Author Topic: 1:100 Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III (Macross)  (Read 332 times)

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Offline Dizzyfugu

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1:100 Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III (Macross)
« on: June 03, 2020, 11:54:46 pm »

Some background:
The MBR-04 series were the first combat-ready Destroids and the most successful land-combat weapon Destroids that were built with OverTechnology of Macross. The abbreviation MBR (Main Battle Robot) indicates the model was developed as a walking humanoid weapon emphasizing the heavy armor firepower of an artillery combat vehicle, designed to replace mainline battle tanks.

Despite inferior anti-aircraft abilities, the Tomahawk boasted firepower like no other biped vehicle from the Destroid series. Originally, the Tomahawk was just called "MBR Mk. I", but once its systems and structural elements became the basis for other models, its designation changed into the "Type 04" Destroid. The main frame from the waist down was common to the Type 04 series, which included the the Defender and the Phalanx, a module which consolidated the thermonuclear reactor and ambulatory OverTechnology system of the Destroids. Production line integration using this module was a key goal of Destroid development.

The Type 04 series was developed jointly by Viggers and Chrauler and became also the basis of the MBR-04 Tomahawk. Unlike the variable fighters (which had to be designed to accommodate transformation mechanisms), the MBR series featured a structure with a large capacity that allowed plenty of room for machinery and armor.

Projectile resistance was stressed in the design, but the Tomahawk did not have the armor strength to withstand a direct hit from a Zentraedi mobile weapon. However, the Tomahawk made use of heaviness to add firepower and versatility such that it came to symbolize those features of the Destroid.

First development began in May 2001 and trial production began in December 2003. The decision to formally introduce the MBR-04 series of Destroids was made in June 2006, mass production began and the MBR-04-Mk I rollout occurred in February 2007. The Mk VI Tomahawk's and Mk X Defender's rollouts were in November 2007 and March 2009, respectively.

The MBR-04-Mk. I's initial weaponry consisted of rocket launchers and two arms for use in close-quarters combat. Eventually, the Tomahawk's arms evolved into fixed armaments unsuitable for hand-to-hand combat and thus it was best fielded in a combined arms role with cooperating Destroid models and the VF-1.
The Type 04 design led to expansion of installed armaments and achieved improvement in productivity and serviceability which contributed to the rapid development of the Destroid variations. The Tomahawk itself underwent a rapid development. Earlier variants, which mainly differed in the design of the arms and the weapon package, were only produced in limited numbers. The Mk. III introduced the first heavy particle beam cannon to the Destroids, and the following Mk IV. achieved excellent results in maneuvers and an enhanced output. The Mk. VI became the eventual mass production type, and some of the earlier models were later brought to Mk. VI standard.

Eventually, a considerable number 440 units (initially, 500 were envisioned) were deployed aboard the SDF-1 Macross and operated by the U.N. Spacy as well as the U.N.S. Marine Corps. Most of the Destroid Tomahawks were deployed upon the surface of SDF-1 to perform close-range interception and also to operate as an immediate combat force. A small number - primarily from the early variants with full arms and articulated hands for bigger field versatility in small combat groups - was operated by the UNSMC for landing operations and special tasks.

The Tomahawk operated as a core ground combat unit during the Great Stellar War (Space War I) and - when paired with the VF-1 variable fighter - achieved impressive military gains against the Zentraedi army.

General characteristics:
    Equipment Type: main battle robot, series 04
    Government: U.N. Spacy
    Manufacturer: Viggers/Chrauler
    Introduction: February 2007
    Accommodation: 1 pilot plus space for a second crew member

    Height 12.7 meters (overall)
              11.27 meters (up to head unit)
    Length 5.1 meters
    Width 7.9 meters
    Mass: 31.3 metric tons

Power Plant:
    Kranss-Maffai MT808 thermonuclear reactor, developing 2800 bhp output;
    Auxiliary GE EM9G fuel generator, rated at 450 kW

    2x thrust nozzles mounted in the lower back region, allowing the capability to perform jumps,
    plus several vernier nozzles around the hull for Zero-G manoeuvers

    Maximum speed: 180 km/h

Design features:
    - Detachable weapons bay (attaches to the main body via two main locks);
    - Extending/retractable periscope telescope (in weapon bay directly above the cockpit);
    - Option pack featuring missiles or searchlight (can be mounted on either side of the weapon bay);
    - Coolant tank (installed within the upper left side of the back torso);
    - Capable of performing jumps via 2 x thrust nozzles (mounted in the lower back torso);
    - Radiators with exhaust ports in the rear on the left and right hips
    - Cockpit can be separated from the body in an emergency (only the cockpit block is recovered);
    - Head unit equipped with 2 camera eyes, upper eye moving along a slit,
      the lower protected by a polarized light shield

