#2: Hafu, Toa of Stone (Toa Project)

Introducing, Toa Hafu

"The stars have called upon a new Toa team to thwart the schemes of evil. It seems the shadows are growing again."

Hafu's days as a simple carver are over. Now he must wander windswept deserts and ancient crypts to discern the source of a new evil.
(See end for information on the Toa Project.)


I know what you might be thinking. Rest assured that I will justify the build and colour scheme below.

Build


You may criticise the build for being 'more similar to a Toa of Earth', however when comparing Hafu to Pohatu of 2001 and 2002, you'll find that the general shape of both are somewhat similar, especially with the broad hips and shoulders.
If I was building a Toa of Earth, I would have added more bulk to the limbs. I don't know about you, but I always pictured Hafu as being a bulky character anyway.


I designed the upper arms as shown so that the gearbox and large chest piece do not limit movement.
The Rahkshi heads were used to mimic the skulls of wild creatures, which Hafu likely found while wandering the desert.


The chest piece is composed of two parts: a Rahkshi foot and a hockey chest protector (not a Bionicle part). These are connected and attached to the torso as shown.

Weapons and Functions

In keeping with his character, Hafu carries a pickaxe / hammer. He also carries a bone shield (taken from a Visorak), which fits the desert / barbaric theme I was going for.


The shield is attached to the hand piece as shown.


The most impressive part of Hafu is his gearbox, which also acts as the torso.


Turning the gear at the back causes all four limbs to move together, allowing Hafu to sprint (inspired by Pohatu Nuva).


If you'd like to know how to build this guy, let me know and I'll consider posting a HowTo guide some time in the future.
Keep in mind that you'll have to make modifications if you were to add it to a larger build, since Hafu is quite short.

Colours

And now we come to what is probably the most controversial part of the set.


Firstly, NO: those are not yellow parts. The camera flash makes it look that way, however they are actually tan. Please try to use your imagination: it's hard to do justice to the colour scheme without seeing it in person.


A deliberate, yellowy-white colour was added to the parts to emulate sand sticking to Hafu's armour, which is why the black parts have a very noticeable overlay of colour.
The sand pattern helps create the desert theme, but also help soften the black on the mask and chest, which would otherwise make the colour scheme less cohesive.


White is used as a tertiary colour, with its respective pieces acting as bones found in the desert.

I urge you not to criticise me too harshly on the painted limbs , as it's taken me a considerable number of days to get the colour right. Spray paint sticks very poorly to these parts so I've had to paint it all by hand and sadly, countless layers of paint make minute details of white and yellow stand out a little too much. Nevertheless, this issue is somewhat diminished by the dusty, barbaric nature of the build and colour scheme.
I hope you can see past the oddities of the colours (if you do indeed have issues with them).

The Toa Project

Following my completion of Kaj, I decided to create an entire Toa team using existing characters, taking great inspiration from the sets and stories of the 2001-2003 era of Bionicle.
All of my designs will have a unique gear-based function, a creative build and an innovative colour scheme.
Each time I release a new Toa, I'll reveal the next.

Please leave comments and suggestions for improvement for Hafu and the coming Toa MOCs. Once I've completed all six Toa, I'll address any criticisms and share the improved Toa in a single post.

Follow the links to view the Toa Team:
1: Kaj, Toa of Earth
2: Hafu, Toa of Stone
3: Vhisola, Toa of Water
4: Tamaru, Toa of Air
5: Ehrye, Toa of Ice
6: Kalama, Toa of Fire

Next Time: Vhisola, Toa of Water

-Hazash-

19 Likes

The gearbox is pretty unique. The painted parts could probably have been down without. The arm build is a little odd, but with some beefing up, could look really cool. Interesting concept with the white parts, you could probably add some white claws here or there to add to that aesthetic. Really unique build you have going here, looking forward to Tamaru.

The concepts are good, but the arms seem a little disproportionate to the rest of him. The tan paint is a good idea in concept, but it's a bit messy. The gear is cool, but it seems like it would be problematic, having all four limbs move at once. Overall, pretty cool, but it just doesn;t look too pleasant.

