Kotobukiya Technique Impossible Eva-03 – Part 1: Introduction

The Technique Impossible kits are a series of Neon Genesis Evangelion kits released by Japanese scale model manufacturer Kotobukiya back in the mid- to late 1990s. They are multimedia kits (resin and injection molded parts, rubber sleeves, metal screws, nuts and rod, polycap joints) that have a reputation of being very complicated (true) and very hard to build. As I hope to show in this series of Blogs, the latter is untrue, even though there are some tricky parts. Certainly, they are not kits for a starting model builder. Advanced skills and experience with resin kits are recommended. On the other hand, I managed to complete my first Technique Impossible kit (Eva-02) in about six weeks (a build report in Dutch can be found on Dutch modelling forum Modelbrouwers), which is much less time than I had initially expected – I had tabled it on six months at least. By my own assessment, they are quite easy to build but suffer from a manual that doesn’t always show what really needs to be done to successfully build the kit.

My objective with this series of Blogs is to show how to tackle the difficult parts of the build successfully, which hopefully will result in more of these models being completed. For this, I will be using the following kit:

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As can be seen in the pictures above, the boxes are of a generic design, showing Eva-00 (blue), -01, and -02 on the front, with only a sticker on the side actually showing which kit is contained in the box. The following kits were released in the Technique Impossible series:

  • Eva-00 (yellow, includes figure of Rei Ayanami)
  • Eva-00 (blue, includes Spear of Longinus)
  • Eva-01
  • Eva-02 (includes additional weapons)
  • Eva-03 (includes additional pair of arms).

Each kit was released in a normally colored version and a clear version, each retailing at 15,000 yen (they can be found for much less on Yahoo Auctions Japan these days). It seems that some of the kits were first released as limited edition kits (my Eva-01 comes in such a box). The regular release versions of the kits have some design changes (and two additional sprues of parts) to facilitate construction. Unfortunately, some other problems were not fixed.

Back to the Eva-03. The contents of the box are as follows:

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A fairly thick manual (all text in Japanese) and a sheet with color instructions (Mr. Color lacquer Hobby acrylic paint numbers). It is best to check whether the colors given actually match the colors used in the show; in the case of my Eva-02 some colors were obviously wrong.

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A bag of rubber sleeves. In the case of Eva-03, two pairs of arm sleeves are included. Eva-01 comes with some unique rubber parts, the other kits share the same set of parts.

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Four bags of resin parts. The resin used has been colored to match the main color of the Eva concerned; the only exception occurs in the Eva-02 kit where the additional weapons are gray while the parts making up Eva-02 are red. The number of part bags with resin parts varies depending on the Eva model, some kits only have three bags.

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One bag of styrene part sprues, which also contains the additional parts that are included with non-limited kits, and two bags of parts for the inner frame.

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A bag with six sprues of polycaps, a baggy with screws and nuts and springs, some 1 mm diameter metal rod, and a alumnium core “power cable”. The paper cards visible at the bottom of the bag are these two cards:

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Let’s have a closer look at the contents of those bags. First, the resin parts:

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The resin is very high quality and the parts have been washed to remove mold agent prior to packing (!), so they don’t feel greasy or sticky. The Eva-03 includes some longer fixed pose arms and accompanying hands to reproduce the scenes where the Eva has been possessed by an Angel. Unfortunately, no Angel is included, so that will be something for me to manufacture myself. Also included is a handgun that was not used by this particular Eva. I guess Kotobukiya realised they forgot to include it with the extra weapon set included with Eva-02…

Injection molded plastic parts:

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The quality of the plastic parts varies. The parts for the inner frame appear to be some kind of rubbery nylon that is really hard to glue and are of good quality – not that it matters much, the inner frame is invisible once the Eva is completed. The styrene parts, however, are clearly typical of short-run kits: many sink marks and other problems. They need a lot of work to look decent, sometimes even before assembly.

Metal parts:

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One spare screw and nut are included. Also included is a fairly long and thin spring that isn’t actually used during construction of the kit; I think it must only be used if you want to build a kit with clear parts without the rubber sleeves (an option for which no instructions are provided in the manual). The screws need to be cut to size while building the model – use some good quality hardware store side cutters, side cutters for plastic won’t cut it…

Polycaps:

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These are Kotobukiya’s old polycaps, in their old 1990s material. They hold up well as long as you don’t treat your model like an action figure.

Rubber sleeves:

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These are quite sticky and will need a good washing before use. Unfortunately, they remain somewhat sticky afterwards and attract dust…just really, really bad. 😦 They glue well with thin superglue.

Tools needed for this kit:

  • Modelling knife
  • Side cutters
  • Panel scriber to rescribe panel lines lost due to filling sinkmarks etc.
  • A small cross-head screwdriver
  • A carving tool
  • A drill handle with interchangeable metric drills
  • Small scissors
  • Superglue, both the gel type and thin fluid type
  • Liquid thread lock (the blue kind, available at hardware stores)
  • Putty
  • Primer and paint
  • Sandpaper and sanding files
  • Metal rod for additional reinforcements (0.5 mm diameter and maybe others)
  • Patience

In the next post I will tackle assembling most of the inner frame.

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