1977 Time Machine: Hobby Japan

Hobby Japan magazine has long been a source for Yamato news in the world of models and toys with countless pages of coverage over the decades and the prodigious articles that can be found in our Yamato 2199 reports. Founded in 1969, its very first Yamato coverage came in the December 1977 issue (published in October) just two months after the feature film worked its magic.

At this time, only the first round of Bandai kits had been released (which included the notorious windup motors), but the explosion was coming. Here is that vintage article in full, which also provided a rare glimpse into Yamato fandom – and the delightful bonus of a future star sighting.

Our Yamato Fan!!

Making dreams, adventure, and romance

The formidable popularity of Space Battleship Yamato revives again here!

Space Battleship Yamato kits have been newly announced by Bandai. Whereas the old Yamato kit was a model that ran on a windup motor, when you compare the next kit to the form of Yamato that appears on posters and in each scene, it has been deformed to settle in just right, and there has been no model like it before.

Since this model was designed to be easy to assemble by anyone, it can’t be called a model that is perfectly suited to those who generally enjoy building model kits, but if you take it as purely a display model, it must be understood that it’s not something produced for the modeling maniacs out there. [Translator’s note: the term “maniac” was used as a precursor to “otaku,” and in this case referred to perfectionists.]

The angled front view gives the powerful and dynamic appearance of Space Battleship Yamato, but if you display it in a position that is visible only from the front, you can’t even see the rest of the modle.

In addition to Space Battleship Yamato, the Cosmo Zero, Black Tiger, and Analyzer will be sold again. Also, there are rumors that the Cosmo Zero and Black Tiger will be re-released without windup motors, so they may be close to what was originally established but slightly remodeled. Since there may not be a better model, you can probably enjoy building the kit with illustration reference.


Yasusuke Sonoyama

Otokuni Senior High Modeling Club

These photos are of exhibitions by Otokuni High School Modeling Club, displayed in a cultural festival. Although the workmaship is not great, I remodeled the Bandai Yamato kit by adding the third bridge and rocket anchor. The Yamato photo was taken with a 28mm wide-angle lens.

We also exhibited a Gamilas attack ship, Dessler ship, Gamilas carrier, Dessler medal, Cosmo Zero, and space destroyer Yukikaze. Other than the Cosmo Zero and Yamato, everything is homemade. Also exhibited was the 1/72 Stanley Witch from 90 Degree Shock Descent in My Youth in Arcadia.

[Translator’s note: this refers to a chapter from Leiji Matsumoto’s My Youth in Arcadia World War II manga, which lent its name to the 1982 Captain Harlock feature film.]


Yutaka Izubuchi

Yamato Association, Yokohama

These figures were made in a rush by our club, so it is rough work, but since the character of Dessler has a change of skin color between the beginning and the end of an episode, we had to choose what episode it would be from. I think the skin color changed in Episode 11. It seems that Dessler is fixed with having blue skin in the movie, but Shulz was not corrected probably because of the number of times he appears.

With blue established as the Gamilas skin color, I chose a specific image for a narcissistic Dessler with an atmosphere of Napoleon, and Domel was based on his first appearance. While building it, I discovered how the anime solidifies into a three-dimensional doll as you can see. The problem is the face. Since it’s anime, the face might look right from one angle, but then you take another look and with a big expression on it, ends up looking like some sot of a creepy doll. I wanted to make Starsha, but I didn’t understand the process for hair.


Noriichii Suzuki

Yamato Association, Kawagoe City, Saitama

I liked the last scene of TV Episode 1, and I wanted to make a diorama by all means. I was originally an AFV modeler [AFV = Armored Fighting Vehicles; military jeeps, tanks, etc.], and I felt like building something else. In the diorama, I used reference documents for the holes and breaks in Yamato. The real Yamato seems more damaged than in the anime. I used the WL kit. Now I’m wondering if a Yamato could be made from an I-19.


Toru Hiruta

Yamato Association, West Tokyo

For this heavy assault tank, I used a 1/76 scale T-34. I used the basic parts, the caterpillar, chassis and wheels. The turret is carved from balsa, and the main gun is homemade from a brass pipe. I haven’t made many models so far. When comparing it to Yamato it may not be very good, but I’m thinking next time it can be made at 1/35 scale. And instead of only taking it from TV, there are also documents and drawings. I’ll work harder on the Gamilas mecha in cooperation with Mr. Izubuchi.


Takeshi Takahashi

Murayama City

I’m trying to remodel a 1/300 Yamato into the anime Yamato. I only started recently and there’s still a lot to do. I mostly build AFV, and since I started to build a Yamato a long time ago before I abandoned it, I thought I would give it a try. Also, I used brass pipe for the main batteries of the old Bandai Yamato, removed the windup motor, built a ship bottom, and made other improvements. It was still unsatisfactory in the end, so I’m redoing all the plan drawings at 1/300. It’s still in the parts stage.


Taichi Yamamoto

Edogawa, Tokyo (3rd year, Tama Art University)

My hobby is making model photos. I used putty and plastic to modify the old Bandai Yamato. The star backgrounds are made with white poster paint on black felt. The Earth is made of styrene foam and modeling paste, and the planet bomb is made with a miniature light bulb in styrofoam.


