Vega! Hasegawa 1/20th Ma. K Vega/Altair Part 1: Assembly and Lacquer Brush Painting

Maschinen Krieger Vega

Hasegawa’s Ma. K Vega kit isn’t the most handsome thing ever.

I remember growing up hearing a saying from time to time: “They have a face only a mother could love.”

Thankfully, mom did love me. 😉

The design aesthetic for the Maschinen Krieger genre is certainly very different. To my eye it has a cold, utilitarian look. It’s very purposeful, with no doubt that the models are depicting machines of war. And trust me – war is not pretty.

The Hasegawa 1/20 Vega is definitely one of the odder looking designs. While appearing humanoid in appearance overall, it’s essentially an autonomous combat robot. It has a slight grotesqueness to it, yet for me is oddly appealing. The weird look is different… it’s not the same old design, yet it has familiarity that tells the viewer immediately what scifi franchise it’s from.

Lots Of Parts, But An Easy Build

Size comparison of the Vaga and Rapoon
Though it’s the same scale as other Ma. K armored fighting suits, the Vega clearly dwarfs the Rapoon.

The box is packed full of parts, as Hasegawa will do. In a few places it seems to border on the over-engineered, but not in a way that makes assembly difficult. It does take a lot of time to get the various parts assembled, with my own build time clocking in at around 12 hours. But aside from making sure to keep the parts oriented as the instructions show, a fairly new modeler could build this. (Though I think it would frustrate most kid modelers…)

I do recommend dividing it up in subassemblies, to make texturing, priming, and painting a bit easier. As the model is reasonably well articulated, too much flopping around can be a bit of a downer during those stages.

I still need to tackle all the tubes and hoses. Those were left off for the assembly video simply because multimedia stuff like that is something I desperately dislike. And I may even replace the supplied rubber tubing with lead soldering wire, which I find much easier to work with.

But I’ll do that off camera to avoid any potential move from “Rated G” to “Rated R” if a few paratrooper words are required to get the job done.

Painting The Vega

I went with all lacquer paints for this, brush painted as is often done with this genre. It gives it a rough, unique look, for sure, but I think it goes along with the genre in general. If you’re familiar with Lincoln Wright’s suggested Mr. Color paints, it’s right from that list – RLM75 over RLM02, with RLM04 ID colors. Classic Ma. K.

Brush painting those is definitely odd, and the technique is weird if you’re used to how acrylics behave. But given the surface texturing I applied before the paint, I think it actually enhances that.

It’s not the sleekest or most handsome design ever, and falls under “face only a mother could love” category. But having worked with it over the last few weeks, this Vega has grown on me.

Who said fun had to be pretty? 😉

Next up is the weathering! And trust me, it won’t be getting any prettier from that.

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