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After almost a year of building with Bionicle I was ready to combine the System mecha building with what I had learned. I wanted to make a large bipedal very organic demon using a very Bionicle building technique I termed “floating point articulation”. Essentially I was building hollow shapes by connecting ball socket parts on two planes. Connecting the ball sockets this way makes them structurally solid. I used this technique to make the torso of my next model, Torment.

            For inspiration I took some of the elements from Todd McFarlane’s Tortured Souls toy line. I’ve always liked the Hellraiser series anyways, so it was a natural extension. I wanted horns and liked the ones from the movie Legend.

            I wanted to expand on my mouth from Agiel. I also used a variation of Agiel’s hands with claws added. On the torso I wanted to use various parts to represent musculature.

            I actually used the torso from one of my demon models, modified it, and added many extra details. Next I built the head using a similar technique as Agiel mixed with details from the Tortured Soul series. Of paramount importance was the need to have a really menacing looking mouth and face. I spent almost as much time on the mouth as the whole torso.

            The initial idea was to combine the demon torso with a dragon body. For the body I  used the click hinge octagons skinned with over 200 Bionicle masks. The masks actually worked well as scales. What made the body unique and new was the use of offset octagonal rings used as abdomen segments. The offset allowed for a twisting and turning type of articulation that hadn’t previously been done.

            What proved the downfall of the dragon body was simply an engineering oversight; I’d attached the screw gear for the hip joint vertically instead of horizontally underneath the Technictorment_dragon.jpg (58026 bytes) turntable. When attached underneath a turntable the weight of the model pushes the screw gear into the turntable. When attached vertically the axle holding the screw gear bows slightly under a critical load. This causes the turntable to slip and in this particular case causes the thigh to not be able to stand up vertically. The real world result of the long explanation above was that the dragon could only squat thus limiting its pose ability.

            Even with the hip problem the model was rather imposing. I showed it at the 2nd Brickswest event at Legoland California. Torment caused one Master Builder to remark that the LEGO Company “didn’t intend for LEGO to be used this way”. I’ve always loved that comment.

            Because of the way I built the hip joint into the body and the body was solidly connected to the offset octagons I deemed it impossible to retrofit the hip joint. I made the decision to take off the dragon body and make the demon a biped.

            Then for an extra challenge I decided to make toes which flexed to help support the model while standing. The idea was to allow this rather large model to be posed easily and have the toes give the required resistance to let it rock back and forth slightly. I used Technic flex tubing to provide spring-like resistance, a new technique I had developed on this model. The same technique is also used in the elbows and knees.

            I used a modified version of the Agiel hip design; however I oriented the legs beneath the hips. Typically LEGO mecha have the legs attached to the side of the hips. Though this wasn’t particularly difficult it added one more design consideration. My biggest problem was that I kept making the legs too short. I had to completely rebuild them four times.

            Torment doesn’t have any glaring failures. It’s so strong that when it falls over I only have to pick it up and sometimes reattach a mask or two. I sent it up to NWBC and heard that several AFOLs were impressed that it could just be taken straight out of the shipping box and stood up. If I were to remake it though I’d make the head larger.

 

 

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