Monday, February 24, 2014

The Weathering Magazine

There are pros and cons to having your local hobby store being a scale-model store that sells gaming stuff rather than a game store. They don't have any tables to play on but I get exposure to things wouldn't otherwise find. "The Weathering Magazine" is one of those great finds. It was created by Mig Jimenez, who previously make a fantastic 2010 video on painting weathered tanks for Vallejo using water based acrylics.

The production values on this magazine are fantastic. The pages are thick and color glossy. The tutorials are excruciatingly well detailed and the end results are absolutely amazing. Check out this asphalt paver by Rick Lawler.

I've seen plenty of scale models that were beautiful and pristine, but as a game-painteer that didn't really inspire me much. Things like this paver make me want to paint dreadnoughts and stompas to look like this.

The magazine is published quarterly, and all of the six issues are available at the website. I only have issues 3 and 4, with the others on order.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Macross: Do You Remember Scale?

A few days ago on my Hako Software video blog I ranted a bit about scale of Macross models, and the fact that nothing seemed to come in a common scale. I specifically have been trying to create a diorama of a Queadluun Rau and a Valkyrie, but finding those two models in scale has proven difficult. Bandai (or anyone else) only ever made a 1/144 scale Queadluun Rau kit. For reasons I did not understand at the time, there are no Valkyrie 1/144 kits available. I did find some Gashapon toys online that seemed about the right size.
The one on the far left was assumed to be 1:200. The toys have no scale, but they math out to be about 1:160, and a bit taller than the Zentraedi (ok, Meltraedi to be specific) pilot. Thinking... thinking... wait a minute. Aren't the Valkyrie battroids supposed to be about the same size as a Zentraedi? Need evidence....

Here's exhibit 1. The end of episode 2 has Roy and Hikaru encountering a Zentraedi soldier. It is not explicitly evident, but he sure looks about one battroid tall.

tonight, on DWTS
 Next we have the graceful dance of Commander Breetai and a VF-1J from episode 11. Breetai is supposed to be a bit taller than your average soldier, and I think that fits the picture.

wicked cosplay dude
 In episode 12, Max disguises his Valkyrie as a Zentraedi soldier. The uniform does not look ridiculously sized, and if anything is a little big on him.

Okay, so maybe the Gashapon battroids would be appropriately sized to the Queadluun Rau. All the same, this whole crazy plan came about because I found a 1:100 15th Anniversary Macross kit of a VF-1S Strike Valkyrie at Model Cave and had to buy it. Maybe if I build it and compare it to the QR it will make a better looking opponent, even if the scales aren't quite right.

Aren't you a little short to be an alien killing machine?
Nope. The VF-1S is crazy big next to the Zentraedi. Imagine the first scene above with the giant metallic battroid and the tiny Zentraedi pilot. No. As strange as it seems, the Gashapon toys are the closest to correct scale as I can find. For reference I also put a 15mm fig in the photo. He would be a little large for 1:144, but imagining him a little smaller I can really see him with the Gashapon toy and not the giant metallic guy. The choice of Bandai not to produce Valkyrie's in 1:144 makes sense now, since it would be a really insignificant little kit. Likewise, a 1:100 Queadluun Rau would be pretty huge kit. I understand there is a 1:100 Glaug kit to be had. That should be fun to build.

maybe something more dramatic...
The toys are actually detailed enough that I can cut/reposition/paint them and they will likely look pretty good. The only thing that worries me is that the Valkyrie will look comically small. Maybe the Strike VF-1S's added bulk will mitigate that.

The topic of Zentraedi height in canon/anime was covered on in this article.

The upcoming Robotech RPG Tactics game will be 1:285 scale, so imagine the QR suit half that size. It will be interesting to see the comparative Valkyrie/QR size when that hits the street.