Liolaeus Metal Kit


(All rights belong to their owners. Images used here for review purposes only.)

Gakken has teamed up with Capcom to produce two kits in their Metal Series for Monster Hunter, one for Liolaeus and the other for Furfur. These are brand new kits, which hit the shelves on or after June 15 (depending on where in Japan you live). They’re pricey, 2,600 yen each ($25 USD) without tax, putting them on par with the Metal Legend dragon I made last year.

The box is kind of small, which is misleading. There are least 40 pieces to this kit, not including the nuts, bolts and hinge plugs. It also includes a small piece of sandpaper (useless), a sheet of decals for the eyes and teeth, and two small tools. You really can’t complete this thing with the tools provided. You also need a small pair of diagonal cutters to separate the pieces on the connected sheets and to trim lose tabs, and a small needle nose pliers for making precise folds.

The kit consists of pieces punched out of two types of metal. The softer one that’s easier to cut and mold is probably tin. The stiffer one might be aluminum. That one is much harder to smooth off the protruding tabs, and to bend the smaller tabs.

The instruction book has a few pages describing the Hunters from one of the games, and a features section showing past super beasts.

The back pages advertise the other Gakken metal kits, and suggests poses for your finished Monster.

Starting out. It’s probably unnecessary to verify that you have all the pieces in advance, but it’s still good practice. That took at least 15 minutes, just checking everything off the parts list (I didn’t bother counting the nuts and bolts). As it was, the only leftover surplus was in the form of the backup set of eyes and teeth on the decal sheet (the sheet had two sets of eyes and teeth, in case one got damaged during assembly and application). Note the two tools to the upper left. Since the small 8mm nuts are easy to lose, it would have been nice to have 2-3 spares, as well.

Bottom of photo – the spine and internal frame structure.

From top to bottom – both legs, the finished wings, and the main body and tail built around the internal frame.

The assembled body, legs and wings, plus the finished head assembly. From start to finish, this probably took at least six hours. I had to take breaks for dinner, and sleep at night, so I don’t have an accurate accounting for how long everything took. I can say that my fingers stung from having to make so many bends, and I’ve got little slice marks on both index finger tips from handling the scissors in cutting the pieces apart and trimming off protruding tabs.

Liolaeus has taken over my laptop PC. The finished beastie has a 36 cm wingspan, which is 14.5″. It’s a pretty big kit, and is about the same size as the Metal Legend dragon.

The wings fit into soft plastic hinge pieces, so you can pull the wings out and reposition them as you like. The neck and spine are built on a soft metal strip, and allow limited bending. The legs and jaw are bolted together, You can reposition them, but doing so too much will cause the nuts to loosen and fall off if you’re not careful. I left one of the smaller insect kits at the English school for the kids to play with, and they pretty much demolished it. I’m not going to make that mistake again with Liolaeus.

Please note that while the box says that these kits are for children aged 10 on up, they do include a lot of small parts that can present a choking or health hazard. In the U.S., the metal kits would probably be labelled “16 and up.”

Roar. Simply, roar.

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