Yamato 2199 Model Kits, part 1

Model kits have been a vital part of the Space Battleship Yamato experience since the early days, and no one benefitted from that more than Bandai. After some false starts, the phenomenal success of Yamato models in the late 70s skyrocketed the company to a perch from which they are still master of all they survey. (Read all about this chain of events here.)

Like Yamato 2199 itself, the business of continuing the phenomenon was inherited by those who grew up with such reverence for the original that they have made it their career goal to carry the torch. On the model kit side, the guiding hand has been Bandai’s Yamato Developer Hirofumi Kishiyama. Since the beginning, his pro-Yamato activism has been second to none. His many interviews and personal appearances have given us all an unprecedented window into the making of these models.

You’ll find his name all over the Yamato 2199 reports, but there are also dedicated interviews with him here and here. His candid insights go a long way to deepen your appreciation of the craft.

And now, here’s the entire lineup as of January 2014. New kits arrive every month, so this record will continue.

Visit Bandai’s official 2199 page here.

1/500 Yamato

December 2010

Bandai’s original 1/500 kit from 1978 measured over 20 inches long. It took almost 20 years for a bigger one to topple it, the 1/350 kit from 2007. Bandai re-delivered with this new model, which corrected nearly all the shortcomings of the 1978 version and added some subtle new details of its own.

One thing that set this model apart from its predecessors was the color of its plastic, engineered for the closest possible match to the original animation colors. The kit even has a backstory that set it apart from all its predecessors: it does NOT represent the ship from the original anime. It was a closely-guarded secret that this was actually the redesign for Yamato 2199 and thus the first piece of merchandise for the new series.

1/1000 Yamato

July, 2012

This was the first to carry the 2199 logo and is no less detailed than its predecessor. Like most previous Yamato models, its turrets rotate and the hangar hatch opens. Its new feature is a partial cutaway in which the rear port hull sections can be removed to reveal pull-out fighter decks and a Wave-Motion Engine. The scale, however, is a break with the past. Since the 2199 redesign set the length at 333 meters, 1/1000 is larger than it used to be (13″ rather than the old 10.4″).

One tradition of the original Bandai models was the inclusion of a bonus mini-kit, and this was repeated here in a very interesting way. The bottom of the box, usually devoid of any markings, was printed with a simulated “mecha collection” mini-kit box to be cut out and assembled. It reproduced kit #18 of the original lineup, a Gamilas Tri-Deck Carrier, and the part runners could be found inside the box with Yamato.

However, the original Tri-Deck was only available in green, and in this case both the parts and the simulated box art were remade in blue.

See a gallery of photos and materials for the 1/1000 Yamato here.


Limited edition Space Panorama version, October 2013


Limited edition clear version, August 2013


1/1000 UN Cosmo Navy Set 1

October, 2012

This set includes Battleship Kirishima, Battle Cruiser Murasame, and Destroyer Yukikaze. Of course, Murasame is a new design for 2199, but fans of the original know that the other two go all the way back to the beginning of the original saga and have been available as both mini-plamo and garage kits for decades.

Other than some visual updating, the big difference between these new kits and their predecessors is their color construction; no more will modelers be required to mask and paint the red, yellow and white stripes, since the parts are now molded in those colors.

Following through with the program started by the first Yamato 2199 kit, another bonus model was included with this set, an original Gamilas tri-deck carrier molded in purple with its own box art printed underneath. As of now, fans can build Domel’s complete task force of capital ships from the Rainbow Star Cluster battle.

Get a closer look at this set here.

Cosmo Falcon mini-kit

November, 2012

This one wasn’t sold in the usual fashion; it was a bonus item bundled with Dengeki Hobby magazine. An accompanying article included directions on how to build it and lots of ideas for painting and customizing, probably assuming fans would buy multiple issues of the magazine to get more copies of the kit. Unlike the previous 2199 models, this one didn’t come pre-colored, but third-party companies jumped on board to create custom decals for it that were also promoted in the article.

The article can be seen here. Check out a video promotion for this issue of Dengeki here.

So how does a model kit come bundled with a magazine? Dengeki has been doing this for years; bonus items are typically packaged in a flat box the same size as the magazine, so the content itself must be flat. In this case, it’s a single tree of parts (with a smaller transparent one for the canopy) that is actually much thinner than the 3/4″ box – which is itself a nice keepsake. Fair warning, however: this is not a kit for beginners. Whereas most anime-based models from Bandai are simple snap-together affairs with pre-colored plastic, this one is monochrome and requires glue. Or, as most longtime anime fans call it, “normal.”

