Wednesday, 14 March 2012

More 15mm Mecha

 I've always had an affection for Zoids.  I remember the Zoids comic strip that ran alongside Spiderman for many months, my school friend had the "Marvel Collected Comics" issue that bound together the first few issues in one volume and it captured my imagination from that first moment.  The UK Zoids comic had a completely different storyline to the original Japanese series.

Zoids seem ideal for Mecha warfare in 15mm.  Supposedly constructed in 1/72 scale, the Zoid pilots were clearly below average height when compared to a 1/72 or 1/76 plastic soldier (interestingly, this carried through into  the comic strip, a human teenager was able to squeeze into a Zoid cockpit that was too small for an adult).

The plastic pilot

My first Zoid for use is Gunsniper, a saurian type robot based on a velociraptor.  Being one of the standard small wind-up Zoid types, it is impressive on the 15mm battlefield without being overpowering like a bigger battery-powered Zoid might be.  A quick test shows that the cockpit is a comfortable size for an NAC autocannon gunner (in this case he's a pilot for a different vehicle who's been given a head-swap and has no feet!).

Footless GZG pilot conversion

Although Gunsniper is held together well by the polycaps included with the kit, I'm going to glue it together anyway, then smooth some of the joins with Humbrol model filler and a quick file/sandpaper.  Colour scheme will become a more utilitarian olive drab - unless I decide to go for a high science fiction bright and flashy finish.  I'll probably go with the more basic colours so that it looks less Zoid-like and blends in with my other models more effectively.

Gunsniper in normal mode

Gunsniper carries a satisfying array of weaponry, another reason for it being my first choice of Zoid for 15mm gaming.  A  tribarrel 40mm cannon on each forearm will provide strong anti-personnel firepower, a chest mounted 80mm cannon gives additional anti-personnel and limited anti-tank capabilities, plus two missile pods on the back will provide the main anti-tank punch.  The missile pods also include jump-jets that pop out when you press a button on top.  These are a bit disappointing - it's not like you can't see the engine nozzle when it's in the retracted position so the "pop-out" feature seems pretty pointless!

Attack mode

In Tomorrow's War terms, Gunsniper will primarily be a Tech Level 3 piece of equipment.  It certainly looks faster, more agile and technically accomplished  than the Destroids, I imagine it will have been produced using cutting-edge technology including the latest sensors and armour.  Weapons will probably be a mix of Tech 2 and 3 systems.  It will no doubt incorporate some advanced tech such as detonation fields, stealth/ECM systems, possibly an AI.


  1. I must have my eyes closed when I go round shops-where do you guys spot all this stuff?! I bet you've got young children! Are you going to give this your usual love and attention with the paint brush etc?

    1. No young children, but I am a Scout Leader...

      I got this 5 or 6 years ago when Zoids were re-launched along with a cartoon series (which I never actually saw). I already had plenty of older Zoids from when I was but a wee lad!