[DOUGRAM] Robot World Of The Past

Posted by drifand 


Unbelievable, but I've only recently gotten hold of the classic 1/48 Dougram. As a kid, it was passed over many times when it was overstocked at the local TRU. Why? Because of my brother's and my own twisted logic to 'avoid toys we couldn't afford to ask for' :-) 'It's too big' and 'There's no other toy in the same scale' were pretty sound reasoning if you asked us back then.

Even now, the second excuse still mostly holds true. Not many real robot toys of quality exist at 1/48 scale (Yamato? VF-1s? The ones with 'issues'?) As I put the armor pieces onto the body I was struck by 3 things:

1. This thing is BUILT! This is real QUALITY.
2. It's not the 'same' as the 1/72 series. Things fit quite differently.
3. It feels to have less metal proportionately to the 1/72 Dougram.

I think the biggest 'shucks' for me was the way the leg suspension didn't feel as smooth as those on the smaller toys. Maybe it's because the Dougram's mechanism was basically just a sprung piston, compared to the more mechanically interesting pivoting levers on the Soltic H8 and Blockhead.

Still, it's great to finally have this toy in the collection. Now I just have to find time to apply the decals and protect it with a top coat. Meanwhile, I took some snaps with the OTHER 1/48 Takara of note: Giant Gorg...


Still shorter than the 'ol Gorg...


Dougram is far more exciting as a Real Robot, but Gorg still surprises with its superbly detailed gun and chest cockpit.


A closer look at the detailing. At least Takara's current 1/48 AGVs still have plastic molded pilot figures instead of PVC melties. Just wish they could paint them as well!

About the only things I would wish for if Dougram is modernized:
1. A turning cockpit (Circular snap-in block that doesn't have to 'lock' the shoulder pins.)
2. Articulated or swap out hands. Dougram was the only one with locked-in fists.

I'm waiting, Takatomy! :-)
MattAlt (Admin)
Thanks for the write-up on a toy that was really ahead of its time. If it weren't for those fists, it'd be right at home in the Soul of Chogokin line-up.

I only wish they'd done others in this scale. In the early days of the site, someone claimed to own a 1:48 Soltic prototype, but I'll believe it when I see it.
MattAlt (Admin)
And speaking of Takara-Tomy, is it just me or would the Actic Gear "Big Garry" be a perfect match for the Dougram or what? They're both 1:48 scale. With a few modifications, you could have yourself a "Bromry."







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/27/2007 09:59PM by MattAlt.
Attachments:
open | download - bromry.jpg (158.8 KB)
open | download - garry.jpg (96.6 KB)
Man, the Big Garry has a BIG PRICETAG right now in the shops... 99 local bucks! I'll have to wait a bit before considering one of these 'trucks'.
I don't know why, I never liked the 1/48 Dougram as much as the 1/72. Sure, it was big, but it was really plasticy compared to the smaller one, I thought.

If anyone's letting one of these go, please let me know, I have a friend looking for one.
That's what I thought: proportionately, the 1/72's entire torso was diecast, whereas the 1/48's was mostly plastic. The blockhead was also like this, but it WAS bigger than the other 1/72s in the line-up. If only the 1/48 had a gimmicked up cockpit (hatches? turning?), more weapons (I've seen illustrations of Dougram armed with one of Soltic's red rocket pods), or even more detailing (the feet blocks could've been opened up too)... Then it wouldn't be the disputed king of Dougram toys today. :-)
Sanjeev (Admin)
Ah, the 1/48...I love it. I actually picked mine up offa eBay for relatively cheap (under $100US). The only problems were that the seller had broken both of the standard elbow pads (the ones without the cannon, obviously) trying to take pictures for the auction!

Anyway, what got me into Dougram in the first place were the Revell-issued "Robotech" model kits. I simply fell in love with the Soltic H8 design on the spot (man, those photo-realistic diorama scenes in the Robotech catalog were absolutely gorgeous, weren't they??).

