News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part 1)
Here, at the Kochi-power Research Institute at the foot of Mt. Fuji, the director, Professor Kochitaro, and his assistant, Kochijiro, are conducting research every day for the purpose of peaceful use of Kochi-power. Even today, the two had a hot discussion in front of the stove.
Professor, please explain to visitors about Kochi-power and Kochi-ism.
Okay. “Kochi" is the “Dongfeng," which is the spring breeze that blows from the east and marks the end of winter. In the 1970s, as boys, we were buried in toys such as plastic models powered by batteries and springs, and by daily crafting and destroying, we refined our sensibility as engineers and contributed to the breakthrough of Japan, a technology-oriented country. If the 1970s like that dream is spring, the current toy situation is midwinter (Note; it’s just a professor’s personal feeling!). Many toys are deprived of power and trapped in showcases due to their extreme realism. Another problem is that there is a tendency to dislike painting and gluing as harmful acts. The idea of breaking through such a closed situation and returning to the spring era as in the 1970s is “Kochi-ism," and the power required to realize Kochi-ism is called “Kochi-power."
It feels like an excessive love for retro … By the way, what does the Kochi-power Research Institute actually do?
First, I would like to introduce people to the wonderful toys of the 70’s, which was called the Golden Age, and encourage the people to reflect and convert. Eventually, a major manufacturer will reprint all the old toys and distribute them to all households free of charge. The goal is to take the game controller out of the children’s hands, grab the glue and lacquer and get drunk with the sweet scent!
（I think this person is crazy …）
So, in this blog, we will introduce toys such as plastic models released in the 1970s, and the walking soft vinyl monsters of “Return of Ultraman" created by Kochijiro to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the broadcast.
Celebration! “Return of Ultraman" 50th Anniversary.
The project to make soft vinyl monster dolls walk on batteries
（No.1 typhoon monster “Varricane"）
2021 is the 50th anniversary of the broadcast of “Return of Ultraman." An enthusiastic fan of “Return of Ultraman," Kochijiro has been remodeling the soft vinyl monster dolls that appeared in “Return of Ultraman" for 10 years so that it can walk on batteries. At the time of launching this blog, I took out monsters from the storage and performed maintenance. I would like to introduce one body each time, including stories that are difficult to make. This time is typhoon monster “Varricane."
“Kaijūkyō" brand started with the concept of releasing unreleased monsters under the former “Bullmark," and was previously sold by “Tsuburaya Communications," but now “Yamanaya" has taken over the business. It is better shaped than the old Bullmark products, but it has not lost its cuteness as a toy due to its exquisite deformation. The ”Varricane” is very realistic, but as in the play, you can manually rotate the part with the tentacles on the head.
Photo-1; The soft vinyl is separated.
Photo-2; A ”Varricane” that looks like a punk rocker with its head upside down.
Photo-3; A drive unit manufactured using Tamiya's “Universal Gearbox" is installed.
Due to its shape, “Varricane" was expected that it would be difficult to walk on two legs, so I decided to run it with the tires on the soles of the feet. Also, in the play, “Varricane" floats fluffy in the air, so I decided to incorporate a mechanism that raises and lowers the body. By the way, Kochi-ism does not like the method of controlling multiple motors like the current robots, but aims at a drive device with a single motor. The drive unit (such as the gears surrounded by yellow in Photo-4) moves up and down to move the body up and down, but if the rotating head of “Varricane" moves up and down, it is stupid. Therefore, the shaft that rotates the head pointed by the arrow in Photo-4 does not move up and down, and only the gear that gives the shaft a rotational force needs to move up and down. If the shaft is made of round steel, the vertical movement of the gear is smooth, but the rotational force of the gear cannot be transmitted to the shaft. For this reason, square steel is used for the shaft instead of round steel, and the holes that penetrate the gears are also square instead of circular. As shown in Photo-5, this shaft is connected to the red sprocket (large gear) at the head, and the ladder chain (black chain in Photo-6) placed on the head is rotated. Tamiya's “Ladder Chain & Sprocket Set" is used for this part.
（Professor’s one-point advice）
Tamiya's “Universal Gearbox" was used most often in this project. Since the “Universal Gearbox" has an orthogonal two-axis rotating shaft, movements such as running + opening and closing of the mouth can be performed with a single motor. I would like to thank the great Tamiya for continuing to sell goods for the few electric craft fans that exist in Japan.
(Notes on using ”Universal Gearbox”)
・ The Phillips screw near the thin shaft is easy to loosen, but if you tighten it too tightly, the gear will be deformed, so it is recommended to use a spring washer to prevent it from loosening.
・ If the metal plate that separates the gear from the shaft is tilted toward the motor, the gear will not rotate smoothly, and if it is tilted toward the shaft, the gear may fall, so adjustment is required to the appropriate position.
・The metal worm gear connected to the thin orthogonal shaft is relatively soft and will wear out if an excessive load is applied.
・The attached motor is easily rusted by sweat in the summer, so I often replace it with Mabuchi’s FA-130RA.