When Armored Trooper VOTOMS was released, there were toys in a number of different sizes and formats, including the 1/60 scale AT Collection Series diecast minis, which were similar in vein to the 1/144 Dougram figures and the Takatoku 1/144 Macross Destroids. These little guys are sharply molded, nicely detailed, and had a good heft due to the diecast parts. They stand around 3″ tall. Unlike the Dougram and Macross minis, the VOTOMS figures did not feature painted much detail, since the idea was that you would paint them up and apply the stickers yourself, in that classic 80s Dual Model style. I made a few mods to this guy and painted him up. You can see an unpainted out of the box version in Veef’s review on CollectionDX.
I added and refined a couple details on this Diving Beetle, including all the photoetch parts to cover some nasty sink marks and molding flaws, drilled out the lifting lug holes on the shoulders, added new screw heads and a cast texture to the shoulders, and removed most of the mold lines on the plastic parts. I also removed excess support material on the swamp walker actuator arms.
The Diving Beetle is an aquatic landing Armored Trooper, and first appears in the Planet Kuumen, which starts off like Apocolypse Now in space. Running with the Space ‘Nam theme, I gave this guy some decently heavy mud and dust accumulation like he was tromping around in the swamp, and even added a little nose art. I painted the whole figure with acrylics, starting with airbrushed blue and gray. From there I blocked in the rest of the details and started the weathering process, which involved a lot of selective and very thin washes to gradually build up the different colors of dust and mud in a layered and subtle fashion. I experimented in a couple of places here using some techniques I picked up from an acrylic modeling DVD by Mig Jimenez. I’m really happy with how it came out, and have a couple of new products in the mail to enhance the process even further for next time. The markings are a mix of the stickers the figure came with and a couple more I painted on.
The big plates on the shins are a muck-walker system that allows the machines to do their typical roller dash skating maneuvers underwater without getting stuck. As such, they needed to be extra grimy.