A magnificent reFrame made out of the finest orange-colored Quorus. The Spessar’s armor is known to be stronger than most reFrame armors and its special swords can cut through any armor plating or defensive construct. Rumors have it that both the armor and swords regenerate after sustaining damage making this a reFrame you do not want to encounter. No one knows exactly how this reFrame was made or who made it.
I’ve always liked how some Gundam kits came in full transparent models and had a few growing up. I actually still have a full clear RX-78-2 Gundam Fix Figuration and is the best GFF I have in my collection.
I’ve been toying with the idea of making a full transparent LEGO mech ever since I restarted building back in 2013-2014. I knew that it’d be close to impossible to make a fully transparent one due to certain functional / frame pieces not having transparent pieces but that didn’t stop me from collecting transparent pieces over time.
After 4 years of amassing parts, I figured it was time to try and make one. The goal was actually to make a clear / transparent armor design to show off the reFrame V3 underneath the finished design. I decided to make it with transparent orange / neon-orange as I had the most pieces in this color than any other transparent LEGO color (I wanted it to be just trans-clear but basic armor parts are apparently really rare / expensive in trans clear).
Halfway through the build, I realized that the way LEGO transparent pieces pile up make it difficult to have that transparent armor look you see with plastic mecha model kits so I proceeded making it a special reFrame unit under the Ascendant Lords as I had some Nexo Knight Clay Swords that I’ve been wanting to use for a while.
I. Chest AND LEGS Build INITIAL BUILD
As with most of my builds, I started making the head for this guy with the functional pieces as the core. The hard thing about making a transparent mech build in LEGO is that functional pieces tend to not have a transparent equivalent (like the 1×1 modified plates I often use).
I ended up using the axe piece in the middle of the 2nd head which I liked more at the time.
I think I spent close to 4 hours just fidgeting on these two head designs and I wasn’t really sold on them but proceeded with the rest of the build.
I. Chest AND LEGS Build INITIAL BUILD
With the initial head build done, I proceeded to making the chest to see if I could design an interesting enough silhouette for the chest. I wanted this cascading abdomen area design. I was excessively using the 1×1 cheese slopes at this point as I wanted to shape out the chest leading to the arm assemblies.
The Legs were also made at this point using the helmet visor on the Nexo King’s Mech. I’d end up swapping the 4×4 dishes from the initial thigh sculpt to the newer 27262 windscreen piece in trans neon orange.
III. ARMS and Swords
When I started this project, I actually set aside some Trans orange / neon orange pieces that I wanted to use. I used the 62360 windscreen for the Izlude’s shoulders and really liked how it turned out so I decided to reuse it for here.
I’ve also had these 6070 windscreens for the longest time and I always try to find a way to use them but they end up too bulky. Fortunately, they were a nice fit for the side of the shoulders for this build.
As for the swords, I’ve actually had a bunch of the Clay Nexo Swords from his Battle Suit set when I bought a ton of them for the cockpit piece. I never liked using them as the connection piece for the part is essentially a 1×2 plate at the end of the sword piece and often resulted in non-symmetrical assemblies with the sword’s handle. I realized though that with the relatively new 1×2 inverted curved slope piece, I could use that with a 1×2 curved slope piece to make a non-stud attachment design to a T-bar.
IV. Cleanup and backpack
Finished off the first draft of the design at this point and I was actually happy with how most of the design looked considering the parts limitation. I wasn’t fully sold on the backpack design yet as I felt it was lacking and I was forcing certain designs just because I needed to use transparent orange pieces.
I decided to leave the build alone for now as force working on it would be counter-productive. Sometimes you just need to step back and projects some space (and you some rest) 😛
I would bring this build with me to Taiwan as I was going on vacation and had some plans to meet some AFOL locals.
V. A new head design
I actually went back to work on this design after my Taiwan trip (and some Left Alive) and decided the head really wasn’t cutting it. Decided to try and use a Nexo Knight Visor (Macy’s) just like how I made the Izlude head and see if that improved the look.
Also tried out adding some things to the shoulders but after feedback from close building buddies who said it was too much, I removed it.
I just wasn’t fully happy with the build as I felt something was missing after 3 weeks of working on it.
VI. Rework and finalizing
So after being unsatisfied with the build for almost a month, I changed the head again, redid the chest design into something more segmented, and scrapped the backpack completely.
The new head uses Clay’s mouthguard (not really a visor but it slots into his helmet) and really liked how it shaped up with the ski piece. This head is actually close in construction as to the Paragon head. I sadly ran out of trans orange “tooth” pieces so I had to use 1×2 trans neon orange tiles for the “horns”.
The chest was completely redone as I didn’t like the bulk on the previous design, especially with how the Nexo Shield Tile rested on the chest. It just didn’t look good for me so I redid it with how I did the Paragon Alpha’s chest but in Trans Orange / Neon Orange. The head looks more nested now and gives it a chunkier armored look.
The arms side armor from the shoulders were also swapped out with the same pieces from the side thigh armor for a bit more design consistency Shield tiles were also added to widen the shoulders by just a bit.
Lastly, the old backpack just didn’t look functional so I scrapped it. I made the new backpack without worrying too much about the transparent orange parts usage and went more with function. I ended up using 6 of these 27259 Axle Axe pieces as heat sinks as part of this build’s performance notes is that with the armor made up of a special material, it had to have a way to release heat constantly, hence the huge heat sinks.
SPECIAL Report (Taiwan)
So I met up two groups of AFOLs while in Taiwan. One was the group with Cid and company in Taichung over some milktea and the other was with Zio and Mike in Taipei. I’ll be seeing them again at JBF this year so looking forward to what they’ll be bringing.
The fun part about being an AFOL builder is meeting other people from other countries with the same passion for LEGO building 😀
Next up will be Japan Brickfest 2019 and I have one last week to finish preparations for it. Excided to see all the builds for this year and see all the old and new faces at the event! 😀
reFRAME v3 Instruction Manual
The reFrame System is a modular brick skeleton aimed to help both new and veternan brick mech builders create their own designs in a consistent size with modular capabilities. It was originally designed to be a basis for all my mechs in the Mech Wars universe. Having gone through a number of upgrades, the V3 reFrame can now house a minifigure pilot in the chest without sacrificing aesthetic or articulation.