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The evolution of SMARTAN 427's mech design
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A quick comparison and history lesson of all of my official mech MOC designs up to this point in time.
About this creation
A couple months ago, shortly after posting the temporarily rebuilt Sasquatch MK I, I obtained enough of the right ratchet joints to partially reconstruct the Hoplite II Defender, and so I did in just a few hours' time. The reason I did this was to be able to compare my official designs up to this point in time, and to help provide a showcase for how my mech design has evolved over nearly the past decade.

So, here we are. First, each mech in the order that they were created, from left to right. the Sasquatch (partial rebuild), The Hoplite II Defender (partial rebuild), The Hoplite III Peacekeeper, and then the Leprechaun.



Then, each mech in order from smallest to biggest, also from left to right. The order is otherwise the same, except that now the Leprechaun comes before the Sasquatch.



Then, a closer view of everything except the Leprechaun. This is somewhat the most important comparison. My first mech was the Sasquatch, which helped me get started with the Lego mech genre. Then, the Hoplite II Defender helped me to establish my current style and techniques, which the Hoplite III Peacekeeper then further helped to refine and perfect.



Now, a close-up comparison between the Sasquatch and the Hoplite II Defender. I sometimes refer to the Sasquatch as the original Hoplite, but the truth is that the transitional design between these two mechs was the actual Hoplite MK I. It still had the standard studs-face-up build for the torso, like the Sasquatch did, which, when proved to be much too heavy, was overhauled significantly to have the torso be built sideways with the studs facing forward. When roughly 70% of that first design was reconfigured as a result, it had mostly become a new model, which was then named the Defender. Because about 30% of the final design was still from the prototype Hoplite MK I, I had originally designated the Defender as Hoplite Version 1.7, since it wasn't fully a new design.



However, I have since matured a bit more and decided that V1.7 is just too technical for naming, organizing, and referencing past designs, especially for my general Hoplite chassis series. Because, for all intents and purposes, the original, final Defender variant is also essentially the Hoplite MK II, and the second generation of my Lego mechsuit design, regardless of it still having leftover prototype MK I elements. So, from now on, to keep things simple, I will refer to that MOC as the Hoplite II Defender.

Then, on that same note, a close-up comparison of the original Defender Hoplite and the newer Peacekeeper. The Peacekeeper definitely ended up being considerably bigger than the old Defender, with a much more refined and sleeker build, and better color coordination, even when you take into account the actual color scheme for the real Defender MOC. My new naming reference for said Defender will also apply to the Peacekeeper, although much easier to get used to. The Peacekeeper is already referred to as the Generation 3 Hoplite and mech chassis. But now, to better synchronize it with the Hoplite II Defender, the newer MOC will be referred to as the Hoplite III Peacekeeper.



The reason for the two words for each is because the core, base robot chassis design is called the Hoplite, with the respective generation number (MK II and MK III), but then, the second name is determined by the different weapon and gear loadouts which can serve different purposes, such as Defender and Peacekeeper. Without their equipment, each mech chassis can be referred to as the Gen II and Gen III Hoplites, respectively.

With that in mind, the Gen II Hoplite is a much more robust chassis than it's successor. Shorter and stockier, therefore allowing easier weight distribution, and the older hand design with swivel-only wrists can support bigger weapons to be handheld, as shown here with the Defender's signature Gauss Gattling Gun,



Then the Peacekeeper's Gauss Assault Rifle w/underbarrel Plasma Concentrator Cannon,



And then even the Sasquatch's Heavy Gauss Rifle.



The Gen III Hoplite's otherwise superior Mixel-ball-joint wrist articulation and hand color scheming can't even hope to support big guns like that, by itself. A major downside to the design, as you can see.



Although, shown here, the ball-jointed wrists on the Hoplite III look a lot nicer for holding two-handed weapons, which they generally can support just fine. (Sorry for the other MOCs in the background...)



So, the best thing about the Hoplite II is that it can afford to easily be armed to the teeth with heavy weapons before it starts having weight issues, allowing it to look particularly badass even if a bit absurd and over-the-top.



For fun, I decided to see what it looks like when I swap the torsos and legs of the Gen II and III Hoplite chassis designs. The Gen III torso on Gen II legs (right) definitely looks way too stocky and weird, but the Gen II torso on Gen III legs (left) actually doesn't look all that bad. Very athletic looking, and possibly something that can be used for future mech MOCs.



Now a group picture to compare the first three generations of my mech design again, but up close. I have learned a lot from building with these things.



Finally, a group picture that includes them all and my most recent design, the small green Leprechaun, which was a downsizing experiment for informing any mech MOC designs that I create in the future.



Thanks for checking these all out!



Comments

 I made it 
  May 15, 2018
Quoting Lucas R. Wow, that's fascinating. It's so cool to see how much you've improved. At first with the Mk 2, I didn't like how he had more armor on the left side, and how skinny he was on the right, but after looking at all the pictures comparing him to the others, I really began to like it. Just the colors are a little random, but I totally understand. The third one is super cool, and I totally feel you with those mixel ball joints. Maybe you could replace them with click hinges if they really bug you, but they look great to me. Also with the third one the colors are super cool, great job. The fourth one is kinda hard to see in the pictures, but assuming you've also posted him elsewhere, I'll go look for where.
Actually, this is only a PARTIAL rebuild of the REAL Hoplite II Defender, which I do have a separate post for, and linked multiple times in this post. I didn't feel like putting the whole thing back together, just one side of it to show the building differences with the others. So you should be able to check out the real MK II, I just haven't retroactively renamed it yet.
 I like it 
  May 15, 2018
Wow, that's fascinating. It's so cool to see how much you've improved. At first with the Mk 2, I didn't like how he had more armor on the left side, and how skinny he was on the right, but after looking at all the pictures comparing him to the others, I really began to like it. Just the colors are a little random, but I totally understand. The third one is super cool, and I totally feel you with those mixel ball joints. Maybe you could replace them with click hinges if they really bug you, but they look great to me. Also with the third one the colors are super cool, great job. The fourth one is kinda hard to see in the pictures, but assuming you've also posted him elsewhere, I'll go look for where.
 
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