Influence, Inspiration and Origin

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Influence, Inspiration and Origin

Postby eatrepeat » Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:38 pm

First off I am not a mecha head. Second I am not an Anime Junky. Third please jot down your own Influence, Inspiration and Origin!

When I started I spent days looking through the many users here that have been building and growing with the community and thinking of all the things I had to check out. Whats a Scopedog? Whats Zentrati? Gundams have wings or seeds? Who is Pat Labour? And worst of all, why did I never go MechWarrior or keep on the Armored Core? For a year I have been playing catch up it seems and now I can answer those silly questions I had (wings or seeds lol) but I still want more. Tell me what makes you tick and where your mind goes when you LEGO and tell me how you got here! History is full of epic discoveries and characters shaped by strange events. So now it is your turn to tell your story.

Influence (the stuff that comes with everything you do in and out of MFZ)
The guitar culture has been a huge thing in my life since before my teens. Analog tech is beefy and kinda sci-fi (theremin anyone) also my mainstay in equipment. The patch cords, the stomp boxes, chrome and matte black the vintage grime and worn in character. All permeates my interest in MFZ.
Weapons, military and popular mechanics. Used to play flight simulators as a kid and enjoyed airshows with all the cool machinery around, eventually I got into airsoft and found more love for military history as well as weapons. Very much into the role playing kind of airsoft, squads with purpose and players who stick in them. These two really helped me handle the game tactics and system designs in MFZ, a reference point in actual hardware. Popular Mechanics was always around and in my extended family I have a few tinkerers that gave me fuzzy memories of wires and circuit boards and crazy air compressed gopher hole cleaner. That, well you never forget crazy even if it turns out to be crazy like a fox.

Inspiration (the stuff that makes you do something for MFZ)
StarWars is the big inspiration for me. The originals were my happy place. The colours of Slave I and Boba's suit are huge. The ships, walkers and grey made it seem so advanced and yet a long time ago. IG88 and the Imperial droids were terrifying (especially the one on hoth) both in purpose and design, must have been the eyes.
NATO is very cool to me as a Canadian with relatives who have served America and my Nation in the past and to this day. The unification of many nations, shared technology and compatible munitions and magazines. The use of special ops and hi-tech gadgets is the dream of an airsoft junkie like me. So until ITAR lets me get gen 3 NV I gotta live vicariously through my d6Y d6Y systems :)
Now I have to clarify these as new to me. Inspirational for sure but they could be listing already as I have not had much time to tell. Armored Trooper VOTOMS, Gundam 08 MS team, Appleseed and Legend of the Galactic Hero's. More of a real robot kind of guy. I did find VOTOMS Finder inspiration just a few weeks ago so I'll put it here as well.
Aside from those things, most inspiration comes from working with my hands. Having the pieces and fiddling will do much more for me than hours in files on LDD.

Origin (How did you get here on the Mobile Frame Hangar)
I simply blame reddit. It was a image of the battle for helms deep from some con in 2013 that a friend shared, I was on r/LEGO everyday after that. I saw micro mechs and thought it novel to build at that scale. One day I noticed a watermark for MFZ and looked back at others to find one more. Different users though so I googled it. A wargame! A hutching awesome wargame without overpriced models or paint! On December 20th I looked at my shopping list and work schedule and knew the 24th was the earliest I could get my LEGO bin from my parents. It was 5 yrs since my last set, 9 yrs since I had packed them away. The hangar used to be locked for sign ups and so I lurked until my schedule allowed. I built a CHUB and went blindly building frames that kinda got the job done. Hooked three friends into some games and spread the word :)
*edit for grammar
If my Frames stay out of the Star Wars universe...
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Re: Influence, Inspiration and Origin

Postby Atavism » Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:26 am

I submit to you, The Majestic Continuum of Robot Design:


Something I've been thinking about for a while, and totally meant to make a post about, but, you know, didn't. Not all of these are my inspirations, but I feel like it helps me articulate style not just in my own works, but also that of others. I never really decided what exactly the ends of it meant, because it was hard to think of the right term. When my brother originally pitched the idea back when we were kids, it was something like "Eastern vs. Western" robot design, with Mechwarrior on one side and Anime on the other. This falls apart once I expanded my scope, because most of it is Japanese in origin. I felt things like "Style vs. Substance," "Realistic vs. ... anime?" sounded like I was hutching on Anime in a way I didn't intend them to.

The line I think is clear, though, that we go from big, heavy, clunky robots that are very much constrained by physics on one side; the other side being elegant, stylish, robots that can fly and maneuver in ways that would make fighter pilots blow a raspberry. The working title ended up being "Tanks with Legs vs. Spaceships with Arms."

