‘Crab tank’ models get 10,000 likes on Twitter
MATSUYAMA, Japan — Social media is all agog over “crab tanks” — hobby figures called kani sensha in Japanese that combine real crab parts, including shells and legs, with plastic model pieces.
A Twitter account featuring photos of crab tanks has attracted nearly 10,000 likes, along with comments like “Is that a real crab?” and “It looks like it could just walk sideways.”
Many people have expressed a desire to make a crab tank themselves, and assembly kits including plastic crab carapaces have been put on sale.
The crab tanks featured on Twitter were made by a 49-year-old company employee in Ehime Prefecture under the artistic name of Iwashi Kinzokuka, which literally means “metalizing sardine.”
He started making his own creations about 10 years ago. As his artistic name indicates, he initially focused on metal works in the shape of fish as a hobby.
About five years ago, he got the idea of using real items in his work and eventually chose crabs, which have hard bodies and an impressive appearance.
Iwashi Kinzokuka has collected crabs in various shapes, including species that are not sold in markets and that he gets from local fishermen.
He meticulously removes the flesh and internal organs from each crab shell and dries the shells with electric fans and other means.
After that, he attaches the main gun, wheels, driver’s seat and other elements — all taken from plastic models of military tanks. Each tank takes about two weeks to complete.
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