Quick Look review and photos by Rob Schorry:
JAXA, the Japanese equivalent of NASA, flew an audacious mission the last few years. Send an ion drive probe to an asteroid, land briefly, recover samples, return to Earth, and send the Sample Recovery Capsule to land in Australia. In spite of many problems, a disaster that almost destroyed the mission, the overall mission succeeded, now we wait to see if the SRC holds fragments of comet Itokawa.
Aoshima has finely molded the kit in 1/32 scale injection molded styrene (would that they had chosen a different scale - say 1/24?). The colorful box holds a comprehensive instruction sheet and three part trees, each sealed in its own plastic bag. English notes are added to the instructions, which most of us can read! I could see no flash on my sample. Painting instructions seem clear, but no foil is included for the gold thermal blankets.
The detail is great, even scribed lines on the backs of the solar panels for wiring, but the mesh high gain antenna is molded solid, which surface etching to hint at the mesh. A display stand, using a profile of Itokawa, and a molded plaque are also included. The Sample Recovery Capsule is molded separately from the spacecraft bus but it's only a featureless dome. The sampler horn is a solid lump with some detail to indicate the outer construction.
Limited in availability and in a 'odd' scale, it still works. After all, but how many injection molded space probes will we get our hands on? >