1/24? vinyl kit of the Eisenkleid was brought out by Kaiyodo. The kit is extremely rare and I do not have a picture of it.

Sakura Wars 3

Wave released the six Kobu F's from Sakura Taisen 3 as 1/24 scale plastic model kits in 2003. They follow the same formula as Wave's previous kits, with a bit better detail. They also feature what appears to be Japanese translated word for word into correctly spelled, grammatically correct yet still very wrong French on the box: "Armure de l'atome de l'esprit" ("Armor of the atom of the spirit"), "1/24 équipement de la construction de l'échelle" ("1/24 equipment of the construction of the scale"), "Erica corps" (every character is a regiment upon themselves, apparently...).

Kit name Kit code Price (¥) Year
Kobu F Erica Corps (box) SK-21 ¥1,800 2003
Kobu F Glycine Corps (box, contents) SK-22 ¥1,800 2003
Kobu F Coquelicot Corps (box) SK-23 ¥1,800 2003
Kobu F Lobelia Corps (box) SK-24 ¥1,800 2003
Kobu F Hanabi Corps (box) SK-25 ¥1,800 2003
Kobu F Ogami Corps (box) SK-26 ¥1,800 2003

Conversion kits to make the (awesome!) Kobu F2's exist, but they were exclusive to conventions in Japan, extremely expensive and produced in very small series.

Sakura Wars 4

Wave (them again...) released seven of the nine Kobu Customs from Sakura Taisen 4 as 1/24 plastic model kits. For some reason they skipped Orihime's and Reni's Kobus. These are probably the best Sakura Wars kits Wave has released. Below is a list of them:

Kit name Kit code Price (¥) Year
Kobu Sakura's Custom (box) SK-31 ¥2,200 2006
Kobu Sumire's Custom (box) SK-32 ¥1,800 2006
Kobu Maria's Custom (box) SK-33 ¥1,800 2006
Kobu Iris's Custom (box, contents) SK-34 ¥2,200 2006
Kobu Kohran's Custom (box, completed kit) SK-35 ¥1,800 2006
Kobu Kanna's Custom (box) SK-36 ¥1,800 2006
Kobu Ogami's Custom (box) SK-37 ¥1,800 2006

Sakura Wars V

Wave's final Sakura Wars releases were the Stars from Sakura Taisen V. Unfortunately, they are not in 1/24, but in 1/35. Furthermore, they supposedly are horrible, ill-fitting, floppy messes that can't stand without the rather ugly stand that they are provided with. I haven't assembled the single one I own yet, but the plastic appears to be of less good quality than that of the previous kits, and the kits lack decals. For some reason they are also a lot more difficult to find than the previous kits. List of kits:

Kit name Kit code Price (¥) Year
Rodeo Star Fenics AT-05E SK-41 ¥4,000 2008
Highway Star Fenics AT-05B (box, sprues 1, sprues 2, instructions) SK-42 ¥4,000 2008
Shooting Star Fenics AT-05C SK-43 ¥4,000 2008
Silent Star Fenics AT-05D SK-44 ¥4,000 2008
Random Star Fenics AT-05A SK-45 ¥4,000 2008
Fujiyama Star Fenics SPA-05J SK-46 ¥4,000 2008

Sakura Wars figure model kits

Under construction

Below are some scans from various Hobby Japan EX Garage Kit Catalogues and the like:

As these scans show (or will show, once I make them :P), many different companies brought out resin model kits of various Sakura Taisen characters. However, it is impossible to buy every single major character in the same scale :(. Also due to a lack of Ogami figures.

Below are pictures of the (unbuild) figure resin kits I own. I've listed the original prices, but they can usually be found for much less.

Reference books

Under construction

The following books may be useful for the Sakura Taisen modeler:

Sakura Taisen Production Materials

These books (well, 'mooks' actually), published by SoftBank, are companion books to the games. They always contain line and color art of the characters, but are somewhat uneven when it comes to their other contents. All text is in Japanese, of course, but most of the books are worthwhile even if you can't read any of the language (except maybe the fourth).

Book name ISBN Price (¥) Year Short description Rating
Sakura Taisen Production Materials (cover, character art, mecha art) ISBN4-7973-0128-7 ¥2,000 1997 Contains character art (color & B/W), mecha concept art & CG (short), poster, merchandise listing, story synopsis, interviews, patterns for cosplay clothes Good
Sakura Taisen 2 Production Materials (cover, character art, mecha art) ISBN4-7973-2142-3 ¥2,500 2002 Contains character art (color & B/W), mecha art & CG, poster, story synopsis, interviews, papercraft theatre Good/Excellent, the papercraft theatre is a really nice bonus
Sakura Taisen 3 Production Materials (cover, character art, mecha art) ISBN4-7973-1583-0 ¥2,300 2002 Contains character art (color & B/W), mecha art (short), poster, interviews, full page color art section Good
Sakura Taisen 4 Production Materials (cover, character art, mecha art, strategy guide) ISBN4-7973-2010-9 ¥2,600 2002 Contains character art (color & B/W), mecha art & CG (short), poster, interviews, very long strategy guide, full page color art section Mediocre, the strategy guide takes up most of the book and is not interesting for non-Japanese speakers
Sakura Taisen V Production Materials ??? ¥2,500 2005 Contains character art (color & B/W), mecha art & CG, poster, interviews I don't own this book

Other Sakura Taisen books

Another, very worthwhile book for the modeler is a book called "Sakura Taisen Steam Military Factory" (cover, sample 1, 2, 3), also by Softbank. This mook has large full-color illustrations of the Kobu F and F2 mecha, as well as the upgraded Kobu Customs, including mechanical details and technical information, and is perhaps the best book to get if you're after detailed illustrations of some of the Sakura Taisen mecha. ISBN4-7973-2243-8, ¥2,100, 2002.

If you're just after character art and don't feel like importing the Production Materials books, there's "Sakura Taisen I-V Kosuke Fujishima Character works" (cover, sample), which features a few choice artworks for each of the games. ISBN4-7580-1049-8, ¥1,900, 2006.