News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part 10)
Kochi-ism is also the 10th time.
I’ve been aiming for 30 times, but it’s still 1/3. Anyway, it’s troublesome to pull Toys and other materials out of the storage room to write an article.
Recently, the research institute has become as cluttered as the Professor’s childhood photo. Please clean up what you put out.
I know, but my collection is “Everything is nostalgic･･･“
You don’t have to imitate “Space Battleship Yamato“!
※In the final episode of “Space Battleship Yamato," Captain Okita dies on the verge of returning to Earth. He left behind the words, “Earth … Everything is nostalgic･･･"
■Legendary plastic model maker “Midori Shokai"
When I was a kid, the representative company of plastic models was “緑商会（Midori Shokai）." It is commonly known as “Midori."
What was your favorite so much?
There are four reasons. First of all, the products are generally cheap. The “Black Satan" that I will introduce later is only 100 yen, even though the motor is sold separately. Although the time was slightly different, Bandai's “Mazinger Z" was 600 yen, Marui's “Red Baron" was 700 yen, and Aoshima's “Spectreman monster series" were 350 yen. When I was in the third grade of elementary school, I only had 300 yen for pocket money, so I was really grateful for that. Even that “King Mograss" was 300 yen. Next, qualities as Toys after completing plastic models were high. Some people seem to make a fool of them, but the 100-yen robot series didn’t just run, the “Black Satan" moved its legs, and the “Steel Giant" and “Missile Robot" moved their hands. Of course, it goes without saying that the “Mograss" series, which has various gimmicks such as crawler running, drill rotation, missile launch (sometimes automatically!), and lamp lighting, are wonderful.
Your favorite Bandai’s “Mogrian" of “Magma Man" actually runed by a crawler, but the plastic model runed on tires.
The children at that time did not allow such fakes, but I allowed the “Mogrian" because it had the first two-step speed switch in history. However, I can only remember that the wiring was wrong and the battery heated up and I got burned.
Most of the classic cars and combat airplanes that Midori sells as scale models for adults also run on motors and springs, so I think there is no doubt that Midori had high technological capabilities.
The third is their high SF mindset. Although it has acquired the domestic commercialization right of “Stingray" against Imai's “Thunderbirds," they were basically developing many original science fiction products. And I think that the concept and design overwhelmed other companies even with robots such as “Tiger Robo" and vehicles such as “Beetle II." The last point is that it was a child-friendly company.
Actually, I didn’t see many Midori’s products in the city where I lived, so I ordered plastic models and catalogs from Midori by letter. I bought a 100-yen “Black Satan" by sending stamps, but they even sent me a motor, which was originally sold separately. Don’t say it a motor at most. It was a company that sells 100 yen products. At that time, many companies responded seriously to children. I also received a reply from Mabuchi Motor with a handwritten explanatory drawing. I don’t want to say too much, but only one of largest companies today didn’t reply to my letter. Then I hated the maker and almost stopped buying plastic models from that company.
Isn’t it just that your letter didn’t arrive?
Of course, that possibility isn’t zero, but I’ve always felt that profits must be more important to that company than to be close to children.
Ill weeds grow apace.
That’s right. I thought the world was wrong that Midori, a wonderful company, would collapse. After Midori went bankrupt, Yodel took over the mold for the “Tiger Robo," but when Yodel released it as the “Young Tiger Robo" at a double price of 600 yen, I was really angry.
After that, the mold went to Doyusha and was commercialized as “Delmac, The Space Knight" for some reason.
Yes, Doyusha took over many of the molds and resold the “Mograss" series without any power. It pleased me as a modeler. By all means, I would like them to resell “Tiger Robo" in its old form.
It depends on how many buyers of powered plastic models exist.
Well, it’s an era when men and women of all ages are still saying “Gundam, Gundam and Gundam." The activities of our institute must be further activated.
My favorite robot toys; Episode ６ “Black Satan, the plastic model robot of Midori Shokai"
So, this time, I would like to introduce the plastic model “Black Satan" of Midori Shokai. As you may have noticed, the photo of Kochijiro is that plastic model itself.
