Macross +++ 1:100 Ectromelia „Regult” Tactical Scout (リガード偵察型); unit “060101” of the Zentraedi Armed Forces 6th assault regiment, 2nd platoon; assault on South Ataria Island (Space War I), March 2009 (Arii kit)
Simple, efficient and reliable, the Regult (リガード, Rigādo) was the standard mass production mecha of the Zentraedi forces. Produced by Esbeliben at the 4.432.369th Zentraedi Fully Automated Weaponry Development and Production Factory Satellite in staggering numbers to fill the need for an all-purpose mecha, this battle pod accommodated a single Zentraedi soldier in a compact cockpit and was capable of operating in space or on a planet's surface. The Regult saw much use during Space War I in repeated engagements against the forces of the SDF-1 Macross and the U.N. Spacy, but its lack of versatility against superior mecha often resulted in average effectiveness and heavy losses. The vehicle was regarded as expendable and was therefore cheap, simple, but also very effective when fielded in large numbers. Possessing minimal defensive features, the Regult was a simple weapon that performed best in large numbers and when supported by other mecha such as Gnerl Fighter Pods. Total production is said to have exceeded 300 million in total.
The cockpit could be accesses through a hatch on the back of the Regult’s body, which was, however, extremely cramped, with poor habitability and means of survival. The giant Zentraedi that operated it often found themselves crouching, with some complaining that "It would have been easier had they just walked on their own feet". Many parts of the craft relied on being operated on manually, which increased the fatigue of the pilot. On the other hand, the overall structure was extremely simple, with relatively few failures, making operational rate high.
In space, the Regult made use of two booster engines and numerous vernier thrusters to propel itself at very high speeds, capable of engaging and maintaining pace with the U.N. Spacy's VF-1 Valkyrie variable fighter. Within an atmosphere, the Regult was largely limited to ground combat but retained high speed and maneuverability. On land, the Regult was surprisingly fast and agile, too, capable of closing with the VF-1 variable fighter in GERWALK flight (though likely unable to maintain pace at full GERWALK velocity). The Regult was not confined to land operations, though, it was also capable of operating underwater for extended periods of time. Thanks to its boosters, the Regult was capable of high leaping that allowed the pod to cover long distances, surprise enemies and even engage low-flying aircraft.
Armed with a variety of direct-fire energy weapons and anti-personnel/anti-aircraft guns, the Regult offered considerable firepower and was capable of engaging both air and ground units. It was also able to deliver powerful kicks. The armor of the body shell wasn't very strong, though, and could easily be penetrated by a Valkyrie's 55 mm Gatling gun pod. Even bare fist attacks of a VF-1 could crack the Regult’s cockpit or immobilize it. The U.N. Spacy’s MBR-07 Destroid Spartan was, after initial battel experience with the Regult, specifically designed to engage the Zentraedi forces’ primary infantry weapon in close-combat.
The Regult was, despite general shortcomings, a highly successful design and it became the basis for a wide range of specialized versions, including advanced battle pods for commanders, heavy infantry weapon carriers and reconnaissance/command vehicles. The latter included the Regult Tactical Scout (リガード偵察型). manufactured by electronics specialist Ectromelia. The Tactical Scout variant was a deadly addition to the Zentraedi Regult mecha troops. Removing all weaponry, the Tactical Scout was equipped with many additional sensor clusters and long-range detection equipment. Always found operating among other Regult mecha or supporting Glaug command pods, the Scout was capable of early warning enemy detection as well as ECM/ECCM roles (Electronic Countermeasures/Electronic Counter-Countermeasures). In Space War I, the Tactical Scout was utilized to devastating effect, often providing radar jamming, communication relay and superior tactical positioning for the many Zentraedi mecha forces.
At the end of Space War I in January 2012, production of the Regult for potential Earth defensive combat continued when the seizure operation of the Factory Satellite was executed. After the war, Regults were used by both U.N. Spacy and Zentraedi insurgents. Many surviving units were incorporated into the New U.N. Forces and given new model numbers. The normal Regult became the “Zentraedi Battle Pod” ZBP-104 (often just called “Type 104”) and was, for example, used by Al-Shahal's New U.N. Army's Zentraedi garrison. The related ZBP-106 was a modernized version for Zentraedi commanders, with built-in boosters, additional Queadluun-Rhea arms and extra armaments. These primarily replaced the Glaug battle pod, of which only a handful had survived. By 2067, Regult pods of all variants were still in operation among mixed human/Zentraedi units.
