"BATHALA" - PMX-003 MG The O vMatX Part VI

The Evolution of Design. As an all-around Graphic Designer for the last 20 years, I've seen design disciplines evolve with the times. In those two decades, I've learned that sometimes, if not most of the time, the simplest of designs is often the most effective, especially with logos or corporate identity.

This also holds true with industrial design, an in my case, Gunpla. I have been fascinated with most anything that has wings that, aside from weird and unique designs, I actually tend to lean on those that have wings, or at least, a semblance of it, with a few exceptions (I don't like the Destiny since its "wings" looks forced, and though I did get the MG Strike Freedom at a huge discount, I never really liked it either, not to say that what I'll do now would look okay later on). The designs I like so far are the Kyrios, the Zeta Plus A1, the Epyon and of course, the TV version of Gundam Wing.

I have made several attempts on wing designs, the simplest so far was what I've done for the Ice Queen. This was a "simple" swivel mechanism where the wings are attached on a single pivot point.

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Before that was the Impaler Wings (for the MG Sinanju), my first attempt at a fully articulated and multi-joint wing design.

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This was plagued with stability problems mainly because of its complicated design, with all the connective parts I tried to include. I abandoned it altogether and simply put it as learning experience (in my case what isn't?).

Then, there were the Angelus Wings, a "simplified" version of the Impaler Wings, but worked on a similar joint concept. Though it worked wonderfully, it was still unstable. Also, there were the Chimera Wings, which has a solid design, but failed while I was setting it up during the 2010 BMWKC. I was so frustrated back then, I already knew it wasn't going to win anything by the time I got home.

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I realized then that any wing design that has multiple points of articulation with screws will have this problem, so I had to do radical rethink.


The Bathala Wings. This is a takeoff from the Angelus wing design, but I simplified it further by reducing the swivel point of the main wing design to one.  I've also added a lock nut to keep the swivel firm. I still wanted the main wing to spread and fold like a fan, but instead of using "gear points" which will limit how the wing spreads and will require holes and pegs located at certain angles (as with the Impaler), or actual gears to automate the wing spread or fold by pulling one out (the Angelus), I used what should have been most obvious from the start.

Instead of a single piece, each "feather" of the main wing is made of two pieces, cut and attached at a certain angle as such the lower layer "catches" the movement of the higher layer thereby creating a natural angle limiter between layers.

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I made two prototypes, then decided to use the design of the larger one (keeping the prototype untouched, just in case) to match the Bathala's height. I then encased the joint portion with a simple "box" that follows the shape of the wing. The main wing's span is already at 29 cm, so this thing is going to be huge and heavy. I used all my remaining 1.0mm HIPS for these, since I noticed that even the 1.0mm tends to grow stiff and brittle over time.

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Unlike in the Angelus, the Bathala has a lower compound wing with "feathers" that also fold in and out slightly. The feathers are compounded in a 4-3 configuration, each with its own articulation point.

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A very "dry" test fit. This is how it should look like when the main and lower wings are attached.

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Joining the Wings. Initially, I decided on a simple swivel mechanism to connect the main and lower wings, but that basically limited the Wing's swivel in one direction. I wanted the wing to swivel in several directions so that I can pose it folding over the shoulder of the Bathala somewhat, similar to that of the WingZC. I thought about this a lot, and the only way I can achieve this without making the joint too complicated was to use 8mm Revoltech Revolver ratchet joints. These joints are rare and very difficult to procure, and I got a few of these from R10 via M1Gs a couple of years back and haven't been able to use them, well, until now.

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With the Bathala's wing becoming heavy, I had to make sure that that joint's pegs can handle the weight (they're thin and actually soft, being made with High Density Polyethylene, a plastic similar to polycaps), so I made peg modules by encapsulating polycaps with HIPS and WHIPS. These not only hold the polycaps but reinforce them as well. I'm still deciding if I'll mount them permanently on their respective sections or have them removable.

Addendum (18 July 2012):

Lightning update. Though it's main purpose is to hold the main wing up, the lower wing also has semi-articulated compound feathers that swivel out for a full spread pose. This combines weight support functionality with wing aesthetics, so if I was thinking the same way I did before this would be very complicated.

Instead, I drew inspiration from the main wing of a jumbo jet. The mini-wings will be encased in a wing-shaped "box," and that in turn is constructed in such a way that it it becomes solid in itself without additional reinforcement. The final assembly has potential to be very heavy, so I had to reduce weight by removing material inside the "box." This is easily hidden with the layered armor, in which I also removed material covered by the overlapping layer.

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I worked on the connective modules of the joint between the main and lower wings I'm still struggling with OC tendencies to make everything removable. The 8mm Revolver joint holds the wing in place at that angle, but I would have to deal with it spinning somewhat on the "axis" of the peg because of the overall weight.

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With this simple configuration, I was able to do the entire wing assembly in roughly 4-5 days, whereas, my previous (and somewhat failed) attempts took weeks, if not months, just figuring out the mechanisms.

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