Beyond The Sprues

Modelling => Ideas & Inspiration => SciFi & Fantasy => : strikehawk April 30, 2018, 01:52:39 PM

: Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought , Idea for Diorama
: strikehawk April 30, 2018, 01:52:39 PM
I'm planning on making a build from this anime, Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought. Season one is playing on Hulu at the moment and it has plenty of potential for dioramas in any scale. Simply put the story begins when  portal opens in The Ginza district of Tokyo in present day Japan. From the gate of the portal come mounted knights on horseback and riders on wyverns as well as archers, Roman soldiers with spear and shield and to add spice to the mix, an assortment of beings from Dungeons and Dragons.

After an initial shock the police and JSDF repulse the attack and drive the invaders off. Flash forward a few months and the JSDF cross over the portal and sets up camp in what is called the Special Region. After a few weeks of 'battle' with the local empire and it's vassals armies thing settle down. The Japanese gov't and the JSDF now decide to start sending recon units to scope out the land and get information from the locals. This is where my diorama idea comes into play.

My idea is one of two scenes, the first one of the recon teams meeting up with a local mounted unit set late in the first season. The second is a team escorting refugees from a village than's in danger of being wiped out from a Flame Dragon. My problem is that most of the modern equipment is available and I have some of what I need. What I don't have are the Light Attack Vehicles, the Japanese equivalent of the Humvee, mounted knights, did I mention that this particular unit is co-ed? Anyway, I need to find those, medieval villagers and wagons.

Anybody know where I can get those items without resorting to metal wargame figures? I plan on using the Aoshima JGSDF Armored 3.5 ton truck and either Revel Dingos or what ever Humvees that look good unless someone knows where I can find one or two LAVs. I know it's easier to scale up to 1/35 scale but I'm retired on a fixed income so the smaller the scale the more I can afford. I know that this isn't a total what if with everything more or less stock but the concept is a complete what if. It follows some of the Warhammer 40K games I used to play where the table was set up to look like a late Roman to mid Dark Ages town.

Right now I'm just putting this up for a sounding board so I can get my ducks, rather kits, in a row. I've still to set up my work room but my step daughter is still delaying in moving her and her kid's junk out of the house and for me to find all my gear and kits buried under more of her stuff in the garage. I'll post from time to time as I get things into my inventory and the ideas are worked out to the final plans. I also may need some buildings for that time period. For anyone interested the anime is worth your time as it is a big what if concept. At least the what's available to watch is dubbed in English and the voice acting is better than a lot of domestic shows. Having two grandsons living with me means that we have the TV on shows geared for kids younger then five. Somebody shoot me now, please.
: Re: Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought , Idea for Diorama
: Jeffry Fontaine May 01, 2018, 02:12:52 AM
Gate does look like it has a lot of potential across the entire spectrum of modeling.  Just had a peek at the first episode to try and understand what you were describing.  Interesting and intriguing story.  My last foray in to anything anime was Attack on Titan and I really enjoyed the anime and live action films that followed. 
: Re: Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought , Idea for Diorama
: strikehawk May 11, 2018, 03:37:40 PM
Mr Fontaine, thanks for your kind words to my rather...unconventional, idea. All that aside, I was able to access the first and second manga volumes. In those more equipment the combined JSDF use in the "Special Region". To my earlier list of options I can now add MRAP, the Komatsu LAV that resembled the Panhard VBL. There are also many heavy and light armored vehicles that are of previous generations and as explained in the mange (comic book) that the equipment while obsolescent is more useful due to the lack of reliance on modern electronics as well as using up surplus that can't be exported outside the nation. It seems as if it was following the example of the US deploying M117, very old Mk 80 series as well as other Vietnam/Cold war ordnance stores that had been in magazines since the late 60's to mid 70's.

As I stated this expands the possibilities for What If diorama's. In fact the helicopter platforms are AH-1's, UH-1D/H's, and CH-47's with the Kawasaki OH-1 Ninja scout helos being the most modern. The only fixed wings shown in the anime are the F-4EJ and Kawasaki C-1 transports. In the manga the Mitsubishi MU-2K / LR-1 Recon aircraft.

