New Earth Strategic Trust
Classification: Long Range
The Sailia Dual is a high performance variant model of the NESF-MO7TSL Sailia optimized for long distance firefights.
It is equipped with two RC-ELXXRAIL modified Rail Cannons and the MS-VMDUAL2 Rear vertical missile system.
The client who requested this commission piece wanted a specialized version of the Sailia and specifically mentioned the railgun as the preferred weapon. It just so happened that I wanted to make a customized Sailia unit that was loaded with dual railguns.
Back when I first started this piece, I actually ran out of Sand Blue and it was still quite rare. We decided to go with a mix of Dark Blue Gray and Sand Blue to keep the cost lower.
The first iteration of the Dual actually had the railguns mounted on the back weapon slots (one each) and while this worked for a while, there was always something that bugged me with the weapon placement. For a commission piece, I wanted to make it look more unique and hence the overhaul as seen in the WIP section below.
Inspiration and sources
The v1 was mostly just toying around with the base Sailia design and giving it better weapons. The v2 though was heavily inspired by the Gundam F91’s Variable Beam Speed Rifles, both in placement (attached from the backpack) and the sleek appearance.
WIP Process (Ver. 1)
I. Head Build
Since the client asked for a special Sailia unit, I wanted to make sure the base of the head design still retained the Sailia’s look but give it a more elite visual designation. Usually with Zakus in the Gundam franchise, commander units are given a horn to tell them apart on the battlefield. I gave the Dual 2 since attaching a single horn would have been really hard and this also gave it a “winged helm” look to the head.
II. Initial core body
Again not straying too far from the base Sailia’s design, I simply added more armor to the Sailia’s chest. I also did initial testing on the placement of the dual railguns as they had to swivel from resting to active firing position without detaching them.
Not too obvious from the picture but I also did the initial armor plating for the rear waist skirt here.
III. LEGS, arms, and weapons
The arms on the Dual version 1 is exactly like the Sailia while the legs were slightly modified, mostly with the thigh design and color swaps.
Shoulder weapons were initially an upgraded radar unit and the same missile launcher from the base Sailia.
WIP Process (Ver. 2)
I. version 1 initial rework
After finishing the ver. 1, I actually brought the Dual to JBF 2018 and displayed it there. While unpacking all my builds upon coming back home, I felt that the design just wasn’t as good as I wanted it considering it was a commission piece.
This made me strip down the Dual and rework the concept. I started by changing where the railguns were mounted (lower back from upper back) and adding a beefier booster unit.
The new design gave a better visual impression of a highly mobile unit that had access to some really powerful long range weapons.
II. shoulder weapons?
The next step was evaluating the shoulder mounted weapons. I figured that the Dual, being more of a long-range assault variant of the base Sailia, shouldn’t need a radar unit and just have more missiles so it got one per shoulder.
The issue now was that I didn’t quite feel the dual shoulder missiles as much as I thought. It had to be a more special looking missile unit to match the concept I had for it.
III. Rear-mounted missiles
I eventually ditched the shoulder missiles for a missile system that was hooked up straight to the huge backpack. This also allowed me to widen the upper silhouette, making it look like a heavier hitting mech.
The new missiles were also designed to have a opening door design and I really wanted orange missile heads. In my imagination, I’d imagine the Dual firing missile volleys and then you’d have an animation sequence like the Macross missile volleys.
IV. Structure stability changes (Pelvis)
While all the weapon changes were happening, the pelvis and waist structure often kept breaking apart. This was due to the version 1 being significantly lighter than the V2 with its heavy back unit. The waist assembly couldn’t handle the weight as much so I had to reinforce the waist structure.
This also meant I had to redesign the crotch armor as there would be different connection points from the new structure hence the design changes.
One tricky part about LEGO mecha building is weight management and usually its joints and weight bearing areas that have to be reinforced. Reinforcement usually means bulkier assemblies so the challenge is making compact designs that are very stable.
Notable Parts usage
Starting from this build, I’ll be introducing this new section to highlight certain parts I used for the build and how I used those parts. This aims to give more insight to the build and hopefully inspire you, the reader, with some unique part usages of your own. 😉
P.S. I do not have any affiliation with BrickLink and I’m simply linking to their database to help out whoever is reading my website.
I. Backpack Thruster
40375 Dinosaur Body Neck / Tail Ring
The big sand blue piece on the backpack that serves as the cylindrical thruster assembly is actually an old dinosaur piece. It comes in very limited colors (black, grey, old grey, sand blue, sand green) is quite hard to use since it doesn’t have studs on it.
II. RAils of Railguns
3228c Train, Track Plain Rail Straight (no slots, no notches on end)
This is actually an actual track piece for monorails and lends itself perfectly for the rails of a railgun. It’s quite limited in colors as there’s not a lot of monorails in LEGO sets (and they’re expensive!).
See also 3228a and 3228b.
III. Rear Waist Armor
30536 Windscreen 8 x 4 x 2 Curved Taper with Locking Dual 2 Fingers
This piece is actually an old windscreen piece and is one of the few pieces that come in the sand trio (sand red, green, and blue). I initially got this piece as it was one of the few sand blue pieces. The details on it lend it well to armor plating.
88704 Minifigure, Weapon Whip Bent Flexible
This is actually one of my newer commonly used pieces to make thin flexible wiring. The handle and the whip end can be slotted into your standard hollowed stud.
If you’re curious about getting a custom reFrame from me, simply check out my Commissions section here in my website. I’ve written all the details you might need to order your own custom LEGO reFrame mech build and what kind of customization options you can get.
Do take note though that I only do this in a very limited capacity.
I open up slots for commissions here on my site and also announce it over at my various social media pages. I’d suggest following me on any/all of my social media pages below to stay updated on my work and commission slots.
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.