Accommodation: pilot only, in standard cockpit in main body
Overall Height: 18.2 meters
Overall Length: 7.6 meters
Overall Width: 12.6 meters
Max Weight: 39.8 metric tons
Powerplant & propulsion:
1x 1.3 GGV class Ectromelia thermonuclear reaction furnace,
driving 2x main booster Thrusters and 12x vernier thrusters
Special Equipment and Features:
Standard all-frequency radar antenna
Standard laser long-range sensor
Ectromelia infrared, visible light and ultraviolet frequency sensor cluster
The kit and its assembly:
I had this kit stashed away for a couple of years, together with a bunch of other 1:100 Zentraedi pods of all kinds and the plan to build a full platoon one day – but this has naturally not happened so far and the kits were and are still waiting. The “Reconnaissance & Surveillance” group build at whatifmodellers.com in August 2021 was a good occasion and motivation to tackle the Tactical Scout model from the pile, though, as it perfectly fits the GB’s theme and also adds an exotic science fiction/anime twist to the submissions.
The kit is an original ARII boxing from 1983, AFAIK the only edition of this model. One might expect this kit to be a variation of the 1982 standard Regult (sometimes spelled “Reguld”) kit with extra parts, but that’s not the case – it is a new mold with different parts and technical solutions, and it offers optional parts for the standard Regult pod as well as the two missile carrier versions that were published at the same time, too. The Tactical Scout uses the same basis, but it comes with parts exclusive for this variant (hull and a sprue with the many antennae and sensors).
I remembered from a former ARII Regult build in the late Eighties that the legs were a wobbly affair. Careful sprue inspection revealed, however, that this second generation comes with some sensible detail changes, e. g. the feet, which originally consisted of separate toe and heel sections (and these were hollow from behind/below!). To my biggest surprise the knees – a notorious weak spot of the 1st generation Regult kit – were not only held by small and flimsy vinyl caps anymore: These were replaced with much bigger vinyl rings, fitted into sturdy single-piece enclosures made from a tough styrene which can even be tuned with small metal screws(!), which are included in the kit. Interesting!
But the joy is still limited: even though the mold is newer, fit is mediocre at best, PSR is necessary on every seam. However, the good news is that the kit does not fight with you. The whole thing was mostly built OOB, because at 1:100 there's little that makes sense to add to the surface, and the kit comes with anything you'd expect on a Regult Scout pod. I just added some lenses and small stuff behind the large "eye", which is (also to my surprise) a clear part. The stuff might only appear in schemes on the finished model, but that's better than leaving the area blank.
Otherwise, the model was built in sub-sections for easier painting and handling, to be assembled in a final step – made possible by the kit’s design which avoids the early mecha kit’s “onion layer” construction, except for the feet. This is the only area that requires some extra effort, and which is also a bit tricky to assemble.
However, while the knees appear to be a robust construction, the kit showed some material weakness: while handling the leg assembly, one leg suddenly came off under the knees - turned out that the locator that holds the knee joint above (which I expected to be the weak point) completely broke off of the lower leg! Weird damage. I tried to glue the leg into place, but this did not work, and so I inserted a replacement for the broken. This eventually worked.
Painting and markings:
Colorful, but pretty standard and with the attempt to be authentic. However, information concerning the Regults’ paint scheme is somewhat inconsistent. I decided to use a more complex interpretation of the standard blue/grey Regult scheme, with a lighter “face shield” and some other details that make the mecha look more interesting. I used the box art and some screenshots from the Macross TV series as reference; the Tactical Scout pod already appears in episode #2 for the first time, and there are some good views at it, even though the anime version is highly simplified.
Humbrol enamels were used, including 48 (Mediterranean Blue), 196 (RAL 7035, instead of pure white), 40 (Pale Grey) and 27 (Sea Grey). The many optics were created with clear acrylics over a silver base, and the large frontal “eye” is a piece of clear plastic with a coat of clear turquoise paint, too.
The model received a black ink washing to emphasize details, engraved panel lines and recesses, as well as some light post-shading through dry-brushing. Some surface details were created with decal stripes, e. g. on the upper legs, or with a black fineliner, and some color highlights were distributed all over the hull, e. g. the yellowish-beige tips of the wide antenna or the bright blue panels on the upper legs.
The decals were taken OOB, and thanks to a translation chart I was able to decipher some of the markings which I’d interpret as a serial number and a unit code – but who knows?
Finally, the kit received an overall coat of matt acrylic varnish and some weathering/dust traces around the feet with simple watercolors – more would IMHO look out of place, due to the mecha’s sheer size in real life and the fact that the Regult has to be considered a disposable item. Either it’s brand new and shiny, or busted, there’s probably little in between that justifies serious weathering which better suits the tank-like Destroids.
A “normal” build, even though the model and the topic are exotic enough. This 2nd generation Regult kit went together easier than expected, even though it has its weak points, too. However, material ageing turned out to be the biggest challenge (after all, the kit is almost 40 years old!), but all problems could be overcome and the resulting model looks decent – and it has this certain Eighties flavor! :D