Having the chance to read the manga opened a bigger field of possibilities to get a chance to combine my love for model building, creating a fictitious setting and having the opportunity to blend in my passion for anime and manga. At the moment I don't have a place to build anything since on the day I was able to clear out one daughter's room and plan to turn it into an office/work shop my youngest girl announced that she was going to use that room for a nursery since her and her lazy boyfriend were having a kid.  As it stands now, we now have to dig out all of my model things and I mean everything, from the garage. Now I won't be building anything until late August. When I had decided to set up my office I was working with a good salary  where I could buy top of the line desks, chairs and shelving. Now that I'm retired I'll bee looking in Goodwill stores for that same stuff.

Sorry about the mini rant but it still hurts that I can't enjoy my hobby and my retirement like I had planned but the sad truth is that my would be office was never used as the kid's room but turning into storage for her stuff. While all my planned builds are behind schedule at least I have more time to plan. Until I am able to commit and begin a project I would love to discuss anyone's ideas as well as my own should anyone decide to do a build along the lines of the anime or manga.
: Re: Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought , Idea for Diorama
: elmayerle May 12, 2018, 01:23:27 AM
My sympathies on the delay on room access.  Modeling the MU-2K/LR-1 would require purchasing one of the conversion kits out there to make a stock "short body" MU-2 from Hasegawa's MU-2S (sometimes labeled MU-2A) and then modifying that (unless, of course, you can find one of the old Otaki/Paramount kits of the MU-2B).  If you wanted to do a subtle whif, upgrade the engines to those from the final "short body" variant, the Solitare with four-bladed propellers (note that they rotate opposite from the three-bladed ones).

It sounds like a fascinating concept and I am quite tempted to look up the manga volumes (at least) for myself.
: Re: Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought , Idea for Diorama
: Story August 09, 2018, 04:06:32 AM
I had to look this one up. (

Seems to fit into the Anachronistic Group Build parameters (

: Re: Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought , Idea for Diorama
: elmayerle August 10, 2018, 10:17:50 AM
If anyone is interested, I ended up, by accident, purchasing two full sets of the first two seasons on DVD from Malaysia.  I can let one go if there's interest.
: Re: Gate: Thus the Japanese Self-Defense Force Fought , Idea for Diorama
: strikehawk February 04, 2019, 12:12:09 PM
A little update

First off, I'm sorry for not being as active as I would've liked but between issues already stated I, my wife, and my mother have all had stays in the hospital in the intervening time but, nearly 90% of my model collection, library, and tools have been moved into the room I claimed as my office. I now just have to wait until our finances settle down so I can get a couple of desks from Goodwill to use as workbenches.

Now, as far as my update, just before Xmas last year I was able to acquire a kit from Galaxy Hobbies M1240 M-ATV. This is either the same or the US equivalent to the smaller vehicle used in the JSDF 3rd Recon's convoy. If you've seen the anime clip, the smaller of the convoy that mounted the M2HBMG whose gunner used the Panzerfaust IV on to wound the dragon. In case anyone would like to order this, I found it via eBay but I'm sure that other places stock them. Manufacture's stock number is 'GH72A01' or 'GH72AO1', hard to make out the number because of the font that was used on the box.

The kit is tiny as one would expect for this scale, in fact, I was ribbed for have this as my scale of choice due to the fact that I have to now wear glasses. According to my dearest and longest suffering friend from childhood, it's because my eyes just gave up one day after having to deal with models this small for over 50 years. Anyway, the kit has quite a few small parts including one fret of PE brass and a sprue of clear plastic for the 'glass'.

In total the box contains one Zip-Loc bag holding the PE fret and the decal sheet, said sheet is additionally protected by a slip of paper covering the inked side.

One Zip-Loc bag, in fact, all sprues are in Zip-Loc bags, holding the clear sprue.

One bag holding the five, black, soft plastic tires. I love that they saw fit to include the spare in the same material and not cast in styrene the usually resulting in a spare can't match the color of the others and a tire with a high chance of mismatched tread patterns or worse, a bald tire with no tread at all.

The rest are 4 bags holding separate tan plastic sprues and parts.

The one leaflet instruction sheet also holds the painting and decal guide, sadly, only one desert color scheme though, and decal placement instructions. Of the two double-sided paper sheets, one is an advertisement for the T Models TM7201 M1114 Up-armored HMMWV. This kit also includes PE parts.

The other is a flyer for other kits from the same manufacturer including the same kits only with the M153 CROWS II turret.

