Thursday, February 27, 2014


The succubus is a female demon that drains her victims of life energy and such. In modern depictions they appear as comely females with demonic traits such as horns, fangs, wings, etc. For everything you wanted to find out about succubi and more, refer to The Wiki of the Succubi.

I guess that there was once a time when the succubus was an object of terror. My understanding is that this viewpoint arose from tales of sleep paralysis, superstition, and people who held beliefs similar to those attributed to Dave Sim (Note: Sim maintains that he is not a misogynist, although it's not clear to me how he positions his defense).

Nowadays, it seems that succubi are viewed as being cute and naughty - maybe slightly threatening, but not unsympathetic. In keeping with this lighter take on succubi, they are often shown as having access to modern lingerie, bondage gear, and the like, even though they may be part of a quasi-medieval setting.

There are dozens of succubus miniatures, but the one that is closest in size to 1/72 figures is the Ral Partha Succubus from the Female Demons blister pack (Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night 01-077).

Some other 25mm succubi that I have include the Heritage Succubus from the Female Demons blister pack (Dungeon Dwellers 1263), and two Grenadier Succubi (Monster Manuscript Vol.IX 1509, MM80; Fantasy Personalities 881).

The Fantasy Personalities succubus actually has good proportions with respect to 1/72 figures, but she scales out to about 6' 5" in height.

I didn't care for the original wings, so I replaced them with some smaller ones. The figure was also sold by Emperor's Choice and Mega Miniatures, but I'm not sure who owns the current production rights.

28mm succubi include the Archive Succubus (Mythology 661), and a Ral Partha succubus from the Demon Women blister pack (Personalities 01-178). These succubi scale out to about 7' tall.

Even larger succubi include Helwen from the WoW CMG Core Set, a Grenadier Succubus from the Demons boxed set (Fantasy Lords 6006, M27), and a D&D CMG Succubus (Blood War #59).

I repainted and rebased both Helwen and the DDM Succubus. The DDM Succubus was posed in-flight with a metal pin, and her left foot was resculpted so that it tilted at a dainty downward angle. I'd say that these larger figures can be used as demon queens or greater succubi. I believe that there are some succbui in WoW that appear about 1½ times the size of a human, though sometimes it's difficult to determine size in the game.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Patlabor is an anime/manga series from the late 80's depicting the adventures of Section 2 of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. I think that many people thought the series was boring, but I liked it because it was not flashy, and portrayed the Labors (giant robots), their operators, and maintenance crew in a rather mundane way.

In April, Patlabor: The Next Generation begins as a 1-cour live-action drama. The finale will be a theatrical release in 2015.

The costumes used in the live-action series are different from that of the original animated TV series.

Anime vs Dorama

At first, the muted colors of the new uniforms seem more "realistic", but after thinking about it for a while, the bright yellow vest actually makes more sense than the new design.

Ayame (photoshopped) vs. Erina

After all, if you were hanging around a bunch of lumbering giant robots, wouldn't you want friendly pilots to notice you so they don't step on you by accident? Even in real life, most of the motorcycle officers I see around town are wearing high-visibility safety vests when on traffic duty.

Obviously as with any successful giant robot franchise, many toys and plastic models of the robots exist. The plastic kits are primarily in 1/60 and 1/35 scale, with a couple of 1/72 kits of the Hannibal released by Kotobukiya back in 2008.

But who cares about the Hannibal? The iconic machine in Patlabor is the AV-98 Ingram, and the closest thing to a 1/72 AV-98 is from Kaiyodo. The figure below is the AV-98 Ingram 1 "Alphonse" (Revoltech Yamaguchi No. 10) operated by Noa Izumi.

The height of the AV-98 is given as 8.02m which scales down to about 11.1cm in 1/72. The toy itself is 11.8cm, so it may be too tall, but some of the features like the 37mm revolver cannon are underscale (closer to 1/76).

In any event, I'd say that it's close enough for what is essentially a fictional object (if you don't count the 1:1 prop that they use for the live-action show).

The figures in the picture below are the theatrical movie versions of AV-98 Ingram 1 (Revoltech Yamaguchi No. 042), and TV version AV-98 Ingram 2 (Revoltech Yamaguchi No. 014).

Step out of the car with your hands above your head.

Other Patlabor Revoltech figures include the AV-X0 Type Zero, various versions of the Brocken, Type J9 Griffon, and the very hard to find Helldiver. I believe all of the figures are box scale, so they may or may not be in scale with the AV-98s.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

AMX 13/105

The AMX 13/105 is an export version of the AMX 13 light tank used by Argentina and the Netherlands. The venerable Heller kit which was re-released a couple of years ago is the only injection plastic model of this vehicle.

I am assembling the kit mostly as produced, with just a few minor modifications based upon the following picture.

If you want to add some sort of locking ring to the turret to allow it to rotate without falling off of the hull every time it is touched, I would recommend putting the turret together and affixing it to the hull (steps 9 and 10) before actually putting the hull together (step 1).

The antenna mounts should be trimmed down on part 20, because they are way too long. The painting guide in the instructions actually show them at about the right size.

There is no mention of adding part 10 in the instructions, but there are some locating guides on the turret. The Dutch version of the tank does not seem to have this feature, but it appears on the box cover and in my reference picture. The jerrycan was mounted in opposite orientation to the instructions because of a sink mark and ejector pin mark on the other side.

The angles used to indicate the positions of parts 22 and 16 are particularly poor. I've added a couple of pictures of these parts on actual tanks as reference.

A couple of support bars are shown in the instructions, but do not appear on the model itself. I'm not sure if this is because of issues with the molds, or if they were never there to begin with.

The support bars were added using plastic strips. I also added the canvas bellows using Kneadatite to cover the join between the two sections of the turret.

I cut notches in the drive sprockets, and drilled out some holes in the rear idlers (which really should be two pieces).

I will use the original rubber band tracks, but they are really awful looking. I'm thinking that some replacements from a Pz.Kpfw. IV might not look bad, but these types of tracks may be unique to Israeli AMX 13s.

The kit is provided with Dutch markings, but I will probably find equivalents for the spurious French markings from the 1980s Heller release, which I believe appeared on other types of AMX 13s. This is for no particular reason except to have a French tank in French markings.

I may get another one of these in the future, and make an Israeli AMX 13/75. I think that it would be primarily a matter of omitting various parts that are included in the kit (i.e. parts 10, 15, 16, 22) and drilling out the rear idlers (or using replacements from a UM Hetzer). The primary concern would be the barrel of the gun, but a comparison of the Altaya AMX 13/75 and the Heller AMX 13/105 seems to indicate that the barrels are almost identical (assuming that both models are accurate).