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Oh KAHU, My KAHU! (NUI-JAGA Part II)
Posted by Purple_Dave on August 20, 2001 at 09:36 PM CST:
The secondary model for the NUI-JAGA set is, as was recently revealed on the MATA NUI online game, a KAHU, which is a bird used by the TOHUNGA of LE-KORO as a sort of air-cavalry in their struggle to defend themselves against the NUI-RAMA. Specifically, it looks to be the very KAHU flown by TONGU, one of the TOHUNGA that will be sold at McDonald's next month. It's really cool that LEGO used this as the secondary model as it is the only benevolent creature for which official instructions have currently been released.

The construction of the KAHU is relatively simple. Like the NUI-JAGA, this model has a hand grip with a finger-pull trigger. The trigger causes the lower beak to open so the KAHU can chomp the MASKS off of NUI-RAMA. The feet each have a single point of articulation with a rubber-band suspension system, but because they are mounted with black pins instead of the looser grey ones, the pins resist the pull of the rubber bands. The wings also have a tiny amount of articulation to them, but not nearly enough to fold up without pulling a few parts loose. There are four 'racks' from a rack and pinion assembly which are used as the trailing edge of the central wing. On the NUI-JAGA they can be found on the underside of the arms that hold the MASKS, and they look like someone unwrapped the teeth from a gear and laid them out flat. If you pop loose the end closest to the KAHU's body on all four of these pieces and flip them forward as flat as you can against the rest of the wing, you can fold them up similar to how a natural bird's wings will. Since the toy's wings don't glow green like the KAHU in the online game, it looks a lot better when sitting on a shelf if you fold the wings up.

The coolest aspect to this model is that right between the head and the wings is a section that is narrow enough for a TOHUNGA model to sit astride its back, so KONGU can ride his steed in defense against the NUI-RAMA. For now you'll have to settle with having HAFU from the POWER PACK fill in as a temp rider. There isn't enough room for a second rider, but one is better than none. I did find, however, that poor little HAFU was perched a bit more precariously than he could handle, and he was constantly flipping forward. I built a footrest in lieu of actual stirrups, and he's a lot more stable in his seat now, and he doesn't look like he's constantly getting motion sickness. As soon as I get my digital camera I will make a point of posting this modification, so anyone who wants to add it can. This addition can be done entirely with leftover parts from the NUI-JAGA set that aren't used in the KAHU model, so you don't need to go out and buy an expensive set just to make this tiny tweak.



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