So, I ended up picking up one of the 1/48 Soltic H8 model kits at some point...and if/when I ever get off my lazy butt, I'm planning on customizing a new Roundfacer head for the 1/48 Dougram. Painted pilot and everything!

In the meantime, I'd sure like a 1/72 Blockhead! They made a tan one, right?

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
>In the meantime, I'd sure like a 1/72 Blockhead! They made a tan one, right?

Nope. The "Nebula X Type" was only made in 1/144 scale:



I highly recommend the 1/72 Blockhead though. It's an awesome toy.


Anyway - Nice write up Drifand!
Congratulatons drifand - you finally got one!

You hit the nail right on the head in regards to the lack of extra features on the 1/48 over the 1/72. I like them both, but the 1/72 has the edge.

Sanjeev - the Robotech Defenders version of Soltic is what got me into Dougram as well. It was my first robot model kit, and come to think of it was probably my first exposure to realistic mecha. I ruined that by painting it gloss black, but that's what the box said to do.
The Bromry kit is cool, and it works (somewhat) with the 1/72 dougram toy if I remember correctly. I built it a long time ago, and I think I still have it somewhere. If I can find it, I'll snap some pics.
Weren't the 1/72 ones reissued in the late 90's? I feel a bit dumb for missing out on those.

--------------------------------------------------------------

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
>Weren't the 1/72 ones reissued in the late 90's?

Just the Soltic:




I bet it's easier to find an original one than this version at this point...! It's pretty easy to find.
very nice is anyone selling these?
Very cool Drifand. I am very jealous. The 1/48 Dougram has been on my wish list for years as well. I would love to see scans of the instructions and the decals.

I agree with Matt these toys were way ahead of their time. Takara really set the bar high.

The 1/72 Dougram and Soltic are two of my favorites. I just wish I had the Blockface. I seem to miss out on one every time he crosses my path. (I guess there is NO chance of ever seeing a reissue of these...)

I would love to see modern Dougram toys done with the same amount of love that was put into the Microman Votoms stuff (I still refuse to believe the rumor of the death of microman because I love the Votoms stuff so much.) Imagine a modern Dougram in the vein of that fantastic Strikedog....drool....
Sanjeev (Admin)
Hmmm...well, my opinion may not be a popular one, but I truly fear the modernization of Dougram. I mean, animation notwithstanding, those old kits and dual models were simply amazing to me as a kid. They were so gritty and realistic. They seemed like tanks with legs!

The Revoltechs or the gashapon sets that came out a few years ago--while being more accurate to the anime--utterly lack this aethetic. So, yeah, I'm praying for reissues, not new stuff.

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
Thanks guys, and regardless of whether this gets remade, you should still go out and get one!

IIRC, there were some discussions about the relative quality of the reissued Soltic H8 vis-a-vis original issue. Mold-wise, I'd have to say it's practically spot on. But having handled one, there was something about the plastics that didn't seem right - I really think the type of plastic used was different, i.e. of a lighter density than the past. Still, small potatoes for an essentially cool toy.

I have no love for the Revoltech combat armors either... their sculpt is excellent for action figures but simply wrong for the blocky original designs. If the toys get a new lease of life, I wouldn't want to see 'ver ka improvements' to Dougram's skirt armor, but it would make sense to redo the hip joints, maybe like how Bandai did for the SOC T28. Hidden joint extenders for the elbows would also be cool, ala SOC Walker Galliar.
I agree on the revoltech Dougram stuff. I mean I want to love them, but the design work is the antithesis of what Dougram is.

On a side not my Micorman Mellolink and motorcycle shipped from HLJ today. It looks like it contains a fair amount of love. Sad to see this line end....oh well...
Didn't Takara say that they want to do Dougram stuff, like how how they're doing Votoms now?

BTW how big (in inches) is the 1/72 and the 1/48?

