Friday, February 22, 2013

Skinned Alive!

WARNING: Long post ahead! Also, take everything I say with a grain of salt...preferably sugar cube-sized >.>

What I'd like to take a look at in this post is the idea of having a standard core for frame designs. In particular, I'm going to take a look at Malcolm's MgN-3xx, Zizy's lates VM series, Soren's iconic Chub and my own (I'd be remiss if I didn't) XVM-17's. This isn't meant to be an in-depth look at the frames themselves, it's more to illustrate the point being made.

So, I will make the point first and show the frames after, as it makes a wee bit more sense to me to do it that way. And by no means do I claim to be an expert, I'll leave that to the actual experts ;)

So what do I have to say about core frame designs? Well, for starters, by "core" I mean a build that can be easily re-skinned while still being recognizable as the "core" frame. And this, is the benefit of using a core design.

As you can see from the frames below, each one looks rather different from the others. But, frames within the same core framework have a similar look that creates an overall cohesive feel. Take the two MgNs for example, while completely different in appearance you know by looking at them that they belong in the same family.

Using a core frame as a base has a few other benefits as well. For starters, it frees you up to mess around with the fiddly bits, and to see how different pieces can change a silhouette. It's also kinda relaxing to just slap a core frame together and start skinning it. And yet another benefit is that it gives you a pet project to continually improve on...while maintaining a similar feel over different generations. Finally, there's the feeling you get when you realize "this is it, this is my core".

I know that may not be entirely helpful, but the idea of a core frame is something that's kinda stuck with me and been a guiding principle of late.

MgN-311 by Malcolm Craig
MgN-333 by Malcolm Craig
So here I'm looking at Malcolm's MgN-3xx series of frames. An impressive frame design of which there have been many, many renditions. The core is defined as a rotated travis brick with 4 taps coming out of it. The design lends itself to all sorts of wonderful variations.

Zizy VM Frame
Zizy VM Frame
Zizy's current VM series of frames characterize a stockier, Wanzer-ish style and are quite imposing. The core of Zizy's builds are largely characterized as being composed of relatively easy to find bricks used to impressive effect.

ST-09A Rumble Monkey by Soren
Chub Flamethrower by Soren
Ah, the iconic Chub. Poster boy of MF0, the chub has seen many, many, many renditions by just as many builders. It's a wonderful frame with tons of character. The core of this frame, in my opinion, is the torso. It's kinda the defining feature of a chub.

[XVM-17] Stalm by yours truly
[XVM-17] Chimar by yours truly
Ok, so I'm tooting my own horn a bit. But the XVM-17 frame was directly inspired by Zizy's VM series. The core torso area is very similar, but rest tends to be rather different, with the legs being the same core build across all XVM-17's.

1 comment:

  1. As I posted on G+, I'm not quite sure of the point of this post. I did like it though. It also made me realize that this and this are core frames for me.