The Vanguard-class Titan is the Militia’s first self-made titan chassis, because of this the Militia no longer had to steal IMC Titans from the production lines to maintain their Titan fleet.
This is actually my very first LEGO mech build that’s not an original design haha! Felt a little weird building it as I really wanted to add things in different places but at the same time, really wanted to do a very loyal build to the original in-game model.
I actually only got to play Titanfall 2 when last January 2017 (had finally bought my very first PS4) and binged on the story mode of Titanfall 2 just because it was sooooo good! Without giving out too much spoilers, I’d say the game was just awesome and really pulled you in especially if you’re a huge fan of A) FPS games and B) huge mecha kicking butt! ohyeah! While playing through the game and finally riding my very own Titan (love ya BT!), I got really obsessed with the idea of building a LEGO version of the Vanguard class. Every time I saw it on my screen, I was making mental notes of how to build this section and/or what piece to use for this specific detail.
It was only when I joined BMD (Brick Mecha Division) over at FB that I finally got the push to do this build with the first ever BMD build challenge topic: Titanfall. We had some really great entries before I even got to start such as this Atlas build by Kelvin Low and this custom Titan design by Freddy Tan (Freddy’s build actually pushed me to start the Sailia in it’s sand blue goodness :P) Their builds really inspired me and made me realize that building this would be a great way to deviate from my usual designs and try out some new build techniques and I’m really glad I started it!
*shameless plug: if you happen to be an aspiring or even veteran of LEGO mech building, we’d like to invite you over to our little group of addicted LEGO mech guys and gals 😛 It’s made by my good LEGO mech buddy Kelvin Low a.k.a. Chubbybots and I co-admin it with Benjamin Cheh Ming Hann and Bert Seguinal.
The build itself is not the usual “BT” Vanguard that is the mainstay Titan of the story mode. This model is actually briefly seen at the tutorial section and is more of a mass produced version colorway. I originally wanted to do the olive green main color “BT” look but decided that unless I did some paint, which the purist in me refuses to, I’d have a really hard time getting the exact look I wanted. The FS-1041 color way is more of a carbon fiber look with lots of grey and figured, that’d be a good color to go with.
For reference, I did also check out existing Vanguard models notably this excellent LEGO BT build by Marcus Herrmann and the Funko Pop / McFarlane BT toys and noted how specific shapes appeared and how I’d execute it in LEGO form. Oh and the PS4 was running on/off with just the FS-1041 in the middle of the screen so I could reference of it as needed. I even got the Titanfall 2 artbook so I could do this build properly but sadly, it didn’t have that many development pictures and notes on the BT model (only had 4 pages of BT and around 2 pages of the earlier development concept art for it).
Before I even began this build, I already had a piece in mind for the eye console unit and it was the Bionicle Toa Metru Knee Cover. I figured that this piece was a good size, had enough detail to it, and would determine the overall scale I’d work in. Initially, I had used a flat silver version but eventually replaced it with a black one but more on that later.
Designing the eye came first and progressed into building the cockpit doors. The tricky thing with the Vanguard model is that the front cockpit doors are actually 2 part. The top part contains the “eye” AI unit and the bottom is the main door to the whole cockpit. This meant the part with the AI unit had to be nested into a door cover and making that compact enough took me hours. The main door was much easier but getting it at the right angle took a bit of trial and error.
After selecting the eye AI piece, I also wanted to highlight the mechanical detail found on the body-shoulder connection of the Vanguard. The part “Minifig, Weapon Rapid Shooter Six Barrel” had just the right size and look then I decided to pair it with a vehicle mudguard to make it look nested into the whole torso design. The exhausts just above the shoulder was tricky to build since it needed an orange stripe by the grill cover. Had to use some travis + brick with 1 / 2 stud + headlight bricks to get the shape right.
Built the waist and thigh afterwards and here you can see the initial thin shaping on the legs. Also, the above pictures feature a clunkier version of the knee armor. I decided to eventually change these as the legs looked too skinny compared to the torso size and looking at the source pictures, the orange knee cap should look nested into the thigh armor. One thing I did get right in one go were the feet 😀 The rest, revisions!
The thing about the Vanguard’s leg design is compared to the human leg, this leg design featured a 3 joint design. The orange area is the kneecap then the lower leg is further segmented into two portions followed by the ankle. This is a pretty interesting mechanical design although translating it to LEGO would mean some stability issues given the extra load on the lower joints.
Here’s an early version of the FS-1041. I actually thought this looked good enough but then went back to the original in-game model and realized the obvious discrepancy. Things to note at this stage:
- Vents above shoulders are popped out too much. Source material suggests they should start just at the top of the shoulder joint. This meant I had to reduce the depth of this body part by roughly 1 stud.
- Trapezius area (behind the head, by the upper cockpit hatch) was sloped weirdly.
- General lack of white striping all throughout the build
- Kneecaps have this weird gap from the thigh armor.
- I have not done an articulation test at this stage 😛
So at this point, the build is around 95% done. Additional striping and spots of white were added and looking good. There’s just a few tiny details that had to be changed such as the Trapezius / Upper cockpit hatch shaping but that was corrected shortly after. I spent some time taking apart the torso build, reinforcing the internal structure and fixing some minor aesthetic aspects.
On the Predator Cannon, I didn’t actually take pics of it’s development but there’s a lot of SNOT techniques after the the minigun barrel. The technic link ammo tracks are actually connected from the outside clips to the inside of the main area, above the cylinder pieces.
While I was doing the last finishing touches and rechecking the stability of the build, I was also doing this 😛 It’s gonna be awhile before it’s done but please look forward to it 😉
This was a pretty fun build to do and I’m really happy with the end result. Not only does this guy look totally rad but I feel like design accuracy wise, it’s pretty loyal to the in-game model considering not having to do any custom paint work on the pieces 😀
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