--------------------------------------------------------------

I asked if I have "Time For L-Gaim" but I got "No Reply From The Wind".
1/72 Dougram and Soltic are about 5 1/2 inches tall, while Blockhead is nearly 7 inches. 1/48 Dougram is slightly under 8 inches tall. Heights for Dougram don't include the linear cannon.
Vincent Z. Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Didn't Takara say that they want to do Dougram
> stuff, like how how they're doing Votoms now?

Oh how I would like to believe this...The recent Votoms stuff is very cool, does anyone know how the AGs, DMZs, etc are selling...I would suppose that Votoms and Dougram appeal to the same demographic so Votoms sales can be used as a yardstick of interest for Dougram...or am I the only one who likes both?

Sanjeev (Admin)
Just a last note about the Revoltechs, it was explained to me that it was actually Takara's kits and duall models that were the "antithesis" of what Dougram mecha were. I've never seen the cartoon, but apparently, the mecha were much more "human-like" in the way they posed, moved, etc.

Not that I give a shit....the artistic license Takara took back in the day really fired up my imagination!! Man, I loved those Robotech kits!

fel9, I'm not all that into VOTOMS, but more power to all the fans getting great merchandise options now all of a sudden. And, of course, if this leads to a Dougram revival (the old Takara aesthetic), I'm all for it!

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just a last note about the Revoltechs, it was
> explained to me that it was actually Takara's kits
> and duall models that were the "antithesis" of
> what Dougram mecha were. I've never seen the
> cartoon, but apparently, the mecha were much more
> "human-like" in the way they posed, moved, etc.

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...I have heard that before, but to me the appeal of Dougram has nothing to do with the show, and everything to do with the models/toys...
Sanjeev Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Just a last note about the Revoltechs, it was
> explained to me that it was actually Takara's kits
> and duall models that were the "antithesis" of
> what Dougram mecha were. I've never seen the
> cartoon, but apparently, the mecha were much more
> "human-like" in the way they posed, moved, etc.
>
> Not that I give a shit....the artistic license
> Takara took back in the day really fired up my
> imagination!! Man, I loved those Robotech kits!
>
> fel9, I'm not all that into VOTOMS, but more power
> to all the fans getting great merchandise options
> now all of a sudden. And, of course, if this leads
> to a Dougram revival (the old Takara aesthetic),
> I'm all for it!
>
> --
> Sanjeev
>
> Stab, stab, stab...with my chogo-stabbin' knife!

Yeah, Yeah, Yeah...I have heard that before, but to me the appeal of Dougram has nothing to do with the show, and everything to do with the models/toys...
Antithesis is a pretty strong term, so when you (collective you, not fel9 in particular) talk about the "original designs" let's make it clear it's about the dual models, not actual "original designs".

On a side note, I never really got the whole resistance to the Dougram Revo's (I don't actually have any by the way, my Dougram toys are limited to the 1:72 and the Magnetype, which is pretty much the definition of blocky), because that's what the Dougram pretty much looked like, barring the standard Yamaguchi touches.


Chew on this for a bit:
[kogi.rubberslug.com]



Also, awesome score, Drifand.

Mmmm... "Dougram Super Turning HEAD! TUUUUUURRRRRN!!!" :-)

Looks like our general appreciation for Dougram toys and models is a mini reflection of the original Gunpla craze, which also didn't have much to do with the 'original' show. I guess it also has something to do with the average overseas Dougram-fan's basis for his fandom: Back then, we never did get to watch the anime and so our first exposure to the series was thru the 'rigidly realistic' Dual Models and 'Battletech' Revell kits - nobody saw all those smooth moves and turning cockpits until the advent of specialty imports (bootlegs! VHS!) in the 90s, or even later with growth of the WWW.

Compare this situation with Patlabor, for example, which many fans got to watch with relative ease and were thus exposed to the characters and designs in a more fully exposed (and calculated) way - as planned by Headgear. Thus, the early wishes from fans along the lines of 'if only my Bandai kit/toy could pull off nicer poses... LIKE IN THE SHOW'. And with the Revoltech Labors... we (I) am finally getting something I've been waiting for.

