Interview with Codename Colossus Creator

Machination Studio logo

I recently caught up with Machination Studio owner and robot designer Michael Sng…

… we talked about Codename Colossus and his latest project.

First of all congratulations for being funded already. How long have you taken to bring this model to Kickstarter?

I have been working on getting this to production since April.

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Dieselpunk is an underused sub-genre, it immediately makes me think of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Kieron Gillens Über. If you had to expose someone to it what three films, comics or other media to introduce them what would you pick?

Dieselpunk is gadget-centric fantasy set in the age of the internal combustion engine. Besides Sky Captain, The Rocketeer, Suckerpunch, and to a lesser extent Iron Giant, would be popular movies of the genre. Studio

Ghibli’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and Porco Rosso. For art, check out Alexey Lipatov, Keith Thompson and Ian McQue to see some contrasting takes on the genre.

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It’s no coincidence that this model appears to be scaled at 28mm, coincidently the main scale wargaming figures, do you have any specific wargaming influences for this or any favourite miniatures?

The obvious influence would be Warhammer 40,000 Titans, but of course, when I was playing, they were only available in Epic 40,000, and not in the 28mm scale like Forgeworld makes them now. I am actually more of a Warhammer Fantasy player myself. I’ve got an Empire, a Dark Elf and a small Lizardman army. I did historical wargaming too, in WW2 in 1/72 or 20mm and Ancients and Napoleonics in 15mm.

What lessons have you learnt since your original robot creation that got you your spot at TED?

The ones I built in my first 2 years were large and impressive, but they were also overly complex and their weight put a lot of stress on the parts. The large size also means shipping is very expensive. So I am looking at a smaller size now: 13″ instead of 20″.

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The thing I like about this project is how hard it looks, what with assembling and painting you also have to consider the building of the movable parts and the electronic components as well, how will you help ease anyone’s fears over this? Will there be a version without the electronics?

The answer is yes, but I struggled with this. I am hoping that everyone gives this new category of scale models a try and not be afraid of the electronics.

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There is a sped-up video of one of these being assembled on your YouTube channel, how long do you estimate it would take most relatively experienced modelers to put together?

I will be making an assembly video. Your question is making me decide to make the assembly video sooner rather than later. Assembly itself should take only a few hours. It is assembled by screws with very little gluing. The electronics do not need soldering, they just plug in. 

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Looking at the stretch goals there is a mechanical loader already, have you got any idea about a 28mm miniature line to accompany this?

In my opinion, North Star’s Great War Miniatures are the nicest WW1 figures. What they don’t have are non-combatant figures. CP Models have some mechanics, not the best sculpts but there’s not a lot to choose from. Heresy’s Haylee, Ship’s Mechanic is a female mechanic figure. Bolt Action’s Downed RAF Pilot can be suitable for some scenarios. Warmachine has the Battle Mechaniks but that is going a bit further into the fantastic.

Check it out on Kickstarter here.

~ Are you interested or intimidated?

Keep reading for more pictures at:

Chilvers Industries

  • Shinnentai

    Cute design, and would go well with my WW1 Halflings, but that’s over 200 GBP (275 USD) for the version without electronics. I think I’ll stick to the Rhulic Teapot :3