Friday, December 20, 2013

Zentreadi Battle Pods - 1/200 Scale

1/200 scale Regult Tactical Pods from Nichimo
 The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is underway! If you want to see a lot of really cool figures in a great diversity of scales from a wide variety of periods and settings, I suggest you go check it out.  Check often - the submissions come in fast and furious - I don't know how Curt keeps up.Anyway I will share my submissions here too once they have had a chance to percolate a bit on Curt's blog.  I hope the other Fawcett Avenue member participating in the Challenge (Byron, Dallas and Kevin H) do the same!

My first submission was a pair of Regult Tactical Battle Pods, the main mecha used by the Zentreadi aliens from the anime series Macross (recognized more commonly in North America as "Robotech").  These are 1/200 scale multi-part models sold under the "Nichimo" brand many years ago, now available these days in isolated Ebay lots.  Six or seven years ago, long before any Kickstarter panhandling, I started piling together enough of these kits to play games of Macross with the gaming group here in Winnipeg.  They are not great models - they have to be screwed together (WTF !?!) so you have to fill those holes with putty.  But they look the part!  These models are about 4 inches tall.

The screw-holes on the backs of the models have been filled with green stuff prior to painting
 I've loved the Macross series - complete with its bonkers notions, whacky plot with rather large holes, and terrible, terrible "pop music" - since I first saw a few scattered episodes as a teenager.  Back then "GI Joe" and "Transformers" were popular cartoons, and in those shows nobody ever got hurt.  Along came this show with very cool animation, amazing mecha, and a plot that routinely killed off major characters (and also half the earth's population, ultimately).  It was quite a contrast! Robotech was WAY better than the lame North American "action" cartoons.

This screen-grab gives a rough idea of how the Zentreadi pilot is supposed to "fit" into the pod...
While of course the premise of Robotech/Macross was (and still is) preposterous, the themes from the show - duty, freedom, loss, homesickness, coming of age, friendship, love, and the question of what is really "human" - still resonate even when you watch it today.  I found the recent re-do of Battlestar Galactica shared many attributes with Macross (although BSG fans may hate reading that). I will toss a few episodes of Macross on when I'm painting from time to time. And although Macross fans rigthfully take many barbs for the awful pop music angle to the show's plotline, I don't take them too seriously.  Especially from people who in turn believe any comic, cartoon or show with a character like "Wolverine" is somehow good for anything.... :)

The alien mecha from Macross are beautiful.  With the reverse articulation in the legs, artful curves, the Regult pods fit the bill perfectly for alien bad guy soldier mecha.  They are armed to the teeth, elegant, maneuverable, funny-looking-but-cool-looking, and easily blown away by the dozen by the heroes of the TV series!  In the series, these pods were about 70 or 80 feet tall, piloted by 50-foot-tall expendable soldier-clone Zentreadi soldiers. The aliens would attack with an approach that made the Red Army appear spartan in comparison, and clouds of these pods would lead the assault, getting mowed down by the ace human pilots in their own super-cool variable fighter mecha. 

Ready for action on the gaming table

It was a lot of fun to collect these models from Ebay and paint them.  I haven't painted one in years, and these two had been sitting forever, primed black.  I figured I would clear them off the pending desk (I literally had to dust them off) as a way to recognize the expansion of the Analogue Challenge into the sci-fi realm!

Stay tuned for more entries! And go check out what others are painting - it's pretty awesome.  Byron has already completed some really, really nice WW1 stuff...he might share it here too...


Chuckaroobob said...

Sweet looking figs! Gotta love Robotech. I should dig out some of my olde Macross stuff and build it too! Don't forget the kickstarter game is due out in the next few months.

Loki said...

I enjoyed seeing these as I had never heard of the game or figures so lead me to google for some catch up. very nice indeed

MIK said...

These translate very well to the tabletop, good on ya!