I really like the "tanks with legs" side. The heavy armored, industrial look speaks to me in a way that the lithe, fast anime robots just don't. The stuff I actually build comes out like Front Mission or Armored Core- still kinda clunky and grounded, with little style touches that give them nice lines and the illusion of dexterity. (Also I played the hell out of those games as a kid.) I probably draw a bunch from Warhammer 40k whether I think about it or not- I spent a lot of time looking at Games Workshop stuff as a kid. I shoot regularly, which I feel has helped many of my gun designs by rooting them in real firearms and firearm accessories (not to say I don't like or use magic-laser-plasma-beam-death-rays).

I got back into Lego because of the Galaxy Squad Eradicator Mech and was cemented by the Ninja Robot Dragon Thing. I started to have a bunch of spare bitz, and wanted to fiddle with them. I had looked up robots/mecha on google just for ideas, and I kept seeing MF0 stuff. I think XGundam05's wonderful Commissar is what put me over the edge- I had to start building this stuff after I saw that.

**edit** Also as far as the M.C.O.R.D. goes, it obviously is not comprehensive and subject to debate, and serves only to illustrate the idea. Feel free to pin your own examples to the board or rearrange as to suit your own Robo-Cosmology.
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Re: Influence, Inspiration and Origin

Postby CmdrRook » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:30 am

Sci-Fi and Cyberpunk were fundamental to and continue to dominate my tastes. Anime, Live-Action, CGI all in equal measure. Spycraft, Survival, and Space-Cowboys came later, but are heavy influential hitters. Only after I became a gamer did Giant Robots even enter the equation, so it was only natural that MF0 called out to me. In name with no particular order of chronology or importance:
Battletech, Mechwarrior, Star Wars (movies and series), Blade Runner, Appleseed, Ghost in the Shell movies and series, Tenchi Muyo, Cowboy Bebop, Firefly, Lost in Space (old and new), Starship Troopers (all four and Roughnecks), James Bond, Indiana Jones, E.T., Star Trek, Andromeda, Farscape, Cyberpunk 2033, Shadowrun, Venus Wars, Iria, and many others I can't recall or care to compact into a single post, let alone a paragraph.

Coming from a family of gun-smiths, hunters, sport-shooters, and gun-store owners, the form and function of firearms hugely impacts my aesthetic and design choices. The internal components versus the outer structure. Durability, reliability, and accuracy. Balancing what is true to life against what is new, innovative, and fantastic. The intent, discipline, and conviction of its user are considered in all aspects.

I learned of Mobile Frame Zero through a mutual friend. Already a fan of Battletech and the Mechwarrior Clix game, I was totally on-board with a mech-combat game, and even though I'd donated my Lego collection years prior, it still tapped into the enthusiasm I retained. Through this friend, I later met Joshua A.C. Newman and D. Vincent Baker (among many of the other wonderful independent artists who happen to live in my area). Without knowing, I had already played other games from their portfolios and loved them for answering my question of "what will I play as I age and mature as a gamer?" When I assisted the Indie Bazaar at PAX East 2013, I was able to play MF0 for the first time ever, taught it to as many strangers as I could wrangle into a demo, and sold more copies of the game than I could count. Luckily someone else was doing the book-keeping. I was hooked. I didn't have the money to invest, but I kept track of it ever since. 2014 came and again I supported the booth as best I could, learning Intercept Orbit from the man himself (and Mantis_King :D ), running demos and hocking wares. Being involved in even those limited ways had allowed me to feel connected to a hobby I couldn't yet afford, and I'll forever be grateful to those opportunities.
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Re: Influence, Inspiration and Origin

Postby Foghammer » Sun Jan 04, 2015 12:42 pm

Influence: MechWarrior, Gundam, Zone of the Enders, Exo Squad (90s ripoff of Macross, IIRC), ZOIDS, real-life military tech (that I only occasionally glimpse at nowadays). I might add SwatKats (jet with gadgets) and Halo (Mjolnir/Mantis) to the list. I swing around on the MCORD spectrum, but more often than not (lately) I find myself leaning to the right. Beam sword, beam cannons, funnels, energy shielding, AI... that stuff appeals to me in the way that diesel, grease, and clanky parts might be more interesting to someone with a mechanical background.

