tisdag 3 januari 2017

Varangian legs

It is a new year and new projects, or at least new parts of old projects (but there are some new ones too, but more of that later). Today I started to play around with the leg pose of the Varangian. For this titan I decided to do a more advanced base than what I normally do (the bases for the others are really not very nice). I had this vision of the titan striding up a gentle slope, and steeping on/ crushing a burned out tank. This would involve some sort of stride and an elevation between the two feet. And here I get to some ranting. I know I have said something similar about the Knight legs, which are of the same flawed design, but it bears to be repeated. Having the lower leg bend back beneath the knee is a really stupid design for a leg. It looks cool and helps bring the armor plating back inline with the leg, but from a functional point of view it is a no go. To be able to step up on to something you need to be able to bring your foot in beneath you center of gravity so that you can use the leg to elevate said center. This implies bending the lower leg backwards enough to get the foot beneath you as the thigh is lifted forward. The higher the thing is the further back the leg needs to bend to achieve this. This will of course also influences the design of the ankle and its movement (but I will not discuss that as it is not limiting in this case). I do understand that a Warlord, or a Knight for that matter is not supposed to climb mountains, but the whole reason to have a bi-pedal war machine is that it should be able to traverse uneven terrain were tracked vehicles can not go.

So looking at the warlord leg and its movement, one quickly realizes that the difference in length between the fully extended and the fully bent leg (with a line going through the foot joint and the hip joint) which is the highest obstacle the titan can step up on to, is only a few centimeters (~3 cm). So this 60 cm (give or take) model can only step over/onto 3 cm high obstacles, that is as if a human being of 175 cm could only step up on to a 9 cm high object. A warlord could barley make it of the street due to the curb if it was human sized.

Well, I am not going to redo the legs so I have to live with what I have (and perhaps make a few small changes) to get the pose needed. My idea is to have it step onto a burned out chimera at the side of a road. Due to the limitations of the legs one foot can not be more than 3 cm higher than the other, if it should look like the titan is not just resting its foot on something, which would probably not take the weight any way. This later fact is what saves me this time. As the chimera is higher than 3 cm I can not just place the foot on top of if as per previous reasoning would not be possible for the titan to do if it meant to stride over it. However, the weight of a warlord is so large that not even an armored transport would take its weight on its roof, so it needs to squashed, which then brings the wreak in under 3 cm. I am aiming for a 2-2.5 cm height just to be on the safe side. I also decided to raise the back foot to show some forward motion. I realize that this might not be the smartest thing as this foot will take most of the weight on the toes and not to foot ring. But I am sure that if the toes are glued in solidly and pinned it should be ok.

All these things makes the build of the base a bit tricky, but also give me a great opportunity to make a nice diorama that complement to model without overshadowing it.

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