Wave 1/72 MAT Gyro

KIT #: UT 024
PRICE: 3600 yen from www.hlj.com
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken



 Ultraman (ウルトラマン Urutoraman) is a Japanese Tokusatsu television series that first aired in 1966. Ultraman is a follow-up to the television series Ultra Q, though not technically a sequel or spin-off. The show was produced by the Tsuburaya Productions, and was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) from July 17, 1966 to April 9, 1967, with a total of 39 episodes (40, counting the pre-premiere special that aired on July 10, 1966).

Although Ultraman is the first series to feature an Ultra-Crusader, it is actually the second show in the Ultra Series. Ultra Q was the first. In fact, Ultraman opens with the Ultra Q logo exploding into the Ultraman logo. Ultraman ultimately became a major pop culture phenomenon in Japan. The show's success spawned dozens of sequels, spin-offs, imitators, parodies and remakes.

To distinguish him from subsequent characters named "Ultraman", Ultraman is referred to as the Original Ultraman (初代ウルトラマン Shodai Urutoraman?), the First Ultraman, or Ultraman Hayata; this last is a reference to his host's surname.

The Ultraman series used various monster costumes, known as kaiju in Japan, prior to other series such as Kamen Rider and Himitsu Sentai Gorenger. The principals were played by famous monster suit actor Haruo Nakajima, who performed as the original Godzilla.

This original series spawned literally dozens of following series and movies as well as videogames.

The MAT Gyro is a vehicle used by the Monster Attack Team to travel to wherever in Japan the latest foe might be found. It is painted in the standard Ultraman silver and red.


Like other Wave kits I have seen, this one is superbly molded, this time in a medium grey plastic. There are five grey sprues, one clear sprue and one sprue of vinyl polycaps. From this you can assume that there are bits that are designed to move and that is true.

There is a cockpit with seats, control sticks and a pair of figures. Behnd them fits one of two bulkheads, these items differing in the instrument panels on them. The instructions are in Japanese and I know zilch about Ultraman except that it has to be one of the longest running series of its type, so the significance of the difference is lost to me. I should also point out that there consoles in the cockpit section with raised detail.

A cargo section is also included that fits on the floor piece behind the cockpit. The main instrument panel fits into the clear piece that is the cockpit windows, and this fits from the inside of the main fuselage piece so it might be wise to prepaint the fuselage, at least around the windows to forego any need for masking.

The stub wings trap one of the polycaps that will be used to allow the fans to swivel. At the back of the fuselage will be a ramp that can be raised or lowered. There are landing gear and they are a strut with molded on wheel for the front and separate wheels and struts for the rear. There does not appear to be a 'wheels up' option.

The swiveling fans have two piece nacelles and a long plastic rod that fits into it to allow them to move. The fan blades can also rotate if you build carefully. The most complex part of the kit is the upper fuselage extension that includes a rear fan and stabilizers.

Instructions are well drawn and provide Gunze paint references on the back of the instruction booklet. These are in full color and provide several photos of a completed model for reference. While there is no build color info, you can glean enough info from the decals and markings guide to get everything right. There is a nice decal sheet included that covers most of the areas of color. All the modeler will need to paint on the outside are the red spinners on the fan assemblies and the tires. For the inside, you use RLM 02 and give the crew's flight suits a coat of orange. Not wanting to be too toy-like, the prop blades are yellow..... Decals are nicely printed. 


Kits like this are pretty neat. Even if you have no idea about the subject matter's background, just having stuff like this available makes for a very nice change from whatever you normally build. If past experience is any guide, this kit will be a trouble-free build and is well worth the effort of picking up if you are so inclined.



October 2014 

Thanks to www.hlj.com for the preview kit. You can get yours at this link.

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