[Starship Modeler's 23rd on-line modeling contest: Departures]

   Martin MGM-13X Buzz Bomb

Scale: 1/32

Backstory: What if the "Amazing 50-Foot Woman" were a real, credible threat? What exactly would the military response be to a 50-foot woman and her insatiable appetites?

This whole endeavor started two years ago, when I first saw the Renwal "re-pop" of this kit at the SSM booth at Wonderfest. My wife took one look and said, "That thing looks like a sex toy for the Amazing 50-Foot Woman!" I knew that that's what I had to build this as… with some suitable backstory, a handy helping of double-entendre, and a good measure of "plausible deniability" as to the subject matter of the build.

Construction of this kit was relatively easy. As would be expected for a re-pop like this, the kit DOES show its age, with all of its toy-like working features and relative lack of detail in important areas (like the interior of the missile, which was hollow, without intake or exhaust detail- you could see through it, like a paper-towel roll).

I decided to build the trailer and missile first, leaving the "Terracruzer" tractor for later. (This also makes sense from the standpoint of moving this kit to shows- with the "Terracruzer", this finished kit is over two feet long.) I did slide the wings back, to emphasize certain characteristics of the missile. AVES is your friend in filling in the original wing holes, along with a LOT of PSR (Putty-Sand-Repeat -ed.). I also added the "speed control" ring- a self-adhesive plastic anti-skid strip I picked up at a major-chain box store. Otherwise, this model is pretty much what you get in the kit.

I also fixed the problem of the lack of detail in the various openings of the missile with judicious use of spares from the parts box. This was especially an issue with the air intake- you could see all the way back to the back of the missile, without any intake detail. It was difficult to find pictures of what these actually looked like, so I used my imagination in creating details that would look realistic when seen through the various apertures in the kit. The exhaust came from a cut-down MiG-29 exhaust from my parts box. A cookie to the first person that recognizes what part I used for the intake for the jet engine (a part I picked up at an Iron Modeler parts dump a few years back). I painted and shaded these interior parts first, before closing up the missile.

Assembly was fairly straightforward, again with a LOT of PSR. The model was primed with Tamiya Fine White primer, and then painted with Vallejo acrylics. The distinctive "salmon" color is a 4:1 mix of Carmine Red and Flesh Tone, with a 6:1 mix for the underside and a 4:1:2 mix with White for the "sun-weathered" topside. The missile launch platform is a 4:1 mix of Dark Blue and Sky Blue, with differing layers in darker and lighter blues. The Terracruzer tires are Dark Gray, with a thin layer of Dark Brown. I did some weathering- mostly sun bleaching and dust, with some oil washes (my first time using this method!) and some VERY thinned Desert Sand misted over the bottom of the model. Unfortunately, many of the decals from the Renwal kit seemed undersized compared to the box art, so I used a few decals from my stash instead.

I made a simple desert base from a picture frame, some foam core, a thin layer of vinyl spackle, and a generous sprinkling of sand and gravel, painted in different colors of Vallejo acrylic brown and yellow. Running a Terracruzer wheel assembly over the "sand" several times made tracks that suggested the missile had been set in place, and then left in the desert sun. There are even small sets of footprints, made with the original Renwal figures, suggesting activity before everyone left.

This was a fun kit. Now, I need to finish the rest of the Terracruzer, and see if I can get this into my local IPMS show.

Image: Overall

Image: The hot end

Image: Launch trolley

Image: From above

Image: Exhaust detail

Image: Intake detail

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This page was last updated 23 September 2014. © 2014 Starship Modeler