Classification: Mid Range
The Dirius model was designed to be a high-performance mass produced unit that could be outfitted with different loadouts.
The first of its loadouts is the Full Armor package with reactive armor panels for major body parts. The extra armor raises the damage reduction of the Dirius by 200%, rivaling thicker armored reFrames although increasing the Dirius overall weight. Once an armor panel is damaged, the pilot can opt to discard that panel through the quick release locks on each panel.
Full Armor Package
The first of its loadouts is the Full Armor package with reactive armor panels for major body parts. The extra armor raises the damage reduction of the Dirius by 200%, rivaling thicker armored reFrames although increasing the Dirius overall weight.
Once an armor panel is damaged, the pilot can opt to discard that panel through the quick release locks on each panel.
I actually started this build due to overflowing grey bins after sorting my backlog parts from the latter part of 2019. I also recently broke down the Goliath build and had all these gray parts on the work table so I decided to just make a mech with them.
I’ve actually been meaning to make a new Progenitors mech and have been toying with the idea of modular armor so this was the perfect chance to try that out.
The modular armor idea was actually the hardest part of the build as it required me to make armor panels that I could easily attach on / remove without any disassembly. Some experience with building Gunpla that had Full Armor variants (specifically the FAZZ from Gundam Sentinel) helped me design these armor modules.
Inspiration and sources
The basic Dirius unit is visually a descendant of both the Type A/B (reF-X01) and the Mosbach (reF-X03). As the name implies, this is the 5th design of the Progenitor faction of mechs.
For the Full Armor package / mode, there’s was a ton of Gundam inspiration taken notably from the Perfect Gundam, the Gundam Alex Full Armor , FAZZ Gundam, various armored GMs, etc. There’s a ton of extra armored Gundams /GMs throughout the UC and non-UC timelines. 😅
WIP Process (Ver. 1)
I. Head & Chest Build
As this belongs to the Progenitors faction, it had to have the same visor type head found on the Mosbach and Explorer. Made it a little more grunt type so no frills and just plain functional design. The chest was made with a similar utilitarian design with connection points for the chest armor to attach to.
II. Legs assembly
The one major design decision I made for the Dirius was to have thigh armor skirting so I could create a heavier looking design and eventually put extra armor panels on both the crotch and skirting areas. The challenge was really placing the armor skirting just right as to not block the thigh’s movement.
III. Arm Assembly
I actually spent quite a bit on the shoulders as I wanted a small profile on them that when armor was placed, it would size up just right. I also wanted a slight angle on the front shoulder to give it a more dynamic shape than just a square shoulder. The hinge piece detail here was accidental but I really liked the details on it so I went with it.
IV. ARMOR PLATING AND FITTING
I was actually building and refining the extra armor plating at the same time as each section as I needed to make sure the fitting per body part was just right and wouldn’t get in the way of the other body parts, especially when changing the pose.
The tricky part with all the armor was that I didn’t want to disassemble any part of the base design just to wear the armor. This wasn’t an issue for the chest and waist but for the arms and legs, it meant the armor had to be slotted into the existing shape then locked in place to avoid it from moving around.
IV.A. Chest & Waist ARmor
I originally wanted a more vest type to go unto the chest area but the initial draft ended up too bulky and another version was too unstable. I could have attached via the bad robot arms found beside the head but I wanted armor that I could easily removed so I went with a stud approach.
Waist armor took longer as I needed to adjust the base armor skirts to not hit the knees and also not limit the movement of the thighs too much.
IV.B. Leg Armor
This was actually quite hard to create as it needed to be a solid structure that could easily slot on top of the base legs. I also couldn’t detail it a lot as I didn’t want the leg silhouette to widen too much with all the armor equipped.
The stud where I attach this is actually covered by a cheese slope for the Mosbach and Explorer models.
IV.C Arm Armor
The shoulder armor was built first as it was the easier of the two armors. The attachment points lock in place with a puzzle like configuration with a single stud on the top of the shoulder.
The arm armor though was harder. Initially I wanted the armor to fit like a sleeve but attempts at this was too flimsy. There’s a small connection stud just below the elbow where the outer and inner arm armor would attach to.
I wanted to really cover most of the front design with armor for this build so I actually built knee armor that consisted of a bad robot arm clipping unto a female hinge point. This would create a lock that holds the armor in place but could be easily removed.
The issue was that when I attached the armor to both knees, it gave this impression that the knees were bent even if they were actually locked out straight.
I decided to scrap the knee armor due to this as I wanted to give more importance to the overall stance on both forms (base and armored) rather than adding a feature on a very small section.
Notable Parts usage
I. Small brackets
36841 Bracket 1 x 1 – 1 x 1
These new small brackets were introduced last year and are a great new piece to use for inner structures for mech building. It allows for SNOT assemblies in really tight areas.
I’m still praying for a matching color pair though.
See also 36840.
II. triangular tiles for texture
35787 Tile, Modified 2 x 2 Triangular
I honestly like smoothed out surfaces but sometimes using a 2×2 / 2×4 tile can make armor look too plain. I could have easily tiled the rear shoulder (2×2) and side arms (2×4) with the whole tile equivalents but went with a more segmented armor panel look and these triangular tiles were perfect to replace a 2×2 space.
30162 Minifigure, Utensil Binoculars Town
This is one of my favorite greebling pieces as it gives a really nice texture if attached to a 1 stud space. Using it tends to get tricky though but you don’t always need to attach it to a stud. You can also attach clips to where a LEGO minifigure hand would normally hold the binoculars.
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.