As part of an “Anything but Military” group build on Beyond the Sprues, I decided to build a small diorama, focused on an Arii 1/32 scale 1957 Daihatsu Midget. The stated scale is 1/32 but I’m declaring mine to be 1/35; that’s my preferred vehicle and figure scale. To me, the midget looks closer to 1/35.
This boxing of the kit (Arii “Owner’s Club”) includes extra diorama parts – a base, dog, dog house, pole, bins and some parts that might typically be found in Japan in the late 1950s. Recent issues of this kit do not include the extra parts.
Details in the kit’s interior and exterior are missing or simplified, so I googled images of the 1957 Midget to get an idea of the missing details and the sections that could be enhanced.
I extended the dashboard and added a tread plate pattern to the floor (Archer Fine Transfers Tread Plate resin decal).
This is a small kit, so despite the changes and additions, it didn’t take long to get to the paint stage.
I weathered the model and made the duct tape on the seat and canvas cover out of pin striping tape, painted aluminum. The canvas cover straps are small PE bits from a set that my friend Jeffry Fontaine sent me. The rolled up door at the rear of cargo area was made out of paper soaked in white glue, then painted. The headlight is an MV lens.
Real world three wheelers (like this Daihatsu and the Mazda Midget) seem to be well worn and abused vehicles. My model looks lovingly cared for in comparison.
The robot was made out of spare parts – the body is from a random Japanese robot kit and the head, arm and some other bits are from one of the astronauts figures from the Monogram 1/48 Space Taxi kit. The visor was painted with iridescent paint and the color shift is slightly noticeable. I made the boxes myself.
The repairman was a Frankenstein figure – the head is from an ICM figure set of Russian tankers in Afghanistan. The torso (with the hoodie) is from a random DML figure, probably German. The legs are from a DML M1 tanker set. The arms are from the figures that came with the DML M274 Mule (each figure donated an arm). The cap is from the awful Trumpeter PMC set and the Google glasses (or just sunglasses) are from a Live Resin set.
I extended the hoodie with Magicsculp A+B epoxy putty (although I forgot the pullstrings)
I used the base and fence that came with the kit. The fence was painted in a wood color, then sprayed with cheap hairspray, over-sprayed with white and “distressed”. The dog is a resin pooch from a bag of goodies Jeff Fontaine sent me. The plants are from a train groundwork set. The ground is spackle. The street is some 600 grit sandpaper, aged and dirtied to look like asphalt. I’m not convinced it looks like a street.
I printed the decals; they silvered slightly but this is only noticeable in bright sunlight.
I called it “Asimoto’s Roboto Repair” in part because it’s a Japanese vehicle and because Isaac Asimov created the three laws of robotics. So is the dog friendly? Is it responsible for the broken robot? Does the guy see it? What’s on his iPad?
updated February 17, 2020