Robotech/Macross Mecha in 28mm – Work in Progress Part 1
Every year the club runs a few sessions of 28mm Mech attack or similar using a mix of scratched up kits, repurposed Robotech/Macross models, and Dougram Scope Dog type mecha. Having been a fan of Battletech/Robotech/Macross for the last 25 years, I would love to see, a fully Robotech style version of the game with SDF forces across from Zentraedi. Mech Attack and Alpha Strike rules allow custom build of mecha, and many of the Robotech models equate directly with the early "unseen" mechs used in Battletech which makes rules conversion a simple matter. To this end, I have slowly amassed a small collection of 1/60 Battletech, and 1/72 Robotech/Macross mecha for use in 28mm wargames. As my gaming and modelling time is limited these days, these kits have languished in my workshop for far too long. I finally decided to take the plunge and get a start on these models.
Please note I do not consider myself a hardcore modeler. All of my models will be used for gaming first and display second. That stated I will do my best to give these models a careful buildup, and a quality paint job and finish. I tend to do partial assembly and then paint, keeping only the more complex (and hard to reach pieces) unassembled before paint. Many of these are resin kits, and the core negative (even with good the quality kits) is that there are often huge resin gates on the unseen backsides of pieces that must be cut or sanded off. Tackling resin kits is not for the beginner modeler and the resin gates and cleanup work can be a major deterrent. I particularly dislike resin dust and do my best to maximize the amount of clean-up that I can do with a knife before attacking any final detail with sanding. It takes longer but creates a very small amount of resin dust compared to sanding.
First up is a long OOP 1/72 John Moscato resin Destroid Tomahawk kit. These are relatively hard to come by, but are available if you are patient and keep your eyes peeled. I am a huge fan of Mr. Moscato’s kits. The scale accuracy is well done, the pieces are carefully sculpted to shape, and the detail is incredible. The kit below is in the post knife work/pre-sanding stage with light assembly performed where it will not interfere with final cleanup:
You can see the crisp lines and excellent detail in these leg shots. Moscato’s kit is setup so that you can easily vary the pose of the leg, arm, and missiles (open, closed, loaded, unloaded) to however you want to finalize them. The ankles and hips are ball joints. A little superglue on the ball as needed results in a nice tight fit. Some of the assembly is mocked up for testing out the pose. I am still deciding if I will go through the effort to hinge the torso and shoulder missile launchers so that they can be open or closed. I am also considering lighting the cockpit though that would require a significant excavation as there is currently no space for the battery pack:
Even the bottoms of the feet have great detail:
Second on the list is the “Return 2 Kit Form” re-issue of Moscato’s awesome “Legult” kit, again in 1/72 scale. This one is the standard battle pod form. These were very hard to come by until the re-release. “Return to Kit Form” works directly with John Moscato, and the resin casting on these kits is done with care and quality. I currently plan to light these since the main battle pod is hollow providing plenty of space for internal components. With some minor work I can keep skull cap removable to replace batteries/turn it on and off. My initial unboxing:
Post knife work/pre-sanding stage (give or take a couple of pieces):
And finally the “Legult Recce” configuration, also from “Return 2 Kit Form”. The Reece version is the sensor scout variation of the battlepod. Below is the unboxing and a shot of the main pod dry fit and post initial knife cleanup. not sure about lighting on this one as the skull cap is molded attached. Still contemplating options. I often have only minimal time to work on these; so some days it’s just cleanup on 3 or 4 pieces and then I put it away:
Overall resin cleanup has been lighter on the Legult models (than the Tomahawk) due to fewer total parts, but more complex due to the high number of curves inherent in the design. The result is that I will have a larger amount of sanding finish work to do. Such is life, these kits are amazing.
A final note before you ask… Yes, 1/72 is a bit small for 28mm, but these things are so huge compared to a 28mm model that a slight variation is rarely visibly problematic from a wargaming perspective. Plus, there is a point where size becomes prohibitive to gaming which is why many companies make the vehicles smaller than the individual model scale. A majority of the models the group currently uses are in these scales and it works well.
Progress is slow, but my goal is to have a few of these done within the next 3-4 months. More to come, and more models to come… Cheers,