When I first heard that Tamiya were doing a 1:35 Gama Goat, I have to admit, I said "what?" This speaks more to my ignorance of the subject than anything else, but it also highlights that Tamiya was about to give us a model that had yet to be done with modern tooling and engineering. In the early 1960s, the US started the process (Project Agile) of finding a replacement to their trucks that were currently in service. What came out of that was dubbed the M561 Gama Goat. The Goat was a two-module design with an articulation joint which provided a unique level of flexibility but because power was also provided to the rear end through that joint, the truck became six-wheel drive. The first and only real action the Goat saw was in 1983 during the invasion of Grenada. With the development of the HMMWV, the Goat was phased out by the early 1990s. On to the kit. When you open the box, you are presented with a total of only live sprues of plastic and one of them is clear. I was amazed that what appeared to me as a somewhat complex subject, Tamiya have captured in only four major sprues. The instructions are typical Tamiya, clear and easy to follow.
Due to the weight increases during her building, she turned out to be a poor sea-boat and she was rebuilt between June and August 1939. This was when she got her beautiful 'Atlantic bow'. Although this did improve her seaworthiness, she remained a poor sabot and the problem was later aggravated as more flak and torpedo tubes were added to her. During the first years of the war Scharnhorst and her sister Gneisenau were very active, making several sorties and going to the shipyards to repair battle-damage in between. During one they had a brief inconclusive encounter with HMS Renown. In this battle the effectiveness of their fire was hampered by their poor seagoing qualities. In a later sortie they sunk HMS Glorious and her escorting destroyers HMS Ardent and HMS Accost. Their most successful raid, 'Operation Berlin', took place between February 4th and March 22nd during which they sunk twenty-one Allied vessels. British battleships were sighted on several occasions, but the Germans avoided battle and used their superior speed to slip away. Scharnhorst and Gneisenau then spent the next eleven months in Brest and La Pallice during which they were repeatedly hit by British bombers.
In 1979, Ridley Scott's film 'Alien' introduced us to a new kind of science fiction and in 1986, its sequel 'Aliens' also delivered great action and amazing hardware design. The Dropship quickly became a favourite of mine and I knew I wanted a model of it some day. Halcyon had released a 1:72 kit in the late '80s but it was not readily available here in eastern Canada. And I really wanted something bigger. By the time 1995 came around, I had already tried my hand at scratchbuilding so 1 finally convinced myself to attempt the Dropship as my second scratchbuilding project. I decided on 1:35 to accompany my 1:35 APC kit that I was lucky enough to get my hands on the year before. At the time, the internet was not what it eventually became, so reference material was very scarce. So with my VHS copy of the film, a few photographs and approximate dimensions, I drew up three-view drawings and used these as my master blueprints.