1/1000 Garmillas Warships Set 1

January, 2013

Included in this set are the Destoria-class Astro Heavy Cruiser and Kelkapia-class Astro High-speed Cruiser. Both are based closely on their 1974 ancestors, and it’s the first time either has been offered as injection-molded kits at this size (about 1/2 and 2/3 the length of Yamato, respectively). The bonus kit is a Pluto reflector satellite.

See a photo collection of what’s inside the box here.


“Mr. Color” custom paint set by Gunze Sangyo, February 2013


1/72 Cosmo Zero Alpha 1

February, 2013

Box art for the kit is by the great Hidetaka Tenjin, justly famous as the go-to painter for Macross Valykyries, and record-holder for the most Yamato mecha paintings by one artist (in the Yamato Fact File magazine series).

Clocking in at 1/72 scale (just over 9″ long), Alpha 1 comes with almost as many options as the real thing. It can be displayed in flight on an articulated stand or on the pad with landing gear down. The nose and wings fold up for storage, and two Kodai figures are supplied, sitting and standing.

There are also multiple choices for weapons loadout, external fuel tanks, and a second engine baffle. Because you just never know. Hobby supplier Gunze Sangyo was hot on the heels of Alpha 1 with a custom paint set in its “Mr. Color” Yamato line. A set like this had been released for each of the three 2199 shown above, which dictates the numbering system on these paints; the Cosmo Zero colors are numbered 10-12.

See photos of the kit and packaging here, and a modeler’s photo blog here.


Limited edition clear version, June 2013


1/72 Cosmo Zero Alpha-2 model

March, 2013

Also sporting Hidetaka Tenjim box art, Alpha-2 is identical in every way to Alpha-1 except for its colors, substituting white for yellow, and of course it comes with miniatures of Akira Yamamoto.

See photos of the kit and packaging here.

1/1000 UN Cosmo Navy Set 2 models

March, 2013

This time the Kirishima was eliminated to make room for color variants of the two smaller vessels (the Murasame type and Yukikaze type) so fans could fill out the ranks of the UN Cosmo Fleet at their preference.

Though it isn’t apparent in thes photos, the set comes with a couple extras. First, there’s an extensive sheet of decals that allows you to number the ships as you like in order to build out the entire fleet, along with some extra markings for the 1/1000 Yamato. Second, the tradition of bonus kits continues with this one, which includes a mini-kit of the Cosmo Zero from the classic Mecha Collection.

See photos of the kits and packaging here.

1/1000 Pormelia Astro Assault Carrier

May, 2013

The original version of this particular ship was previously released only once as a resin garage kit in Bandai’s B-Club line back in 2007. But stunning box art by the great Hidetaka Tenjin announced to the world that the days of neglect were over.

At 1/1000 scale, the carrier stretches to just over 15″ (longer than Yamato!) and comes with two versions of the Melanka strike fighter; a tiny pair at 1/1000 scale and a much larger bonus kit with a 6.6″ wingspan. The goal with this one was to invoke the classic “mecha scale” mini-kits that put Bandai on the map in the late 70s.

See photos of the kit and packaging here.

1/1000 Garmillas Warships set 2

June, 2013

With this set, Bandai delivered three mecha that had previously been available only as limited-edition garage kits: the Gaiderol-class Astro Battleship and a pair of Kripitera-class Astro Destroyers. At 1/1000 scale, the Gaiderol stretches 13.77″ and the Kripiteras meausre 6.3″. Also included is a “mecha collection size” Saruba tank as a bonus kit that fits in the palm of your hand.

See a photo gallery of finished kits here.

See photos of the packaging here.

1/1000 Garmillas Imperial Guard set

June, 2013

This special custom-color Garmillas model kit set could only be ordered from the Premium Bandai website for a limited time, and consisted of three ships culled from Garmillas warships set 1 and 2, cast in Imperial Guard blue with optional UV parts for the “eyes.”

Click here to see a photo gallery of finished models.

1/72 Kato-style Cosmo Falcon

July, 2013

Graced by another magnificent Hidetaka Tenjin box art painting, this kit is outfitted with numerous option parts and reaches just over 8.5″ long when built.

See photos of finished kits here.

See photos of the packaging here.

1/1000 Gelvades Class Astro Battleship Carrier Darold

August, 2013

This beast stretches to an imposing 15.3 inches when completed (more than two inches longer than Yamato), includes optional deck plates, and comes with two bonus kits: a 1/1000 Gallunt drill missile ship, and a Mecha Collection size version of the Domelus III‘s saucer bridge.

See a gallery of finished kits here.

See photos of the packaging here.

1/1000 Operation M set

August, 2013

This massive box set of Cosmo Navy ships recreated the Pluto fleet from Episode 1. It consists of 22 ships: Okita’s battleship, 9 cruisers, and 12 destroyers.

