Search and Rescue Mecha / Vehicle (WIP)


Cosmic Ghost
Oct 15, 2013
I have been lazy lately, playing Fortnite and sleeping in during my days off, but I was mulling over some designs I had for some Rescue Mecha(s). I drew inspiration from the Patlabor and Thunderbirds 2086 series. The anime Thunderbirds 2086 was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid, so I always wanted to design my own versions of rescue mechs and vehicles.

The first of these designs are for an land/ground based All Terrain Search and Rescue Mecha. I did some rough sketches of my ideas.


These designs had to have these prerequisites and features:

1) An advanced sensor system - the vehicle would be loaded with sensors such as infrared thermo-optics, high bandwidth radio, and a satellite GPS up-link to help with search efforts.
2) Better visibility with a wide open cockpit cabin and a 360 degree observer spotting dome on top of the vehicle for a better view of terrain
3) Flood lights for night work
4) A wire crane tow and tow hooks to pull, carry, and or haul loads
5) A full compliment of search and rescue equipment including first aid, stretchers for carrying wounded, and an easy access / loading mechanism for the stretchers with injured into the vehicle. Space for shovels, tools, climbing harnesses, ropes, hooks, and other gear that is needed for emergency rescues.
7) Hazmat and environmental powered suits and as well a docking unit for a humanoid robot / cyborg or a small drone - used in extreme conditions where the environment is too hazardous for regular humans. Used get into hard to reach places as well as hazardous environments such as in a burning building, radioactive contaminated areas, or avalanche rock slide zone.
8) Ability to transverse rough terrain. In regards to this I am still trying to figure out how the legs work. I have been doing research, looking at solutions from things that have a similar problem like public transport, and playing with the idea of lowering knelling chassis for easier access to load injured patients into the vehicle. The challenge is that at the same time on a Multi legged AT Mecha ground clearance is an issue. These type of mechs need higher clearance at the base of the walker to clear rough terrain is needed to transverse rough terrain but then if it is higher off the ground there is an issue of access when loading the injured and rescued which must get in to the vehicle some how.

With the ATRV/ATRM (All Terrain Rescue Vehicle/Mech) I was looking at different types of leg/joints and types of locomotion:
I) Mountain Goats and pack animals such as Camel/Mule/Horse
II) Spider and Insect legs
III) Humanoid Bipedal gait - Gorilla, Monkeys, and Humans

I hammered out two bigger more detailed sketches for the ideas I liked and the direction I thought it should go.

I was watching some behind the scenes stuff from ILM in their Star Wars days recently. I thought I would do something old school and do a model kitbash for this design. Went through my old models, and then went down to the local hobby store and bought myself some model kits.

Not finished yet, but have a basic design in place. I used several kits that were similar to the design I wanted and stuck them together, but didn't go for a complete new design, as I haven't done any model building for a long time, but thought it would be fun to do a kitbash.

Placed the pieces together to see how they would look as a whole before I glue and cut it. Also made another design for an artillery walker type mech made from some extra parts left over that you can see in the background.


While I wait for the paint to dry on my kitbash model, I have been working on an humanoid Search and Rescue Mecha. Yes~ We have more Emergency Service Mecha!

The design is based off an old drawing in my sketchbook. The design of the arms are based off deep sea diving equipment. It probably has amphibious applications, but I didn't think too deeply about this. I also made the design slightly asymmetrical just to explore new ideas. I like that the design is not too human, which when robots are made more human-like it makes the mech more mythological and metaphorical, and less functional as a realistic machine. Although it is not my goal to make my designs totally realistic, I do want some believe-ability to my designs. The question I ask is "How can I make things cool and interesting but still believable?" I am trying for a fresh approach that is not just a copy of another Intellectual property. I am just trying to find something which is new, fresh, and unique, but still palatable to a larger audience. I don't want to make something that is too crazy that makes no sense to people.

The colors are typical of Emergency Service Vehicles which I think works. I am quite happy about the overall design of the mecha, but the pilot doesn't sit too well in the cockpit IMO. I also feel the window reflection and shine is not quite right. Well, I guess 8 out of 10 is not bad - now I just got to figure out that pilot and cockpit before the paint dries. :D

For the four legged walker I got the legs from a K-9 Dog Pack Kit from the HGBC Gundam Series. The artillery piece is another HGBC Kit - the Mega Ride Launcher, mixed an on sale WW2 howitzer with another Gunpla Kit, Arm Arms Kit was the name I think.

They are quite affordable which is nice as I am just starting out. I have only done a handful of kitbashes, so I need to level up my skills, and using cheap kits let's me get experience and experiment while not worry too much about messing up things up. :D

I painted the ATV Search and Rescue Kitbash a base color of orange, and now I need to put on the text for detailing. I want for it to have some nomenclature such as "SAR-01" and "Search and Rescue" on the side. I am not sure how to I should place it on though, whether to hand paint it, or use some sort of decals, although I have no idea of how to make my own decals... Does anyone on the forums have any idea about decals, or know how to make them? I probably should check/post on a modellers forum when I have the chance.

I also plan to attach the rounded dome-like pod (Minimoire from the Grimoire Gundam) on top, and make it a docking bay to where it is right now just taped on. I imagine it is like sort of a drone which can detach and fly around doing search and scanning roles.

Thanks, I’ll look out for those. Most of the kits I’ve doctored have been Games Workshop models, mainly because they’re what I grew up with and the quality of some of them is pretty good, although they can be a bit cartoony. (I should add that I don’t claim to have any great skill here, I’m just enthusiastic!)

Personally, I’d put any transfers or writing down the length of the barrel-shaped part of the body rather than the round part at the front (it would probably be easier for you to apply, too). My feeling is that it would be pretty difficult to hand-paint the serial code unless you wanted to heavily weather it afterwards. As for transfers, I’m not sure, but I’m sure you could find a decent guide online. All GW tanks used to come with transfers, which I think you applied with water.

In terms of other painting, you could wash the joints of the legs and/or the bodywork with a darker shade or do chipping effects on the legs where they would get damaged in use. It might be worth looking at military modellers and how they paint tanks, although there do seem to be different styles depending on how stylized you’d want it to look.

After watching Jake Parker's Power Drawing Class from SVS (Society of Visual Storytelling) I am stoked to do some art! :D

After watching the live streaming webinar I realized my Search and Rescue Mecha Design was out of perspective. So I went back to the line art of the Mech and redrew it.

In the initial design it has a slightly asymmetrical design on each arm, for more versatile abilities and functions, one with a laser camera kind of thing on one arm which is more similar to a human hand and the other bigger and bulkier one more like a claw with something like double spot lights on the shoulders. After the revisions its hands are still each a different design, but now fit better in perspective.

I have included the original and my revised drawing so you can see the before and after.

The cockpit and pilot still needs some love, but I am not sure how to show the shine and transparency on the glass, as well as the pilot looks a bit stiff and jammed into the cockpit. I need some help here.

Any critiques and comments are welcome.
Please and thanks!

I have refined the Search and Rescue Robot it is closer to being finished. Not sure how, but I feel it needs a little more polish before I call it done.

I was doing some photobashing and tried putting the kitbash model I was working on into an environment and adding details. It's kinda tricky with the perspective, but with the decals and text it's starting to feel like a finished piece. I am not sure what kind of environment or mission I want to put the Search and Rescue Mecha in, but I was thinking along the lines of snowy blizzard. I don't know if the orange paint job would be appropriate for a harsh desert climate as it might blend in more than it would stand out.