Black Satan is a running type with wheels, which Midori is good at. However, there is a gimmick that the protrusions on the plastic tires move the legs, and it conveys the engineer’s desire to somehow please the children even with a limited budget. Early types that used a Mabuchi 12 motor had a gimmick in which the eye balls and antenna were rotated by the shaft on the opposite side of the motor.
Black Satan, like old heroes such as “Big X" and “Getter Robo," is characterized by wearing a bright red cloak. Some people say that the Black Satan’s cloak is stingy because it hides the battery box on its back. Do you think that is really the case? For economic reasons, plastic that just molds should be cheaper. The iron mask-like looks that are different from conventional robots and the cloak that reminds me of a medieval knight seem to suit me very well.
There are two other types in this 100-yen robot series, “Steel Giant" and “Missile Robot." As mentioned above, they run on wheels while swinging both arms. The Black Satan and Steel Giant I have are the ones I won at the auction. It wasn’t the time when the transaction price was more than 50,000 yen as it is now, so I think the Missile Robot, that was exhibited at the same time, should have be obtained. In addition, the body of Black Satan in the photo is temporarily fixed with a sticker so that it can be disassembled and maintained.
①②：The “Missile Robot" and “Steel Giant" were resold as the “Super Boy" and “Animal Boy" of the Midori Shokai’s “Chibikoro series," but both have been converted into pullback springs. Only “Black Satan" has not been resold as the “Chibikoro series," and the transaction price in the second-hand market is the highest among the three.
③④："Tiger Robo" and “Wonder Robo" have been resold by Yodel as “Young Tiger Robo" and “Super Strong Robo." The molding color of “Young Tiger Robo" is close to the original, and the instructions is almost the same. Both have higher market prices than Doyusha’s resale products “Delmac" and “Mechalock," but I think the Doyusha version has less problems with operation after assembly.
⑤⑥："Fireman" and “Star King Robo" were rare robots that were powered by mainsprings. They were resold as “Gutsman," “Geigerman" of the “Chibikoro series." They have been changed to moving eyes, but the gimmick that runs on wheels while moving hands and feet is the same as the original. The two in the photo were purchased directly by me at a model store in Kyoto 39 years ago.
⑦⑧：There were “Garnera" and “Golem" as the Midori’s monster series. “Golem" is especially rare and is rarely seen at auctions. Both have fat bodies and are powered by mainsprings, but for some reason there were two types: tire running and bipedal walking. Only “Garnera" was resold by Doyusha under the name “The Ultra Kong," but this is a bipedal type, and the original eye and mouth stickers have been omitted.
⑨：Finally, “Suzunosuke Akadō" from “Moving Manga Series." There are robots “Samson," “Mammoth King," and “Black Ace" in this series. The former two are bipedal type, but “Black Ace" is the type that runs with wheels same as 100-yen robot series. There is a difference that it uses a remote control specification and rubber tires, but “Suzunosuke Akadō" is also the same type. If you look closely at the assembly instructions, “Black Satan" and “Missile Robot" are “Moving Robot Series," but only “Steel Giant" is “Moving Manga Series," and the taste of the instructions is also slightly different.
Celebration! “Return of Ultraman" 50th Anniversary.
The project to make a soft vinyl monster dolls walk on batteries
（No.10 Destroy All Monsters）
This time, I will introduce the three monsters, ”Takkong,” “Zazarn," and “Arstron," appeared in the first episode “Destroy All Monsters." This first episode was directed by Inoshirō Honda, who had worked on many Toho monster movies. Jirō returns home screaming, “Monsters have appeared," and immediately leaves the house. Hideki Gō chases Jiro to bring him back. A child rushing to the pigeon hut on the roof of the housing complex to let his pigeons escape…These scenes are full of urgency, depicting the appearance of monsters from a human perspective, which is rare in the Ultra series. In addition, the scene, that villagers are running away while the bell on the fire lookout tower is ringing, is able to be said the synonymous with director Honda. And his profound directing, which is comparable to Toho monster movies, shook the viewers’ hearts and succeeded in getting the new program called “Return of Ultraman" on track.
Well then, let’s take a look at the monsters in order.
