The YF-19: Arm logistics

As I continue dealing with the inner mechanisms for the arms, I keep finding a lot of those “movie magic required” obstacles. One of the stupidest ones would be this one:


The base of the arm is clearly inside the shoulder plate, so when it’s in plane mode, it’s parallel to it, turns inside with that inner bicep joint that gets covered by the bicep part, and then becomes the forearm. It’s supposedly a zig-zag shape, and so the forearm and the shoulder plate would have to be pretty much at the same height for that to work.

Problem, is, they’re not at the same height in the plane. The forearms are much lower than the shoulders, and there’s the shield above them. So, how do we go around that?

May 13 - Arm mechanics

May 13 – Arm mechanics

The best way I have to fix this is to make the base of the whole arm moveable, so it shifts up when the plane goes into GERWALK. I guess we’ll find out soon. It’s definitely not as wide as the shoulder plate as in the toy, so it looks like a skinny arm. It also looks too short compared to the forearm. So if I want to make it longer, I’d have to make a way to twist it so it fits inside the shoulder plate. And that changes the way it would intersect the leg… am I thinking too much into this? Maybe.

Meanwhile, I decided to do something about the gap between the flaps and the wings when it’s in landing configuration, so I went on to model the extra polys and create a secondary set of bones to control it, then constrain it to the flaps so they would slide out and rotate at a 30% of the flaps. That required a bit of tweaking and making sure the thingies didn’t intersect the whing

May 15 - Wing surfaces for the flaps

May 15 – Wing surfaces for the flaps

May 16 - Slats finished

May 16 – Slats finished

May 18 - Testing the arms

May 18 – Testing the arms

There might be a small room to increase the width of the arms and forearms, but it’s not much. This still needs to look like the plane, with the plane proportions, so I’m willing to make the robot look less cool and less bulky if I have to. How are the hands gonna fit inside those slim forearms is beyond me. We’ll find out soon ’cause that’s what’s coming up next.



About Eduardo

I'm some dude with a huge love for animation and film. I've been working in TV animation for the past 6 years in New Zealand. I love dragons, pointy metal things that can cut dragons, and flight simulators.
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