Of all the scopedog variants, I like the turbo custom (STTC) the best. I really dig the booster legs and the big 6-pack rocket pod – the whole thing is just very pleasing to the eyes.
STTC found actions in the Votoms OVA “Roots of Ambition”, which is a prequel of the TV series. The series tells how the young Chirico came to join up with the Red Shoulder brigade and his abnormality is first discovered by his commander Yuri Pearson. Unfortunately this is as far as I know about the series as I didn’t have chance to see it yet. I’ve only seen a few minutes of clips of the show and the STTC really kicks ass, especially when teamed up. Chirico seems to have 3 buddies in his team – Muza, Bymann, and Gregor, and the team is commanded by Liman. Each has a different configuration of STTC, and the fully equipped version never shows up. You can found pictures of the STTC variants in the mechadomain.
The STTC is equipped with booster on its legs which increase the speed from the normal 48km/h to 98km/h. But only a very limited number of these are produced since it is very difficult to maneuver. The shoulder rocket pod mounted on its mission pack carries 6 rockets, and STTC also caries a SMM missle launcher and a gattling gun on its waist. A small solid shooter can be mounted on its left hand. Finally 3 smoke grenades are attached to its left shoulder.
I think scopedog is the best mech design ever, but many people surely don’t agree. It may be an acquired taste – when I first saw scopedogs many years ago, it didn’t look as cool as a gundam or a valkyrie. But the main attraction of scopedog is of course its reality. If you have seen Votoms, you’ll see scopedogs move with roller dash on their feet and don’t necessarily “walk”, the “turn pike” on the sides of the feet is just the coolest concept, and these features make scopedog as close to a humanoid tank as possible. The “beer belly” looks unattractive at first, but it serves its purpose as the pilot’s foot rest, so it doesn’t bother me. Gasaraki’s various Armors are cool, but they can never replace scopedogs in my book. Many people ditches Okawara’s work, but I think the scopedog really shows his best.
This is the old release of Wave’s addendum to the Takara 1/24 scopedog kit, as such, it doesn’t have the new upgrade parts and I had to buy those myself. Who told me not to wait for a couple of years before Wave release the lower cost version… The old version also don’t have all the correct decals for STTC – it just came with the old scopedog’s. Fortunately my RSC kit has a few left overs which I can use.The Wave parts are acceptable, but really needs work. Many solid parts are cast with a depressed “sink” in the middle which requires filling. This kit is really not for beginners, many parts don’t have alignment pins, some parts requires test fitting and adjustments. Having said that, this is still a great kit and I highly recommend it if you’re a Votoms fan.
|BuildingI went all out on this kit this time. Tons of modifications to make it look like Okawara’s line art and Volk’s expensive resin version. I’ve talked about the general problem with Takara’s kit on the RSC page – overly long arms, body too wide, head too flat, legs too short… the Wave update parts didn’t correct these problems completely either.
First to fix the body, I cut away about 1 cm of materials in the two body halves. In my next project scopedog round mover, I cut away about 1.5 cm as it looks even better. This picture shows how the 3 compares. From left to right – round mover’s body, STTC’s body and Marshydog’s (unmodified). A bit hard to tell the difference 🙂 The stomach hatch and the main hatch has to be sanded to fit the new body, but it’s not too bad. I also decided to build the best damn cockpit, so that’s another few hours of construction work. But hey the pilot really holds the joysticks this time!
The arms are next and you can see here how the new arm (above) compares with the old (below). The biceps are each reduced by about 2-3mm, and I did a lot of work in the lower arms. Like the RSC, I cut off about 1cm of materials in the rocket punch slide out portion of the arm (C10/C12), and reduced the thickness of the parts with the “cylinders” (C15/C16). However I really dislike the huge cylinders on C15, so I dremeled out the cynlinder, reduced its thickness, and reattach. Now no one can call my scopey an ape 🙂 The hands uses the Wave upgrade parts, but I folded the punch hand inwards to make a tighter fist, and I dislike the thumb’s position immensely – I think it’s missing one joint! Using some styrene I added the missing joint back in.
