The Big Bad's Bodyguards [Canon Contest #3: "Honor Guard"]

Here are my interpretations of the as-of-yet undepicted Toa Hagah…

The Copper Champion - Gaaki

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Additional photos: (close approximations made in Studio)
Turnaround
Height Comparisons
Breakdown
(mask used in studio render provided by KhingK: Kanohi Garai, Great Mask of Gravity by KhingK - Thingiverse)

The Platinum Paladin - Kualus

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Additional photos: (close approximations made in Studio)
Turnaround
Height Comparisons
Breakdown
(The Mask of Sensory Aptitude is a canon mask, the model used was provided by KhingK: Great Mask of Sensory Aptitude by KhingK - Thingiverse)

The Titanium Titan - Bomonga

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Additional photos: (close approximations made in Studio)
Turnaround
Height Comparisons
Breakdown
(mask used in studio render provided by KhingK: Kanohi Faxon, Great Mask of Kindred by KhingK - Thingiverse)

The Golden Guardian - Pouks

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Additional photos: (close approximations made in Studio)
Turnaround
Height Comparisons
Breakdown
(Big thanks to @Kodiak for the mask. model used was provided by KhingK: Kanohi Kadin, Great Mask of Flight (Non-Organic) by KhingK - Thingiverse)

A quick edit of the whole team together with Norik and Iruni…


(not editing any of the entry photos or required additional photos for the contest by adding this, so please don’t smite me, Eljay)

Builder's commentary:

Going into this I knew I wanted to present 4 entries that were faithful to the existing Hagah sets, while still being unique and iconic on their own, and to help me achieve that I built these guys to conform to some extra internally consistent rules I decided on based solely on the precedents set by Toa Norik and Toa Iruni, and the features they either had in common, or didn’t…

If something was unique between the two of them, I wanted it do be so for the rest too:
Masks, eye colours, chest and shoulder armour, spear tips, metallic colour, prefab shins, height, and the placement of black somewhere unique to each of them (torso for Norik, chest - Iruni, Pouk’s waist and thighs, Kualus’ upper torso/arms, the base of Bomonga’s spear tip and Gaaki’s mask)
Conversely, anything the two existing Hagah sets shared was consistent across the board:
The prefab feet and thigh armour parts, black “hand” sockets, waist position, upper limb socket length, prefab forearms, head/mask type (metru style, axle connector)

While I’m sure some people would immediately dismiss the notion of giving oneself even more rules to follow due to the sheer number of restrictions already in place for this contest, I feel it presented a better challenge for me personally, forcing me to be more intentional with - and make the most of each piece I used, and I think my final designs are better for it than they otherwise would’ve been.
I tried to prioritize texture parity with each design - Bomonga probably being my strongest example of that with the shared motifs between the shins, chest, mask and spear, and unifying the CCBS shoulders with the rest of the build by repeating their vent details using system pieces… but it’s apparent in the others too; Gaaki’s sleek, finned armour and the relatively smooth shins paired with two textures of her mask, Kualus’ curved knight-like armour and the two fins on either side of his mask and spear, the spikes and ridges on Pouks’ armour and weapon.

Additionally, I didn’t want to use some of the popular mods I’ve seen as I think aesthetically, they broke away from the “vanilla” feel too much and begs to be either reverted back, or to have the original sets modified too in order to look right next to each other.
Mine do however feature an internal gearbox mod I designed which allows them to hold a pose with either arm, without compromising on the outward design at all or sacrificing the play feature, making it a totally optional, and unnoticeable upgrade that I would highly recommend for any Metru build.

The adapter that would usually connect the spear tip to the staff is used to hold Pouk’s shield to his back, and the removed actuator gear is placed on the axle/handle of the launcher part as to not get misplaced.
This can also be done with any of the 6 Hagah - and to state the obvious: Pouks can still hold his shield and spear in either hand like normal too.
I also took creative liberties with the position/attachment of Gaaki and Pouks’ necks and shoulders, still looking faithful to the other Hagah/Metru builds, while doing something unique and interesting that goes a long way to mix up their proportions slightly.
Bomonga is technically taller than Iruni, but only due to the miner’s light on top of his mask, otherwise their eyes line up exactly. His mask is also in reference to this piece, which is only really intended as an easter egg, but would be perfect for a giant Bomonga built to scale with the other Hagah.

Consent to changes:

Yes, I give consent for the armour colour to be changed in the art portion.
No, I do not give consent for the masks to be changed in the art portion.
No, I do not give consent for the spear tips to be changed in the art portion.

