"Battle" Acroyear - Space "Commander" Glider - "Radioactive" Membros - Time "Medic" Traveler
The Time Traveler Medic (or "Time Medic") deserves special mention as he is the only truly brand new Micronaut character to come out since 1980, and it is my original design, based on ideas from Ken Lilly and folks on the Micropolis Embassy Yahoo Group. He is a reworking of the original Time Traveler figure, done in solid opague white with red chromed details, including a brand new chestplate "cyber-module", and comes with a special new "Med-Pod" capsule. The inspiration for the figure came from the demand for a "repair set" (and includes some extra "repair" spare parts) combined with the number of rescue-themed figures in the original Japanese series (and perhaps a bit from the Rescue Nurse figure I designed previously with MicroGeneration!). An idea had come up on Micropolis of making alternate versions of Time Traveler with unique cyber-modules, heads, accessories and attachments for specific tasks, in particular a "Micro-Doc", also perhaps partly inspired by Jeffrey Gaier, who now runs the Generation Micro Yahoo Group, who used the name for his Micro E.R. site which offers numerous repair and customizing tips for Micronaut toys.
The render above was in many ways the simplest of the four promo images, as it is against a dark background with only a floor as an added scene element. Originally I was going to put this into an all-white retro-futuristic hospital scene, but I found that the camera angle I wanted wouldn't show very much and the white would blend too much with the figure and Med-Pod. So instead I took the oppurtunity to play with some more dramatic lighting and experiment with a more minimalist set up (okay, the Space Glider required less, but it took a while to get SkyTracer to render the kind of sky I wanted at print resolution). I also had to put some retro-circuitry in the patient's chest cavity...had I more time, I would have made a closer aproximation of the circuitry actually molded into the figure's design, but instead I opted for an approximation, figuring perhaps different Time Travelers might have different retro-circuit panels inside them. Later I do plan to do an accurate version of the internal circuitry for another picture I have on the drawing board.
In this color model you can see the set in its full "operating table" configuration, with a patient on top and the Medic "jacked-in" to perform cybernetic nano-surgery. Note that the red heads in these color model shots were actually all in silver chrome, as requested after my early red-headed prototype render met with disapproval from Ken. Ken later changed his mind and went with the red head for the final toy, so I have photoshopped it back to red in these renders.
If you look carefully at the bottom black half of the Med-Pod, you'll see a section projecting slightly (below the feet of the patient). This projection was to be molded into the toy so it would be stable if stood upright. However, unfortunately, the factory somehow omitted this design element (but otherwise did an excellent job).
A rear side view of the Med-Pod giving a good view of both the Medic's cybermodule with its two cyber-ports and distinctive red cross motif, along with the top detailings of the Med-Pod. These detailings were loosely inspired by the details inside most Microman capsules and inside the standing cockpit/"Power Dome" section of Biotron. The main impression I was seeking to create was that this was some sort of retro-looking recharging/scanning/nano-med emmision unit. Of course all this nanotech stuff is more arbitrary as nanotech didn't exist in the 70's as a concept really, but it seems to mesh well with the other "minaturization" and "cybernetic" themes of the toys, so I often refer to it rather liberally. After all, Microman was cyberpunk before the term was ever even coined. Why not "nanopunk" (if this term doesn't exist yet, it should!) while we are at it?
Note the computer module with monitor...perhaps a little redundant with the cyber-jack, but I figured it would keep the retro feel and would function as an auxillary input/feedback monitor. The computer is deliberately retro-looking with a small monitor screen and oversized and simplified keyboard (inspired by some Playmobil sets, perhaps). The three slider bars on the right are, contrary to appearance, not meant as a Star Trek transporter reference, but actually were meant as a retro-style substitute for an input device to replace a mouse, and represent X, Y, and Z positions on the parts of the patient's body being monitored!
The Med-Pod is opened to reveal the patient inside, ready to be revived after being put into stasis while undergoing intensive nano-surgery. I suppose I must read too much Catherine Asaro...
I wanted to come up with an easy way to connect the upper and lower halves of the pod, so I borrowed the 5mm socket configuration from the Japanese Microman capsules (one on each side of the head and one between the feet) and put three 5mm plugs in the top half of the pod. I think it worked pretty well, but I do hear that the factory may have made it a bit too snug on the final production version. Oh well, you can never have two many 5mm parts when it comes to Micronauts. This way you could plug the top half of the pod into, say, some Micropolis city modules, should you desire to.
Here is the uncorrected test shot of the figure from my collection. Note that in this test shot the medic still has a chrome head. After seeing this test shot, it was decided to switch back to my original "red-head" design. However, the white top to the Med-Pod was changed to a more greyish off-white in the final toy for contrast with the Medic figure and to make it look more mechanical. I kind of prefer the plain "sterilized" look of the original. A decal might be cool for the monitor...I may have to make a custom Medic decal set available later...
Note that the Med-Pod uses figure stands for support (though it can stand fine on its own), and a fifth socket is noticable hanging from the center below in this photo. This peghole is placed there so the entire module can also be used in place of the "Hibernation Chamber" in Astrostation, which the Med-Pod was partly modeled after. I'll see if I can get a photo of the pod mounted in the Astrostation later. This socket is also a deliberate holdover from my first version of this set, pictured below.
This is my initial design for the Time Medic set. Note that the vertical standing supports are not present yet on the pod, and that a unique stand was originally designed to support the pod from the center. My initial idea for the figure was inspired by a custom I saw on a Japanese fansite, with the figure in black and white. A two-color Time Traveler design would have been tricky to do though, requiring a change in the mold's design, so we went with casting the figure in solid white instead.
Updated: April 9, 2003.
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