TCI (Twentieth Century Imports) was a Colorado based plastic model kit and game importer, exporter and co-operative manufacturer. Among other items, (Hobby Japan, Bandai 1/48th armor, Star Blazers mini kits) they carried the exclusive distribution license for Nitto which included the SF3D line. In 1986, the catalogue already mentions difficulty obtaining the kits due to "manufacturer difficulties."
I put this together because of the numerous requests for any information about the story. I also wanted to correct some of the theories or misinterpretations of what little information is available to the English only speaking world. I have heard it described as anything from Retro World War II to Nazis in Space. Neither of these descriptions are accurate, and part of this is due to creative translations by TCI. The storyline created by Kow Yokoyama and expanded upon by Hiroshi Ichimura is far more colorful and detailed than these simple explanations allow. This is only because there is so little translated information available and not because people misunderstand it. I hope this brief introduction and timeline help shed light on the extensive SF3D/Maschinen Krieger world.
This FAQ is put together to hopefully answer some of the more common questions about the SF3D/MaK world. SF3D was originally published on a regular basis as a model photo story in Hobby Japan magazine from 1982 to 1985. Model Graphics has been publishing new MaK photo stories since 1999. Anyone unable to read Japanese has a lot of questions about the series.