The Beginnings

Hobby Japan Timeline

TCI Games Timeline

Alternate Timeline

Mercenary force composition

Shutoral force composition

Operation Super Hammer


Ma.K. History


SF3D Original was conceptualised by Mr. Kow Yokoyama, in 1984, to be the answer to Japan's SF craze being too fantasy-oriented. Yokoyama created a graphically realistic setting in his writing, art and the scratch-built plastic model kits he made, as well as in the SF3D game series. Hobby Japan made the games, as well as released a special SF3D Edition of their magazine, and used the art and storyline in Hobby Japan Magazine. Nitto of Japan made the plastic model kit series, which has since then won many awards for detailing, scale and realism. ' (From the TCI translation of the game rulebook).
Well, in fact, it was started well before '84, in about '82 in fact. Some scratch built models made by Mr. Hiroshi (Kow) Yokoyama appeared in the magazine Hobby Japan and the rest was history. Mr. Yokoyama's models were immediately popular, and a photoseries began that was to last some three years and spawn dozens of unique models. Throughout the 1980's, Hobby Japan (HJ) ran serial stories, usually of a sci-fi nature, illustrated with artwork and model photographs. SF3D became the most popular of these and led to a merchandising bonanza for HJ.
The basic nature of SF3D began from these stories. Published each month, they featured new mecha designs engaged in exciting combat scenarios. Nothing new in concept, but very different to the usual HJ photostory in execution, the SF3D stories were set in the late 29th century on an Earth slowly recovering from the environmental devastation of the third world war, only to be plunged into chaos again as settlers returning from various space colonies (mostly of Commonwealth origin) fall into dispute with their government, the Shutoral Demokratische Republik (of German origin, obviously!) resulting in a kind of replay of World War 2. The style of the imagined world was distinctly retro too, 1940's in fact, not in a Buck Rogers chrome-plated way but in the grungy, dirty, khaki way of the reality of WWII. This was perhaps a reaction to the sanitised, brightly-coloured vision of the future seen in popular giant-robot shows such as Gundam, as the TCI rulebook suggested. It caught on, and rapidly a variety of products were released, including a live video, some posters, sets of mecha camouflage cards, some garage kits and of course the famous Nitto model kits. (Which did not in fact bankrupt the company, contrary to rumour, as Nitto is still alive and well. There was a legal dispute between the parties involved which led to premature shutdown of kit production in 1985, but the kits are now being re-released under the name ZbV3000: Maschinen Krieger, which may lead to a revival of popularity or even new kit releases. We certainly hope so!).
From 1982 to 1985, each monthly issue of Hobby Japan was likely to contain an SF3D story, containing one or more new models, almost all of which were designed and built by Mr Yokoyama (though some were built by Yukio Ageta, Makoto Kobayashi and others, possibly for reasons of time.) The punishing schedule was also helped when the kits began to appear, as Mr Yokoyama was then able to employ built-up kits as background colour, and also modify them to create new versions of the established designs. Thus, entire families of vehicles were built up in a very realistic fashion. Just as the German Panther tank appeared in Ausf A, G, D versions, plus other variants, so the Shutoral PKA armoured suits appeared in Ausf H, G, K and M versions, not to mention space variants, each representing the types of improvements often incorporated upon the production lines in a real war. SF3D boasts an inventory of imaginary fighting vehicles sufficient to put Star Wars to shame! Unfortunately, most of these (and there literally are dozens, over a hundred in fact) remain little-known in the West, due to the cessation of kit manufacture and the limited circulation of Hobby Japan outside it's native land. We hope that this web page will help other modellers discover the allure of SF3D and that existing fans will learn a few things that they may not have known!



2807, World War IV broke out around the globe.

2810, World War IV ended.

2875, Around this time the global peace began to fail, disorder and public unrest breaking out.

2880, Earth declared independence and proclaimed war against the puppet regime set-up by troops of the Shutoral Government's armed forces.

