Wednesday, May 3, 2017

LEGO Triple Changer "Arcane" Part 2 of 3: Bird Mode

If you're new in this post, do start from Part 1 first.   Done? Great! Now we shall complete transformation of Arcane's vehicle mode to another mode.

The arrow is pointing at connection points for both halves of the crane. You will notice a blue technic pin on one half that connects to a technic hole on another half.

It's time to ruffle some feathers. It's almost a miracle I am able to cram these feathers inside the vehicle mode without bulging out.

The rear bumpers split into 2 halves , and folded to the side.  

Raise the flap on top of the crane to reveal 2  hinged feet, then close back the flap . The earlier mentioned nozzle parts used to reinforce the boom hinges are actually claws for the beast mode. 

The boom "peeled" off to reveal bird head and neck. The hinged panels on the side fold inwards to form the collar. This is one of the most fragile part of this MOC. The tip of these panels easily pop out due to weak connections on the gray hinges.

It's a Crane!

Yes ... the bird is finally out of the bag! As mentioned in Part 1 earlier on, Arcane's defection and attempt to remove his Decepticon Insignia altered his brain circuits a bit. He's now becoming more peace-loving, calm and Zen. And he is bestowed with an extra crane bird mode to reflect that new personality.

About this MOC 

I got the inspiration for this MOC not long after I built Millennium Falcon Falcon  a bit over a year ago. The idea to do this kept bugging me for months, like a song that kept repeating itself in my mind. 

But before I really get down to building this guy, I must solve a few design/engineering challenges .. all in my brain 
  • Concealing the wings were pretty tricky, the feather parts overlapped each other inside the vehicle mode. Adjustment were made countless times to ensure they don't scrape the floor when the vehicle is rolled back and forth. (photo of vehicle underside coming soon!)  
  • I spent hours on end trying to understand the proportions of a real crane by staring at googled photos of them in motion or during idle. 
  • One of the last component to be built, the bird's head took me just 30 minutes to perfect. At first I thought it would be the hardest and most time consuming challenge: hiding the head in vehicle mode, and also make the head that looks like a crane/bird.  
  • Before the head was built, I was concerned about how to conceal the hook and how ugly it's gonna look exposed in  bird mode. But my concerns were laid to rest after seeing the bird carried this part well on its head. Looks kinda majestic too! 
Some Closeup Photos

The stable pose relies heavily on the tails of this bird. Just the legs alone couldn't handle the weight of the body.

Despite the wings formed using the whole length of the vehicle, it's still not proportionate enough compared to the bird's body, Photo above shows how I make use of the white vehicle fenders ,rotated outwards, contributing about 8 studs length to the wings.  

The vehicle rear fenders, "powered" by small ball joints, are rotated in place to add more mass to the wings and partially conceal the wheels. 

The neck formed from the crane boom, can manage pretty decent articulations, but this compromised the boom's strength/ability to hoist heavier stuff as doing so might cause it to sag. 

Vehicle windshield forming the bird's tails. Initially I decided to implement 2 feather pieces  on the tail, to make for a believable bird mode, but these feather pieces will be exposed in  vehicle mode... and giving away the bird mode , removing the surprise altogether!

Time to Take Flight

Mini ball joints help to position the legs below the body appropriately ,but these legs  are not latched or pegged onto any stud . Still pretty stable nevertheless.

I think this is the least appealing photo from the bunch I snapped and published here.

OK. So Murphy's Law finally reared its ugly head. Guess what is wrong with the photo above. 

Incoming Cuteness!

Arcane's trusty weapon/gun transform into a chick minion ,ready to do his bidding, in return for lots of cuddles and hugs.

In Flight

Yesterday I attempted to dangle this MOC with a string but it hung there swaying back and forth. And I failed to get the exact angle/post I wanted. Frustrated with the blur outcome of the photos, I then built a scaffolding using blue LEGO parts to hold this MOC in mid-flight. 

Tired out from hours of standing and making cool poses!

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