Bandai Scopedog 1/20 WIP
I snapped this kit at build gatherings years ago and had dreams of making a big maintenance diorama with 1/20 scale Ma.K. figures and race car tools and paraphernalia. But I got smart, ditched my grandiose plans and just built the thing. Sometimes I have too many ideas and my dreams of turning every model into a complex showpiece makes them languish in “I don’t want to start something that complicated” hell. I’ve been going to IPMS Orange County meetings since 2014 and when they had a large scale monthly contest theme, I decided to dust off the Scopedog and try to finish it with some of the weathering products I had purchased but hadn’t had a chance to try.
Even without a maintenance diorama, I still wanted to do some things to make the Scopedog more interesting. The first thing I did is add texture to the shoulder pauldrons using Mr. Surfacer 500. This simulates a cast-iron texture. Next I used glue and my X-Acto knife to add weld seam texture to the edges of the torso. These things are shown in the Scopedog’s instruction manual and a lot of modelers have done the same mods.
Next I chopped up the seated pilot figure so that I could pose him to be peaking out the Scopedog’s visor hatch. I thought this would add some visual interest to the model, as well as emphasize the large scale of the kit by showing the large 1/20 scale pilot inside.
This kit is fantastic and features a fully-detailed interior. I painted and weathered the cockpit first, just like I do with my airplane kits. I changed the entire color scheme for both the cockpit and pilot. I made the cockpit lighter to show off the detail, to which I added a few photoetch parts and quite a few decals from the spares bin. I gave the pilot a green suit since I can’t imagine jumping out of a stricken armored trooper in the middle of battle wearing a bright orange suit that says “Shoot me!”
After completing the cockpit, I worked on the rest of the model. The next part I tackled was painting and doing the early weathering of the exterior of the model in subassemblies. This included decaling, a filter wash, and a panel line wash. Then I took that all apart and painted and weathered the interior of the model using a track wash intended for tank treads. Then I put it all together and weathered the exterior some more with paint chips, mud splatters, dust, and rain streaks (the techniques are covered in my weathering tutorial in the Tips and Advice section).
Once the Scopedog was done, I created a base depicting a dirt road that was dry but had recently seen rain (thus explaining all the dirt and mud on the model). I’ve never been happy with nature dioramas that I’ve made in the past because they seem too lifeless, so I set out to give this one a variety of plant life and detail. I got several items from a local hobby shop specializing in trains, and then added to what I bought with my own ideas and details. In the case of the yellow flowering plants, I looked at some plants they had in the store. They looked nice but came in a pack of 6 for $10 and decided I could make my own. Mine were almost as good as the ones in the store and cost pennies to make from wire, glue, and green and yellow scenic flocking. I took the lichen bushes that don’t look like actual bushes to me and painted them with glue and dipped them in green scenic flocking to make more realistic bushes. I put in some wooden scenic “logs” to represent dead trees (they got a wash to make them look more to scale). The basic dirt is real dirt colored with the same pigments I used in weathering the model. The grass is static grass and I also threw in a few clusters of tall grass cut from longer strands of scenic grass. I made the wet puddles with AK Fresh Mud which has a slightly glossy “wet” finish.
Click the picture link below for the Gallery page for this model.