All Things Andromeda, part 3

Back up to part 2

Garage kits

Garage kits, small-run models for high-end modelers, have been a thriving underground business in Japan for decades. Those who wanted to take their craft beyond plastic models into a world closer to sculpture either build or create garage kits for their fellow fans. Yamato garage kits have been around since the 80s, and Andromeda has always been a natural subject. Every company has their own slightly different take, which can make them fascinating to compare.

Find out much more about Yamato garage kits here. Below is a collection of Andromedas from multiple manufacturers.

Do Easy Do




MRD Super Andromeda

Ndopara Super Andromeda

Shunran scratch-build (from Playstation 2 game)

Find more Andromeda garage kits at these galleries:

Shizuoka Hobby Show 2016

Treasure Festa Hobby Show 2013

Yamato 2202

The promise of all those years of Andromeda development paid off in ways few expected when the ship was not only refined for 2202 but multiplied and expanded into an entire class of ships – something that was hinted at but never completed in Yamato 2.

This ignited a whole new wave of art, images, and products. This section covers everything through the release of 2202 chapter 2, but there is undoubtedly much more to come both on-screen and off.

Mecha Design

Vanguard armament spaceship AAA-1 Andromeda

AAA: Advance Ability Armament

A battleship mounted with a Wave-Motion Engine, built as the flagship of Earth Federation aerospace fleet. Its primary characteristic is the concentrated twin Wave-Motion Gun at the bow which fires Wave-Motion energy in a dispersion form that can strike a large number of targets simultaneously. Operation of the ship is reduced by promoting automation, so the crew is significantly smaller than Yamato’s. Other than the first battleship Andromeda, two sister ships were constructed: AAA-2 Aldebaran and AAA-4 Achilles.

Length :444m
Main machine: Dimensional Wave-Motion engine x 1
Auxiliary machine: Kelvin impulse engine x 4
Prime weapon: Dimensional Wave-Motion radiation discharger (Dispersion Wave-Motion Gun)
40.6 cm triple-barrel convergent compression type shock cannon x 4
Quick firing torpedo launch tube x 4
Graviton launcher x 4
Four barrel anti-battleship grenade launcher x 2.
Sub-space torpedo launcher x 4
Conning tower protection shock field cannon x 3
Six-barrel multi-launch lateral beam cannons for close combat x 2

Vanguard armament spaceship AAA-2 Aldebaran

Vanguard armament spaceship AAA-4 Achilles

About the Andromeda class: besides the new ship Andromeda, four sister ships were built in the Andromeda class. Ships two and four are battleships, three and five are carriers. The second is Aldebaran, the third is Apollo Norm, the fourth is Achilles and the fifth is Antares.

(See Andromeda specs)

Vanguard armament spaceship AAA-3 Apollo Norm

Vanguard armament spaceship AAA-5 Antares

Among the four new Andromeda sister ships, two were built as carrier types (the third and fifth ships). From the results of Yamato’s flight corps operations, the “Wave-Motion Gun fleet initiative” included the construction of carriers. A hangar for the launch and landing of carrier-based aircraft was added behind the bridge. (It carries a maximum of 180 Cosmo Tiger IIs or Cosmo Falcons.) Linear catapults allow the simultaneous launch of 24 craft at the right and left.

Length :484m
Main machine: Dimensional Wave-Motion engine x 1
Auxiliary machine: Kelvin impulse engine x 4
Prime weapon: Dimensional Wave-Motion radiation discharger (Dispersion Wave-Motion Gun)
40.6 cm triple-barrel convergent compression type shock cannon x 2
Aircraft: complement of space attack fighter Cosmo Tiger II’s x 180

Theater Goods

Starting with the February 2017 preview of 2202 Chapter 1, new products with Andromeda gracing them began to appear with each film. As of this writing, only Chapters 1 and 2 are accounted for. Consult ongoing 2202 reports for further sightings.

Chapter 1 program book

The growing gallery of Andromeda art gained another masterpiece with this centerspread from the 2202 Chapter 1 program book. The painting is by the great Naoyuki Katoh of Studio Nue.