    1x Mauler PBG-07 liquid-cooled electrically-charged twin particle beam gun
    2x Bifors close-in self-guided rocket launchers in the shoulders
         with 12 rockets per launcher (24 rockets total)   
    2x Astra TZ-III gun clusters in the lower chest with each cluster featuring:
        - 1x laser gun
        - 1x 25 mm heavy machine gun
        - 1x 180 mm grenade launcher
        - 1 x flamethrower
    2x Ramington M-89 12.7 mm air-cooled machine guns, mounted within the head unit

    Option packs:
    1x Erlikon anti-aircraft self-guided missile launcher with 6 missiles (shoulder mount)
    1x Rheinstahl 35 mm automatic rapid-fire cannon (lower arm pod)
    1x Stonewell 20 mm six-barrel gatling gun (lower arm pod) 

The kit and its assembly:
After a long time, a Macross mecha kit again. The idea behind this modified Tomahawk was that I always wondered about the clumsy "cannon arms" of the Mk. VI variant, and what an earlier version - with complete arms and hands - could have looked like? When I delved through my Macross donor parts bank I came across two lower arms from former VF-1 conversions (from different kits, though...), and I tested them on my authentic 1:100 Tomahawk Mk. VI model that I have built about 20 years ago: they seemed to work in size and volume!
An extensive spare parts and sprues safari followed and yielded two complete hands/fists from a VF-1 Gerwalk Arii kit (these appear to be totally outsized!), as well as lower arms/elbow sections, so that a transplantation to the Tomahawk’s arm stumps, which would later even allow a lengthwise axis mobility. And with some extra vinyl caps the transformation experiment could begin.

The basis is a Bandai re-issues of Imai’s 1982 1:100 Tomahawk kit, in specific from Macross' 30th anniversary merchandise. They seem to pop up every five years!?
However, having built and re-built several of the Imai/Arii Destroid kits, I made some changes beyond the arm transplantation, since there’s a lot of space for improvement, even though the kit as such is decent for its age. But you have to expect PSR almost everywhere, and the kit’s vintage “Matryoshka” construction of the model (build one element from two halves, place it between two more halves, etc.) does not make the assembly process easy – but there are ways to evade this inherent problem, see below.

One important improvement measure was a completely now hip joint arrangement. OOB, the Tomahawk's posture is pretty stiff, with the legs and feet straight forward - it's supposed to just stand upright, and with the model’s OOB joint options it is really hard to create a vivid poise. Furthermore, the bolts that hold the legs are prone to break off, even more so because the Tomahawk kit is from the 1st generation of mecha kits, without vinyl caps and just very tight joint fit.

My solution was the implantation of a new hip “bone” made from plastic-coated steel, which is stiff in itself but can be bent in two dimensions. The thighs had to be modified accordingly, since the wire is much thinner than the original bolts. As a convenient trick, the receptor holes in the thighs were simply filled with small vinyl rings - their outer AND inner diameter fit perfectly for the new arrangement. With this trick, a much more dynamic and "natural" leg position could be achieved, also thanks to the Tomahawk’s large feet and their joints. This tuning measure improves the model considerably.

Another change is the Tomahawk's weaponry, which is OOB pretty impressive. Since my fictional Mk. III lost its main arm weapons, I decided to give it at least a major cannon on the shoulder. A convenient donor came from a Dorvack 1:24 PA-36K "Berlon" kit, placed on a scratched mount on the right shoulder,. Which allows the weapon to be moved up and down. To make place for the new twin gun, the OOB sextuple missile launcher was moved to the left side, necessitating a modification of its holder, too.

As mentioned above, the arms use donor parts from the Arii VF-1 Gerwalk kit, but there are also less obvious changes. While the shoulder mounts and the upper arms were taken OOB from the Tomahawk kit, I modified their attachment system. Instead of the "put the arms between the fuselage halves" solution, I modified the arms so that they can be stuck independently into their respective hull openings. This has the benefit that they are actually movable (remember the tight fit of the model’s joints, add some paint and nothing will ever move), and they can be built and painted separately from the rest of the model. In order to stabilize the arms when in place and prevent them from falling out too easily, I added an interlaced styrene tube axis arrangement between them. Very simple and effective, and it works well.

The VF-1 Gerwalk lower arms were taken OOB. Upon test-fitting I found that the bulky Tomahawk could even take some more muscle on its new arms, so I added a pair of FAST packs from a Super Valkyrie kit to them (also found in the spares box…). These would, however, not contain AAMs, as on the VF-1, but rather more guns. I went for a medium machine cannon in the left arm and a gatling gun (scratched from syringe needles, fiddly affair...) against soft and aerial targets in the right arm.

In order to provide the model with some more details and depth I added a lot of small styrene bits everywhere – this is actually only necessary on the front sides of the lower legs for an authentic improvement, but all those other tiny bits and pieces just underline the mecha’s sturdiness and provide visual detail for the later painting process.
The machine guns above the cockpit were replaced with hollow steel needles; since these are thinner than the OOB barrels, I filled the gaps with paper tissues drenched in thinned white glue. Flexible cables (elastic braid) were added to the twin beam cannon and to the legs/hip joints.

