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Judge Dredd’s ABC War Robot Model

The ABC Warrior was an old robot used in a previous war. The ABC Warrior eventually ended up in the hands of the legal arms dealer Geiger.

After Geiger was killed by Rico, Rico reprogrammed the Robot to obey his command. Afterwards the Robot was Rico’s main muscle and did any necessary heavy combat for him and Dr. Ilsa. When Judge Griffin suggests they reboot the Janus Project and the council refuses, he has the robot kill the council and blames it on Dredd.

Later when Rico no longer needed Griffin he had the robot pull him apart. It is later used in an attempt to kill Judge Hershey and Fergee but only manages to injure Fergee. When its back is turned Fergee manages to hack into the robot and uses it to destroy the Janus Lab and its Rico Clones. It is either destroyed or deactivated after Rico had been killed.

Judge Dredd’s ABC War Robot Model

Here is a model kit of the ABC War Robot that I’ve been meaning to build for a very long time. The last time I worked with PVC model kits was back in the late 90’s. I built a Tusken Raider and a Darth Vader model back the from the now defunct Screamin’ Models. There are not a lot of parts inside the boxes and PVC makes a nice media for these kind of subjects.

Although in a parenthesis here I must mention that Moebious Models has done the heck of a job with the likeness of Adam West and Julie Newmar in their recent Batman and Catwoman release.

The ABC War Robot you are seeing is from Tsokuda Models and is no longer in production. Well, or so I thought. This model kit was in the Sci-Fi section of my local hobby shop for $59.99. With some trades I made that day, I was able to leave the hobby shop with this kit. If you look for this subject at the auction site and based on the pictures, this model kit is still being made most likely unlicensed. They are molded in white instead of brown and all the extra PVC to be cut-off has the same shape like if they were coming from the original mold and not a recast (as many of these unlicensed models are). So why going with a Tsokuda model which is a sought after model kit among collectors and not going with a cheaper unlicensed version? The answer is simple; I did not know if what I was going to get a cheap imitation for my money. Now that I was able to work with the real deal, I’m able to say that what you get from auction site is pretty much the same kit but molded in white and without the hefty collector’s price tag. Back in the day this model kit was distributed by Model Rectifier.

Working with a PVC Model

This kit is made out of PVC and only works with (CA) adhesives. PVC is very ‘CA’ friendly and the bond is quite strong. So here you make sure to test fit twice, and glue once. Another thing to pay GREAT attention to is the fact that these models are not enamel solvents friendly. So the builder will have to use acrylic based paints and weathering products or else you will loose your model. PVC is a bit flexible but hard to cut with a blade. To overcome this, the modeler will need to put the pieces in hot water. You can even boil the parts but not over-boil them. Once these parts are warm, you will proceed to cut them with a fresh #11 blade. It will cut very easy thru the plastic in fact, too easy so be careful and patient. There are lines molded on the kit to let you the modeler know where to cut the plastic. You’ll have some margin for error so if you get in or our of the line, no big deal. As you can see on one of the pictures below, I did boil the robot’s face to have it very soft. I was about to open the eyes to insert red 5mm 12v LED’s and I didn’t want to go wrong on this step so having the plastic was a must. To be honest I almost chicken out and had the eyes painted on red. 3mm LED’s are too small for the eyes and 5mm and too big. To bring the eyes to shape I carefully did it with a 6” grinding wheel in the shop downstairs.

Painting and weathering the ABC War Robot.

OK, for the base color I used Vallejo Beige Brown 70.875 from their ‘Panzer Series’. It is not a deep nor light brown. Weathering was going to take me to the right shade. For the weathering I used Vallejo Game Color Wash Umber Shade 73.203 and Black Shade 73.201 in some areas. From the AK Interactive set AK 551 I used their AK-709 Dark Rust in a post shading technique for the armor, legs and arm edges. These colors are airbrush ready with some transparency on them.  The rest was weathered with my Aztek Airbrush w/Tan Nozzle in a back a forth blending of AK-706 Light Rust and AK-707 Medium Rust. The scratch marks were achieved using a Silver Prismacolor pencil from the craft store.

If you have a sharp eye, you will notice that for the photo session the actuators in the ankle area of both legs are not glued. That’s because the model is held to a base that will be made into a diorama. The left foot is bolted to this base and if I commit it now to cement, I will have a hard time to take those parts apart to remove the model from its base. A piece of .30 styrene will be placed on top of the wooden base and from there I will start my diorama. I can’t stretch enough that CA glue on PVC make a strong bond so again, test fit twice and glue once.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
Don’t be intimidated by these kits, anyone with moderate modeling experience can venture into PVC model kits.
If you are interested in building one of these, do a search in the auction site. No need to pay premium. I highly recommend this or any other PVC model whether you like the Sc-Fi modeling genre or simply for an occasional change.

Happy Modeling!

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
My sincere thanks to AK Interactive for their Rust Effects Colors set AK 551.

 

George Collazo
George Collazo
George has been hosting review sites and blogging about toy collectibles, travel, digital photography and Nikon digital imaging since 1998. His first model kit build was a Testors 1/35 DODGE WC-54 in 1984.
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