Thursday, July 31, 2014

Lego Ideas King Kong update: New body!

Continuing work on updating my King Kong model for my Lego Ideas project, I set out to improve his back legs this week, but before I knew it that lead to me reworking bottom, arms, and chest too!

My initial objective was to redesign his legs to allow him to stand upright. Kong does this a few times in the films, most notably right at the top of the Empire State Building, so I felt it was an important pose for the model to be able to pull off. The mark I Kong could almost do it, but because of the shape of his legs and the body around them, they had to be twisted in at a weird angle. It was also perilously unstable!

To make the pose possible I decided to use a completely different hinge, the really strong Technic beam joint found in AT-AT walker sets. This made for a really stable joint, but also meant completely redesigning the leg and adjacent body to build the beam ends in, in place of the brick connected joints I used previously. I also made the legs come out from the center of the body slightly further, so they have more freedom of movement without hitting the sides of the body. All the rebuilding also meant Kong’s bottom was destroyed, so I completely redesigned that to look better, and fit around the new joints.

And then there was more I had to change, which you'll find after the jump:

With the new legs done I could now pose Kong standing upright, but realised I couldn’t spread his arms out fully. That meant he couldn’t do another iconic upright pose, from when he is chained up in the theatre. This had to be remedied! The problem was that I had built the shoulder joints too low down, towards the center of the side of the body, when they needed to be towards the top. So I rearranged that, to get the shoulders in the more anatomically correct position.

In all this rebuilding I also noticed the proportions weren’t quite right, so I have lengthened the arms, while making the legs a little shorter.

Pulling apart the upper torso to reposition the shoulders, I also thought of a better way to build Kong’s chest, so it’s not a much more organic shape, rather than the quite boxy form I had before.

At first glance the new Kong body seems quite similar to the mark I, but if you scrutinise you will see it is now much closer to gorilla shape, and is now capable of a wider range of more stable poses.


All I want to do now is get the head looking more like Kong. In the mean time, if you'd like a King Kong Lego set, please head to Lego Ideas, and add your support to the project.

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