1/1000 Andromeda model, March 2017

At long last, she flies again. At this scale, the newly-enlarged 444m Andromeda is rendered at 444mm, or a whopping 17.5″ long, beating its 1979 predecessor by over two inches. “Movie Effect” refers to sound effects and a bundle of LED lighting that gives it roughly the same functionality as the 2011 ”Soul of Chogokin” Andromeda, which was roughly the same length.

The bridge, engines, and Wave-Motion Guns light up and shock cannon turrets rotate. Four tiny Cosmo Tigers are also included.

See a photo gallery of finished kits here.

See a photo blog of the kit in progress here.

See the individual parts here.

See more photos at Hobby Search here.

Live painting at Anime Japan 2017, March 2017

Yamato 2202 made a big showing at Anime Japan 2017. The action centered on the Bandai Namco booth, which hosted another fascinating “live painting” event by Studio Nue artist and Yamato co-designer, the great Naoyuki Katoh. He did three of these throughout 2012 and 2013, and once again fans could watch a huge mural take shape over two days. This time it was an image of the Earth Federation fleet with Andromeda uber alles.

See photos of the live painting progression here.

Great Mechanics G, March 2017

True anime mecha fans rejoice at the arrival of every issue of this quarterly magazine from Futaba Co. Under the name Great Mechanics DX, they consistently gave us the highest-quality Yamato 2199 coverage (consult our 2199 media index to find it) and this cover art alone made it evident that they’re fully on the case again.

The painting, incidentally, is by Naochika Morishita, who did a stunning 2199 painting for the cover of Great Mechanics DX issue 22. The main article was an extended Nobuyoshi Habara interview (read it here) and a conversation with the designers of the 1/1000 Andromeda model, which can be read at the end of this page.

Chapter 2 promotion, April 2017

The cover painting from Great Mechanics G reappeared soon after as a clear file that could be obtained with advance tickets for Chapter 2. The key art for Chapter 3 appeared simultaneously, placing the ship dead center on a movie poster for the first time.

Model Graphix #391, April 2017

This “Space Naval Review” issue put Andromeda on the cover and backed it up with a 14-page article. It included an interview with mecha designer Junichiro Tamamori, his first in the 2202 cycle.

See all the pages and read that interview here.

3-meter display model, May 2017

The ultimate Andromeda (so far) landed at the Shizuoka Hobby Show, a ten-foot model based closely on the refined design. After this event, it went on the road to a variety of movie theaters to promote the release of Chapter 2.

See a gallery of hobby show photos here. See theater displays here.

Cosmo Fleet Special miniature, May 2017

This prototype was first unveiled at the Spring 2017 Mega Hobby Expo. The release date was later set for January 2018.

1/2000 “Shining Ship” miniature

We close with an Andromeda product yet to come, a finely-crafted desktop miniature from Premium Bandai, due out in early 2018.

Bandai 1/1000 Andromeda Development staff interview

From Great Mechanics G magazine, March 2017

We talked with Mr. Hirofumi Kishiyama of the design development team, rumored to be Bandai’s space battleship lover. The development of Andromeda, which became the first Yamato 2202 product, was inherited by the young Daisuke Kobayashi, who has great passion for the future lineup. Great Mechanics model group leader Sergeant Yamazaki battled his way into Bandai’s Shizuoka Factory (Hobby Center) with an interview strategy and reports on the power of love that he saw there!

Expansion from 2199 to 2202

Interviewer: First, I’d like to hear a summary of the previous work, Space Battleship Yamato 2199.

Kishiyama: At Bandai, starting from the first Space Battleship Yamato nearly 40 years ago, new products have been made for every new work, and they have been selling for decades. This is a testament to the continuing user support, and since 2199 had to become another series that will surely be loved by the users forever, its commercialization followed a similar flow to the previous Yamato series.

Sergeant: That means that both the past and the future will be a property for the Yamato product group.

Kishiyama: 2199 started us toward the future, and when taking previous Gundam products as an example, it sells in parallel with the HG renewal, so I thought it wouldn’t hurt to do the same thing.

Sergeant: Didn’t even the first Yamato have a hard time at first?

