Hobby Link Japan had a sale on Yamato items, so I picked up the Tomahawk for 5,880 JPY (around $68.55 US). The regular price is listed as 9,800 JPY ($114.25 US), so it’s a hefty price for a model.
The Tomahawk was originally featured in Macross as a Main Battle Robot which debuted in 2007 (don’t you love near-future sci-fi shows?). They are meant to be hardcore fighting machines, sporting dual particle beam guns, nearly a dozen anti-personnel guns, and a hell of a lot of missiles. As cool as it is, I didn’t buy the Tomahawk because I was a Macross fan. I bought it because I’m a Battletech fan.
If you’re an uncultured heathen, you might know Battletech through its spinoff franchise Mechwarrior. Originally, Battletech was a table top game, based on giant robots known as Battlemechs beating each other to a pulp in the name of complex interstellar politics. One of these mechs was called the Warhammer, and it was one of the most heavily-armed mechs of its type. Only later did I find out that the Warhammer’s design was basically stolen from Macross. FASA, which created Battletech, got into some legal trouble and had to pull the design from their game. As such, the Warhammer mech still existed but there was no canonical design.
So even though the Tomahawk no longer bears any resemblance to the official design of the Warhammer, it’s still the design I know and love. It just feels like heavy armor, and the figure itself has a suitable weight. At 1/60 scale, it’s much larger than your typical action figure (overall height is around 8 in/20 cm). This particular rendition from Yamato is in olive drab, but there are several other color variations.
Included accessories are scant—just a few puny humans to serve as flaggers and a pilot—but I don’t need them. The figure itself is rife with detail, including the numerous guns, opening missile bay covers, and an opening cockpit. Articulation points are abundant, but the range of movement is limited. You move the torso, the shoulders and elbows, hips, and various parts of the feet, but oddly the knees seem to be locked in place. So this will probably serve as a static display figure. Another problem with the figure is the loose joints. This might vary from sample to sample, but the torso joint on mine has no resistance to it at all. As a result, the bias of the weight toward the rear causes the figure to angle upward. I have to get creative if I want it to be level.
The build quality is ok but not amazing. It does look like a pre-assembled model kit, so there are seams, notches from where the parts were attached to sprues, and a few visible gaps. The plastic itself is olive, so there isn’t much paint on there. Some parts aren’t glued together, such as the gun barrels on the arms and the front and back pieces of the torso. Don’t get upset if they fall off; they’re easily reattached.
Yamato also makes the Defender, another design stolen by FASA and renamed the Rifleman. This is kind of a weird intersection of American and Japanese cultures. Macross was brought over to the US as Robotech, and had its designs plagiarized for a table top game that eventually became fairly popular under the Battletech/Mechwarrior brands. I’m kind of glad it worked out that way because Macross really did have some kickass mecha designs—most of my favorite Battletech designs were actually from Macross.