Orbiter is an upgraded model of the Waltz with better overall performance, stability, and mobility. Upgraded to the newest internal structures from ARMaTech and overhauled electronics, it can now better snipe from farther distances with better accuracy compared to its predecessor. Its Linear Gun LG-MKSA04O+ has also been improved with better precision, cooling, and reload times.
Classification: Long range Combat
The Orbiter is actually part of my r3build project where I take models I’ve made from years ago using the V1 and V2 reFrame inner structures and upgrade them to the V3 version with the chest cockpit.
The Waltz model has always been one of my favorite earlier builds from the V1 line with its signature head design and huge linear gun. The white color scheme with the orange striping was also something I really enjoyed doing so it was fun working on this model once again. I didn’t want to change the look too much on this so most of its design was just streamlined with newer techniques I’ve learned over the years. There was also some weight reduction done for the whole model to make it more balanced, easier to model around, and have better articulation for the jointed areas (added in a double jointed elbow for example).
Being part of the V3 reFrame series also meant I had to add in some shoulder accessories and for the Waltz Orbiter, these were just minor energy shielding units. Nothing too distracting to take away the attention from the base model and/or weapon and more of just complimenting the entire build.
The build did end up bulkier than its predecessor but that’s part of the V3 upgrade and I actually like the new chunk it got with the rebuild 🙂
I actually did only minor revisions for the head with this build, replacing some connections with sturdier ones to make sure parts didn’t just fall out especially this was one of my display pieces for Japan Brickfest 2018 (and would have to survive being in my luggage for the duration of my travels).
The tricker part was converting the old V1 torso build to the V3 assembly while preserving the original design. Side-by-side comparison of the V1 and V3 versions don’t show much difference but internally there was a huge change with the connections and that the new chest design is actually a cockpit cover.
The shoulders were also rebuilt, preserving the key design elements (triangular front shape, trapezoidal flags) while significantly stripping down the elements to just the bare necessities. I also had to add in the shoulder accessories as all of my V3 builds now feature some kind of shoulder attachment. For the Orbiter, I imagined the shoulder attachments would be some kind of auxiliary laser shielding device for extra defense. Elbows were changed to double jointed elbows as well. Not much change was done to the arms as I was still happy with the original’s design.
The next challenge was to recreate the Waist / Hip area as close to the original as possible. The old design had a bigger 10.2 diameter ball joint brick piece as the base while this one had to attach to the pin connection underneath the Torso/cockpit assembly.
The back booster was built from one of the big boosters found on the original and repositioned to the center then I added extra boosters and these hinged covers from there. This gave it a more solid and robust looking back booster unit compared to the original. A stabilizer was attached to the rear of the hip area as a reflection of the improved overall performance on the Orbiter.
The thighs were kept pretty much the same as the original but the lower legs had to be rebuilt for better structural stability. The old DBG lower feet actually had some pieces not fully joined together so I wanted to fix that for the rebuild. I also added in some extra calf boosters again to reflect the improved overall performance of the design. The feet were also rebuilt as the old feet had weak stability especially for the heel section so I had to lengthen the feet to help the whole model balance better on its own weight.
At this point, I was pretty happy with the whole design’s rebuild but now had to figure out how to mount the weapon to the arm. The original model had the Linear Gun held by the trigger by the end of the whole weapon and this made carrying it with one hand impossible due to the weapon’s weight. I wanted to mount the weapon this time to the side of the arm and have a shielded handle for that extra bit of realism.
Attaching the weapon directly to the side of the arm also helped with action poses as the weapon can now be lifted by the arm (but the arm actually rests on the orange stripe of the thigh :p)
Looking back at the original model, I’d say I’m happy with the upgrade done to the Waltz even if it did end up a little chunkier than I originally wanted the design to be. There’s still a few more models left on the r3build Project so kindly look forward to those 🙂
Until the next mech!
For those interested in LEGO mech building, I also have an eBook from 2015 called Mech Wars 2015 Instructional Primer. It contains some things I wrote about basic mech building, a bit about my Mech Warsuniverse, and all my early models from 2014-2015. 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. 😀
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