The gearbox is incredibly impressive, though would a video of it in action be possible?

Though must admit, the body seems a little 'square' while the legs seem a little too long and the arms too think. Needed a bit of white on the main body. Other than that i like the idea of this, just needs a little more.

Good idea. I might consider making a video guide, however I'm a bit limited for time as is. Any video I made wouldn't be too professional. I'll try to get some form of guide done after I've completed the Toa (nearly finished the fifth now).

Update / Reply:
After posting Hafu, I've had some ideas that will radically improve the set. If by squareness you're referring to the gearbox showing at the legs, this is very difficult to avoid without using a larger abdomen piece (which is neither available nor would look good).
A few hours after posting him, I stumbled upon the eternal majesty of the sponge: if I get time, I'll repaint (and by that I mean 're-sponge') the parts, since sponges work much better for painting the parts than brushes. I've also ordered tan paint so that the colours don't look yellow.
The criticism regarding the arms will be addressed: they will be made bulkier and longer. This should improve proportions and stop the legs looking like Amy Pond's.

The painted parts give it a weird look, but I like the build of the MOC.

Edit: The arms and shoulders are a bit disproportional as well. Don't really like that.

I hate to break it to you, but the paint job is absolutely terrible. There are existing parts you could have used to not only save the parts from being slathered with paint, but would have made the figure more proportionately accurate. I would advise taking a look around here:

http://www.bricklink.com/browseList.asp?itemType=P&catString=273

I like the overal concept of the creation, but if it is supposed to be a revamp-ish creation, then I would suggest picking out specific things that make Hafu stand out. For example, Hafu has a hammer, so why not upgrade his sculpting hammer to a Toa Tool hammer.

Also, instead of taking pictures inside a cardboard box, go to your local arts and crafts store and pick up a 99¢ piece of white poster board. Take that and tape one end to the surface of a desk/table/dresser, or anything with a flat surface that is positioned against a wall. Tape the other end to the wall behind it and make sure the poster board is not folded in the middle, just slightly bent. Now let in as much natural sunlight into the room you are in and turn off the flash on your camera (the flash will create too many shadows and make the photo look unprofessional). Now you are ready to take photos of your creations with a cheap, professional looking background.

Good luck.

P.S. If you must use paint I would recommend Testors™ paint. It is an enamel based paint that is specifically made to be applied to plastic, enamel is also another word for: it is highly flamable and is almost impossible to clean up, so be careful with it. It comes in a very small glass jar that you can get at most arts and crafts stores for $3-4.

I was under no illusion that I did a good job of the paint. That's exactly why I told people not to criticise it too harshly. I had a look around prior to building the set but could find few tan parts that would work with the set. That said, I will try to use existing parts where possible for the updated version following the completion of the other Toa.

I appreciate your advice, however I literally have no space to make a white screen at the moment (I have about 30+ G1 and G2 sets piled up across my room waiting to be put on shelves). I'll be heading out today to look for a new table and shelves specifically for this and for building, so you might see this for the following Toa.

I feel I need to justify the poor quality of Hafu by saying that I spent at least 12 hours painting, repainting and repeatedly screwing up the pieces. The gearbox alone took three days to perfect, and the build took at least another two. I just didn't want to delay this post any longer, especially considering that I have four other Toa to make within my two-week deadline.

I was already using enamel paint beforehand, however by the time I applied it, the pieces were already looking messy without using tonnes of layers of spray paint that barely stuck.

I was considering making Hafu a larger hammer, however the more reasonable and less time-consuming option I was considering was some bone-like sword piece - this would fit with the aesthetic more and help distribute the white.

He looks a little to big in the upper chest area
but over all 8/10

I like the torso design, with the gear box and the hockey piece are clever.

I like everything from this design minus the sand covered color scheme. It's a cool idea but it makes the set look more custom and less official. This guy has the best build I've seen so far tho!

Another Hafu original!

2 Likes