Category Archives: Building

Conpulsion 2013

This last weekend Joe Murphy and myself did some Mobile Frame Zero facilitation at the Conpulsion games convention in Edinburgh. Chastened by our lacklustre scenery last year, we planned well in advance and created tables that – while maybe not the acme of fancy Dan LEGO design – were functional, attractive, and playable.

Both of us chose to style our tables quite differently. I opted for a spaceship that had crashe din the jungle and was in the proces sof being hacked apart by Free Colonial salvors:

“Crash Site” Table, Day 1
Conpulsion 2013: Mobile Frame Zero Demo Tables

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MFZ Support Frame Design Contest: The Results

The wait is over. The results are in! The first inaugural grand all-star Mobile Frame Zero Support Frame design contest and tea dance is complete!

On behalf of the judges, I’d like to note how difficult this contest was to assess. There’s been lots of behind the scenes discussion and wrangling over the results and honourable mentions. In the end, it was an exceptionally tight contest with little to separate the top designs. What was interesting was the wide range of choices that the judges made. No two judges presented the same top ten lists in the same order. The standard of the contest was exceptionally high and we’d like to thank everyone who submitted an entry (or entries.)

So without further ado, we present the top three. Let me reiterate, there was precious little between these builds, a many of one or two points in our scoring system.

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They’re Here!

Recently, there have been some exciting things happening with Mobile Frame Zero. For one thing, the book is now off to print. For another thing, two excellent builders have started posting images of their frames again. Greg Strom (Mitten Ninja on Flickr) and Afny (funnily enough Af/ny on Flickr) have re-joined the community with some cracking photos.

Sunset showdown outside New Thebes
Sunset Showdown outside New Thebes is a lovely little diorama showcasing the Ermine Company and the Dogs of Tharsis.

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Why, you yellow son of a….

This post is brought to you by the colour yellow. It’s not one of the more common building colours in Mobile Frame Zero. Certainly not as the dominant colour in a build. Yet, there are a lot of MFZ appropriate bricks out there in yellow and it can be used to create fun, exciting, slightly cartoony builds.

Marauder (V2)
This model of a Battletech Marauder by Pascal perfectly captures the look of the original, while also have the distinct stamp of the builder. It also lends itself well to use in MFZ, with its combination of playability and poseability. As Pascal has noted in the comments, you can find his build instructions for the Marauder right here.
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The Support Frame Design Contest

To celebrate the imminent release of the Mobile Frame Zero book, we’ve decided to hold a contest! Mechatonic, the MFZ Flickr group, and key people behind the game will be hosting a competition. Oooh.

And here’s what it’s all about…

Support frames: ammo carriers, fuel tankers, medical units. They aren’t things we see very much of round these parts. But that’s all going to change. This contest asks you to design and build a support frame, covering any non-combat role you chose. It can have weapons, but combat MUST not be its primary function.

The contest runs for one month from today and each person can submit up to TWO frame designs. The deadline is midnight (UK time) on February 3rd, 2013. Designs must be submitted to the snappily titled Support Frame Contest Submission thread. Your finished frame must be able to fit into a box with maximum dimensions of 8×8 studs square and 8 bricks high (for the sake of clarity, this means your frame can be up to 8 studs wide, 8 studs long, and 8 bricks high. Or it must at least be able to fold into that space.)

The prize will be a customed designed MgN-333, coloured and equiped as per your individual specifications.* The finished build will be shipped to where ever you are in the world. Plus you also get a piece of custom art showing your frame AND a fully detailed set of PDF instructions. How about that?

The entires will be judged by a shadowy cabal made up of MFZ designers Joshua A C Newman and Soren Roberts, plus long time Mechaton/Mobile Frame Zero enthusiasts Joe Murphy, and myself.

So, get designing!

*I have to place some restrictions on colour choices: for example, old dark grey is ruinously expensive. However, the winner willbe able to have a chat and negotiation the colour scheme and attachment specification that they want.

Simple. But Effective.

I’ll make no bones about it: Pascal (Pasukaru76 on Flickr) is one of my favourite builders of microscale mecha. Not because of complexity, uncommon parts usage, or fancy articulation. None of that. What he offers are clean, elegant designs, thoughfully put together and beautifully presented.

His latest production is a wonderfully simple, cheap frame named the Groundhog. Eschewing all those taps, droid bodies, t-pieces, and so forth that we (and by ‘we’ I obviously mean ‘I’) are so guilty of relying on, he’s come up with something that I believe the MFZ community should grab with both hands and start running.

SfG-142 Groundhog

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Articulate!

A few months ago there was a very worthwhile discussion at the Mobile Frame Hangar on the subject of articulation in mobile frame builds. I don’t just say that because I started the thread. The responses and discussion were very useful. A recent design by a very accomplished builder got me thinking about this subject again.

Kinetic Acceleration Combat Armor

K-Frame by Brian Kescenovitz

Now, this design by Brian Kescenovitz is a minifig scale hardsuit, rather than a mobile frame. However, take off the head and replace it with something more mecha-y and, et voila, you have a mobile frame. I think this is a wonderful bit of building: immensely poseable and full of character. The range of movement built into such a compact design is quite remarkable (look at the image at bottom left for a great example of dynamic posing.) There’s little that’s wrong with it. Or is there?

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