Inspiration: Yikes. Uh... All of the above, plus Tron, Dungeons and Dragons/Pathfinder, Star Wars, Diablo, Warcraft, Starcraft, Pokemon, mythology, Borderlands, just about anything I like really. In truth some of the things in this list could actually go into my influences list too. I borrow heavily from my influences when I have ideas and feel inspired.

Origin: MittenNinja's DeviantArt account lured me here, shortly after the end of the Kickstarter. I started hanging out here, and frames happened. This is one of the most awesome online communities I've ever been a part of, and I'm grateful for the people that make it happen and the people who make it a community.
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Re: Influence, Inspiration and Origin

Postby XGundam05 » Mon Jan 05, 2015 11:45 pm

Influence: As this is apparently the stuff that flavors everything I do, then it boils down to mostly three things: 1. Grew up on a cattle farm, 2. I'm stubborn as a stone-headed mule, and 3. I've been playing with Lego ever since I could remember. No, seriously, I am on record as telling my parents that "I don't need to save for a car, I'll just build one out of Lego when I turn 16." Needless to say, they were right and I was wrong >.> Asides from that, I'm rather into Dagorhir and HEMA.

Inspiration: Gundam, specifically the non-UC stuff. My first exposure was Gundam Wing on the original Toonami. Front Mission, Mass Effect, Star Wars* and other builders. Additionally, music. All my building anymore is either triggered by, or done to music. This track has been running a rather epic ground fight on a Tron-esque (Legacy) landscape in my head lately.

Origin: I don't really remember how I stumbled onto MF0 anymore. I had found Mechaton about a decade? ago, and stumbled onto Zizy's old work at about the same time. I think I had remembered Mechaton sometime in College and told my buddies that we should play...whereupon I stumbled onto MF0.

* I was really into Star Wars for a while. Got into building Lightsabers with 1 Watt LEDs...last I knew, 3 Watts became the standard with 5 Watts being the new thing...pretty certain you can see 'em glow in broad daylight now >.>
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Re: Influence, Inspiration and Origin

Postby Mantisking » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:24 am

Influence (the stuff that comes with everything you do in and out of MFZ)
I grew up watching Force Five and Star Blazers. In my teens I watched Robotech. In my college/post-college years I discovered anime that hadn't been adapted for the American market -- due to an acquaintance having a source in Japan -- including Armor Hunter Mellowlink, a Votoms spin-off, and manga. At this point I also discovered the Gundam franchise through 0080: War in the Pocket. I still watch anime and read the occasional manga like Ghost in the Shell. I also have about 20 years experience in four different martial arts that tends to color the way I think.

Inspiration (the stuff that makes you do something for MFZ)
At this point it's become the blocks that inspire me. Occasionally I'll try to copy someone else's work or try and duplicate a model kit of some sort.

Origin (How did you get here on the Mobile Frame Hangar)
Taken from the "About Me" page on my blog. I was introduced to Mechaton at a housecon several years ago, roughly 2007 I think. I fell in love with it instantly. As soon as I could I ran out and bought Lego sets and started assembling mechs. You can see some of those early attempts in my Photobucket account. I still have most of them in some form or other. I rarely disassemble things. Later that year I went to Gencon for the first time where I purchased the rules and a kit of Classic mechs. I also met Vincent and Joshua for the first time. And up until recently, this would be the only place I would see them despite living in the same state. After that I didn't look back. I built mechs and played at every opportunity. I talked about it whenever and where-ever I could. I watched as interest in the game waxed and waned; waiting for the day that it would rise ascendant.

I was kind of a late adopter for the Hangar as I thought the Flickr group should take precedent. I volunteered for a Mod position shortly after Schoon asked for volunteers. The rest, as they say, is history. :mrgreen:
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Re: Influence, Inspiration and Origin

Postby Jay Biquadrate » Mon Jan 12, 2015 4:48 pm

It's tough to definitively quantify any major influences that color everything that I do. In a pinch, I'd probably talk about playing with LEGO well into my teens (before the Dark Age set in); reading comic books, graphic novels and manga my entire life; and the constant, abiding need to play, read and tinker with roleplaying games and roleplaying systems.

Influence (the stuff that comes with everything you do in and out of MFZ)
There are always two thoughts in my head when I sit down at my LEGO desk. The first is that a frame is a game piece. I'm constantly worrying that it won't stand on its own, or that the joints are too loose or that the connections aren't strong enough. The second is backstory. No frame exists in a vacuum, they are influenced by and are based on previous frames (both my own and others). I try to always have a continuum with my designs and I'm always thinking about how they fit into my own private fiction.
Regarding non-LEGO giant fighting robots, I was a huge anime fan in my teens. Gundam, Evangelion, Patlabor, Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed were all staples. I've also always been drawn to video games featuring giant mech-type vehicles (especially those with a tactical bent). Starsiege and Front Mission are probably my favorites, but MechWarrior, Armored Core, Virtual On, and the all-but-forgotten Shogo: Mobile Armor Division all get a shout-out.

