Return to Mecha

 

After the Cankerworm I wanted to return to a more traditional mecha design. By this time I’d been exposed to Five Star Stories, another Japanese animation show. The mecha designs had exaggerated features and many details. I decided to loosely copy one design named “Shooting Star”.

            In the mecha community the idea of an armature was taking hold. For those unfamiliar with LEGO mecha building, an armature is skeleton that provides a frame on which to add armor. An obvious advantage is that one doesn’t have to keep creating new joints for each new mecha. Another newer idea was to make interchangeable parts, so that one mecha could be adapted to suit several roles.

            With a Five Star Story mecha, armature, and lots of red I sat down to decide what elements to have on this model. I thought it might be cool to try and make a mecha with removable armor. While this had been done to a degree I wanted to take it a step further. Armor that attached via magnets seemed a good choice. At the same time Beast Wars was on TV. I liked to look of the “spark”, or internal energy/life force, so I figured I’d throw that in just for fun. I liked the four arm look of a Shiva, so I threw that in too. Lastly I decided to take the Five Star Story design element of flowing twisting forms coming off the mecha at all angles for no reason whatsoever except that it looked cool.

            I really tried to keep all the support structure down to a minimum on this mecha. I also tried to mix System parts with a bit of Bionicle, which had come out while making the Cankerworm. The torso took me the most time, and as usual ended up heavier than I would have liked. I then built the top arms and legs. Every section of this model was difficult to make. I think I remade every part at least four times.

Though I made a spark that works via LEGO fiber optics in the end it was covered by the chest armor. I actually put one battery box in each thigh: one to run the motor and the other to power the optics.

One joint technology advance was a combined Bionicle and large Technic turntable hip design. It is strong enough to support about twice the weight of Agiel and is only four studs wide at the center. The new hip design could easily be used for something tall yet skinny like a Evagelion mecha.

I made the head last and for the record it looks nothing like the mecha on which the design was based. I’d seen an Alien made entirely of Bionicle created by Jeff Ranjo that just floored me. One feature I like was that he used a Bionicle mask as a head. I wanted to do the same. After scouring for parts to use as teeth I noticed that the minifig applets looked like teeth. So I combined the mask, applets, and some of these new black dino tails to make a sort of Queen Alien looking head.

Agiel’s center of gravity ended up being too high, and she doesn’t stand as well as I’d like. In fact if not for the articulated waist she wouldn’t be able to stand at all. It serves as a counter balance. Agiel is strong enough to be carried around like a toy.

 

 

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