See an extensive photo collection of the set here.

1/72 Shinohara-type Cosmo Falcon

September, 2013

This second version of Bandai’s Falcon was identical to Kato’s fighter in every way but its color, and of course the Shinohara figurine. Like its predecessor, it can be displayed on or off its stand and with option parts.

See photos of the packaging here.

1/1000 Garmillas Warships Set 3

October, 2013

This set delved into completely untapped territory with a trio of 2199 craft that had no precedent in the 1974 series. From largest to smallest, the set consists of the Meltoria-class Astro Battle Cruiser (11″ long), the UX-01 Dimensional Submarine (5.6″), and two “mecha collection” scale Czvarke fighters in both red and green.

See a gallery of finished kits here.

See photos of the packaging here.

1/1000 Deusula II Core Ship

November, 2013

About 10″ long when built, this ship appeared in only two episodes and spent most of that time cocooned within a dreadnaught. Nevertheless, it is based on Dessler’s iconic personal battleship from the original Series 1, which was released as a garage kit and in metal, but never as a plastic model.

The ship came with two Zedora II fighters, based on another original Series 1 design that didn’t get rendered as a model. Incidentally, that name is based on one coined by Yutaka Izubuchi for a Galman-Gamilas fighter from Series 3; the Zeadora III – which in turn was based on the name Seeaddler, German for Sea Eagle.

Gunze Sangyo released a “Mr. Color” paint set for the Deusula II and other Garmillas ships (inset, above).

See more photos of the finished kit here.

See photos of the packaging here.

Display bases

December, 2013

Bandai ran a campaign on their Premium website from August through October, during which fans who bought Yamato 2199 model kits could collect and send in the UPC bar codes to obtain these special display bases. They could opt for the ‘A’ course (Cosmo Navy, 2 UPCs per set) or the ‘B’ course (Garmillas Navy, 5 UPCs per set).

The finished sets finally shipped in December, each containing dual-purpose stickers and instructions.


White version (UN Cosmo Navy)


Black version (Garmillas)


1/500 Yamato

December, 2013

Here we come full circle with a Yamato 2199 model to rule them all. This one is over 26″ long and brings just about every possible feature to the table, short of a cutaway interior or a working Wave-Motion Gun to melt all your other models.

The most striking feature is the wealth of detail on the hull, based precisely on the intricate mecha designs of Junichiro Tamamori. Snap-together construction is seamless, three hangars can open and close, four extra spacecraft are provided, all the guns rotate, and it’s even big enough to customize with LED lighting. (Promo poster shown below.)

Custom spray paints for the kit were released in tandem by the GSI [Gunze Sangyo Inc.] Creos Corporation.

See photos of the finished model here.

Related links:
Ordering info at Hobbylink Japan | Packaging photos

Above: a Bandai newspaper ad in the December 31 edition of Sports Nippan, featuring the 1/500 Yamato and 1/100 High Grade Sazabi kit (from the Gundam series).


Continue to part 2

BONUS:

1/72 Czvarke fighter (prototype, not yet scheduled)

1/72 Garmillas dive bomber (prototype, not yet scheduled)


6 thoughts on “Yamato 2199 Model Kits, part 1

  1. I’m glad I came across this site and enjoyed reading narrative as well as all the reference material. I recently acquired the 2013 release of the Space Battleship Yamato 1/500 scale and have a question regarding the manual. I do pretty well with Bandai’s instructions (just finished the Combined Cosmo Fleet( but was wondering if you could point me in the right direction for a manual with a few English subs like the one posted for the 2012 version. With the inclusion of the LED option, I just want to make sure I’m following everything closely. I may also make some slight modifications to accommodate additional lights. Again, I’d like to make sure I don’t miss anything.

    Thanks again for the time and effort to make and maintain this site. It’s great fun!

    • If you can scan the section in question and post an image on our Facebook page, there should be plenty of people willing to advise you.

  2. im new to bandai models and i got for a birthday present the 1/1000 yamato i am looking for an english version of the instructions as my brother got the model while in japan on holiday, any help would be great.
    love the site and some fantastic models to collect

    • You would have to buy the “Star Blazers 2199” version of the model to get anything in English, but truthfully you shouldn’t need it. They are so visual you don’t have to worry about words at all. Just follow the images and use your head to figure out what the symbols mean. It won’t take long.

  3. I have been collecting as many pieces as possible. Its been a long time waiting for the anniversary of the original show . But has been worth waiting. Thank you very much for making a great collection and I’m happy to invest in such a grand collection. I sure looking forward to the rest of the collection.

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