Kishiyama: That’s right. Its popularity increased with Farewell to Yamato, and the Garmillas side that hadn’t been released until then joined the lineup. It became a collection of products with both enemies and allies, and that was the form that continued into the present.

Andromeda was a natural first for 2202

Sergeant: What kind of deployment are you aiming at with the new work, 2202?

Kishiyama: In the story of 2199, most of the warships that appeared were on the Garmillas side, but in 2202 many new ships besides Yamato appear as the restoration of Earth advances, so now that we can develop a balance of enemies and allies, we’ve started with Andromeda as a symbol.

Sergeant: For the fans of Farewell, Andromeda is a natural.

Kishiyama: The past sales results have been good. Andromeda‘s first appearance in the scene in Chapter 1 expressed a great feeling of anticipation for an allied warship other than Yamato.

Sergeant: That BOOM in that scene certainly had an impact!

Kishiyama: Some of this is revenge for how the requests for Andromeda to be next went unanswered when the 1/500 Yamato model was released, but in actuality, at the time 2199 was coming out, we were just starting to send out feelers on the anime production side.

Sergeant: You didn’t know if it would happen yet?

Kishiyama: Thankfully, I was allowed to attend a script meeting to see what was set up that would be easy to commercialize, and I think we built a very good relationship on that point.

Sergeant: Aside from Gundam or other big scripts, manufacturers don’t usually participate that much. But to make goods that will sell, it’s important to create popular concepts and activities, isn’t it?

Kishiyama: I’m more than grateful. To be frank, it was a lot of fun to go to Tokyo twice a week and come back on the night bus after being allowed to participate in a meeting like that. (Laughs)

Sergeant: It’s love, it’s love! (Laughs)

Kishiyama: Motivation is the engine of the heart! That’s how I feel. (Laughs)

The appeal of assembling the characteristics of Andromeda

Sergeant: Aren’t you worried that the 1/1000 Andromeda is such an expensive item? (Over $100 USD)

Kishiyama: A ship is difficult. It’s a single thing, unlike a robot with moveable parts. I expressed the performance of the 1/350 Yamato with light and sound, but the technology at the time was not satisfactory, so we tried it again with LED and SE units. Based on sampling from Farewell to Yamato, we experimented with changing the color and raising the sound, and after checking the timing and other particular points we finished it after a lot of corrections, so it had a big budget.

Kobayashi: This is the latest sample. (Editorial note: unfortunately, we can’t show you the Diffusion Wave-Motion Gun firing!)

Sergeant: Whoah! Awesome! It has Andromeda‘s rising sound and feeling of light!

Kobayashi: The first button is for the Wave Engine launch, the second is for firing. I made it impossible to fire if you press the second one first.

Sergeant: That’s specific! (Laughs) That reproduces the operation that’s depicted in the main story.

Kobayashi: The main and subnozzles are illuminated.

Sergeant: It’s decorative even if you display it backward!

Kishiyama: For the Wave-Motion Gun, the LED color changes from light yellow to blue with an insertion color and red as a base.

Sergeant: Honestly, I thought it was expensive. But now I can see that it’s not as good without the light and sound.

Kishiyama: At first I thought about selling a separate unit, but there wouldn’t be as much motivation to buy it, so the number of people who buy it without building it would go up. The “sound and glitter coming out” gimmick is a great trigger that makes you want to start building it right away.

Sergeant: Because it is a ship, you’re more likely to put it aside for later. But collections are important to get the numbers up. Let’s darken the room and yell, “Take anti-shock, anti-flash protection!” (All laugh)

It began with conveying “love” to the younger generation that didn’t know the original

Sergeant: What about such products being developed by seniors? Mr. Kobayashi isn’t from the original generation.

Kobayashi: During the development, when you’d ask about one of the gimmicks, you’d get this long explanation drawn from the story’s background, giving you a really good sense of something like “the depths of love.”

Sergeant: “Something like” being similar to them being annoying seniors. (Laughs)

Kobayashi: To be honest, it was a feeling I couldn’t take into consideration. (Laughs) Because I started watching with 2199 and watched Farewell for the first time afterward, I understood the coolness of Andromeda. (Laughs)

The upper hull of Andromeda can be removed
thusly. The
2199 series expanded the way space
battleship models could be enjoyed by making it
easier to work on illumination remodeling using
fibers. By adopting a structure that took into
consideration the reduction of trouble, it became
a device to expand the range of use.

