2009 - Before I even discovered MOCpages, I'd begun producing basic designs in LDD. One of the very earliest creations was the "Spidebot" warrior to support the Space Skulls pirate fleet.
At the time I was limited to the DesignedByMe choice of bricks and colours, as such, some of the earliest designs were more compromises than I'd have liked.
This particular design was first presented on my DesignedByMe gallery, and also appeared as one of my earliest Brickshelf uploads.
I've lost the original file, so the design shown here is a recreation, but the colours and parts are identical to the original.
Because the file is missing I'm guessing as to the exact date I created this particular model but it must be around April 2009, as I'd only been MOCing since around December 2008.
2009 v2 - My next development of the concept happened almost immediately. While the original was clearly intended to be some sort of remote controlled drone (hence the antenna), ideally I wanted something that appeared more autonomous, I also wanted to incorporate visible "scanners". So my next design had "a head".
Inspired by various mecha and robot designs I discovered on Brickshelf, I wanted something actually capable of grasping objects, so I added the outsized hands. I was also not overtly impressed with the clumsy, cluttered look of the original legs, so I changed them to be more "spider" like. The results gave a very low centre of gravity, which looked better, but would have still had trouble balancing in real bricks due to the exceptionally long limbs.
Again my lack of knowledge of engineering left no waist joint.
At the time I was calling these combots, a portmanteau word from Combat and Robot. The colour choices of mostly black and white were deliberate to incorporate them into the Space Skulls theme, though in hindsight, more red might have helped them integrate better.
2009 - Hybrid Style Combot.
The grapplebot wasn't really what I had hoped it would be. For one thing it lacked the multi-limb concept of the original, and it still had the weird thin mid section which I wasn't keen on.
So I came up with the Combot v2 or Hybrid Spiderbot. The head was smaller than the grapple bot, which I didn't like at the time but I think looks better now.
Still no waist hinge...
2009 – Swordbot V1
I probably gave this a different distinction originally, but this variation on the Spiderbot/combot concept was the first real attempt to introduce more articulation to the design. Some of the elements I would later drop as they left too many visible studs.
2013 - Slightly retooled version of the Beer Belly Robot. This multi-limbed variant is intended as a modern take on the classic Spiderbot concept.
Created June 2013, this design was mostly an experiment in the use of the cup and ball parts now available in LDD v4.
Here are a couple of comparison shots:
"original" colours for each design, original in 2009 (mostly black) and modern in "beer belly" colours (mostly metallic shades).
"Classic" colours. Here both designs are in (something close to) the original colour scheme from 2009.
"Modern" colours. Both designs in the Beer Belly variant colour scheme circa 2013.
V2 2009 compared to beer belly bot 2013
both in 2009 colours
both in modern colours
Hybrid Style and Beer Belly in modern colours
Hybrid style and Beer Belly in classic colours.
Hybrid Style and Beer Belly in original colours.
I'm planning on adding some images of the intermediate designs to show the progression of the concept. Trouble is, I'm missing some files which were hosted on my now dead PC and the "back ups" are on LEGO.com which is no longer allowing me to download outdated (pre-LDD4) files. So I may need to "recreate" them.
I've been taking a little break from MOCing recently, and just decided earlier this week to start doodling. The results were sub-consciously influenced by some of my earliest designs, which inspired me to do a little "retrospective" piece.
My plan here is to show the progression, both of my ideas and my construction methods. I've done stuff like this before, mostly with my CyberAgents, but never with the Spiderb ot/combot concept.
Back in 2009 I was very limited in my knowledge of the parts available. As the Factory/designedByMe theme gave only limited parts and colours, this influenced my design choices more. Now, as I can have almost any part in any colour, I don't tend to limit myself to what would be possible to purchase. For example, if I want a tube in gold, I just colour it gold, even though the same tube would never be sold in that colour.
Also, in 2008/2009 when I first started MOCing, I didn't really know that much about "hinges", so many of my early designs, like this one, utilise parts which are intended to be used as joints. Where as, my modern designs often include joints I've "built" such as the shoulders and neck being t-bar joints. I didn't really think in terms of posing back then, LDD was so time consuming for me that I just got a general form and stuck with one decent pose, or even the pose I built it in. But fairly quickly I learned how to use the hinge tool and now I NEVER present a MOC without attempting to achieve an action pose.
Continuing the retrospective of my Spiderbot concept. For part one follow this link --->
As I mentioned in part one I realised recently that my Beer Belly Robot was subconsciously an update of one of my earliest themes. So I'm doing a complete retrospective comparison of the Spiderbot concept to show the progression of the ideas and building techniques involved.
2009 - swordbot advance
classic (2009) colours
modern (2013) colours
original colours (classic in 2009, modern in 2013)
2009 Spiderbot commander
2011 Spiderbot Redux
2011 - Spiderbot Redux Elite
2009 - swordbot advance.
The idea with this design was to eliminate some of the visible studs of previous versions, give the torso a more humanoid appearance and proportions, to make something that looked more advanced (both in technology and status) than the previous designs, but at the same time retained design queues from those earlier models.
This was intended to be the first of the "command" units, though other, more complex and unique designs would follow.
Eventually though I progressed from this design because it failed some basic needs and specifications.
1. the head joint has side to side tilt, but that isn't natural, there should be a forward and back tilt.
2. the centre of gravity is very low.
3. the body is VERY wide compared to the overall height.
2009 - Spiderbot Advance Commander
Radical redesign, new legs, new shoulder design. While the waist joint was removed, limiting the number of poses, this design actually fixes some of the proportion issues of previous designs.
2011 - Spiderbot Redux
Following the general improvements in my basic frame designs, mostly as part of the ongoing CyberAgents theme, I decided to revisit the Spiderbots concept in 2011. The principle differences between that and the previous frames were:
-all T-Bar joints
-more "spider" like elements such as mandibles, multiple eyes and 8 limbs
-colour scheme is more "classic" Space Skulls, predominantly red and black, as opposed to the previous schemes which were mostly black
2011 - Spiderbot Redux Elite
Same basic frame as the previous 2011 update, but now sporting a larger head and more gold pieces.