As I mentioned earlier, I was ribbed for choosing such a small scale and asked why I didn't go with 1/35th instead. My answer is that the deciding factor was the size and appearance of the dragon as well as its price. With one 72nd scale, I can source a dragon or wyvern, with or without a rider, from Games Workshop or similar close to the size I want as well as how it looks. The dragon in the anime has a more classic European middle-ages look unlike the facial features of its Chinese or Japanese cousins. Believe it or not, there was either a series or movie length documentary on the myth of dragons as well as their biology, physical traits, and mating behavior. All was a fiction of course but it did take the stories and history into a deeper look than what had been done before. Anyway, there are major differences between the two or three sub-species of the animals.

Then there is also the fact that 1/35 Medieval non-combatants, women, aged, and children, are hard to find. I did take a look at some very old MARX Toy company playsets, re-pops, and third-party items in the same general scale and found that they could be painted quite reasonably having done this with a couple of WWII GIs back around 1983 or 84. Once again it came down to not only comparative sizes but price as well. These old toy soldiers were and are still well detailed but they're closer to 54mm_1/35th scale and would look wrong should they be posed talking to a 35th scale JSDF member.

To me, not only can I source the same style of figures from 20-25mm or76th scale lines, their slightly smaller hight and builds would fit in historically in that people, mostly Europe and the Americas, are now taller and heavier than their ancestors. I want to build a more peaceful scene from the anime after the dragon is done showing a recon team interacting with the locals in a village somewhere. I have several Aoshima and Fuji kits with JSDF figures that, along with some figures of American troops, would look good talking to a woman in either medieval rough woolen clothes or a Roman tunic. Aoshima includes in its kits a figure of a man with a camera so one could pose the vehicle he came with either an Otaku that's a, according to a girl in one of my favorite animes, 'an over obsessive military fanboy.' Either that or he can be used as a reporter of some kind. For those who don't know, and Otaku is a person that has a hobby that borderlines obsession. The term is mostly associated with guys like me that read and watch lots of manga as well as having to have every item associated with the series that he's into.

As time goes on the term is getting wider use, I've heard people be called military otakus as mentioned earlier but there are also train, car, food, music and airplane otakus out there. There are even, gasp, model otakus amongst us but they also answer more commonly to the call of 'rivet counters'. ;D Anyway, back to my plans, first we get all the money, then we get all the women, after that, we can take over the world....

Ahh, sorry wrong plans. My next purchase will be the dragon like I said I want a western species of them and unless someone knows of other companies it looks like GW is going to be the one I'll have to source from. So, here is the list of what is to be purchased over the next few months,

28mm scale dragon

Two M1114 up-armored HMMWVs

Compatible 1/72 scale modern military figures

Medieval or Roman era peasants and high born civilians, hopefully from just one source to have a constant scale in either 20-25mm or 72-76 scale in either resin, 'lead', or resin.

For the second, more pastoral diorama I want to build huts, houses, buildings, church square, or market place as well as the food, drink, and other goods found in such a location.

My friends kidding aside, it's my opinion based on my experiences built up from 1968 that for a lot of subjects and era's, 1/72 scale in the scale that offers the most variety for what one needs for their build. Not only that but it lends itself well to those that are starting out in building from scratch as the scale is easier to work with, 1"=6', with only 1/48th scale being easier to calculate with it's .25"-1'. Hopefully, I'll be able to post and the next project updates a lot quicker and have some construction pics to go alongside it.

One last thing, I belong to a local model club and at this last meeting several members, the ones that were giving me crap about the scale I chose, seemed interested in the project. That lasted until I uttered 'anime' and 'what if', then they started in on 'this is why I hated Misawa' and 'anime, that explains a lot about you.' My response was my usual middle finger and two words accompanying saying as well as taking comfort in the fact that one, was in the Air Force and was a lesser being that a Sailor and the two of them have never, to my knowledge, brought anything to a meeting, either built or unbuilt. To top things off, the second guy is one of the most annoying rivet counters I ever met. At least when I was an active Warhammer 40K player my collection of armor and select figures were on permanent display at the hobby shop that game was played at. Right now I'm at the longest time I have ever been at away from building a kit of any kind but even when I'm not able to build I'm still going over a diorama build mentally so I know exactly how my build will procceed.