2883, AFS's or Armoured Fighting Suits (invented by a brilliant Australian scientist as labouring exoskeletons and developed into war machines) are deployed on the battlefield by for the first time by Mercenary troops fighting for the Aussie settlers.

2884, June: Nutrocker heavy hovertanks appear on the battlefield for the first time, engaged in both the Shutoral offensive at New Canberra and later their defensive battle.

2884, August: Mercenary troops deploy their new heavy missile tanks, code-named 'Dollhouses', as a counter-weapon to the Nutrocker hovertanks.

2884, September: The first Shutoral mass production batch of powered armoured suits (the PKA ausf H0 or "Heinrich") delivered to ground troops on Earth. (Performance was inferior to the AFS Mk I as SDR technology was lagging at this point in the war.)

2884, September: SDR forces workshops began producing a modified version of their main fighter, the PK40 Fledermaus, capable of carrying a PKA ausf H in place of a cockpit. Without degrading the effectiveness of the aircraft substantially, this move gave a much-needed boost to the effectiveness and mobility of ground troops. This revolutionary weapon became the main equipment of the SDR's armoured mobile troops.

The war between the Mercenary forces and the SDR (initially regarded by the Shutorals as a mere colonial brushfire war) grew in violence and intensity until the advent of Mercenary Fireball armoured suits - a space type of the SAFS - escalated the conflict to wide-scale space war.


(based on TCI games time-line)

World War III lasted about 6 months. The first phase of the war was nuclear, and was over in 4 hours. The second phase was biological. By the time it was all over, 80% of the Earth's surface was wasted, and no humans were left. All had fled, or died. The colonies prospered, growing, expanding, reaching out for the stars. The earth was abandoned as worthless. Then on June 2, 2807, colonists returned to the Earth, finding parts of it habitable. By 2809 the city of New Canberra had established a spaceport, and raw materials began to be exported off-planet. Because of this, the government of the Shutoral Demokratische Republic began to take notice. The SDR was a galactic empire which had descended from colonies established by Germany before WWIII. It was growing in power and influence, and urgently needed new planets to satisfy it's expansionist policies. In 2882, the SDR declared Planetary Dominion over the Earth, and imposed punitive taxation upon the population. However, wealthy as the settlers had by now become, they were unwilling to pay taxes to what they rightly regarded as an unwelcome intruder, and unfortunately for the Shutoral government they had the means at their disposal to fight back.

In short order the settlers in Australia had hired mercenaries to defend their interests. The rebellion had started. On December 18, 2884 Australian mercenaries stormed a Shutoral supply depot. The new Super Armoured Fighting Suit helped them to win the day. Three days later, the Shutoral 3rd Mobile Corps landed at Victoria Beach, New South Wales. Their purpose was to put down the rebellion, but due to poor intelligence they had no idea of its extent.

The war went on for two years. Australian skill was balanced by the resources available to the SDR, which supplied a constant stream of reinforcements. But by this time the SDR had another problem brewing on the horizon. Other settler nations were considering joining the rebellion, and a few, like Canada and South Africa, were forming their own armed militia. So, in February of 2886, the Shutoral Planetary Dominion landed a peacekeeping force of 10 battalions on the west coast of Canada. Here they immediately met resistance, not only from the militias, but from Australian forces as well. On the 5th of February, Canada officially broke off relations with the SDR, and asked for Australian assistance on a formal basis. They received this in the form of 6 Mercenary battalions. And so the war continued on two fronts, each with it's own tactics, and each with its own problems........



An slightly different SF3D timeline also exists, and gives some different information from the Hobby Japan timeline and TCI's version. (For example, the above information appears to indicate that the SAFS made it's debut in the action which began the war. However, the war had been raging for some time before this suit made it's first appearance. Also, the war in question in this version is World War FIVE, not four! Possibly these discrepancies may be due to mistranslations from Japanese, or revisions made to the backstory as it was in progress.) Unfortunately, the timeline is in Japanese, which neither of us can read, being monolingual Australians. However, there is also an abridged version which appeared in English (or at least a reasonable facsimile) in a Japanese SF3D advertisement. Until we can get the whole timeline translated, here is the text of the advert version, again somewhat rewritten for better making-sense-of purposes...