Painting and markings:
Basically a simple affair, because I wanted to stay true to the original look of a typical Macross Destroid. These tend to carry a uniform livery, esp. the Tomahawk/Defender/Phalanx family is kept in murky/dull tones of green, brown and ochre: unpretentious "mud movers". Anything else or even complex camouflage patterns are rare. The OOB MBR-04-Mk. VI carries a reddish-brown livery, and Yamato also did an 1:60 Tomahawk action figure in an overall olive drab tone, which appears canonical.

However, for a personal touch I chose a greyish dark green as basic overall tone, Field Grey (Tamiya XF-65). The missile launcher covers on the shoulders were painted in NATO olive green (RAL 6014, Gelboliv, Revell 46), but the different tone became, after weathering, harder and harder to tell, so that the Tomahawk ended up with a relatively uniform livery.

Otherwise there's hardly any other color on the Tomahawk’s hull. The hands/fists were painted with Polished Steel metallizer, the bellows in the knees became anthracite (Revell 06). The characteristic white trim on the lower legs that many Destroids carry was painted with white - unfortunately none of the Destroid kits offers them as a decal. However, due to the legs' uneven underground, these would be difficult to apply, anyway. The lower camera visor was created with simple clear red paint on top of a basic coat with silver. The other small camera windows at the top and back are small decal squares in dayglo orange.

The model was thoroughly weathered with a heavier black ink wash and a total of three dry brushing turns: the first, generous treatment with acrylic Revell 67 (Grüngrau, RAL 7009), followed by the second, moer careful turn around the edges and other details with acrylic Revell 45 (Helloliv, a yellowish variant of RLM 02). The decals followed next, mostly taken from the OOB sheet, just with a few extra stencils, new tactical codes and the "Trixie” nose art (it actually belongs to a P-40F, piloted by Joseph A Bloomer Jr of the 318th FS/325th FG in the MTO) on the lower left leg – a typical detail of many Destroids.
The third dry brushing turn followed, this time with acrylic Revell 75 (a yellowish light grey), esp. on the edges and concentrated around the lower areas of the Tomahawk, simulating wear and dust/mud residue.

Finally, the model received an overall coat with acrylic matt varnish from the rattle can. Some bare metal showing through at a few edges was added, too, again through dry-brushing with silver. After final assembly of the elements, some mineral pigments were dusted onto the model with a soft, big brush. Around the feet, pigments were also applied into small patches of wet matt acrylic varnish, forming stable mud crusts.

I am quite happy with the outcome, even though the Field Grey turned out to be darker/more murky than expected, even though the color itself suits the Tomahawk well. The transplanted arms also blend well into this mecha which bristles with weapons: this fictional (I had no reference material for earlier Tomahawk versions except the official short texts from the Macross publications) result looks pretty plausible and complements the 20-years-old Mk. VI in my collection well.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 11:58:32 pm by Dizzyfugu »

Offline NARSES2

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Re: 1:100 Macross Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 05:55:55 am »
Now that's an impressive beast  :thumbsup:
Decals my @r$e!

Offline ysi_maniac

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Re: 1:100 Macross Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 01:13:02 pm »

Can you tell us what is that little vehicle?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2020, 01:15:03 pm by ysi_maniac »
Will die without understanding this world.

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: 1:100 Macross Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2020, 12:01:12 am »
You are free to guess.  ;D

But I think that would lead nowhere, so here are two pics of the complete APC-thing:

It's, at its core, a 1:72 Jagdpanzer IV! Originally inspired by the APC from Aliens and built more than 30 years ago - I built it for the Halcyon 1:72 Drop Ship, and it actually fits into its (converted) cargo bay. But it's pretty universal.  ;)
« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 12:06:43 am by Dizzyfugu »

Offline zenrat

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Re: 1:100 Macross Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2020, 03:38:07 am »
It's got better ground clearance than the Aliens APC.

The "giant robot" looks great.  Your modifications really paid off as it's stance looks very dynamic.

Another ill conceived, lazily thought out, crudely executed and badly painted piece of half arsed what-if modelling muppetry from zenrat industries.

zenrat industries:  We're everywhere for your convenience..

Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: 1:100 Macross Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2020, 04:07:05 am »
Thank you!  ;D

Offline Jacques Deguerre

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Re: 1:100 Macross Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2020, 09:48:23 am »
I actually like your Tomahawk design better than the original “gun arms” version.

Your wheeled vehicle is also is really cool!
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Offline silverwindblade

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Re: 1:100 Macross Destroid 'Tomahawk' MBR-04-Mk.III
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2020, 11:48:38 am »
Seconded on liking it better than the gun-arms version! it almost looks like an intermediate step between the Tomahawk and Cheyenne. Fantastic stuff.
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