Kriegsfront Tactics CAT

From the indie game Kriegsfront Tactics. 

Kriegsfront Tactics Official Twitter 

“Early model of our mecha for the Samosir Industries manufacturer. It’s based on a CAT machines converted to a big mecha. What do you think? Concept art by @SoesoeKoetjink (Aedel Fakhrie) & 3D model by@komodoz_id.”

– Caption from the Twitter post with the early low-poly render

Kriegsfront CAT
Kriegsfront CAT
Kriegsfront CAT
Kriegsfront CAT
Kriegsfront CAT
Kriegsfront CAT
Kriegsfront CAT

BUILD NOTES

I’ve actually been following Kriegsfront Tactics for a while now over at Twitter and I love their stuff! Their game is a great nod to one of my favorite Mecha game franchises of all time (Front Mission). So when they posted the render for this model, I took a quick look at it and thought it’d make a great LEGO mecha model and thus the project started. 

Personal Update

I’ve actually been on a LEGO hiatus since Nov. 2020 due to being busier in my personal life and just dealing with the pandemic in our country. Honestly I haven’t been feeling inspired to build with everything happening in the world and I know a ton of other creative friends who are suffering the same. 

So seeing this model in late March just jolted something in me and I wanted to build it in LEGO badly. I knew I wanted to build it with a specific windscreen part but apparently didn’t have it in transparent black so I had to place a Bricklink order for that.

After this, I’ll be back to building although slowly as me and my wife are expecting. 😀

That transparent black windscreen

WIP Process (Ver. 1)

I. Cockpit Build

Initially wanted to build this using the reFrame V3 frame but quickly realized that it wasn’t possible due to the big windscreen cockpit. Had to build around the windscreen while making the body assembly sturdy and with aligned shoulder – waist joints. 

II. Initial arms and legs

This was a rough fitting of the arms and legs while figuring out the overall proportions for the build. At this point I was sure the proportions were off, specifically the shoulder size. I actually left this alone and slept on it so I had a fresh start for adjusting the limbs the following day. 

Also noting here that I had decided to use the Bad Robot Arms for the side of the shoulders as it matched the render quite nicely.

III. Proportion reworking

This was day 2 and I was experimenting on changing the proportions for the limbs. I knew the cockpit size was as good as it would be given the windscreen used so I didn’t touch that anymore. 

One attempt was to widen the thigh but that was a mistake. The good part was that the internal build for this thick thigh might prove useful for a future build. 

The other attempt was making the overall size of the shoulder bigger. Another mistake in proportion adjustment as I realized the shoulder from step 2 just needed to widen from 3 studs wide to 4 studs. 

IV. Fixed Proportions

Day 3 and I finally widened the shoulder to 4 studs wide. Arms were also lengthened from 3 studs to 4 studs long. 

I actually wanted to get the arms aesthetic closer to the render but didn’t have certain parts to pull it off. I was going to use a fence piece for it but I rarely bought that part in the last 3 years. 

V. Finished Back View

Also part of Day 3 building, I finalized the back assembly which required a bunch of SNOT assemblies to make it sturdy enough to not break apart if I applied pressure to the cockpit from the sides. 

I knew from the initial planning stages that I was going to put heatsink fins for the underside of the cockpit’s back. I also had rough idea on how I’d be building the smokestack using 2×2 round plates and a bar inserted in the middle. Building it was an entirely different matter though as my initial ideas didn’t account for how I’d attach it to the cockpit body. 

VI. Polishing and finalizing the design

I actually left the build alone for 2 days. Prior to taking photos of it, I made a few more design tweaks to the legs. I actually shortened the hip axle from 8L to 7L. I also changed some details to the thigh assembly such as increasing the armor plating segmentation by breaking up the big tiles (2×4) into smaller ones (combination of 2×2 and 1×2). Also changed the armor plating for above the hip joints to look more armored. 

A big design tweak from the WIP pics to the finished pictures is when I changed the plating shape on the side of the cockpit to resemble the render artwork more accurately. Looking at the render, it should have a sloping shape nearing the bottom of the cockpit cover but my original shaping was too flat.

It was one of the things that bugged me the whole time I was building this mech. I decided to leave the cockpit as is though as it was stable and had to prioritize the limbs more and came back to it during the polishing phase. 

Notable Parts usage

I. Windscreen

2483 Windscreen 4 x 4 x 4 1/3 Helicopter

This part is actually no longer made (last set to have it was in 2006). It connects to a specific hinge piece that is no longer used. I used it over the newer version as I felt the shape was closer to the render. 

II. Smokestack

4032 Plate, Round 2 x 2 with Axle Hole

One of my favorite basic pieces. Used with a bar in the middle, you can sandwich these round plates in different orientations to create those gaps with the notches. 

III. Heat Sinks

2599a Minifigure Footgear Flipper

If you’ve been following my works for a while now, you know I just love these minifig flippers to make these heatsinks. 

See also part ID: 10190, 88408, 29161

For those curious about this design if it’ll be turned into instructions, the chances aren’t zero but it’ll likely be dependent if the game studio behind Kriegsfront Tactics wants me to make the build into instructions as they own the design. That and if I’ll have the time to do so. 😅

Commissions

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.

If you liked this article then you can help me out create more LEGO mech content by clicking the PayPal donate button below. Your monetary contribution, no matter how big or small, will definitely help me a lot in sustaining this passion 😀 

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2 Comments

  1. Nice mech as always; those smokestacks are so good. I never plan my builds out; maybe I should start doing that?

    Also, congrats on the child!

    1. Author

      Give it a try and see if it helps. 🙂 I don’t always plan a build, especially when the urge to build suddenly hits and you just need to go for it. For other more elaborate projects though, a little planning might be good. I find it especially helpful to stay on course with a specific look or concept I’m going for. Thank you for the congratulations. 😁🙏

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