I guess some degree of 'ver Ka' on any new Combat Armors would be unavoidable... but with the way VOTOMS has been handled, I don't see why I'd have to be too worried. The 1/48s, 1/35s, 1/18s and even the unwieldy 1/12s all cater to different expectations of what makes a great VOTOMS toy, and thus succeed on their own merits.
MattAlt (Admin)
>Back then, we never did get to watch the anime

It's true. The Gundam I envisioned from the box art and model kids I grew up on as a kid turned out to be nothing like the actual show. I expected it to be a lot grittier than it actually turned out to be. But like you say, I think most of us are far more into the aesthetics than we are into characters; if it were the other way around, I seriously doubt there'd be such love here for toys of God Mazinger and Machine Blaster Gingaizer and Dorvack.

I actually finally broke down and bought the first five episodes of Dougram on DVD the other day. I don't think I'd go so far as to call it an "antithesis" of the toys -- while the animation is pretty damn crude in spots, it's definitely a "real" and not "super" show. But man, it's sl-o-o-w as hell; the writers took the political aspect of the first Gundam series and built an entire show on it. I wonder if I'd have the same love for the toys if I'd had to sit through that as a kid.

But on that note, there's the occasional diamond in the rough. When I first saw Xabungle about five years back, thanks to the local rental shop having all the tapes in stock, I really got pulled into the story -- and if any show is antithetical to its box-art aesthetic, Xabungle sure is!

I can say that my introduction to Dougram was through the Revell kits. I bought them at the local KB toys on clearance, because I LOVED the idea of a "realistic" approach to robots. The whole "tanks with legs" blew my mind. At the time I was really into building models of WWII planes and tanks, so naturally I extend my model building skills to the Revell kits. I remember I had a whole squad of Bushmen painted up in Afrika Corps camo sporting a mix of third reich tank and aircraft markings. Imagine the famous red snake stuka marking running down the left arm of the squad leader Bushman. (Lately I have had an itch to build and customize these kits again, I should get looking...)

Needless to say that when I did see the actual show it was not anything like what I expected...

Matt I agree with you 100% about Xabungle... I love the show and the toys for completely different reasons...now where is my SOC irongear dammit?!?
drifand Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Mmmm... "Dougram Super Turning HEAD!
> TUUUUUURRRRRN!!!" :-)
>
> Looks like our general appreciation for Dougram
> toys and models is a mini reflection of the
> original Gunpla craze, which also didn't have much
> to do with the 'original' show. I guess it also
> has something to do with the average overseas
> Dougram-fan's basis for his fandom: Back then, we
> never did get to watch the anime and so our first
> exposure to the series was thru the 'rigidly
> realistic' Dual Models and 'Battletech' Revell
> kits - nobody saw all those smooth moves and
> turning cockpits until the advent of specialty
> imports (bootlegs! VHS!) in the 90s, or even later
> with growth of the WWW.

Great point, Drifand - its only recently that I've actually been able to see the original Gundam series, and they're somewhat different to how I imagined they would be when I first drooled over the mecha designs way back when. Still, I am fidning that the original Gundam TV series does hold up pretty well...
Sanjeev (Admin)
fel9 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ...I remember I had a
> whole squad of Bushmen painted up in Afrika Corps
> camo sporting a mix of third reich tank and
> aircraft markings.

I would LOVE to see pics of this! :D

> ...now where is my SOC irongear
> dammit?!?

Goddamn right.


--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
Oooh! Soltic Bushman! I soooooo wanted to customize one by kitbashing the parts onto a 1/72 Soltic H8 toy, but I never was able to find a kit for a reasonable price while THAT itch was going strong. :P
The bushman was my favorite... I remember buying five of them for $20.00US at a local KB toy store when I was 15. They were easy to assemble, paint, and pose. Great stuff...

If I can't get more toys I would settle for Takara reissuing the 1/48th scale kits...

