Height Proportions

This tip was brought on courtesy of a question Krescenhaze asked regarding height proportions of Gundams (or any MS design for that matter. I used to teach a little comic book art back in the 90s, so I'm quite familiar with the subject in human anatomical terms.

My reply:
Regular human proportions is 7.5 heads tall (1/0.5/2.5/3.5) for the head/neck/torso/legs respectively, or 3.5 from head to groin and 4 from groin to feet. Ideal "heroic" proportions is 8 heads (1/0.5/3/4) This proportion is used to balance the bulk of heroic or muscled characters. Most Gundams and other MS designs do not follow any standard proportions but follow mostly the flow of the design of the MS, so some are like 4/5, with the head too small and looking as if it's hammered down the shoulders, with the neck not visible in most cases. So far, only two are "almost" human in proportions; The Strike, and the Exia.

I know you're asking this mainly for the Unicorn, because so far that kit has the WORST proportion, around 3/5.

Check this out for reference http://www.seanmichaelragan.com/html/%5B2007-12-23%5D_LEGO_mecha_minifig_head_exploit.shtml

Try this yourself though; you can gauge proper proportions when you do this; sit down, then prop your knee toward towards your shoulder. You'll see that the tip of your knee should just be about the same level as the base of your neck.

The link above provides images I am too lazy to reproduce, so let me just credit the author for having it done, before allowing my lazy @$$ hotlink his post. It was quite coincidental I found it having relative images for both human and Gundam proportions.

In relation to this, I'm not that lazy to at least do something myself software-wise to demonstrate the odd proportion standards of Gundams. The example for this is my recent bouts with my least liked Gundam, the Unicorn.

As if I haven't said it enough, the MG Unicorn, though pretty to look at and well-engineered to transform from one mode to another via armor manipulation, is for me, one the WORST proportioned design, maybe because in Destroy mode, its legs are too long even by Gundam standards. This was the first thing I noticed about this subconsciously when I was deciding between it and the Wing vKa. Being a Wing fan, it wasn't too hard a decision to get the latter.

Strangely enough though, I found myself getting an unbuilt Unicorn at a very nice low price. That one, until now, remain unbuilt and is happily stored in my closet. I got a second half-built one at also a low price (making it seem I got two for the price of one), and that became the Chimera.

I digress, but it is important to know that the Chimera was "Borne" out of something I don't really like.  The Unicorn itself, as it is, grew on me because of how simple and complex a machine it could have been for real. But, as it was, its proportions was a disappointment. With i's long legs, having it kneeling, although possible, was an awkward site to behold.

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The image above is part of my <itch> saga that forced me to do well beyond my initial plan of just fixing the Unicorn's knee articulation. The itch became a rash, and became a full-blown WIP. To fix that nasty pose, I did the inevitable thing of fixing the torso and the neck as well to give the Chimera an overall balanced look, kneeling or otherwise.

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Comparing the proportions of the original Unicorn and the Chimera you can see the relative discrepancies. Since I also lengthened the neck, the Chimera's Head ratio also changed, so I kinda tweaked it to fit it into a human proportion table.

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Looks mighty better to me. The original proportions made the Unicorn look as if it had sclerosis of some sort, with the head jammed to the torso without a neck.

Using those relative proportion values, Here is the Exia and the Strike.

Posted ImageThough these two are still following Gundam Mecha proportions of 9 heads, they are balanced WIDTH-wise, with a larger head and a more evenly proportioned shoulders, hips and feet.

EDIT:  Oh, I forgot to mention, the Turn A also has close-to-human proportions as well (probably because it's designed by a non-Japanese), but more ANIME in that respect. The difference is, I liked this one almost immediately as compared to the Unicorn.


  1. Thanks for the insightful writeup, this explains why some models feels "off" when I see them, but can't put a finger on where/what is it on them.

  2. I'm thinking of doing the mobile armor from 00 awakening of trail blazer I'm thinking of doing in the 1/144 scale I was wondering if there is a system for mobile armore proptions

    1. There's no direct system to do that in different scales. As shown here, I base the proportions relative to the actual height of the MS, the size of the head, and the length of the torso. Note that "anime" MS are intentionally done with the torso proportions way off the leg proportions. It's actually just my preference, because I like the look of human proportions on MS kits.

  3. Hi all, I'm loving your work on your chimera and how you made the adjustments to correct the proportions. I'm wondering if you could do a scale proportion on normal mode instead of the destroy mode, actually a combination of both would also be a good thing, ie a semi transformed MG unicorn that would be closest to human proportions.

    1. I could, but, it's a matter of needing to do it. Besides, I like the Destroy Mode body better (but otherwise like the UC mode mask).


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