April 15, 2010

Shogun Warrior

Okay, I've really gone off on a tangent here. The flying car is lying around somewhere, but I just had to get this out of my system. Growing up in the late 70's there were only two kinds of kids, those who had Shogun Warriors and those who didn't. If you had a Shogun Warrior, then you were truly blessed and lived a life of perfect fulfillment. If you didn't, you wandered around lost in despair, cursing the hour of your birth (click on images to view full size.)

You see, Shogun Warriors were just the coolest, two-foot tall, brightly colored plastic robots any self respecting kid could ask for. Their fists were spring loaded and would launch right into your sister's face. Or some had little launching missiles for fingers, which today would certainly be banned as chocking hazards. And they had cool names like Raydeen, Combatra, Great Mazinger, and Doofy Red Robot with teeny axe. Raydeen (left and far right) was a favorite who had a cool King Tut style helmet design and a battle axe built into his arm. I also had the Godzilla that Mattel put out as part of this toy line and the epic battles between these towering titans would reduce a carefully constructed Lego metropolis to worthless rubble.

What got me started on this? A few weeks ago I was on Youtube and caught a trailer for a purposed Gaiking live-action film. I only remembered Gaiking as one of the lesser Shogun Warriors (see below),

but apparently every one of these robots has it's own story and cartoon in Japan (epi-center of all giant robot goodness.) Well, this trailer blew my mind right onto the floor. I grabbed a screen cap (below) which shows the scale the film makers envision. Man, I hope this film gets made!

After I saw this trailer, I knew I had to at least attempt to design my own Shogun Warrior. Below is the result.

I set myself some ground rules for this. First, keep the design fairly simple and don't load it up with tech (if you want tech, head over to Gundam.) Next, choose some appropriately garish colors. No one wants a beige 200 foot tall robot. Finally, remember that this could get turned into a toy franchise, so give it lots of sharp edges and protruding horns that are the hallmark of a safe 70's toy.

Here's a close up of his head. I should have put a little guy standing somewhere up there for scale. But take my word for it, this dude is big. I went through several horn designs before hitting on the ones he's sporting here. I figure the bigger and more outlandish the better.

Finally, here's a shot if him in action, ready to defend the city and cause huge amounts of collateral damage (enlarge this one to really get the detail.) I especially dig the axe blades on his forearms and legs which would be used to give karate chops and knee strikes, sending a robot monster straight to the junk yard. I raided the Google warehouse for all the buildings and cars (even the streetlights), and then just arranged a simple street scene. Then I got a city skyline from a photo sharing site and applied it as a texture to a curved backdrop and adjusted the shadow settings to look natural. I've even thought up a name for him, Razektor 7! I might drop the number, though. Or maybe Red Razektra! But then I'd have to paint him all red. Blech! Anyway, I'll tinker with this idea some more. See ya!

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SketchUp/Screw-up by Timothy P. Butler is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.