Wednesday, January 16, 2013
RIP Jovian Chronicles: A Bevy of (Not) Doms...
"Doesn't it look like a Kondoh-type Rik Dom?" Marc-Alex Vezina, creator of Jovian said to me in an email. The year was 199- something. (Do keep that in mind when you see the paint jobs, please, I was still finding my way)
1996? '95? Doesn't matter. I had originally struck up an email conversation with him through their fanzine, Mecha Press, beginning a relationship that would eventually get me a gig writing for Heavy Gear. Marc-Alex was gushing about his pet project and its bitchin' designs. Now, having been exposed to a bevy of anime and yet only had Battletech's terrible designs as gaming pieces, the Jovian Chronicles mecha and their RAFM minis were a breath of fresh air. So, I decided to follow along with theme and paint the enemy mecha squadron of Wyverns along the lines of its Gundam counterpart. Moreover, I would have one for each Rik Dom model.
The personal machine of enemy ace Char Aznable. was always painted red, and needed a confidant, aggressive pose, so I chose to model it calling out the enemy (or questioning the falsehood of his cause; Char did that). The Wyvern Commander Type also had a sensor dish mounted on its shoulder for some reason.
The Wyvern was supposed to had a propellant tank, but for some reason, they left it off the mini. RAFM's quality control was also atrocious. Missing parts, weird miscasts... oh well. They're out of business now, I think.
The standard, soldier type Rik Dom was in the purple of the Black Tri-Stars, a squadron of Zeon Aces who specialized in blowing apart capital ships. Their paint scheme somehow spread to every Rik Dom ever issued to a grunt.
I'm torn between loving and being mortified by the old paint, honestly. The more I stare at these photos, the better weathering looks. Maybe it's just me?
Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory brought the Dom Tropen variant in desert colors, not to mention the longer armor skirts and blast shield on the bazooka. Unlike the other three, this one was painted relatively recently, even though it sat, primed black, in its box for an eternity.
I wish these things had been around during the heyday of Battletech. I feel like whatever appreciation they would have gotten on the gaming table is gone forever. Oh well, at least they're collector's items.
Lastly, this Colony Marine version came about due to RAFM's terrible quality control, which led to weird warps on the armor skirts and a missing bazooka. Luckily I had some grenade racks in the bits box, not to mention a weapons upgrade sprue from the large-scale Heavy Gear line, which included this fantastic gatling cannon.
Yes, that ammo belt is the tail from the old pewter Queen Alien. The massive ammo drum was a capsule that pencil erasers came in. Reasoning it would run out of ammo quickly (look up the rate of fire on a vulcan some time) I also gave thing a backup rifle slung on its rear skirt. Nowadays I'd drybrush up from that atrocious green wash job.... oh well, the past is the past, and there are other things to do than strip and repaint old minis.