September, 2885 (typical)


AFS Company: 33 AFS MkII, 4 Sandstalkers, 1 J(40)S


Headquarters Platoon: 3 AFS MkII, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 232M

AFS Platoon 1: 10 AFS MkII

AFS Platoon 2: 10 AFS MkII

AFS Platoon 3: 10 AFS MkII

Heavy Weapons Platoon: 1 J(40)S, 3 Sandstalkers Sdh 222F



Reconnaissance  Company: 7 AFS MkII or SAFS MkI, 6 Sandstalkers, 10 J(40)S


Headquarters Platoon: 2 AFS MkII or SAFS MkI, 1 J(40)S, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 232M

Reconnaissance Platoon 1:  3 J(40)S, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F

Reconnaissance Platoon 2: 3 J(40)S, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F

Reconnaissance Platoon 3: 3 J(40)S, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F

Heavy Weapons Platoon:  5 AFS MkII or SAFS MkI, 2 Sandstalkers Sdh 222F



SAFS Company:  33 SAFS, 1  Sandstalker, 1 J(40)S, 2 Y-615 Dollhouses


Headquarters Platoon: 3 SAFS MKI, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 232M

SAFS Platoon 1:  9 SAFS MkI, 1 SAFSR MKI Raccoon

SAFS Platoon 2: 9 SAFS MkI, 1 SAFSR MKI Raccoon

SAFS Platoon 3:  9 SAFS MkI, 1 SAFSR MKI Raccoon

Heavy Weapons Platoon:  2 Y-615 Dollhouses, 1 J(40)S



Armoured Battalion: 69 Y-615 Dollhouses, 4 Sandstalkers, 2 J(40)S


Headquarters  Platoon:  3 Y-615 Dollhouses, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F,  2 J(40)S

Battery 1:  22 Y-615 Dollhouses, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F

Battery 2:  22 Y-615 Dollhouses, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F

Battery 3:  22 Y-615 Dollhouses, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F



Armoured Battery : 22 Y-615 Dollhouses, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F


Headquarters Platoon: 2 Y-615 Dollhouses, 1 Sandstalker Sdh 222F

Platoon 1: 5 Y-615 Dollhouses

Platoon 2: 5 Y-615 Dollhouses

Platoon 3: 5 Y-615 Dollhouses

Platoon 4: 5 Y-615 Dollhouses




September, 2885 (typical)


Independent Heavy Armoured Battalion: 44 Nutrockers, 5 Hornisses, 16 Krotes or 20 Neuspotters


Headquarters Platoon:  2 PKH 103 Nutrockers, 2 PK41 Hornisses, 1 TW47 Krote or 2 NS465 Neuspotters

Battery 1: 14 PKH 103 Nutrockers, 1 PK41 Hornisse, 5 TW47 Krotes or 6 NS465 Neuspotters

Battery 2: 14 PKH 103 Nutrockers, 1 PK41 Hornisse, 5 TW47 Krotes or 6 NS465 Neuspotters

Battery 3: 14 PKH 103 Nutrockers, 1 PK41 Hornisse, 5 TW47 Krotes or 6 NS465 Neuspotters



Independent Heavy Armoured Battery 1: 14 PKH 103 Nutrockers, 1 PK41 Hornisse, 5 TW47 Krotes, 6 NS465 Neuspotters


Headquarters Platoon: 2 PKH 103 Nutrockers, 1 PK41 Hornisse, 1  TW47 Krote, 2 NS465 Neuspotters

Platoon 1: 3 PKH103 Nutrockers, 1 TW47 Krote or 1 NS465 Neuspotters

Platoon 2: 3 PKH103 Nutrockers, 1 TW47 Krote or 1 NS465 Neuspotters

Platoon 3: 3 PKH103 Nutrockers, 1 TW47 Krote or 1 NS465 Neuspotters

Platoon 4: 3 PKH103 Nutrockers, 1 TW47 Krote or 1 NS465 Neuspotters



Mobile Armoured Infantry Battery: 16 PK41 Hornisse, 2 PKH103 Nutrockers, 2 NS465 Neuspotters


