After numerous successful campaigns against Marzan supply lines, a tired Empire decided to give in and parley with the mysterious pilot of the QU-KRSW, codename: “GHOST”.
While many of the Marzan Aristocracy and upper military echelon questioned dealing with a war pirate, numerous deals and a heavy offering of food, money, war supplies, and of course, Quorus was supplied in exchange for GHOST un-officially working as an independent agent for the Marzan Empire, freely doing as he pleases as long as he does not interfere with Marzan business.
His previous reFrame, the QU-KRSW, has been retrofitted with a new design, machine improvements across the board, as well as a huge upgrade to its weapons loadout.
As a safeguard, Marzan engineers were tasked to install a remote detonator inside the Quorus core power chamber to prevent GHOST from crossing them although it’s highly likely that’s been long diffused by the pirate legend himself.
Classification: Melee – Mid range Combat
(1) PT-2BSS-A “COSETTE”
(1) PT-2BSS-B “EPONINE”
(1) FL-SBSS “MAGDALENA”
Pilot: Codename: GHOST
Last year, I built a mech called the QU-KRSW and while I enjoyed doing that, part of me was never really content with the build I made back then. I felt that it was too chunky and weird in the wrong proportions and the whole concept for it was just too literal even if it was supposed to be a reimagination of Quiccs’s awesome original character. I could say that the first version of the KRSW was the last of my less-detailed mech builds and looking at what was immediately before and after that, there has been a shift in my building aesthetic, packing more detail and smaller parts into my mechs.
Come December 2016 and I’m finally building regularly again after an erratic 3rd quarter for the year and I see the QU-KRSW on my display case and think “man I really gotta improve this one” and it was also timely that I bought this really cool awesome character pin from Quiccs. He sends me my parcel and adds this surprise gift of a custom Dunny of his character and that really made me want to do the rebuild but was still in the process of finishing the Eagle EWAC at the time and with all the crazy December holiday plans and social gatherings, the month went by too quickly. When I started the build, I basically had just the last week of December and while I badly wanted to cap of 2016 with the build, it’s not so bad that it’ll be my first build for 2017 instead.
Build inspirations is still mostly based on Quiccs’s character -the Ghost of Kurosawa- but this time I decided to add my own spin on the character. Looking at it, it’s supposed to be this undead ghost mecha samurai and yeah those were the 4 keywords I went with. Most of it is samurai-styled from the shoulder pads to the thigh plates + chain skirts and the weapons are based off flintlocks and shotguns (I was watching Drifters and there was a lot of Feudal Japan + early guns in the series) . Inspirations and research would include the Gundam Crossbone series, which I think was also a basis for Quiccs’s other character on the pin, samurai armors, maybe a bit of Sword Impulse Destiny on the sword mounting and/or the Sengoku Astray.
On the color scheme, decided to still make it 80-85% black but this time add more white to break up the parts and more trans red based on the Marzan aesthetic and lore (Marzan reFrames supposedly use up more “Quorus” or trans pieces to power their suits). Added just a hint of pearl gold in there for some ornamental reasons and just to accent the whole red-black-white samurai color scheme.
p.s. I’ve never watched and probably never will watch Gundam Seed 😛 just not my thing (please don’t take it personally ^^; hehe)
p.p.s. Fresh new look on the template and trying something new again for this year. Collating all the pics so I’ll basically be upload 1 picture (everything in it) and 1 video (360 rotating full model) per build now and maybe something else that’s new 😉
*I’ve actually been posting snippets of the build progress over at my Twitter so you could follow me there if you like seeing WIP pics of my builds as they progress 😀
Before I started rebuilding the Kurosawa Kai, I did a bit of knolling with all its parts first. It was a fun and relaxing experience and made me realize how many small parts I use per build :p
As always, the redesign started with the head. I decided to keep how I did the face before using the two white antenna pieces and the old white 3 prong hinge piece for the teeth. The way the horn pieces as a helmet ornament was slightly accidental. Started with the side horns first then felt that I needed to put something in front and these full horns just matched the distance between the two side horns. I then made the early version of the thighs with the idea of making a white stripe across each leg but felt that the shape wasn’t right yet.
Since I already built the thighs, I built an early version of the thigh plating just to see how they’d position on top of the upper legs. The thigh plating would be a key design point for the entire build and I wanted to position them right before proceeding to the actual plating design. This is the same way I built the extra plating on the Eagle EWAC to slight extend the thighs and give it this longer legs look. I actually got stuck at this point as the current build looked weird and just wasn’t feeling the whole samurai vibe.
The following day I decided to build the chest area before proceeding any further as it would help me visualize better the whole look of the build. The chest is simply a copy of the Emissary (formerly Schwarze Feuer) mech I built for the Marzan faction of Mech Wars back in 2015. I really liked how it looked and the segmentation on it but felt that it was too wide and not compact enough. On this mech however, I decided that the wideness would be fine as it would cover up the shoulder joints easier.
First real work on the armor skirting and I’m now incorporating tank treads like how I built the Aztech Deity‘s middle skirting and also featured is an early version of the knee detailing.