Lower body is mostly fine so no major modifications here. I only lowered the axis of the groin-to-leg joint by about 1cm. It’s really easy, just sand away the bottom of B4 (the circle where K3 is held) as much as you like, and saw the tube of B1 in half. Then cut off about 1-2 inch of thick sprue from the tree, and incidentally these sprues will fit in the tube! Reattach the two halves of the tube with the sprue in the middle, and you have thus lengthen the B1 tube. Viola.
Head – I use the Wave’s update part head, but made my own visor from the old Takara one. You can see how the new and old head compares here and here. I talked about the visor in the RSC page. Inspired by an article in Hobby Japan by Ken-ichi Nomoto, I use Wave’s H-eyes for the lens. He used a Wave’s Vernier for the main “camera”, but I found the vernier too big and it looks weird. Instead I dremel out the interior of the Takara part and attach the lens. I like it much better. The dremel cylindrical drill bit is really your best friend when you build the scopedog 🙂 I like this modification because the hollow “camera” gives a sense of depth which I think really important for an object with lens.
Weapons – this picture shows modifications made to various weapons. One problem with the GAT-22 machine gun that comes with the Takara kit is that the rear is in the way. The elbow’s cylinders collide with the rear of the gun, and I really don’t like how when scopey holds the gun its elbow is extended wayyy out. So I lengthed the rear of the gun by 3cm, so the collision is avoided. The small solid shooter is also too big… never’d I imagine complaining about a weapon too big, but if you check with Okrawara’s line art the solid shooter should be barely bigzzer than scopey’s lower arm. The big solid shooter makes the STTC looks clumsy. So I saws off various chunks on the shooter. I still think it’s too big, but at least it’s acceptable now IMO. For the gattling gun, I extended the part where the gun is attach to the mission pack so that the hold thing is anchored securely. I don’t really like the SMM launcher though and think STTC would look better and pose better without it. Anyway I use a 1/16″ pin to attach it to the body. For the 6-pack rocket pod, I drilled two slots out. It doesn’t look at good if you just paint it black. I wish I can also drill all the 6 holes on the back out too, but then you can really see the hollow interior of the pod – not good. Next time I’ll put something in the middle of the pod to form a blockade between the front and the back of the pod. I also only use half of the ammo packs on the waist. If you look at the line art of the STTC, you notice the ammo packs attached at the waist are abnormally thin. While this violates physics, it keeps the STTC sportive and lean. The full ammo packs are just too clumsy, such as those on the RSC. That’s probably what they call artistic licencse 🙂
Details – I used epoxy glue for making rivets. Works great! Due to the high surface tension, a tiny drop of epoxy glue tends to form a dome. Epoxy also attaches well to itself, so you can add height to this dome by dipping more glue on top of the existing one. I got really frustrated cutting the rivets off styrene rivets supplied by the kit; it’s simply too much effort to cut all 12 of those tiny rivets and carefully pick and place them on the foot guard. With epoxy you can make 12 drips and be happy. There are also numerous chips on the armor and bullet holes everywhere. I’m not fond of using soldering iron for damaging kits, so for bullet holes I use Dremel (spherical drill attachment) to make the hole, and flood the area with plastic cement and let rest for a few minutes. The area will be melted slightly, and you can use a small screw driver to create a raised edge around the hole. I also scribe in a panel line and added the bolts using 5-minute epoxy glue, similar to the Volks version. I had doubts about this detail but I think it really works to improve the bicep’s look.
Decals – Unfortunately I used the X-1 (red shoulder brigade marking) decal on the RSC, so I am left with marking this STTC as the “56th Death Squadron” 🙂
Painting – I went through the normal AFV routine to painting this time. First basic colors are laid in. Then some edge shading is done on edges with the smoke color. Then the kit is gloss coated (using future floor wax) for decal application, then dull coated again for weathering. If you lay another layer of future on top of the decals before flat coat, the decal “fades” into the surface and the edges of the decals will disappear – very nice! For weathering, I mix ivory black artist oil with mineral spirits and “drying agent” and give the panel lines and relief a black wash. After about an hour or two, the wash is quite dry. I then use a paper towel to wipe and “blend” the black around the panel lines. This is a very fast process and create very nice panel lines. The almost fixed oil will hold quite well in modest panel lines.
She’s my best scopey yet!