This thread has really got me wanting to break out the model paints and airbrush...My favorite mod to the Tiger tank grey Dougram I built was the addition of a Panther tank style flash suppressor muzzle on the over the shoulder cannon....

Sanjeev (Admin)
...Ah, a fellow armor modeler! (shame on you, though: that's a muzzle break, not a suppressor: [en.wikipedia.org] )

Now, where're those pics?? ;)

--
Sanjeev

'Us Massholes straight up just don't give a fuck. I still pronounce "Mazinger" as "Tranzor Z".'
-Nekrodave
I noticed my mistake right after I hit post, but I was too lazy to write a correction. Oh well...Let's just say I was trying to see if anyone was paying attention.

Unfortunately, There is now way to take pictures, because those models got thrown out over 12 years ago by a Mother (God bless her) who didn't know any better. I guess that is what I get for moving out and leaving stuff at home...learn from my mistakes young ones....

However, I would love to recreate them...someone got any kits they want to donate/sell/trade? My modeling skill are much better these days, and they weren't bad then...

SOC IRONGEAR...SOC IRONGEAR...(Im only yelling about this one because it might happen...don't get me started on licenses that Bandai owns that need to be SOCs but they will never touch...Cough Macross Cough...)
My favorite items from the Dougram kit series are the Bromry truck robot transporters. I have an original kit of the flatbed version that I don't intend to build and a Revell release of the hauler version (Robot Recovery Unit) that I built up. For some reason the idea of packing up a hi-tech Robo onto a transport appeals to me. Plus they look good with any mech, not just the Dougrams.
Man, those recovery vehicles are sweet indeed...The Takara AG ones for Votoms were what made me finally break down and buy some AG's...

I have always wanted to build a big honkin' diorama based on a mech boneyard...kind of like the ones that the USAF keeps out in the desert. Imagine a whole bunch of kits in the same scale (votoms/dougram) all trashed out and weathered. Now mix in some recovery vehicles and cranes. Oh yeah.....
the revell release it's the Eyevan dt-2? right?
then there were at least 2 releases of the Bromry in the original line.. at least there's a name change on the box but dunno about what was changed in the kit...
ok this is what i meant



anyone knows if there's any difference?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2007 03:30AM by nemeos.
Attachments:
open | download - brombry_1.JPG (70.3 KB)
open | download - brombry_2.JPG (43.3 KB)
This week's dead post resurrection... :-)

Saw Josh B's Dougram family on Facebook and decided to relook my plain ass 1/48 Dougram. Always did feel that it never lived up to its potential... more intricate yet less poseable. And the fists, OMG, the crappy, crappy blocks of plastic... Ugh. Not even swappable like the 1/72 Blockhead's!

But waitaminit, the Blockhead's is also useless - a 'trigger finger' right hand that cannot grasp any accessories; and an 'open' left hand that can't really grip the gun's side-handle either. But they SURE look big enough to belong on the 1/48 Dougram. Hmmm.

After 1 hour of painting, decaling and some minor surgery later:





Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 03/18/2013 09:42PM by drifand.
Attachments:
open | download - Combat Armor Family 1200.jpg (275.2 KB)
mcfitch (Admin)
Nice group shot. I remember the tan Blockhead you painted from years ago. That was some damn fine work. BTW since I've known you as Drifand for 10 or so years what's your name on Facebook (AKA real name).
-Mason

Edit: Kelvin! I knew that.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthewalt "I actually kinda LIKE that approach! You know: let's make a TOY. Remember those? Products designed to be played with without breaking? DO YOU REMEMBER, LOVE?!"



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/18/2013 10:38AM by mcfitch.
MattAlt (Admin)
Must be something in the air; I've been on a Dougram kick lately too.


Sanjeev (Admin)
That is some awesome work, drifand! I love it.

Y'know, for *years*, I've been dreaming of mashing together a 1/48 DM Dougram and a 1/48 Roundfacer kit to make an opponent for a stock Dougram. Oh, if only I had the time....or the skill! LOL
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