Testing out longer tank treads here as I felt that it was too short and looking at pictures of Samurai in full armor, the chain skirting often exceeds past the knees so I was going for that. I also built the first version of the side skirting here and had an early fitting of test arms just to see how much range of motion I could get.
Ok kinda skipped a few pics here as I was able to get the shoulder’s plated look right off the bat. The arms are just a slightly modified version of the previous built but this time, I made sure not to have the bone detail stick out too much (previous were on jumpers + tile modified with clip so it’d be a full brick height for the entire detail. I lowered it to just two plates high).
Also built the waist area here and added the Ninjago sword hilt from the steampunk sets (sky pirates?) as an extra detail. I badly wanted some skulls on the mech so this hilt with the skull detail was perfect (was tempted to color in the eyes with black ink wash tho ;P)
This is my least favorite part of every build. I really enjoy building everything else BUT THE FEET but they have to be done and they need to be designed right as ugly and blocky / chunky feet tend to just destroy an entire well thought out and built mech in my opinion. Didn’t want to do a heel design on this contrary to the development pics (my test feet are always the heel ones) and wanted something more flat heeled. An early version is the one on the right, offering really good heel stability but poor in design (it’s just a chunk of black). Decided to build the left one as an improvement and didn’t really sacrifice stability as the skis just stick to the ground nicely.
Not sure if you noticed but when I built the shoulders, I already knew how I’d mount the swords then with a swivel joint mechanism that would hold the sword handle via clip.
The swords are just a 4 stud+ extended version of the old swords but this time made them with solid red blades. Getting the extension part just right was slightly tricky but it looks good to me. Here I’m testing the positioning of the swords when mounted as they needed to clear the space for the whole cockpit backpack area.
Unseen here is how I’ve changed the skirting to one row of tank treads per leg to two rows of tank treads per leg, giving the thighs a more covered skirting look.
Initially, I wanted the sword orientation to be as in the previous picture, with the bladed edge pointing to the back but accidentally moved the swords to this config and with how I built the striping on the sword, it just looked beautiful (reminds me of the Gold Frame Amatsu which is probably my most liked design among all the Seed series Gundams).
For the cockpit doors, I wanted to differentiate from my usual vertical door type entrance. Saw some bad robot arms on the work table and decided to just orient them to open horizontally. The first design was 5 bad robot arms per door but it looked too tacky.
On top of the cockpit area would be a Sashimono or a standard that samurai would mount on their back area and would usually symbolize their clan. I thought of using this old plastic one from the late 80s samurai sets but it looked too small so just made one with flags. Luckily I also had a printed red flag with a symbol on it from the same sets.
I almost stopped here but felt that just having swords for this guy wasn’t enough…
So I gave it guns to go to use while closing in enemy units. These early version flintlocks even had small knives stuck to them like a bayonet so he could still do melee combat while shooting his pistols but I eventually scrapped it on the account of being too tacky. I did however keep the idea of having a pair of pistols in different colors but lessened the white and red in the final build.
So while working on the two pistols, I ended up really digging the whole twin barrel look and decided to make a sawed off shotgun (probably from playing so much Fallout 4 and just owning things with a sawed off shotgun early in the game).
The other gun would have been a longer barrel flintlock with the outward coning end. Sadly I only had one of these black island tree body pieces cause if I had two, I would have made a pair. Added a bayonet on this using an LOTR Uruk Hai sword (almost used a katana but again too tacky).
I’m most likely going to recycle this weapon for another mech. It’s just way too cool to not reuse.
You might have noticed the LEGO version on the background of some of the WIP pics 😉
So after finishing the entire build, I really wanted to take a side-by-side comparison of the two builds and just see where I had improved on. Overall, I think the Kai’s proportions are much better (not just because of the photo angle) as the old build had these lunking shoulders that made it look more like a grunt / salvaged mech. The color blocking has also been improved, removing the whole chunks of black and added much more visual separation between body parts and armor segments. Weapons have definitely been improved and I can proudly say, the new guy has much more handsome feet. Lastly, the overall feel and vibe of the Kai is just cooler compared to it’s predecessor so I’m pretty happy with how this ended up.
Hope you enjoyed the explanation for the build and do feel free to leave a comment here, on my Flickr page/photo, Twitter, or Facebook page 😀 Oh and if you liked that or any of my previous builds and want to show some love or support, do feel free to follow me at any of the above links or drop a message and I’ll try my best to respond as fast as possible 🙂
For those interested in LEGO mech building, I put out an eBook over at Amazon Kindle a while back called Mech Wars Instructional Primer. If you’re looking for a resource that could help you start or even improve your mech building skills, you might find this eBook useful
is there any chance you could make a post on how to design and build heads for mechas? it’s really interesting stuff
I could do a write up on it sometime in late Jan / Feb 🙂 I’ve been meaning to for a while now ever since I did some mech head studies last year but I haven’t found the right words to explain the process 😮
Here’s a new article I wrote up specifically on this 🙂