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1/24 Dorvack Armoured Power Suit


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I was recently invited to participate in a group build over on Instagram. The subject is a series of model kits based on “Special Armored Battalion Dorvack”  (an obscure 1983 anime series that ran for a year in Japan). I was completely unaware of the series and not particularly psyched to participate, as it was bit outside my interests and comfort zone. But refusing the invitation seemed impolite and it might be an opportunity to do something a bit different. Plus, in addition to the (boring to me) transformer type robots, the show featured armoured powersuits in the Ma.k vein. So I decided to give it a go. 
 

The kits were produced by the Gunze Sangyo company, best known today for their Mr. Hobby line of paints. The show and kits weren’t all that popular, so Gunze brought in manga artist and scratch builder Mokoto Kobayashi to build some customized versions of the kits for a promotional brochure called “Hyper Dorvack Document“ to be distributed to the shops to generate some excitement. Mokoto Kobayashi had then just recently worked with Kow Yokoyama on Hobby Japan’s SF3d series (SF3d would eventually be known as Maschinen Krieger). 

 

So here's the kit I was able to get on Ebay. Mine is the blue variant on the right.

 

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The kit is extremely basic and ill-fitting. Every part is split down the middle and many don't even have any registration pins to align the parts during assembly. The sheer amount of effort I had to put in patching seam lines definitely sucked a lot of creative energy that would have been better spent elsewhere. That said, I was determined to make the best of it. I wanted to build it in the more gritty, realistic style that Kobayashi used for the Hyper Document, making it more akin to the suits in the MA.k universe.

 

I sculpted in some wrinkles behind the knees to represent a rubber {or leather?) flexure using epoxy putty.

 

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I wanted to add some hoses going from the backpack to the legs, so I needed to add some attachment points. Here I used a pony bead (graciously donated by my daughter), a faux pearl 1/2 sphere and some tubing to rough out the shape. Then I blended between them with putty.

 

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Similarly for the upper attachments:

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I decided to use the kits upper arm as the forearm and replace the upper arm all together. My goal was to make the arms much longer, giving it a slightly ape-like aspect. Here's the new upper arm ( a Gundam option part). I used a larger styrene 1/2 pearl as the pivot point and grafted on  the kits original shoulder attachment. This was blended in with more putty. The hollow sections on the back of the arms were filled in with scrap styrene and kit parts.

 

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I didn't want to have the usual 'gun-hand', so I came up with a sort of 'high voltage discharge staff, cobbled together from some Evergreen tubes and kit parts.

 

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More soon. Thanks for any interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Photon
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Plenty of interest here! The anime is a new one to me, but the suit certainly shows the roots of the SF3D armoured fighting suits.

I like the modifications that you're doing. I'm sure we have some of those beads around the house somewhere. (Grand Daughters. Tsk!)

"I came up with a sort of 'high voltage discharge staff" - A Sci Fi cattle prod then.

I'll continue to watch with great interest, though I'm going to be off line for most of this week :sad:

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Thanks, Pete. Always appreciated!

 

Yeah, a cattle prod. I thought making it really long might give him a wizard or sage like look, too. Which is a bit weird, I know.

Since you'll be away, here are a couple more photos I just took, as I got a coat of primer on things.

 

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We're getting really close to the part where I don't work on it for a month, because I can't decide how I'll paint it...

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Thanks. The longer arm looks better. If he drops anything he can pick it up now. It's not as if he can bend down in that thing!

I like the .50 cal aerial on the back. And the hose looks good. It's very smooth, as opposed to the textured AFS.

The similarities to AFS are amazing. I wonder if there was a copyright battle as there was with SF3D.

I just did a google search for images and the rest of the hardware looks typical of the period. The robots are pretty clunky. 

Paint? keep it simple I say. The multi colours of the anime make it too toy like. My last one was in IJN grey/green, I liked it. How about a light blue? Or sand yellow?

I looked at ebay for kits. Nothing much this side of the pond. A few over there in the States, but postage costs as much or more than the kit, & they aren't cheap!

No Gunze but a few Ayoshima and 1/48th as well as the 1/24th.

21 minutes ago, Photon said:

Which is a bit weird, I know.

And using kids beads to modify a model kit of a nonexistant exoskeleton isn't weird? :laugh:

Bring on the weird is what I say!

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Thanks. 
I believe the Ayoshima kits are reissues using the same ‘83 tooling, with Mokoto Kobayashi art on the box. Here’s a link to the Hyper Dorvack document:

http://www.zimmerit.moe/hyper-dorvack-document-makoto-kobayashi/


All in all, I would say get one if you find it really cheap (like 8 bucks at the charity shop cheap), But don’t spend any real money on them. For what I paid for this kit, I practically could have bought a Wave 1/20 Kit and had a much more pleasant time putting it together. 

 

spread the weird

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Pete's right, that IS very Maschinen kreiger isn't it?

 

As long as you don't go for the bright anime colour finish I think it looks great!

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Ahhhh good work! I got a couple of these a while ago; they're funky enough, but not easy to get looking good. I know that the Ma.K Venus suit is basically a couple of Dorvacks hacked together with a lot of putty!spacer.png

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Yes, I had read that the Venus suit was made from two of the very kit that I built. It’s really cool.

Now that I’ve handled the parts, it’s really obvious where all bits came from.


 


 

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