Saturday, April 25, 2015

Relic Knights

During my frequent browsing on the internet in search of 1/72 miniatures, I came across a thread on the Soda Pop Miniatures forum that suggested that some of the figures from the Relic Knights game were actually close to 1/72 scale.

I was intrigued, but did not immediately get any of the miniatures, since from my experience, people who are not heavily invested in 1/72 figures don't seem to have a very good feel of how big they actually are.

Recently however, I finally broke down and ordered some of the figures mentioned in that particular forum thread to see if what they said was correct.

The news of course, is that the figures are much larger than 1/72 scale. I should have known better and looked more closely at the images provided in the thread, but I'm often blinded by optimism.

Purifiers (Shattered Sword Minions SPM142007)

The heads and torsos of the Purifiers could probably pass for 1/72, but their limbs are just too long. Their hands are small and delicate, but their feet are like those of 28mm figures.

The Prefects and Hasami (Doctrine Uniques SPM146004)

The Doctrine figures are pretty much like heroic 28mm, 32mm, or whatever figures, except for being thin and slender.

For some reason, Prefect Valeria was sculpted with her right foot rotated 180° (I fixed it for the scale comparison photo).

I wonder if this was done by the same guy who sculpted
the horse for the Italeri 1815 British Cavalry set

Some of the eyes are sculpted in relief, which kind of recalls the dismissive appellation of anime characters being "bug-eyed" as opposed to having oversized-eyes. Other faces are sculpted with more of a flat blank area where the eyes are to allow you to paint eyes at whatever size you prefer.

So as not to let the figures go completely to waste, I will see if I can convert some of the figures so that they can be used with 1/72 figures. I think the Purifiers will not be too difficult, but the Doctrine figures are probably a lost cause.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Explosive Ordnance Disposal

Over the weekend, I received a 1/72 demining robot from Model-Miniature. Seeing as it was only a 12 piece kit, I thought that I would be able to assemble the model rather quickly, but that was just wishful thinking.

Upon examining the parts, the first thing I noticed was that one of the wheel/track assemblies was broken, and the figure was snapped from the sprue at the ankles. The tracks also had the same issues with warping noted in the kit preview at On the Way!

The resin is a bit on the brittle side, but overall it is of nice quality, so I think that the damage is more due to the thinness of the parts. I was able to cut off the pieces and clean them up with very little effort.

The least enjoyable part of this build was the amount of time that was spent on reconstructing the broken tracks.

Another problem I had was that the pictures used for the assembly sheet are rather grainy, making it difficult to see how parts are positioned. Hosting a high quality image of the instructions on their website would really be useful to their customers.

In particular, part 8 has a pair of tabs on one side, but because the poor quality image in the assembly diagram, I couldn't figure out what orientation they were supposed to be in.

In looking at actual pictures of the robot, it seemed that there were no tabs at all, so I ended up installing the part upside down. Then I noticed that the orientation could be seen in the picture of the completed model, and had to create some new tabs.

I think that part 10 is also too narrow, but I couldn't be 100% sure since it is difficult to tell from pictures of the actual robot. It also seems to house some sort of cable reel, but without more pictures to go on, I decided against trying to fabricate a replacement.

The instructions also indicate that part 7 should be attached to the body of the vehicle, but from what I can tell, it seems that the part should actually be attached to the robotic arm.

I added the small box-like feature on the underside of part 7. I think there may have originally been something underneath the part to use as an attachment point to the body, but the part on my model was broken off of the sprue, so it was difficult to determine. The part was glued on top of a flattened section of paperclip. The assembly was then glued to the robotic arm.

The robotic arm was mounted on a metal rod to allow the arm to swivel. A hole was drilled at the attachment point of the arm. I cut off the original rod at the base of the arm, and replaced it with a section cut from a thick paperclip. On the actual robot, the attachment point would swivel with the arm, but it was too much effort for me to do more.

It was also rather unclear how I was supposed to fit the two sections of the robotic arm together.

I decided to just pin the end of part 2 to the cylindrical portion of part 3 at somewhat of a right angle.

Just when I thought that I was close to finishing the model off, I noticed that I was missing part 4 (the gun used to detonate bombs).

絶望した! Model-Miniature に絶望した!

I sent an email to their customer support, so hopefully I'll get a replacement part and be able to finish the model.

In closing out, I present a comparison shot of the bomb disposal officer from the MM kit, along with three soldiers in EOD 9 bomb suits from the Modern U.S. Soldiers set by Toxso Models (no. 1404).

The figure that came with the demining robot appears to be dressed as an Israeli police officer. He is really tall, and scales out to 6'5", but does not look disproportional to other 1/72 figures.

The Toxso sculpts are pretty rudimentary in general, but because these particular figures are dressed in bomb suits, they don't look too bad. There is some inaccuracy in the shape of the bomb suit collar, but they otherwise look the part of EOD specialists. The final pose looks like it was taken right out of the Allen Vanguard catalog.