I had so much fun researching old pictures of various retro robots for NCS inspiration last month I wanted to explore it further without the constraints of NCS colours. So I started off with a couple of small M:Tron ideas (something of a "warm-up" perhaps):
Then I knew I wanted to go back to 'Robbie' the robot from Forbidden Planet, kind of as a starting point. I have a lot of white arches/curves which naturally led to a white robot, called Sentinel. It took me ages to decide on a head design:
but finally settled on this one: (I imagined Sentinel as minifig scale) I really liked the heavy-looking, solid legs but his torso kinda looked a bit too automotive...:
Then I had an idea for a Space Police II mech that looked like an toy robot, rather than most mechs in fashion these days which look very anime. It was very enjoyable here to build in simple, blocky shapes to give an antiquated, retro feel, rather than trying to make it look organic. It's stomach is a prison cell for holding baddies :)
This next one sarted off as a M:Tron torso but it wasn't happening (at that point) so I gave it a 50's B-movie look (or tried to at least) complete with it's own movie poster:
Then for some reason I wanted to do a boxy white medical droid and somehow it evolved into this rather bossy and middle-aged looking nurse bot, which I called "Nurse Ratchet":
Now this next one was interesting because it started off as a red robot with wings and that trans yellow canopy as it's head but it really wasn't working. I kept it's 'head' and took it on a detour to end up a retro toy hover car. I should've taken a pic of original bot for comparison :(
Time for a group shot before I need to break this lot apart in order to build more, so here's batch #1:
Ok, another one that stared off as an attempt at an old, rusty bot in greys, in a change from the previous robots which were very colourful. However, it started suggesting more of a WW1, dieselpunk vibe so I went with it to see what would happen and it ended up as a 'Man-Tank':
Blah! Enough of this old-timey crap-back to SPACE! Meet the Blacktron 'Infil-traitor'! I wanted to try a bot with a trianular boday after all those boxy ones I'd done already. It's not as neat as I'd like but I was still happy with it, although I think without that red crystal heart feature it might look a bit boring:
Old Astroboy episodes are filled with amazing robots or all shapes and sizes. I haven't watched one in years but a few really stick out in my memory, one of them being something about a group of moon tourists finding diamonds on the moon, looked after by an old Russian robot called 'Ivan'. Eventually it's time for the people to leave but one greedy man remains wanting to gather more and more diamonds. When the shuttle departs without him he is left all alone with only the company of the silent Russian robot...Anyway, this bot was an attempt to capture some of what I remember about 'Ivan':
I sarted to re-use Nurse Ratchet's body but it didn't really lead anywhere. Still cute though:
Batch #2, say cheese!
Now I still had that red torso lying around and the M:Tron muse was back so for whatever reason I had Tom Hank's cowboy character from the movie 'Toys' in my head at the time so I thought "yeah, M:Tron cowboy; why not? The frontier needs protectin'! And then off course he needed an arch enemy to have a gunfight with...a poncho-wearing Blacktron II Bandito!!
Hmmm, what next? I know: something in yellow! This one, which reminds me of Sesame Street's 'Bert' and was, I think, the most concise retro-bot I've built so far, in so far of the fun toy/retro look I was trying to acheive:
Now you should know that I have the remnants of old mocs lying around my Lego desk for weeks after they've been dismantled. I still had that tube that I used for the NCS 'space invaders' moc and 'Ivan's torso and I wondered if it would work as a head. I chucked a couple of black tiles on and it looked like a panda's face...now the last bot's ('Bertie') legs looked like his socks had fallen down and for some reason (Chris, this is your cue) I put the panda thing together with trying to do a Japanese Schoolgirl, er, in Lego. Now before everyone points out that pandas are CHINESE, I know, but you know us Westerners and our cultural "meh-ness"...anyway, this last one's supposed to be a Japanese schoolgirl bot, which looked a bit grey at first:
So I added a bit of colour but it started freakin me out and I knew it was time to stop making robots before I built something REALLY weird...
...but with one last gasp, a wierd, Chris Foss-inspired alien exploration robot:
I highly recommend you guys trying some retro robots. Not so much for my ego but it really is alot of fun; you can build them as blocky, colourful and whimsical as you like. Here's a link to some bots made from old recycled parts that really inspired me. Thanks for looking guys!
Being nit-picky me, I must point out that the toy cowboy was from the movie "Toy Story." I don't expect anyone to memorize the name, it's been what? 14 years? Man, I gotta watch it again… am I rambling? Oops, back to the main subject: My favorite has to be the Bert-like robot, but all of these are really cool anyhow! Check out my Mysterion (Object 35; I made sure 35 wasn't already taken) when you get the chance.
An astounding array of retro-yumminess! Nurse Ratchet is the pick of the lot, with the Japanese School Girl and Ivan tying for a close second. I loved this ride through Retroville -- I'd give it a try myself, but in my case it wouldn't be going retro because I'm a bit blocky in my building anyway. Great stuff here and please don't hesitate to make more bots!