Friday, May 20, 2016

Laputa Robot Soldier

The Robot Soldier (ロボット兵) from the film Laputa: Castle in the Sky (天空の城ラピュタ) is an iconic mecha design, but it had an earlier incarnation as the [Armored] Robot Soldier Lambda Doll (ロボット兵 ラムダドール) in the final edpsode of the Lupin III TV series.

Lupin III second series (1977-1980), episode 155

In Laputa, the Robot Gardeners are gentle giants covered in moss, who tend the grounds of the castle.

There are also Robot Soliders that defend the castle. They differ from the gardeners in having spines protruding from their arms from which flying membranes can grow, and eye beams that can cut through stone like butter.

A 5m tall life-sized statue of a Robot Soldier stands on the roof of the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka.

The dimensions of the statue were probably not used for the 1/20 scale models of the Robot Gardener and Robot Soldier manufactured by Fine Molds, since the completed model is supposed to stand at 7" tall, which scales out to just over 3.5m in height.

The size of the robot in the film is not always consistent either, but discrepancies like that are common in most forms of media.

The Robot Gardener seems undersized in this scene.

It was one of my wishes that someone would make a 1/72 scale version of the robot, but nothing I found was close in size. At one point, I purchased a very difficult to find key chain set made by Nibariki in the hopes that they would meet my expectations, but the figures turned out to be too small.

The robots in the Nibariki set are about 40mm tall, which would be a mere 2.75m in height in 1/72 scale.

Recently however, ensky has released a set of Robot Soldiers as part of their Tsumu-Tsumu Series (つむつむシリーズ). I'm guessing that tsumu-tsumu (つむつむ) is a diminutive or duplication form of the word 積む (tsumu; to stack), which is how these toys were designed to be played with.

The  Laputa Tsumu-Tsumu set (TMU-31; 天空の城ラピュタ つむつむ) consists of 10 pieces. A couple of single robot sets are also available. There are six robots in four different poses, and four levitation stones (飛行石); three in cube form, and one in crystal form.

The standing robot is about 52mm tall, which would make the model 1/69 scale if going by the dimensions of the Fine Molds kit. However, if the robot is considered 1/72 scale by default, it would be about 3.75m in height. In either case, I think it's the best one can hope for in our scale.

Cube form levitation stones.

Crystal form levitation stone.

I ended up ordering three of the sets so I would have some extras to do conversions on. If I have the energy after dealing with all the issues with the forced Windoze 10 install that Microsoft pushed onto my PC last night, I'll try to do a quick conversion of one of the Robot Soldiers to a Robot Gardener.


Popful Frost said...

I'd suggest ditching Windoze entirely and switching to Linux. :V Seriously, I made the transition to Ubuntu (although there are plenty of other good flavors out there), and I'm never going back.

EY said...

I've considered Linux. I might do that for my next machine, particularly if Microsoft stays on course with their "metrics gathering" features. It's bad enough that Google and Amazon are doing stuff like that, but to spy on you and impair your ability to use your PC properly is just inexcusable.