What a great week for the Moon Ranger its turning out to be! About 3 years ago reader Rocket Punch, our very own master of Japanese kits, showed us this page above from his Character Age magazine, a Japanese publication new to all of is at the time I think. The page showed what was probably the origin of the SWORD Moon Ranger by kit makers Nichimo [above left].
At the time in 2009, through the diligence of our other Japanese kit Master Terry 'Captain Scarlet' Harle, we got to see the yellow 'Space Ranger' bulldozer close up [no box as yet though], but the grey ranger above it in RP's magazine page remained a mystery until it turned up on You Tube last year, where we leaned it was called 'JUSPI - 5 Space Army'........or so we thought! I must admit the small propeller at the rear had me perplexed as to the true nature of this vehicle.
Part of the mystery was solved earlier this year when I followed a You Tube link to a Japanese blog. Alas I can't read Japanese but the blog revealed the photograph below, which clearly depicts the Space Army kit and it's elusive box. At last we have a reference point! But frustratingly whatever name the kit has was presumably blocked by the kit itself stood in front! Drat!
So it was a thrill and a privilege this summer when Captain Terry once again came up with the goods and spotted the mysterious JUSPI-5 Space Army box as pictured below! Three cheers to Terry!At last we can see the proper name of the model kit, the CARBOAT PIONEER! So that's why it has a propeller, its a car boat! You can see one in the background swimming across a lunar [?] lake! Fabulous! Looking closely at the wording it's clear that this kit is no.4 in in a series. Maybe all the kits in the Character Age magazine article are related and the other three are pictured? Well, if you're interested in the great Nichimo mystery I think Arto and I have now cracked it and all will be revealed later in the week! Watch this space!