Kishiyama: On that point, he managed to get it, although only about half as much as I do. (Laughs) I asked him to think about a structure for the unit that could be worked with even after assembly. After all, some may want to add more light fibers and increase the number of electronics even after compleiton, so I thought it should cope with the demands of remodeling.

Sergeant: That’s why the main part is split. (see photo at left.) Decorative illumination work is good these days, isn’t it?

Kobayashi: I focused on the ease of assembly based on this point, giving it the feeling of outfitting the bridge deck on the hull in a configuration that allows you to understand the fun of moving parts, like on a Gundam. It was a bit difficult to make something different.

Sergeant: Was the light-emitting gimmick also difficult?

Kobayashi: I had a hard time with light leakage around the two Wave-Motion Gun gates because the LED is strong.

Kishiyama: Naturally, I started working on a countermeasure since you’d notice if there was a little leaking, wouldn’t you?

Kobayashi: Spending increasingly longer times in a dark room to do the correction work got pretty strange. Just hearing the sound of the Wave-Motion Gun brings my head right back to that dark room. (Laughs)

Sergeant: That’s pretty serious. (Laughs) I’m sure even a little light leakage would be disappointing, wouldn’t it?

Kishiyama: I explored a combination of an inner seal for light shielding in addition to the fitting of parts. It became an opportunity for technical improvement and I worked hard on it because it could be applied to the 2202 version of Yamato if that becomes a thing.

Attack! The unique Earth fleet lineup of 2202

Sergeant: It’s a reproduction of the logic used when the Gundam HG kits started up; “Try it out on the GM before starting on the Gundam.”

Interviewer: Let’s hear about the lineup to come after Andromeda.

Sergeant: Would the main battleship and spacecraft carrier of Yamato 2 come after Andromeda?

Kishiyama: Since it was possible to equip the Kirishima-type with a Wave Engine, Kodai rides on the Yuunagi before that, so an Earth Federation Space Battleship Yuunagi Fleet Set will be released.

Sergeant: The concept of recycling is realistic, isn’t it?

Kishiyama: I want to do the main battleship after this. Andromeda was at the center of Farewell, and I think the scene of the main battleships lining up to fire their Wave-Motion Guns is a dream. I’m hoping to achieve an exhibit that reproduces that at the Shizuoka Hobby Show in May.

Shizuoka Hobby Show, May 2017

Sergeant: Promotion that evokes the memories you dream about is absolutely necessary, isn’t it? I’ll have to go and see that at a hobby show?

Kishiyama: For 2202, I intend to do the lineup of the allied Earth forces first. I don’t know if the spacecraft carrier will appear, but I’d like to commercialize it if possible.

Sergeant: What about the Mecha Collection [mini-kits]?

Kishiyama: It’s still a secret. (Laughs) I don’t want it to be just an ordinary collection, and I’m examining even the Gatlantis side in various ways to prepare a fleet with a feeling of as much scale as possible.

Sergeant: Well then, do you know about the Cosmo Tiger II yet?

Kishiyama: There have been a lot of requests. (Laughs) The condition of its appearance is yet to be seen, so please wait a bit longer.

Sergeant: Since this collection looks nice just as a straight-build (no paint), you can just finish it with a bit of sumi-ire detail inking, and then play with it properly by firing off the wide Dispersion Wave-Motion Guns. This Andromeda is an absolute must-have.

Kishiyama: Everyone please buy it, otherwise we might not get to the spacecraft carrier. (Laughs)

Sergeant: Those who spread the word are already working on the release campaign. (Laughs)

Sergeant Yamazaki

This magazine’s chairman and supervisor of new products. Also a modeler whose work has been showcased in every model magazine. Cars are Italian, planes and tanks are British, and the original Yamato Episode 22 (Battle of the Rainbow Star Cluster) is the bible of his heart.

Special thanks to Neil Nadelman for translation support.

All Things Andromeda CONTINUES in a post-2202 followup here!

3 thoughts on “All Things Andromeda, part 3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *