Ascendant Lords – KGKE
Classification: Mid-Long Range
(1) KwK 3X
Probably one of the stranger reFrames currently still in service, the Tiger is believed to be an old-world tank stripped apart and reassembled unto a reFrame base. No one knows exactly how it was engineered but it works surprisingly well as mobile artillery. Literally, a tank on legs.
Built for Brick Mecha Division‘s TankHead challenge back in 2019.
This build is originally a design by amazing concept artist Emerson Tung and is part of his TankHead series. I remade it into my reFrame series, sticking to the design as accurately as possible while still retaining and using my original mecha frame.
A huge congratulations to Emerson for getting this made into a toy (more info over at his social media accounts about this :D).
Image of Emerson’s Tiger 1 taken from his ArtStation.
More of Emerson’s work over at his website
I. Head and Chest Build
This would be the first time I’m making a reFrame version of an existing mecha design. Since Emerson’s original TankHead Tiger didn’t have any other illustration aside from the one above, I was able to exercise creative freedom with how the interior and some of the details would be in LEGO form.
The trickiest part was fitting a Minifigure in there even with the enclosed look with the head-cannon. Fortunately, I was still able to design the chest to fully open to show the pilot.
The next tricky part was changing up the scale to fit the reFrame. If you look at the illustration, the pilot(s) should just be around a 1×1 brick height (or even slightly smaller) but since I was using the reFrame proportions for this build, I had to scale down the design to a minifigure scale.
II. LEGS assembly
When I first saw the Tiger’s design, I knew that I had to get the stacked side armor skirting as visually close as possible. It’s actually quite hard to do this effect with LEGO pieces as LEGO plates are quite thick by themselves.
Went with these inverted wedge pieces that are normally used for the underside of boats and planes to create a layered armor skirting look.
Also by this point, I shaved off some detail pieces on the head to make the overall width sizes more suitable to the entire build.
III. Arms assembly
I badly wanted to get that under chainmail armor look for the build but was not doable with the scale of the build. If I went 125-150% bigger then it would have been relatively easy inserting some connected short chains to get that look underneath the shoulder armor.
I instead focused on the overall shapes used for the shoulders. Segmented armor like this is hard to pull off at certain scales with LEGO mechs since creating gaps between flat tile pieces tend to require bulky structures underneath.
IV. Back Detail
Again due to the existence of only a front view of the Tiger’s design, I had to make up what the back would have looked like. I only needed to design the back of the body, shoulders, and the waist as there’s very little armor design for the back of the arms and legs.
I went with a similar visual pattern (rectangular/square shapes) for the back armor with some tubing to give it that industrial look.
Upon finishing the build, I obviously had to do a side-by-side comparison with the original artwork. The proportions could have been much closer to the original but given the scale of the build, I think it turned out pretty good. 😀
My one regret with this build is I really wanted to do it in Sand Blue but given the very limited parts selection, my LBG version will have to do.. for now. 😉
INFO ON TOY VERSION OF THE TANKHEAD SERIES
Just a bit of info from what I gathered over at Emerson’s Twitter feed during Sept. 2019.
IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING!!! Pretty stoked to announce that I’ve partnered up with Toy Notch to make mecha action figures based on my Tankhead designs! We’ll be showing off some early prototypes at CICF Expo 2019 in a few weeks!
I’ve included here the prototype versions Emerson posted over at his Twitter and I gotta say, everything looks so sweet! I wonder what’s the articulation on these and if there will be a Tiger fig as I want to get one (having built the LEGO version). 😀
Follow Emerson’s Twitter if you’d want more info about these. Hopefully will hear more news about these this 2020.
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.