Tamiya doll remodeling submissions

These pieces were done for a Tamiya doll remodeling contest with great workmanship. The feeling of each character is captured well.


Yamato Captain Juuzo Okita. Veteran of many space wars and also an excellent physicist.

Leader Dessler, dictator of Gamilas, 8th planet of the Sanzar system in the Magellanic Cloud.

The last two pages of the article were devoted to current and upcoming media:


Space Battleship Yamato “Sunday Comics” collects the Leiji Matsumoto manga previously published in Adventure King. The desperate struggle against Gamilas to reach Iscandar is all in one volume. It is in an abbreviated form, but there is nothing unnatural to the story, and it is a satisfying read. There is plenty of the Leiji Matsumoto touch, and it is recommended to any Matsumoto fan.

Space Battleship Yamato “Sunday Comics”
Akita Shoten, 350yen


A manga has been published by Sun Comics. Many have probably read it, but for those who have not, the artist Akira Hio brings a different touch compared to the TV series and movie, such as with the characters on the Gamilas side. Some may be dissatisfied with it, but the battle scenes follow the story well and it is a lot of fun. Also, a small-format version has been published by the Sonorama Comics Library.

Three-volume Asahi Sonorama edition, 350yen each
(Sonorama Comics Library edition, 250yen each)


A deluxe hardcover SF adventure novelization at B6 size was published in July of this year. Though it is a novel, it contains abundant color scenes from TV and the movie, which make it worth buying for that alone. With easy-to-read large print text, it puts the dialogue and atmosphere of the TV series right in your hand. Things like the message from Starsha and the last words of Domel revive the excitement from TV and the movie. In addition, the color pages mentioned earlier are splendid, and are recommended for those who want to build the characters and mecha of Yamato and Gamilas. No Yamato fan can resist these books.

Three volumes, Asahi Sonorama
(Departure, Death Struggle, Restoration) 800yen each


While various books have been published about Yamato, this excellent SF adventure novel can be considered a different work. It seems this earlier work is no longer in print, so it must be found in second-hand bookstores. However, the first edition was published in December 1974 (during the TV broadcast), so it is not an old book. Many parts of the story are different from what is now generally known, so it’s a book with a different kind of enjoyment. It was targeted at elementary and junior high students, so it has large-print text and contains watercolor illustrations. As for changes to the characters, Captain Harlock appears and Starsha is a computer who appears as a life image (temporary living entity). Also, Harlock and Captain Okita crash the ship into Iscandar after the voyage, allowing Kodai and Yuki to escape with a drug sample to facilitate the future of Earth, one of the many major differences that attract interest.

Asahi Sonorama, two volumes (The Fall of Earth, The Revival of Earth)
650yen each (at the time of first publication)
Author: Arashi Ishizu
Original draft: Aritsune Toyota


This record, a breakout on TV that sold over 400,000 copies, contains the original movie soundtrack. It contains two songs, the opening theme and The Scarlet Scarf, in addition to 8 drama tracks on one LP, making it a luxurious collection. It should also be noted that a single (two songs and one drama track) is also for sale, along with a cassette tape. In addition, the English edition of Space Cruiser Yamato will be released November 25 and Symphonic Suite Yamato (tentative title) will be released December 25. Both records are worth waiting for.

Space Battleship Yamato, Columbia Records
CS-7033 (30cm LP, 1800yen)
cassette tape CAK-617 (2300yen)

Space Battleship Yamato Best Hit Animation Series (>>)
CH-516 (17 cm LP, 700yen)

Space Battleship Yamato
SCS ・241 (17cm single, 500yen)

Space Cruiser Yamato
CZ-7004 (30cm LP, 200yen)

Symphonic Suite Space Battleship Yamato
Tentative title, price undecided


As for magazines, other than the Roman Album there is OUT magazine published by Minori Shobo. This book is not only about Yamato, but Yamato is covered in each issue. The Yamato special issue of OUT from June of this year is pictured.

Minori Shobo, 470yen

Also, a Space Battleship Yamato volume in the Terebi Magazine movie series will be released this year at the end of October. It will contain a poster, a view of the first bridge, an illustration collection, and the ship’s log of Juuzo Okita. Full color. It may not sell out like the Roman Album, but it will be worth seeing.

Akita Publishing, 680yen


The Terebi Land special Space Battleship Yamato Roman Album is an eye-catching book with mecha and character designs, illustrations, and stage settings. This is valuable for modelmaking, without a doubt. The price includes a color pinup of Starsha. There is also a synopsis of all 26 episodes and a collection of favorite character lines. It is the one book that covers the entire TV broadcast and cannot be missed. Because it sold out, those who didn’t suscribe surely regret it.

Furthermore, a book titled The World of Leiji Matsumoto Illustration Album seems to be coming from Tokuma Shoten around November 20. Of course, it will include an appearance of Yamato, so don’t miss this one.

[Translator’s note: this book (above right) was a real treasure trove, but contrary to this information it had no Yamato content.]

Space Battleship Yamato Roman Album
Tokuma Shoten Publishing, 480yen

The World of Leiji Matsumoto Illustration Album, 580yen

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