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Who is your favorite Toa?


 May 9, 2004

The Inventor

This is the one that started this entire series. Well, more specifically, the bo staff that he's wielding is what started the entire series. After buying a couple of Jango Fett sets, I ended up with a few small chunks of brown tubes, and I absently put some of them on a long plus-rod. It looked kinda staff-like, but a bit too short. Attaching sections to a pair of socket joints made it quite a bit longer, and much more believable for a real staff weapon. After that, I just needed to build someone to use it.

I grew up on the early seasons of the original TMNT cartoon series, and I've been keeping up with every episode of the drastically improved new series that's currently nearing the end of its second season, so Donatello was the immediately obvious choice. But if I was going to do one I absolutely had to at least make the other turtles, so when the BOHROK and BOHROK-KAL started going on sale, I started buying up a bunch of the green ones.

There are a few things that I'd seriously love to change (eyes-only masks instead of full-face KRANA, for starters), but overall I'm happy with the results. I also took a few liberties with the design, though I did try to base them as much as possible on the new animated style for the color schemes, and the original cartoons for the stature of the actual Turtles. I'd originally planned to use the gold-tone NUVA chest armor for the belly shells, but I was stuck with grey gears, and the silver-tone NUVA armor is a much better color match for them. I went through a lot of ideas on how to make the arms and legs better match the new animated style, but in the end, when I thought about how many other liberties I'd already had to take, I decided that one more wouldn't make much difference, so I went with shoulders and hips matching the mask colors.

The belts were a matter of pure luck, as I realized that I had four appropriately-sized brown hoses when designing something else for this series, and the #3 angle-connector fits perfectly at the bottom of the NUVA armor. Brown PAKARI were the obvious choice for the back shells (and I wish I could honestly say whether or not I got the idea from the HOI turtle design, but I really can't remember), though I resisted the idea quite a bit, experimenting with some of the larger KANOHI NUVA. None of them looked appropriate for turtle shells (tortoise shells maybe, but not turtles), so in the end the original PAKARI won out.

When it came time to display them, I realized just how much of the limited posability of the BOHROK is directly due to their limb design, and I even experimented with different hip configurations to make it easier to give them standing poses that didn't either look awkward or identical. In the end the solution I came up with was to pose them in wild action poses. That presented a new problem. Donatello ended up being very difficult with the combination of stubby arms and big bo staff seriously limiting the posability of the arms. So I put him in a basic kick pose, where the bo staff is being used for balance.

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