Planning a 'Frame with LDD - "Birdlegs"

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Planning a 'Frame with LDD - "Birdlegs"

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 9:01 am

1. Ugh, what.
First of all, I need an inspiration to work with. Something, that I am going for, what the feel should be like. Sometimes, I get ideas from BattleTech designs, sometimes, a subsection of a different 'Frame branches out into a new 'Frame in it's own right. This time, I saw the Cyclone 'Frame by DRADA and wondered, if I could build a 'Frame with long bridlegs and all (or at least, the main weaponry) attached to the center torso. Maybe have some stubby thing where arms would be. But deffo nonhumanoid.

2. Build Sequence
I usually start with what comes easier. Most of the time, it's the center torso or the legs, because that provides a good basis to attach the rest, play around and approach the subject with minor changes to get a feeling going. This time, I tried my hands at legs, and when I do legs, it's feet first for me. So ... I get bored and am disatisfied with my own ideas. Eventually, I say hutch it, and look for ideas to solve my problem. As it happened to be, Soren's Hi-Legs are close to what I am going for, at least legwise. So I take those feet, and slightly alter them, add thighs, a joint ... and so on.

This is what I get at this stage of building:
Image
color-coded for clarity

~to be continued~
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby DarkwingDon » Fri May 11, 2012 10:29 am

Glad to see im not alone in using block color grouping to design and brainstorm when working in MLCad. Is this a pretty standard way of doing thing?

I just started using MLCad a few weeks ago and it seems like a pretty easy program to use, but if anyone has tips or tricks they would like to share, I would not mind hearing them :mrgreen:
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 11:10 am

Heh, nah. I usually build everything in dark and light grey, and colourise as I go along. I am doing the colorcoding right now to show the individual areas I am working on. Makes it easier to follow. :)

3. This blows.
So I go on and realise that another joint would be necessary to mount these legs to a torso, and that would bring the torso way up high - and make it look like poop. So the white joint flies out of the window and I tackle the task again, this time trying to combine joint and mount into one piece. It needs to be shorter than the lower leg, to put the torso above the feet and not over them. Also, the longer lower legs make the 'Frame more stalky-birdy. So, with that said and done, I go to town, click somethign together, add armor and greebly bits, beef up the legs a bit and already have a decent way to mount a torso. Copy & Paste, invert the parts that need to be mirrored, step done.

Image
color-coded for clarity

Next-Up: Torso.
Image Vesopia - An Ijad-controlled system, where SU and FC are still fighting.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Mantisking » Fri May 11, 2012 11:23 am

Ced23Ric wrote:3. This blows.
So I go on and realise that another joint would be necessary to mount these legs to a torso, and that would bring the torso way up high - and make it look like poop.

Not necessarily If you just want rotation and not a true hip joint, you can run a Lightsaber Blade through the 2x2 Round Plate and into the Travis Brick. If you need some sort of spacer then you can use a Technic Bushing, a 1x1 Round Brick, or a 1x1 Round Plate w/Hole.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Wadmaasi » Fri May 11, 2012 11:28 am

I like those feet.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 11:37 am

Mantisking wrote:
Ced23Ric wrote:3. This blows.

Not necessarily. If you just want rotation ...

Ironically, you are agreeing with me - I need a solution to a design problem, and there are many ways about it. I wanted to get a ZigZag leg going, so I needed another element, but the oversized white join would've made that leg uncomfortably long. So I removed the joint and changed it to something more compact. :)
Wadmaasi wrote:I like those feet.

Thanks!

4. Torso-Time!

Alright, so what I need is a long, sleek and compact torso, with high "shoulder" connectors for the legs. Luckily, several bricks offer nice elongated surfaces to play with. Weapon systems are mounted to the "cheeks" of the cockpit, and then it's greebling time. Some plates here, some dibs there, some niblets thar. You know the deal.

Image

5. Something is missing.
Mhmm. The whole thing is fairly symmetric, which is nice for one 'Frame, but looks empty on another. Because I already went with the odd shape, I felt like I need to unbalance the design and add something cool. Like, you know, a weird shoulder-mounted missile launcher that has an odd cable dangling down from it, with an integrated scanner. Wait, what?

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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 11:43 am

6. This looks odd and I don't like it.
So, when I put it all together, it looks like a someone is really scared of stepping on raw eggs. The legs are way too far apart, the torso kinda hovers there, the legs seem like an after thought and the flow is ruined. Ruined, you here me? No, no, no, uneccaptable. Back to the drawing board, Chris. You can't possibly want to field a 'Frame like that. The launcher is nice, though. Heh. Lookit that spine dangling down!

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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby MittenNinja » Fri May 11, 2012 11:51 am

I don't think it looks as bad as you think it does.

it reminds me of the nova/Blackhawk from battletech.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 12:03 pm

MittenNinja wrote:I don't think it looks as bad as you think it does.