Inspiration (the stuff that makes you do something for MFZ)
Other builders and the community both here and on Flickr are my main sources of motivation. The design constraints enforced by the scale and the fact that each frame has to function as a game piece is fertile soil for creativity. The release of new parts, discovering interesting techniques and seeing creative use of parts in a build are also sources of inspiration.

Origin (How did you get here on the Mobile Frame Hangar)
I'm an avid tabletop roleplayer and novice game designer, so I came to MFZ already very familiar with Joshua and Vincent. I don't remember where I saw my first link to the Hangar, but I lurked for a long time before I had a build that I felt that I had to share with the community.
The game seems to have come out at the exact right moment for me. At the time, I was just coming out of my LEGO dark age and also casually looking for a way to get entice different board, roleplaying and skirmish game playing friends into the same room playing the same game. We still haven't played more than a demo game, but I've been building with abandon so I'll consider that a win.
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Re: Influence, Inspiration and Origin

Postby Zerovirus » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:35 pm


I'm a pixelartist. You could say that working with squares and cubes has always been an integral part of my creative history, as well as the general principle of putting together tiny little individual units- pixels or legos- to synthesize something even greater.

I'm also inspired by the Wuxia genre of fiction, which i break down into two separate magisteria- aesthetic and theme, with the second being more important than the first. The themes of wuxia fiction- China's historical equivalent to fantasy novels- are an interesting repository of concepts which I don't see represented in western literature at all, probably due to the differences between western and eastern cultures. There's a whole lot of expounding I'd love to do on this subject, especially on the contrast between China's wuxia fanfiction culture and the anime fanfic culture you see in english websites like, and how I hypothesize that the differences are due to different cultural values and the difference in China's internet culture and America's internet culture due to things like censorship and relative population density and economics- but that's probably way too much anthropology for this forum.

I also take a particular interest in real-life development of Artificial Intelligence. I'm no computer scientist or AI researcher, but the premise of the Singularity and the idea of recursively self-improving AIs interests me. The idea that superintelligences' goals need not always converge to what a human would consider desireable, due to the wide variety of possible mind-designs that exist in theory, fascinates me.


Gurren Lagann is probably the single work that's most influenced my worldview; I owe most of my modern humanist and rationalist beliefs to it. Also, chest faces are totally awesome and the day I figure out how to build a chest-face in lego that I love as much as the tooth-plate faceplate technique, I'll be building every single frame with it, mark my words.

Armored Core is also a great design influence, though I've never played any of the games. It's their design that lends itself so well to lego; our favorite plastic bricks are inherently square and blocky; it's very hard to reproduce something extremely organic like Gurren Lagann or Five Star Stories, while it's comparatively easier to find a midpoint between hyperrealistic mecha and unrealistic mechas- and that midpoint is Armored Core for me. I'd love to pull something off like Five Star Stories in MfZ-scale, but... come on. That's not happening. The FSS mechas are already unstable enough, there's no way something as slender and fragile as a FSS Mortarhead could stand up in MfZ.


I showed up here from 4chan. Ced23ric made a thread about MfZ on the /tg/ board in April of 2014, and I found it while randomly browsing. I'd loved legoes while I was young so I downloaded LDD and started messing around.

This was my first design I posted to the thread: ... _front.PNG

Yeah, yeah, stop laughing, I was new. Anyways, after that I kept building stuff and ripping off design techniques from plenty of other builders and then I was hooked. I was already a mecha junkie before that, so lego mechas were right up my alley.

Speaking of that- hilariously enough, the only reason why I'm such a big fan of mechas is because my friends basically peer-pressured me into it. Pretty much what happened was that I discovered Gurren Lagann one day, and after watching the show I went rabid for a few months and couldn't keep myself from talking about it to all my friends all the time. This gave me the reputation amongst my friends of 'that guy who always talks about mecha shows', and then eventually they started using me as a mobile reference for mecha anime. I wasn't about to let them down, so I ended up doing 'research' (read: watching all sorts of other mecha animes) in order to keep up the appearance of being knowledgeable about giant robots. At some point, the running joke became the reality, and that's how I ended up with a mecha pictures reference folder that, as of right now, has 1701 pictures archived in 19 separate folders.
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