Okay so let me tell you about what's been going on with me in case you're interested. I know I've been away from this site for a long time now, and I'm not sure if any of my friends are here anymore, so if they're not then I'm just talking to random people. But it doesn't really matter because I'm basically writing a long-winded goodbye to go with this MOC.
This is the first online community that I've been a part of, and I had a lot of fun here. I remember the day many years ago when I joined this site. I had built something, so I decided it wouldn't be too much trouble to take some pictures with the camera that's built into my computer, upload them here (actually that was back before this site could host the images so technically I uploaded them to Brickshelf), and see what happens. Before then I would only lurk here and show my dad and brother my MOCs. I wasn't aware of what I was getting into by joining this place! But I'm just reminiscing about ancient history.
I know this whole rant is gonna make me sound like a grumpy old man (and considering the average age of Lego fans, I may actually be one), but nowadays Lego is just too different than what I'm used to. Try juxtaposing the sets of the 80s and 90s with the ones today. The difference is enormous. To me it looks like Legos are just getting cheaper, with more and more big specialized parts and colors. Sites such as BrickLink that attempt to inventory every single Lego element will have their catalogs continue to grow, and where will it end? Just imagine what sets will look like in another 20 years or so! If current trends continue, I can't imagine them being anything more than overpriced Mega Bloks. Would you believe they phased out printed pieces and replaced them with stickers during the time that I was an AFOL? That's just one example of the cheapening of Legos.
Because of this sort of thing, I have voluntarily decided to enter my first "dark age", which will continue indefinitely. That's how it works in a capitalistic society like ours: when a company starts to do things a consumer doesn't like, the best option for them is to cease supporting the company by not buying their products and such anymore. It's good that Lego doesn't completely ignore their AFOL fanbase (I was happy to see them reintroduce the classic airtanks with the third Space Police line), but it just isn't enough to compensate for this ongoing cheapening. I can't imagine my "dark age" will ever be over, although I remain open to the possibilty, so I will keep my collection.
Ever since I've left this site, the only thing that I have been doing to keep in touch with Lego is browse Brickshelf almost every day (people need to learn to resize their pictures, by the way). It's the only reason I know what the sets are like nowadays, and I think I will continue to look at Brickshelf even after I detach myself from the Lego company and community. But other than that, I'm done with Lego.
All that aside, the story with this MOC is like this: a few months ago (maybe even a year or so) I had an idea: I wanted to make a big, complicated-looking robot out of black and gray Technic and Bionicle parts, then cover it up with removable, boldly-colored plate armor made of System parts (red was chosen because of the part selection). Even though I had already decided that I was done buying new sets, I still had my old collection so I thought why not? Normally I try not to use Bionicle parts in my MOCs but at this point I didn't really care, and I daresay it was even a bit liberating (however I am and always have been very much against the use of non-Lego stuff and clone brands in my MOCs). Besides, all of the Bionicle stuff in my collection is old, not like the Bionicles they have nowadays which are just ugh! It's sad that Lego is even making it, I mean they're like dolls now, I don't even know what is going on anymore. Photographing this thing was a huge pain, by the way.
Anyway, thanks for looking at this MOC, see my homepage for contact information if you want to get in touch with me.
Left side, showing arm cannons.
Closeup of the back showing armor plating.
Right side showing blade weapon.
Why hello there!
The blade weapon.
Closeup of the torso.
The back of the legs. I actually had a lot of trouble making them so that it would stand up on its own, but with this design, it's more sturdy than I had expected.
What's it holding in its hand? An unfortunate enemy soldier! Yes, this combat drone is minifig scale, making it huge.
This is my best attempt to get a shot from a minifig's-eye-view.
All of the plate armor is removable, but since the shoulder-mounted missile launcher and arm cannons are integrated into the armor, they must be removed as well.
I don't think it's very happy about this!
The back, without armor.
Detail shot of the back. This is the part I started with when I first began building it. Some people say using ball joints is cheating when building a mech or robot, but I try to only use them in places where there are ball joints in a real human skeleton such as the hips and shoulders.
All of its plate armor layed out.
Yeah it definitely looks better with the armor on.
Being someone who grew up w/ LEGO since the early 70's, I have to agree with you on your opinions. The quality of the pieces in particular is the most frustrating. This new stuff is so fragile that it seem to crack if I just breathe on them when compared to my older parts which still holdup better even today! Unfortunately it's not just LEGO, every product made toady just is not as good as they used to be in terms of durability or reliability. My best advice is to a long sabbatical away from LEGO and then maybe come back to it one day or either pass on your collection to someone you feel is worthy and let them carry on in your stead.
I think I'm slowly entering a dark age myself. There's something about the online LEGO community that I thought was so special when I joined a few years ago, but now I feel like that something is gone. It's just not quite the same anymore. Anyway, best of luck. Hopefully you'll come back some day.