SMN report: Last Exile's flying machines from Hasegawa are intriguing designs, based on reworked early 20th century technology, coupled with a dose of steampunk and pure fantasy.
Last Exile is set on the fictional world of Prester, a planet with two nations at war. The two sides, Anatoray and Disith, are separated by a turbulent region of Prester’s atmosphere called the Grand Stream. Chivalry plays a big part in the plot, and an honourable code is enforced by a superior third party, the Guild - think Jedi Knights from Star Wars, and you’ve got something of the idea.
Last Exile may be set in a notional future, but the setting involves Prester’s aviators in charge of vehicles that mix unsophisticated retro-tech (sextants anyone?) with advanced anti-gravity thrusters (we don't need wings!).
It’s a fun mish-mash of ideas that has been a commercial success, with the drama appearing in print, TV and on disc. As drawn, the anime characters (DVD sleeve below) are somewhat on the cute side for the SMN Crew. Hasegawa's 1:72 scale models provide a more serious take, as might a live-action movie that's rumoured for possible future release.
Hasegawa: Vanship and Vespa Limited Edition
Parts: Vanship 82, Vespa 32
Assembled length: Vanship 193 mm (7.6 in), Vespa 45 mm (1.8 in)
Manufacturer's ref: 64732
Hasegawa 1:72 scale Vanship double-kit available here.
Here’s a nifty homemade paper version, made to 1:24 scale.