Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Design Journal: 5th HOU:SE - Part 1

David came to me and comissioned his first company, 7th HOU:ND, right as I was getting back into the grove of building. He had asked for a company that was sleek, fast, and agile and wanted to pull influence from the first company I ever had commissioned. Through some exchanges of ideas, revisions, and a little bricklinking, the 7th HOU:ND was formed.

The 5th HOU:SE Company should have a similar vibe to these guys.
Afterwards, we began fleshing out ideas for a second company, the 5th HOU:SE. While the HOU:ND units were not well funded, equipped with pretty basic gear, and fighting on pure will to survive, the HOU:SE units are on the other end of the spectrum. David described them as "Similar to the HOU:ND units but with a more tech-heavy flair. The southern units have deeper pockets and tend to try and fight in a more stand-offish manner. They prefer their ranged and arty strikes versus the down and dirty wetwork of the up close and personal variety. That's not to say they can't, in a pinch, just that they feel it sullies them. If possible, the designs should be similar to the HOU:ND frames. They should look to be a bit more intimidating, though. They prefer distance and a psychological edge whenever they can get it."

So first thing's first, these guys are going to heavy on the weapons systems and comms, they are high-tech after all. I decided on a company composition of 2 Artillery units (2d6+d8Ra, 1d6B, 1d6G), 2 Heavy Gunners (2d6+d8Rd, 1d6B, 1d6G), 2 Overwatch units (2d6Rd, 2d6Y, 1d6G), and the Commander's custom frame (which hasn't been completely fleshed out yet). As far as fluff goes, we're going to be using really flashy, high-tech weapons and equipment (rail-guns, ECM jamming systems, high rate of fire autocannons, etc), the more exotic the weapons look the better.

For the Heavies and the Overwatch frames, the goal is to create something that has a similar vibe to the Hoplites from the HOU:ND company but give off a sleeker, larger, high tech look. I want these guys to be more the size of Iguanas, which were the original inspiration for the HOU:ND units. So first things first, since I want a similar look to the Hoplites, I started out with the same inner "core" of a droid torso flanked by bricks attached via a lampholder. I extended and elongated the center torso out to give it a sleeker, smoother aesthetic while still maintaining the slanted, three wide look of the Hoplites.
That should be good enough for now. Keep in mind, this is an initial "sketch" build to more or less get the basic ideas for the final design together. Things don't have to be perfect here, just good enough to get the vibe and idea across. So, on to the arms. Now with the orientation of the headlight bricks on top of the lampholders, there is actually enough room with this build to attach something to the back. This seems like a great spot to attach arms as the Iguana's arms are also attached to the back of the frame. This way we can achieve the same flow from torso to shoulder to arm as the Iguana on this core. I used lampholders again with a 1x1 round plate buffer to allow it to rotate freely to attach the arms to the torso.
The arms at this point aren't finalized by any means either. They are very standard and could very well change drastically by the time the build finishes, but again, this gets the point across nicely. So then all that's left for the sketch build is the legs. I went with standard Iguana style legs, although I used feet almost identical to the feet on A-Yate's Locust spin off, the Sloth. This is an area that I would keep in mind if costs for the company get a little to high for David's taste. Each foot uses a droid torso, which can be fairly pricey pieces as far as Lego goes. If I were to use a different foot design I could bring the total droid torso count per frame from three, to one, which would effectively knock a few bucks off the price of each of these guys. Personally, I really like these feet though.
And there you have it! The initial build! I hope you've found this post useful, and I look forward to doing more of these as the company progresses!