Patlabor +++ 1:60 Fire-fighting Labor (Whif/Brocken conversion) - WiP
This model is a thorough conversion of a 1:60 "SEE Type-7 Brocken" IP kit from Bandai, and it is part of a Group Build at whatifmodelers.com under the theme "De-/Militarize it" (which still runs until the end of August 2015).
The mecha belongs into the Patlabor anime TV series. Anime is certainly not everyone's business, but it has a lot to offer.
The charm of the Patlabor universe is that these vehicles exist (these are no robots, except for rare cases there's a pilot inside) in everyday life. When the series was conceived in the 80ies it was a near-future setting in the nineties - SF, but VERY down to earth and "realistic".
The 'Labors', how these more or less humanoid vehicles are called, are special duty heavy machinery, e. g. for construction, loading, hazmat handling. They are also employed by the police (hence the title of the series, Patlabor, which circles around a police unit which fights labor crime) and by the military.
The Brocken is one of the dedicated military designs. It actually comes from Germany, hence probably the plate mail armor design. I am not certain if its name, Brocken, is the German word for hulk, or the mountain close to the inner German border in FRG/GDR times, because the Brocken was designed to patrol and protect this border - the Cold War was still part of the series' script!
There are actually firefighting Labors in the TV series, and the background story is built around the two types I am aware of. And in order to de-militarize the Brocken and change its look so far that the kit appears like a different vehicle, a lot of things had to be modified.
The head is completely new and supposed to remind of typical firefighter helmets. The cockpit section (in the breast) was changed, too, as well as the knee sections and different hands. Parts from other mecha kits (e. g. from a 1:72 Battroid VF-1 , a 1:100 Gerwalk VF-1, a 1:100 Destroid Phalanx, a 1:144 Gundam Zaku and even from an NGE EVA) were intergrated, but a lot of details were scratched.
For instance, the head with its sensor booms and the complex shape consists of ~30 pieces and putty, and the flashlights were completely scratched from clear sprue, styrene sheet and parts of PET toothbrush head protectors!
Having a dedicated duty, a lot of special equipment had to be integrated - in a fashion that it looks plausible and as an integral part, not just an add-on. Therefore, several light installations were added, two water cannons (one on the shoulder, one on the right forearm), a scratched winch, plus several protection bars all around the hull.
A CO2 tank was added on the back, plus a turbo pump installation that would drive the two water cannons and allow external water supply. An extandable hydraulic crusher on the right forearm was added, too, when knocking on the door simply does not meet the situation. Integrating the stuff into the hull meant much body work, and all the devices were meant to appear plausible and functional.
The paint scheme was simple: an all-red livery, inspired by typical German fire engines which wear RAL 3000 as official color. With some shading this eventually turned into a rather orange hue, but the Florian still looks like a fire fighting vehicle.
The yellow trim for a more international look was created with decals from several HO scale firefighting vehicle aftermarket sheets. Finally, after a black ink wash and some dry-painting, the kit received a coating with semi-matt acrylic varnish, and some pigment dust around the legs.