Fang of the Sun Dougram: Bigfoot


This will be my journey in modeling the two seater mecha Bigfoot from the anime Fang of the Sun Dougram. Also known as Ziyon in the Revell Robotech Defenders series of model kits, but perhaps more well known in the visually altered Battlemaster in the early beginnings of the Battletech strategy game. For this model I will be following the design as it appears in Dougram, later I’ll use it to make the Battlemaster. I will be working In 3DS Max 2015 and photoshop for texturing. Rigging will be done both in MAX and Poser 9. I’m lucky enough to own a 1/72 model and digital calipers to help with the process. The following images are for reference. I believe them to be a larger 1/48th scale model.

Since I’m referencing a physical model I’ve set Max’s units to mm.

The four shoulder guns appear to be a smaller diameter and longer than the reference pics but I chalk that up to the difference between the 1/72 and 1/48 runs.

I think I need to add some extra edges and move points to round out the lower edge of the canopy above the vent area.


Added the curved piping at the back of the head as well as the vents on the back of the torso. Forearms are done too. Much of the shallow panel lines and smaller vents I’m thinking on doing with displacement maps. I am on the fence If I want to do that with the lines at the elbow on the forearm or model those.

Added more edges and moved them to smooth out the lower edge of the canopy I’d pointed out in the original post


Added definition to the canopy. Need to play with the smoothing groups on the frame a little to get rid of the rough curvature. Hands roughed in pretty good mostly just need to work on the hand/palm portion. Hip was a little bit of an adventure getting the dimensions and placement of the angles and widths. Forgot to mention I fixed the angle of the antenna.


Smoothed out the mid canopy frame by adding some edges and moving them for more resolution

Lower legs finally done. I think they were my worst worry dread after the hip And upper legs. Turned out to be fairly easy once I started really looking at them and taking measurements. I’ve also upped the size of the shoulder barrels.


The main body is otherwise complete with the exception of I should add a support/pivot for the launcher since it is sitting on the shoulder at the moment but should be able to elevate. Also the feet have cleat like tread to either side I’ll need to tack on. Debating between starting on the cockpit, making the handheld gun, or starting texturing.


Detail of the underside of the foot. Most of the time I see this mech the imagery is winter/high altitude so that explains the cleat like tread rather than the usual flat bottom.

Separated the canopy from the rest of the head and rough ‘pan’ for the cockpit. I’ve parented everything in hierarchy and moved the center/pivot points of all parts to their ‘joint’ positions. While not rigged it would be poseable as you can see by the open canopy.


I’ve thought about finding a place to upload the current iteration and if you happen to have have max 2015 or higher check it over and tell me if some place looks like it needs a higher poly count to match the rest of the model or if smoothing groups need tweaking somewhere. Even thought about obj and 3ds to increase the number of people who can look it over rather than rely on the above images. Good idea? Any interest?


Added some basic coloring to the more finished portions and a bipeds for scale and roughing out the size of the cockpit bits. I still have to make the handheld and some missiles for the launcher.


Decided after some research that it’d be just as much trouble to displacement map as simply just modeling the panel lines. Here’s the remodeled launcher now with accurate color rather than all red. I imported some ejection seats that came from some free site somewhere when I went looking to improve some other mech models.

Added the maintenance hatches to the side of the head. Got the lower console roughed in better. The only really good reference I have to go by is below. Apparently cockpit images are a big secret.


Chest maintenance hatch and recess above it

Backside details


Completed the front details at the lower portions and the side panel details.


More panel lines and some minor texturing.



Okay Found out how to use photoshop to get rid of the yellow tint. going to try an edit the old posts.


I’m not sure how accurate it is given that the reference picture I have is apparently the only image in existence that depicts the cockpit in any detail but here’s the canopy lifting mechanism. It occurs to me I should do a hinge as well just because. At least if I decide it’s too much I can leave the hinge out and nobody should care. Next up the consoles and sides. Planning on getting some pilots done up in Poser and bringing them in through Collada export/import


Pilots are in place and the visible side of the upper console has been detailed.


Nearly done with the cockpit. The lower console is finished as best I could off the reference picture and I’ve totally made up some control details.


Launcher now has missiles and the gun is finished. Not sure why I couldn’t get the right colors with auto tone and auto color in PS like with the others but the image of it being held is the truer colors.


I find myself hitting a quandary. Right now I’m rigging the hands since there’s no other way really that I see to have them round and jointed/weather sealed. This leaves me with the decision to 1. Do nothing more since I’ve moved the center pivots so that the rotation is where the joint would be and the mech is poseable as it is now (pending I finish weighting the skin on the fingers) 2. I go ahead and rig the rest of it and parent the meshes to the bones. 3. Parent everything to a max biped so the biped footsteps can be used to assist with animation. Suggestions?


I’ve found the bone rig keeps distorting the length of the fingertip when it flexes so at least for this little scene I’ve junked the skin and manually posed the fingers by 'grow’ing the selection and rotating and moving the vertices and 'shrink’ing the selection one ring. Rather tempting to make each finger movement a morph and see how that goes. All the posing here was done with the object pivot and no rigging.