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I proudly admit that I am a child of the ‘80s, and that growing up my favourite things were giant robots. It didn’t matter to me if they were Transformers, GoBots or piloted mecha from cool shows like Robotech or Voltron. Big robots = awesome. That’s true math.

Since growing up kinda sucks, I think I decided not to bother, and I still love robots today! However, there’s something about ‘80s robots and ‘80s mech anime that just grab me and won’t let go. The art style, the character designs and the slightly looser constraints on what was allowed in terms of mech design really combine to make an irresistible product.

That’s why I was so excited to not only get to watch Metal Armour Dragonar (albeit with questionable subs), but to get my hands on pretty much every 1/144 kit from the series! The first one I built was the Schwalg, an enemy flying mech known, appropriately, as a Flug Armor.

Check it out, and see why these simple but awesome kits are some of my prized possessions!

https://adamrehorn.wordpress.com/model-kits/mecha-robots/bandai-1-144-flug-armor-ffa-02-schwalg/

 

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Dragonar was a decent show, intentionally designed to be 'Gundam For America' (because Tomino declared, numerous times, that "America cannot understand Gundam" but Sunrise and Bandai deeply, deeply coveted American money. So, like the horror show known as 'Doozy Bots' in the '90s (look it up. It will frighten you :) ) a desire to craft 'Gundam Lite' was felt, and hence, Dragonar, with it's beautiful robots (many recycled from rejected designs for Vifam). of course they never managed to SELL the show to any syndication provider (I expect they were holding out for one of the Big Three to step up to air it in prime time...yeaaaah, Japanese animation studios were that unrealistic) but be that as it may... :)

The Okawara designs were things of beauty. The 'bad guy' mechs were very creative. Sadly, there are cool mechs that never got kitted.

Love your work, Adam! :)
 

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I proudly admit that I am a child of the ‘80s, and that growing up my favourite things were giant robots. It didn’t matter to me if they were Transformers, GoBots or piloted mecha from cool shows like Robotech or Voltron. Big robots = awesome. That’s true math.

Since growing up kinda sucks, I think I decided not to bother, and I still love robots today! However, there’s something about ‘80s robots and ‘80s mech anime that just grab me and won’t let go. The art style, the character designs and the slightly looser constraints on what was allowed in terms of mech design really combine to make an irresistible product.

That’s why I was so excited to not only get to watch Metal Armour Dragonar (albeit with questionable subs), but to get my hands on pretty much every 1/144 kit from the series! The first one I built was the Schwalg, an enemy flying mech known, appropriately, as a Flug Armor.



KOOL!!
I grew-up in the 60's.. check out; Astro Boy, Gigantor, Tobor the 8th Man,
these are all early Jap-anime ... :wink2:

Bubba the Senile 123 :willy_nilly:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dragonar was a decent show, intentionally designed to be 'Gundam For America' (because Tomino declared, numerous times, that "America cannot understand Gundam" but Sunrise and Bandai deeply, deeply coveted American money. So, like the horror show known as 'Doozy Bots' in the '90s (look it up. It will frighten you :) ) a desire to craft 'Gundam Lite' was felt, and hence, Dragonar, with it's beautiful robots (many recycled from rejected designs for Vifam). of course they never managed to SELL the show to any syndication provider (I expect they were holding out for one of the Big Three to step up to air it in prime time...yeaaaah, Japanese animation studios were that unrealistic) but be that as it may... :)

The Okawara designs were things of beauty. The 'bad guy' mechs were very creative. Sadly, there are cool mechs that never got kitted.

Love your work, Adam! :)
The show certainly has the feel of Gundam Lite, but I still really like it. I really wish the story was as serious, and as well animated as its intro looks, though. I get such a GUndam 0083 vibe from the intros... (that, 0083, is my favourite sci-fi anime ever, of course). There are a lot of similarities to Layzner mecha as well. Especially in the Skullgunner/Gwei, the weird round-head and kinda non-face really seem related.

"Doozy Bots". Oh my God... You know, I can't unsee garbage like that. Thanks... thanks for the mental scars. That is just, well, terrible beyond non-swearing words, or self mutilation with dull pencils!

Bubba: While '60s anime isn't as much my thing, I am definitely familiar with all of those! Can't go wrong with the classics!
 

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I can't remember which books I was going thru, several on a random hunt, and noticed right away that Okawara was recycling a LOT in the '80s, roughs and prelims and rejected designs floated from Vifam to Layzner to Dragonar. By the time the early '90s hit, Bandai had a controlling interest in Sunrise and the edict was laid down: "Since only Gundam sells, all robots will now be Gundam". This was aimed mainly at the current Gundam iteration (supposedly the Gundam kit always outsold the other MS by like 10 to 1 or something) in order to increase sales- if ALL the MS are Gundams, of course they would all sell at that '10' ratio. No more dogged out shelf warmer kits! Of course the brains at Bandai didn't key in that the reason why 'Gundam' outsold, say, 'Vigna Gina' (ha!) was that the Gundam was the ride of the main protagonist in the show. The hero mech always sells better. I mean, obvious, right?

But that edict pretty much spelled the end of that marvelous creativity of the '80s. Everything has to be Gundam. Shows and kits. (yes there have been exceptions, few exceptions). I would go so far as to say some of the more recent Gundam series might have been better, gotten more publicity and more fan interest if they had been given a name other than Gundam.

Blah blah. :)

That OP for Dragonar is like a one-shot example of Sunrise at the height of their power. Great visuals, catchy as all heck OP theme, if you caught those credits you HAD to watch the show!

And a goofy nod to Gerry Anderson in the Sunrise 'approved so it's canon' publicity material, articles and art produced for NewType Magazine, that have International Rescue produced rescue kits as part of the cockpit of the Metal Armor robots!

(Someone MUST have scanned that art. It was in the magazines and later reproduced in several mooks about the show)

I would wish Bandai could revisit their old shows with new kits, like a 1/144 HGMA (high grade metal armor) line. *sigh*
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I would wish Bandai could revisit their old shows with new kits, like a 1/144 HGMA (high grade metal armor) line. sigh
Man, so do I. Although, I'd prefer Layzner (and even Galient) to get the treatment, since I have the Dragonar kits!

Imagine what they could do if they started to make it "Sunrise Build Fighters" instead of just "Gundam Build Fighters".

Yeah, baby...
 
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