Good sir, have you ever stopped at "Meh, not that bad." - I don't think that's the approach I like to take. :D
But you very well build a Nove from that base, this is true!

7. Fix'er Up'er
So the problem is simple. I need mounting space on shoulders without making the mounting spots for the legs too far out. Back into the think tank, some playing around later, ditching the teeth on the leg mount for simple 1x1 plates to fit into a tighter space, the new torso has all the conditions met. Here's what I am gonna go with:

Image

Assembled:
Image

Way better! Yay!
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Mantisking » Fri May 11, 2012 12:07 pm

You could look at Paradox Boy's work. He has a ton of chicken walkers.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 12:16 pm

Mantisking wrote:You could look at Paradox Boy's work. He has a ton of chicken walkers.

Yeah, but ... I want to build my own. The idea of this thread is less "guys, help me plox!" and more of a ... design process log. Maybe it helps others with their designs, is what I am trying to get at. I've seen Paradox Boy's work, love his stuff, and some of my other designs are inspired by his, too. :)

8. I gave that 'Frames colour. Frames love colour.
So, now that I have a 'Frame that I like, it's time to figure out a colour scheme. Keep in mind parts availability, too - Travis bricks are already expensive, getting them in tan or other fancy colours gets pretty hefty. If possible, get your colour coding with tiles and slopes, and use readily available colours for the skeleton. Now that the 'Frame is at a state where I would field him, he got his colour scheme - desert it is!

Image

Thanks for your time! :)

If you are curious and want to try your own hand on this 'Frame, have a go:
Image
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby MittenNinja » Fri May 11, 2012 12:32 pm

Ced23Ric wrote:
MittenNinja wrote:I don't think it looks as bad as you think it does.

Good sir, have you ever stopped at "Meh, not that bad." - I don't think that's the approach I like to take. :D
But you very well build a Nove from that base, this is true!


Agreed! I think just the way you said you weren't happy with it implied that you were going to scrap the frame, which I'm glad you didn't! Some times I find an unexpected snag in the design sparks an entirely new idea and ill run with it. That's actually how some elements of the Grand Naga happened!
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Dukayn » Fri May 11, 2012 12:35 pm

Not a bad looking frame there. Nice to see it all come together as you worked it out.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Mantisking » Fri May 11, 2012 12:57 pm

Ced23Ric wrote:Image
color-coded for clarity

Is there something attached to the back of that Travis Brick at the top of the "calf"? If not, I'd replace it with a 1x1 Brick, Modified w/2 Studs.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 1:31 pm

Mantisking wrote:Is there something attached to the back of that Travis Brick at the top of the "calf"? If not, I'd replace it with a 1x1 Brick, Modified w/2 Studs.

No can do.

It gives the whole calf stability and mounts the beefy bits on the outside. 3 of 4 studs are used and the bottom is pointing backwards, to leave room for the 1x1 modified /w clip to go onto the bar to make it more meaty - also, if I would but the 1x1 /2 studs there, the next Travis wouldn't be able to mount that close and still turn that low. It's a tight package in there. :)

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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Wadmaasi » Fri May 11, 2012 1:40 pm

MittenNinja wrote:it reminds me of the nova/Blackhawk from battletech.

I was thinking Mad Dog/Vulture (from the cockpit curve), but you're right, the entire assemblage looks much more like a BlackHawk with the wide hip structure and the torso mounted so low in it. Either way, it's a nice looking frame!
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Ced23Ric » Fri May 11, 2012 8:41 pm

Wadmaasi wrote:I was thinking Mad Dog/Vulture (from the cockpit curve)

My challenge for tomorrow: Building a Mad Dog. And then, a Nova. Aww yeah.

Also, I bricked it up, too. Had to make some changes to the head bit because I don't have that slope (yet), but it turned out rather nicely!

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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby randolph » Fri May 11, 2012 9:08 pm

That's one sexy frame.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Wadmaasi » Sat May 12, 2012 12:15 am

Ced23Ric wrote:My challenge for tomorrow: Building a Mad Dog.

I approve this self-imposed challenge! Especially if you can make it MFZ-scale.

Also, these posts were very interesting to read, I enjoyed the blow-by-blow thought process.
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Re: Build A 'Frame - Digital Version

Postby Spiralbound » Sat May 12, 2012 8:09 am

I'd like to chime in with a thank you to Ced23Ric for the design diary. I found it extremely insightful to be able to peer over his shoulder and listen in on his thoughts, design rationale, piece selection, and even CAD methodology. EVERYTHING about this thread was very useful and helpful to me. I invite some of the other frequent posters to chime in with their own Frame Design Diary threads as well. :-)
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