FEATURED ARTIST PROFILE: LEO LIN

 

BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE COVER: TALO-C

Fictional background
The creation of Talo-C was a blind fate to say the least. The upper torso was originally one of the second series prototype MCX --Multi-purpose Cybernetic eXperimental developed jointly by Japan Aerospace Administration, Tsukuba Advanced Robotics Laboratory and Kyoto Miura Institute of Artificial Intelligence. MCX cybernetics are developed with the purposes of operating in hazardous environments. Second series are in particular testbeds for advanced neuronetic governing nexus, capable of complex decision-making process. Lower torso was an experimental underterrain sentry probe manufactured by the now defunct CKC Consortium. Tsukuba Advanced Robotics Laboratory(TARL) absorbed the R&D section of CKC, and brought the remaining 5 examples to its main development labs outside Tsukuba city, Ibaraki prefecture for further studies. However, an unexplained explosion at one of the underground labs 5 months ago caused the neuronetic nexus of a lone MCX to malfunction. It started to merge with anything mechanical around it; including the sentry probe in the lab next door. Facility security teams proved to be hopelessly inadequate in dealing with the situation. Defence ministry then dispatched a specially trained retrieval team to disable and retrieve Talo-C. It was declared a high value runaway subject in ministry's internal memo, and must be retrieved at all cost. Current whereabouts of both Talo-C & the retrieval team remain classified. However, our high-level sources within the ministry hinted that the team is closing in on the subject.

The project itself

Having grown up with Japanese animations in the 70s & 80s, most of my projects have been influenced by them, and this one is no exception. At the beginning, I had no idea it would turn out like this incarnation. It was going to be just another cyborg among the collection. However, the more I thought of it, the more I wanted it to be different from others.

Back to the project itself, upper torso was from BBi cyborg Colossus; connection ring between the upper & lower torso is from the helmet ring of Cygirl Aurora, also by BBi. Originally it was planned to have a 4-legged spider type layout, but finding suitable parts proved to be a head-scratching dilemma until one day I spotted Mcfarlane Toys’s Matrix Reloaded Sentinel deluxe box set at a local comic shop. From the first sight, sentinel’s body seemed could be a nice alternative to the lower half of Talo-C. As usual, bought it first then figured out what to do next.

First step is to pull out and shortened all tentacles, then cut off all the attachment points on the back of the Sentinel.

Next was to add junk parts from other kits onto the body to create unique features. These junk parts mainly came from other scifi, and motocycle scale model kits. The “Shell” on left arm was cut from the arm of another vinyl figure. Hollowed out then added junk parts, and finally wore it onto the shoulder.

Now comes another head-scratching part: How to link up the upper/lower torsos via the connection ring? The solution is using the legs & waist section of an animation mecha. The mecha’s “toes” would clamp on the ring, and the waist would connect to Sentinel’s back side via brass tube.

Finally, I re-attached the modified tentacles to the nozzle-like openings located on the underside of the body.

To see more of Leo Lin's sci-fantastical works, please visit his Gaia-Gear Orbital Research Complex <http://members.rogers.com/gaiagear/main.htm>

Also see: Gaia-Gear's bio.

 



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