Rita’s Stormer

I’ve been running mech workshops. Which means I’ve been building mechs of my own. Since Bricks Cascade is just around the corner, I figured to build a racer mech for the annual collab. How about a motorcycle riding mech?

Now that I had this cool idea to build a battle suit riding a motorcycle (in no small way inspired by the mech in 72004 Tech Wizard Showdown), I needed to actually build it. I’ve never built a motorcycle before, and as I started to fuss with the parts, I realized that I had no idea how they were put together.

So off I went to the internet. I googled. I wikipedia’d. I googled some more. Honestly, it was a bit of help, but I never found a clear reference for motorcycle frames. Feeling rather let down, I had a lot of trial and error ahead of me. I took most of an afternoon just to build a set of front forks that worked for my wheels. Eventually, I had a frame.

I still had a long way to go, but this felt like a major victory. This part done, I needed to make sure that my mech frame would fit on the bike. Where would the feet go? What kind of handle-bars did I want? More googling.

The mech frame was the easy part, as I had already decided to use one of Kelvin Low’s designs (peep the video here). I had to redesign the mech’s hands to work with handlebars, but my crazy idea was working.

As I set to skinning the bike, I kept it neutral and mechanical.

A medium stone gray frame with some pops of bright yellow. A black containment vessel (fuel tank) and a super simple seat. I didn’t have the elements to create a drive chain, so I built up the rear forks so that they could conceivably house a shaft drive. An overly complicated instrument panel finishes off the wide, low bars.

I think it turned out pretty good for my first motorcycle.

With that part done, I turned my attention to the rider mech. I wanted it to have a light feel and evoke elements of riding leathers.

The thought of leathers lead to a reddish-brown color scheme, with touches of dark brown and dark orange. I swapped out the colors in a few part of the frame to strengthen the color scheme. I really like the matching knee and elbow pads covered in metallic studs, as well as the warm gold belt buckle.

From the back, the suit has vents and hoses and a pair of fuel tanks. I went for a bright orange on the tanks to keep the palette tight, as the oranges and browns are fairly close in hue.

The finished model turned out great. I really like the pilot using handlebars to control a mech that is using handlebars to control a giant motorcycle. This was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to see it out in the race!

I’ll post more photos soon on my flickr account.

Keep building and enjoy!

[Edited to clarify some details and to give a friend credit for the mech frame.]

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