Reasoning:

Despite being a big proponent of the 1/1/1/1/1/1 distribution of metallic armour colours, and personally just loving these particular colour combinations both individually, and as a unit…
Ultimately, to make my versions of these characters more accessible, and potentially less divisive, I’ve opted to allow them to be changed at the artists’ discretion to whatever they feel works best should any of them win.
For the purists out there, it should be possible to recreate each of my designs if they are given silver armour instead, with minimal painting of parts required, limited to the mask and spear tip. Kualus in particular also being mostly buildable in gold too.

The masks and spear tips were chosen very intentionally to work with the aesthetics and match the recurring textures throughout the rest of each build - in parity with Iruni and Norik’s builds, and additionally, I feel gives each of them a good amount of distinct character.
I debated allowing for the custom masks to be changed but ultimately decided against it as the Mask of Sensory Aptitude is a mask with a canon appearance already that the part I used is intended to faithfully represent, and the Kanohi Kadin can easily be said to represent the same mask in a different regional style - like Lhikan’s Hau, or an inorganic version of Nuparu’s Kadin.

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Whew. Barely made it!

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Pretty nice! I love how Kualus’ mask looks with the scarf, although I’m not sure if it’s befitting of a Toa Hagah. Gaaki also looks really cool. Good luck!

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Thank goodness you made it! Your set is by far my favorite. I hope you’re able to get the other two in!

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I love the canisters on Gaaki’s build! I feel the armor choices look really cohesive in conjunction with the Garai. I wish you good luck! So far this is one of my favorite Gaaki builds along with Galva and Vahki6’s versions. I also think the Mask of Sensory Aptitude is a good fit for Kualus, and the scarf is a nice touch.

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Oof, that is some excellent shading on the Garai! Both of them look very good overall. Good luck in the contest!

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well now I’m just curious… :stuck_out_tongue:

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Love the touch of the Barraki eye in Bomonga’s Faxon. Reminds me of a miner helmet’s light.

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It was to the effect of “Speaking of which, you only have half an hour left to link this in the entry topic!” and then I edited it to tag you when I saw there was only about ten minutes, and as soon as I did that, I realized you’d literally just done it. :sweat_smile: Glad it worked out!

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Your Kualus is absolutely one of my favorites! Love the way the fins on his mask kind of match the little spikes on his spearhead, and the knight-like armor is really consistent throughout. These are some strong contenders.

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Thanks! I think the scarf helps gives him a little bit more personality, and I like to think it’s a carry-over from his life prior to becoming a hagah - but mostly I just really liked they way it looks with the goggles of the mask :stuck_out_tongue:

Thank you! Glad you like them so much :blush:

Thanks a bunch! Consistent design elements and texture management was one of my biggest priorities going into these.
And indeed, I wanted to continue the trend of toa of ice wearing scoped masks without just rehashing Kopaka’s or Nuju’s, so I think the goggles worked out great.

Thanks! Gradients are probably my favourite thing to paint on bionicle parts because they look great, and are relatively simple :wink:
And that’s exactly the intent with bomonga, a miner’s headlight, glad you noticed! Although the part used is actually a gem piece, meant to represent a lightstone to tie it in to the world just a little more

Thank you!! I was super happy with those matching spikes too, glad you like the knightly aesthetic!

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Congrats on the win!

Also what piece did you win on Kualus’s scarf?

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It’s this:

https://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=24902&idColor=69#T=C&C=69


I also have a question about the winning entry: how exactly does the chest armour stay on? Does the stud on the 3 axle at the bottom have any clutch on the inside of the armour?

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Just tried this out, the stud axle goes inside above the bottom lip of the nuva chest, it’s a pretty sketchy connection. I did a shake test and it took a bit shaking facing it downward but it did eventually fall out.

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Thank you!! :grin:

Powjump is correct in how it attaches, however I personally haven’t had an issue with mine coming off unless I’ve purposely tried to remove it. (Has much stronger clutch than the axles on mine’s feet and sword pieces, but for something like this, it may come down to individual part tolerances/any deformation over the years. :stuck_out_tongue:)

It does require being assembled carefully in a specific order though to avoid potentially damaging the inside bottom ridge of the Nuva armour:

  1. Align the bottom edge of the Nuva armour so that it’s under the ridge of the exposed stud.
  2. Guide the axle into the hole in the metru chest cover, using the little bit of give it has as to not scrape the bottom of the armour on the stud, instead just gently being positioned over it.
    This should be stable enough to not have to hold in place manually.
  3. Finally, put the slizer foot in the next exposed axle hole. (This is the piece that’s most likely to fall out in my experience if the axle doesn’t have any clutch at all) but if you’ve got a good enough one, it’ll hold the whole chest assembly together, preventing the chest piece from wobbling or tilting out and the armour in turn should be putting some pressure on the foot piece, keeping it in place even if it was otherwise a little loose.

