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To Build a Toa by Scorpion-Strike To Build a Toa by Scorpion-Strike
Something I've been wanting to do for a long time: a full build/anatomy study of the Toa and, by extension, Matoran. Also starring my Toa of Psionics, Lis. I was going to write a short description for this, but it ended up being a huge essay, so I've submitted that separately here: scorpion-strike.deviantart.com…

Credit to :iconllortor: for putting the spinal structure idea in my head with his Maku picture.
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:iconkaibagal:
KaibaGal Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Noodle bodies.

I don't really understand why the lumber region is so light and exposed as opposed to the rest of the anatomy especially with her having a lot of upper musculature, but it's all a pretty cool build up besides that. I dig it.

meowfive 
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:iconscorpion-strike:
Scorpion-Strike Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
To answer the misunderstanding: most of the musculature that takes care of movement in the lumbar region is contained within that spinal assembly; it can move almost like a snake but is rigid enough to support the weight of the upper body (with some help from the dampening pistons when armor is equipped), and through that provides tremendous flexibility. It's also not quite as vulnerable as it looks, 'cause inside muscles, shock-absorbing reservoirs, and the spine are packed tight and the pistons do help to cover it from the side. A more armor-focused Toa probably would cover it with some kind of armor at the expense of some mobility, though.
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:iconkaibagal:
KaibaGal Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ay ey, there was no misunderstanding, just didn't articulate myself all that well. Let me try again.

It's more of a design flaw/personal issue. Imagine mid-combat someone poking their weapon through one of those gaps and severing those pistons or doing some hefty damage to the whole abdominal giant acid-filled noodle area you got going on there. It's the one reason I started changing up my design so that all that gear is internal, covered up with extra synthetic muscle and tissue and shock-absorbent padding, to pad that shit out so that it isn't so vulnerable and exposed. Still love those pistons though, probably the thing I missed most from the G2 sets. One day I'll find a way to integrate them externally again with flexible hydrolic tubing.

As much as I love the old style torsos of the Mata/Nuva bodies, they just never made practical sense for something designed for combat. It's a pretty violent little universe they've got going on there. Or maybe the Great Beings had a cruel sense of humour. Or maybe those noodles are truly impenetrable :meowdummy: 
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:iconscorpion-strike:
Scorpion-Strike Featured By Owner Edited Jan 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
A valid point; you're right that a very solid blow to that 'noodle' structure could do major damage, regardless of how tough it is. It does make for a fairly small target, though, and with piercing weapons in particular it's hard to get a good hit on a relatively thin, cylindrical object; they'd have to hit almost dead-center to have a chance of penetrating and avoid the metal rings in the process. In the heat of a battle, that's going to be tough for an opponent to hit, especially if the Toa puts the agility that the structure grants to good use and keeps the need to cover it in mind.

Still, it is still a major trade-off compared to having a more solid midsection; I think that keeping the midsection as thin and flexible as possible may have been in large part a matter of "let's do it because we can" on the great beings' part. I mean, if you don't have to stick a sizable collection of organs and a long digestive tract in there, the extra bulk wouldn't be necessary. Alternatively, the column could always be covered with a bulky reservoir and muscle strands connected from the #7 vertebra's larger ring to the lower v-band to provide some more bulk and mounting points for armor around the midsection, again at the expense of some flexibility (and possibly looking kinda chubby if its not executed right...).
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:iconkaibagal:
KaibaGal Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
That's kind same line of thought I had, keeping in mind as well that the Matoran/Toa were modeled on Agori and Glatorian [GBs are Glatorain confirmed sooooo] oooooo it's not out of the realms of possibility that some Matoran/Toa might have been built to pack in that midsection to help with their day-to-day jobs dependent on their element/function [extra energy reservoirs are a good idea :meow:], like their squishier counterparts. Climate, physical labour, areas of scarce resources and food are all things to consider. It may well be something that would effect Matoran coming from different regions of the universe and not a trait that's element dependent. I don't know. I'm just throwing ideas on the table to see if they make sense :meowdummy: 

Those you'd probably consider lighter and agile variants like Toa of Gravity, Air or Water would probably forego the extra chunkiness in favour of the extra flexibility. Elements like Fire and Stone are considered more brutish, physical or combative so they'd probably be packin'.

Oh. And just.

Those rings can't be entirely impenetrable. I get they'd have to be tough to support the main bodily structure but metal will buckle and break given enough force. What would be the point of these metal-heads existing to clunk armour and weapons together if they couldn't do the damage?
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:iconscorpion-strike:
Scorpion-Strike Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Definitely like the customizable idea; I kind of incorporated it with variable numbers of pistons in the armor, but yeah, that space could be used for a whole lot more...

True on the rings; far from indestructible, and they're more to maintain the shape of the spinal assembly and to anchor the flexweave to something than for great protection. One would still want to avoid hitting them, though, as the metal would amplify the deflection effect of the cylindrical spinal assembly on the rings all the more, making it an even smaller effective target on the rings than it already was before.
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:iconkaibagal:
KaibaGal Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Being able to customise their physicality would would make sense given the construction theme of the franchise.

And Glatorian do it anyway not long after maturity, cybernetics implants, prosthetics and such to help with that wonderfully hostile environment.

Wonder if you could play those rings like a xylophone baffledmeow 
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:iconscorpion-strike:
Scorpion-Strike Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now I'll have to do a similar study for Glatorian at some point...

Cue the Toa of Sonics for the xylophone solo. :D
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(2 Replies)
:iconllortor:
Llortor Featured By Owner Edited Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm really liking that multiple skeleton layering with the ribcage/chassis, also reminds me it's been forever since I've done anything like this :o
Edit: people wouldn't even be asking any questions about how this works if they read your whole essay through lol
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:iconscorpion-strike:
Scorpion-Strike Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you :D. Your old pictures exploring/explaining a more mechanical approach to Bionicle anatomy were definitely an inspiration for me and for this one. Probably right on the questions too, but hey, most people aren't going to read a 4,000 word manual on Toa construction unless they can find the time for it... I wrote that as much to explain all the details to myself as to anyone else.
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