Headquarters Platoon: 2 PK41 Hornisse, 2 NS465 Neuspotters

Platoon 1:  4 PK41 Hornisse

Platoon 2:  4 PK41 Hornisse

Platoon 3:  4 PK41 Hornisse

Heavy Firearms Platoon: 2 PKH103 Nutrockers, 2 PK41 Hornisse



Assault Reconnaissance Company: 18 PK41 Hornisse, 8 NS465 Neuspotters, 2 PKH103 Nutrockers


Headquarters Platoon:  2 PK41 Hornisse, 2 NS465 Neuspotters

Reconnaissance Platoon 1: 2 PK41 Hornisse, 3 NS465 Neuspotters

Reconnaissance Platoon 2: 2 PK41 Hornisse, 3 NS465 Neuspotters

Infantry Platoon 1:  4 PK41 Hornisse

Infantry Platoon 2: 4 PK41 Hornisse 

Infantry Platoon 3:  4 PK41 Hornisse

Heavy Firearms Platoon: 2 PK41 Hornisse, 2 PKH103 Nutrockers




Independent Mercenary Forces

9th Army 

Mercenary 9th Army was commanded by Lieutenant General Ben Gurion, with Chief of Staff I.Teyon.

Mercenary forces included 100 Pkf.85 Falke’s that had been produced up until that point. These formed the main components of the 500th & 510th Special Combat bomber air group & the 53rd Strategic Bomber air group, plus 500 S.A.F.S. MkI’s, 800 A.F.S. MkI’s and MkII’s and 400 tanks & self propelled artillery pieces plus a total of 40,000 men including support personnel.

Lieutenant General Ben Gurion was replaced after the failure of operation Super Hammer.


1st Battle Car division

7 th Battle Car regiment

8 th Battle Car regiment

14 th Armour Hunting soldier regiment

17 th Armour Hunting soldier regiment

Area Artillery battalion (Division artillery)


3rd Battle Car division

13 th Battle Car regiment

19 th Battle Car regiment

357 th Armour Hunting soldier regiment

78 th Mechanized battalion

Area Artillery battalion


62nd Infantry division

202nd Special Infantry regiment

209th Special Infantry regiment

11th Mechanized Infantry battalion

Air Defence Artillery battalion

Area Artillery battalion


991st Independent Infantry brigade

31st  Battle Car regiment

301st Special Infantry regiment


992nd Independent Infantry brigade 

32nd Battle Car regiment

306st Special Infantry regiment


Air Armed Forces

500th Special Combat Bombing Air group

510th Special Combat Bombing Air group

53rd Special Combat Bombing Air group



Shutoral National Defence Forces

56th Armoured Legion

The Shutoral 56th Armoured Legion was commanded by Lieutenant General Wilhelm Behhimar.


7th Mobile Infantry division 

17th Armour Manoeuvre Infantry battalion

711th Armour Manoeuvre Infantry battalion

304th Armour Manoeuvre Infantry regiment

308th Armour Manoeuvre Infantry regiment

Mechanized Heavy Artillery battalion


11th Mobile Infantry division

800th Armour Manoeuvre Infantry battalion

111th Armour Manoeuvre Infantry regiment

112th Armour Manoeuvre Infantry regiment

Mechanized Heavy Artillery battalion


501st Independent Heavy Armoured Battalion

150th Armour Hunting Soldier battalion

300 Armour Manoeuvre Infantry battalion

503rd Heavy Battle Car battalion


Mercenary Army: dead or missing 2000, wounded 5600.

Shutoral Army: dead or missing 1300, wounded 2200.

Note: Shutoral armed forces losses were probably higher than those indicated, possibly by a factor of two, as they employed large numbers of automated (robotic) weaponry that was not included in casualty reports.