When disassembling, the slizer foot should come out first too.

I plan to put together comprehensive instructions for him as he’s got some pretty peculiar things going on that could cause problems for some people trying to recreate him for themselves (unorthodox chest assembly, arrangement of the scarf, the gearbox mod)

Congrats on the win!

In the main photo for Kualus, you used trans-green studs behind the eyes, right? I’m curious, does the 3D-printed Mask of Sensory Aptitude allow the studs to connect to the inner mask, or did you just position them in there loosely?

At first I thought the scarf, while looking really cool (especially with the goggles-like mask), didn’t make much sense- since Matoran and Toa of Ice have natural resistance to cold, why would Kualus wear a scarf? But then I thought, maybe he’s like Krakua and a little unusual/eccentric (which Jebraz said a lot of Matoran-turned-Toa are). In any case, it gives him a lot of personality.

(Also, I just noticed how much your Bomonga’s lower legs resemble the legs of the Miramax-style Toa Metru!)

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Thank you!

I used trans bright green studs (or maybe the newer trans green from D.va? I can’t check atm. Either way, they’re brighter than the colour of the eyestalk.)
I’m not sure if it’s a connection intended by KhinK, and replicating it will depend very heavily on tolerance… But they do fit in mine.
There should be enough space between the inner face of the mask model I used and the head piece though to fit the studs in place.
I’m already aware of at least 1 individual who’s modelling another version of the mask that’s supposed to be more faithful to it’s canon comic depiction and will be specifically designed to accept studs in the back too. Galva’s version is another option which thanks to @doni’s very recent testing also appears to fit studs perfectly behind it, and it’s forehead + goggles would pair really well with Kualus’ armour.
Since they’re 3d printed masks, just like if the axle doesn’t quite fit fresh of the tray and requires a little sanding, depending on how yours turns out you might have to sand the eye holes a little until the studs fit if they’re too tight to start off.

The scarf is definitely there to add a just dash of personality and in combination with the mask evoke a ski mask & goggles look. Admittedly a Toa of Ice wouldn’t get much practicality out of a scarf, but it wouldn’t be the first time we’d have characters using or wearing something made redundant due to their natural abilities (looking at you Takanuva, a bunch of the Makuta, Whenua, etc…)

(Speaking of) glad you noticed the shins! Took a little finagling to get those to work

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I love your Kualus, but I’m not sure about your mask. I love the BNG design more, I think, it was my favorite mask that was made for the project. Or this one, which is very much like that mask:


Source: https://www.shapeways.com/product/WKEQ296JD/mask-of-rahi-control-kualus

It was made based on this BNG mask, and the mask’s modeller (00dude00) worked himself on BNG:

Love the scarf. Doesn’t make the biggest sense, but I felt that maybe Kualus is a bit more eccentric and odd.

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What paint, if any, did you use to match the metallic blue of the Santis sword and armor?

If I were you, I’d wait to wait to paint your Hagah. Their colors might change after the art portion. Especially Kualus.

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These were actually all digitally recoloured using Photoshop because I didn’t want to paint so many parts specifically for these characters for them to lose - though now that one of them is going to be the officially recognized depiction of the character, I definitely want to finish the job and paint him for real.
I don’t have an exact match, but from others’ experimentation, it seems that 1-to-5 of Citadel “Slaanesh Grey” and Turbo Dork “Blue Steel” is really close.

@Blue

The official colour could definitely be changed by the end of the next half of the contest… but even if it is, and you prefer blue (like me!) no one’s gonna stop you from painting your own whatever colour you want to see :slight_smile:

Thank you!
The Mask of Sensory Aptitude happens to be my favorite canon mask design, and I think it pairs nicely with the other parts I used. I also really like how he’s got eye pieces - continuing the trend set by Nuju and Kopaka before him (or after him, story-wise…), but without just rehashing an asymmetrical, scoped mask design for a Toa of Ice again.
So I for one am super pleased with the mask! :stuck_out_tongue:

I could be wrong, but I don’t believe either of the mask designs you shared were permitted for this contest?
They are still very cool designs nonetheless, especially that first one. I could easily see it being used in someone’s fanon as the traditional shape of the Mask of Rahi Control before Kualus’ former teammates reforged it to honour someone who’d worn a Sensory Aptitude mask.

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