Toa Nokama

 2021 is the 20th anniversary of Bionicle, and so here I am with an another re-imagined Bionicle character. Again, this is a part of collaboration work with some other old kanohi-heads or whatever; you can find a list of other Metrus on Flickr.

We chose to do Toa Metru and I was specifically asked to do Nokama. Why not? I never owned the original set (though I definitely have parts for it) but Legends of Metru Nui was a huge hit on me in 2004; it is clearly the best Bionicle film, by far margin, and for a toy-adversing straight-to-dvd-and-vhs it's still decent. There's barely any battle scenes, the main characters are easy to relate somehow, and it's got pretty strong visuals, especially on the nightmare scenes. Toa Nokama, who is the token female character and a Platonic image of girl in boys' show, is self-reliant but understanding (Terry Pratchett could say "like a teacher you wish you had in the first school year"). The film's aesthetics different quite a lot from the sets, and Nokama's armour was combination of light and dark blue shades opposed to dull dark blue and dark bley in set. In general, it could have been worse.

My version is not really based on the film version, though there are some similarities. I didn't want to build a "human in bionicle mask" so I deliberately left some areas more robotic, especially on the legs. The soft axles on the side also call back to some pistons on Bionicle parts and also the "soft tissue" elements in the film CGI designs. I also wanted to use those medium blue soft axles (and dark blue ski parts) for their obscurity value. The little piston on the ski parts call back to metru feet while being more slender and allowing rare instep movement.

The first version used only dark and medium blues, but the contrasting bright light orange (keetorange) was added as a complimentary colour based on the helpful feedback. I also ended up giving Nokama a pair of horns - or probably ears - to give the mask more original shape. Their wave shape fitted the theme well. We chose to use the original masks in the very beginning - though I used Dalu's slightly lighter and brighter version as it's more beautiful and my darker one was very scratched. Dalu's masks looks great with medium blue. Unsurprisinly, I gave Nokama a pair of big, protective pauldrons to give her a strong samurai-esque silhouette. Again, medium blue bow pieces had obscurity value which I wanted to utilise. There are double joints on both shoulder (1x2 round plates with T-bars) to give the shoulders enough movement despite the pauldrons. I think they balance both heavy and slender parts and the colour scheme of the model.

Nokama's weapons went through few iterations. The original set has... some sort of fins, which have nice slalom shafts that are flexible in the film but stiff in real life. Bionicle weapons, in general, are silly. I chose to use an another pair of soft axles on the shafts (I rarely ever use soft axles!) and build the blades with small system parts; the first versions were unbalances and toothpick-y, until I settled with these macaroni-based ones that look like more elegant version's of Avacyn's collar from MTG. The pearl gold pieces call back to the bright light orange on the colour scheme but shhh, I didn't have the pieces in other metallic colours. Now the weapons look like they could do some actual harm. Most Bionicle weapons don't.

I also built a stand for some swimming poses, but I photoshopped it so you can't see it. Hähähähä. Snort.



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