Sep 27
Cacophanus

Text by Cacophanus from Mecha Damashii, pictures and build by Dr. Robodaz.

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Following the unboxing, here is the build for Bandai’s 1/20 scale Scopedog Turbo Custom from The Last Red Shoulder OVA. This was a spinoff of the original Armored Trooper VOTOMS series and did its best to explain the mysterious Red Shoulder battalion and Chirico Cuvie’s part in that.

The original VOTOMS TV series was split into four parts, each which covered a different area. The first of these areas was the city Woodo: a war-torn and blasted city plagued by acid rain and looking like something out Blade Runner.

At the end of this arc, the series jumps to the jungles of Kummen but before that an important part of the narrative needed to be told.

This is because throughout the initial Woodo arc, Chirico’s former position within the feared Red Shoulder special forces was something of an often mentioned but vaguely explained mystery.

Who were the Red Shoulders? How were they founded? Who ran them? Did they still exist?

A few years after the series ended, the Last Red Shoulder OVA was released in 1985. Placed after the end of the Woodo arc but before the move to Kummen, it deals with Chirico meeting up with his former Red Shoulder comrades to undertake one last and very personal mission.

Aside from Chirico, the three other characters are Gregor, Byman, and Musa. In a brave storytelling move, The Last Red Shoulder doesn’t really give us much of their backstory and how they got to know Chirico. Instead, all of that was shown in a prequel OVA called the Roots of Ambition and they all start out as anything but friends.

However, by the time of The Last Red Shoulder they’ve mellowed somewhat but they still have one major grudge: that Colonel Yoran Pailsen, who was the founder of the Red Shoulders and someone who had tried to get them all killed.

This meetup then is to undertake a suicide mission by hunting down Pailsen and killing him. However, while the Red Shoulders have been officially disbanded they know that Pailsen has kept the Red Shoulders around for his own personal safety.

This is where the Scopedog Turbo Custom comes in. The four characters meet up at a garage and do their best to rebuild a bunch of junked Turbo Customs into something workable. Despite being former members of the Red Shoulders, they also hate the battalion and so don’t paint the right shoulders of their Scopedogs red, basically to snub those who are obviously defending Pailsen, that they were bested by “normal” soldiers.

This kit set is special then, as it allows you to build one of the four Scopedog Turbo Customs corresponding to each of the characters from The Last Red Shoulder. It’s a lovely kit though and Robodaz, as always, has done an amazing job.

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As Robodaz built this, I asked him to break down any salient points he had on the kit:

– The head cap detaches, the cameras rotate, and the front plate lifts up crew mounting.
– The cockpit is fully detailed.
– Any one of the Last Red Shoulder Turbo Customs can be made, but only one pilot (Chirico) is included.
– The hip and leg articulation do not quite allow you to get the kit into at rest pose without mods, but this is balanced by an incredible amount of articulation in the joints.
– The rear wheels retract into the legs properly and can be shielded.
– All parts are molded in the correct color (this is Bandai, after all), but it benefits from a lick of paint.
– The only demerits are that all the rollers are fixed and the fingers are not fully articulated (just the trigger finger).

Naturally, the Scopedog Turbo Custom is by no means the only mecha in the VOTOMS universe and I am sure Robodaz will be availing himself of the other 1/20 scale VOTOMS kits from Bandai.
 

Comments

  1. I love the design of the Votom suits, but I preferr the older BANDAI kit, where the armorplates are fixed with real bolts to the frame. I have backordered one of those for about 4 month now I think. But enough about me. It is joined forces for the win, this time and your teamwork paied of. Thanks for the nice review and the clean build. I always enjoy reading your articles during the cofebreaks at work.

    • If you look at the unboxing you’ll see the infamous bolts are still present, and are indeed used for bolting the main armor plates in place.

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