①Oil monster ”Takkong"
I used the soft vinyl doll made by X PLUS. Since it is very realistic, I adopted a method of moving by repeated jumps in order not to spoil the appearance. I built a jump mechanism using mainsprings with reference to plastic models such as “Kijira" which was made by Japan Hobby as the “Super Spring Series," and “Pigmon" which was made by Marusho as the “Walking-around Ultraman Monster Series" and which was resold by Chugoku Fukuman Toy Co., Ltd. (FUMAN).
It’s a different walking style from the real Takkong, but I think I was able to make the heavy doll jump well.
Left: “Takkong" 's jump mechanism. The rotating sprocket lifts the protrusion on the vertical rod and compresses the upper spring (enclosed in red). When the protrusion comes off the sprocket, the rod is pushed downward by the spring reaction force.
Upper right: Outer box and mainsprings of “Kijira." It has been devised to move the legs bounce with special gears.
Lower right: Outer box and sole of “Pigmon." It’s still available at a low price, but I think it’s a bargain because its movement is surprisingly interesting.
②Sludge monster “Zazarn"
I used the soft vinyl doll from the CCP's “Masaaki Satake Collection." It is a low price and very well-made doll, but since the body is slim, it is not possible to incorporate a large-scale drive device, so I took the plunge and decided to use Tamiya's “Underwater Gearbox Set" in order to make ”Zazarn” amphibious. Basically, it only moves straight forward, but you can also play in the bath because it uses an underwater motor. I attached it webbing blades to the rotating wheels in order to make it swim on the surface of the water, but the thrust was weak and it could not proceed. It is thought that a floating material such as the styrofoam is required to make it float on the surface of the water.
Left: The simple walking device with an underwater gearbox, pulleys, and a drive belt.
Middle: Left side. There is an ON-OFF switch on the top of the head.
③Ferocious monster “Arstron"
The old Bullmark's soft vinyl doll is used. It has a good surface finish, but its face is too cute, so I put on the realistic eyes that I scanned the photo. The walking system is a so-called Marusan type, but the rotation axes of both feet fitted to the torso are not in a straight line, and it is not possible to walk with a single axis gear. For this reason, it is usually necessary to change the mounting angle of the foot to the torso, and “Arstron" has become also bow-legs. In addition, in “Granadas" of the same project, I succeeded in walking without changing the attachment angle of the foot from the soft vinyl doll. I would like to introduce the mechanism on another occasion.
I struggled to shoot a flame-like mist from “Arstron" 's mouth with a mist spray. However, I couldn’t solve the problem of water leakage in the water tank and gave up. I had no choice but to use ZIPPO’s flint to fire sparks from his mouth.
Left: Original soft vinyl doll. The texture of the skin is wonderful.
Right: Tamiya’s “Universal Gear" is installed.
Left: Original face of the doll and actual eyes (lower right).
Right: Ignition device. The flint wheel was taken out from a 100-yen cigarette igniter. And I bought ZIPPO’s flint at a tobacco shop.
Left: Front after completion.The directions of the left and right leg rotation axes were matched by Inserting a member between the foot and the torso to adjust the foot mounting angle. And since both feet are battery boxes, the protrusion on the lid can be seen at the bottom.
Right: Back side after completion.
（Professor’s one-point advice）
I will explain the walking systems of the Midori Shokai’s robot plastic models.
The 100-yen robot series basically consists of a worm gear and a gearbox with two gears. I don’t have “Missile Robot," so it’s unconfirmed, but it’s highly possible that all three have the same gearbox. And all run on plastic tires.
On the other hand, “(Young) Tiger Robo" consists of a worm gear and a gearbox with three gears. The yodel’s gearbox is probably same as Midori’s one. A cylindrical motor (RE-14) was used in “(Young) Tiger Robo," but it has been changed to a square motor (FA-13) in “Delmac," and the gearbox is also newly manufactured or diverted from another plastic model. Plastic tires are used regardless of manufacturers. From the instructions, we can read the skillful gimmick that moves both hands and feet and the antenna. In the electrification project of this blog, I often refer to these moving parts of Midori.
A rare mechanism is used for “Gutsman" and “Geigerman," that rotates the plastic tires by rubber tires connected to the mainsprings. However, it seems that rubber belts for plastic tires were added later, probably because there were many cases where the plastic tires slipped and did not rotate.