How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

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Amadi Akintunde
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How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Amadi Akintunde » Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:15 pm

I've been wondering; compared to Mobile Suits, how tall are most Western Mechs? These range from Battletech mechs to the Metal Gears themselves. I've got a chart here of some from I believe was Mechwarrior 2 or 3, and most of these things range from about 8-17 meters. Is this precise? Does anyone have a larger or more up to date list of Battlemech heights and weights? And what about the Metal Gears? Realistically speaking the first ones all the way up to Metal Gear REX.

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Arsarcana
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Arsarcana » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:01 pm

There isn't really an average size. 'Western mecha' range from powered suits (Iron Man) to the slightly larger Exoframes from Exo Squad to Battlemechs that fit the same size range as most Mobile Suits (ie, ten to twenty meters) to larger stuff like Megas XLR (~35 meters).

Short version: Your question is meaningless.

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Amadi Akintunde
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Amadi Akintunde » Tue Oct 13, 2009 4:15 pm

Arsarcana wrote:There isn't really an average size. 'Western mecha' range from powered suits (Iron Man) to the slightly larger Exoframes from Exo Squad to Battlemechs that fit the same size range as most Mobile Suits (ie, ten to twenty meters) to larger stuff like Megas XLR (~35 meters).

Short version: Your question is meaningless.
You do realize I provided two examples which I wanted answers for? I'm not looking for a definite size of all western mechanical influences, but a set group.

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Geoxile
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Geoxile » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:52 pm

Metal Gears are just as bad. In the original series there were mentions of ones tiny compared to humans even and then things like Rex and Ray the size of the small MS maybe and then thinks like Outer Haven aka the ARK.

As for Battletech, yeah I'd think that's accurate.

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by DeltasTaii » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:58 pm

The Metal Gears are Eastern mechs. This should give you an idea as to the futility of the question. Similarly, Metal Gears range from about a foot tall for Metal Gear Rex to the size of a battleship for Arsenal Gear. Even D is only 8.5m including the equipment pods while REX is 12m and RAY is over 20m.

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Arsarcana » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:14 pm

Amadi Akintunde wrote:I'm not looking for a definite size of all western mechanical influences, but a set group.
Your topic title and first sentence wrote:How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?
(Emphasis added)

You asked how tall 'most' Western mecha are. Twice. And one of your examples isn't even Western. I answered the question you appeared to be asking.

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Amadi Akintunde
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Amadi Akintunde » Tue Oct 13, 2009 6:33 pm

The Metal Gears use Western methods in their designs, do they not? What with being bipedal chicken walkers?

But I've already had my question answered. You just didn't provide the one I was looking for.

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Kuruni » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:31 am

What do you mean by "Western method"? Drinking liquor while drawing are share by both side of grobal :mrgreen: .

Metal Gear designer is Japanese and the early Metal Gear is close to Zentradie's Tactical pod which is Japanese. I don't see why you think its western...
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Geoxile
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Geoxile » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:35 am

The western design is often called the chicken walker or more commonly because this actually was "western" the heavy powered armor. The chicken armor is just a new fad kinda thing that spread around due to Battletech and Mechwarrior

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Kuruni » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:43 am

Isee, kind of calling Italian spagetti as "Chinese nooddle" :mrgreen: .

BTW, one of most iconic mecha, the AT-AT is 22.5 meters height (and just happen to be non-chicken walker, guess it's Indian method! :mrgreen: ).
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Geoxile » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:11 am

The battle or powered armor has been western for a long time though mostly early sci-fi and such like Starship Troopers, originally published in the late 50s.

To be fair the west did have some early walker type "mechs" as well, i mean War of the Worlds described the "war machines" as machines that were used to help the Martians move under Earth gravity or something to that accord and as we know the martians were octopus like creatures that slinked around.

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Dendrobium Stamen » Wed Oct 14, 2009 6:44 am

In some ways, H.G. Wells can be considered the Father of Mecha, thanks to the Martian tripods featured in The War of The Worlds - the first mecha, fitted with what is essentially the first laser in its heat-ray! Not to mention predicting the creation of the tank (in 1906), and the atomic bomb (in 1914!)...

But, to use Metal Gear as the example, considering how loose the definition of the term is - while not the world's most accurate source of info, Wikipedia's article on Metal Gears lists ten weapon systems which fit the basic concept of a Metal Gear - it's impossible to say there's a uniform height even in this relatively small subset of what could be considered more "Western-influenced mecha"*. Of course, you'd have the same problem asking the question "How tall are most 'Eastern mechs'?" too, because while Gundams tend to hover in the 15m (F91 and Victory eras) to 40m (Psyco and Destroy) ranges, mecha in other anime cover a huge spectrum of sizes, with the iconic AV-98 Ingram from Patlabor standing at 8.02m, an Evangelion measuring somewhere in the 40m region, and the SDF-1 Macross over a kilometre tall in attack mode!

So while it's an interesting question, and certainly the start point for a discussion comparing mecha design across different cultures, the question itself is a bit vague even with the particular Metal Gear and Battletech examples. Interesting, though!

(* For my purposes, "Western mecha" are robotic, with legs but not necessarily humanoid; "Eastern mecha", of course, are very humanoid like our beloved Gundams.)
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by asterphage » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:49 pm

Dendrobium Stamen wrote:Not to mention predicting the creation of the tank (in 1906)
I assume you refer to The Land Ironclads? Fantastic story, and a must-read (for those not familiar, there's a full text link there in the External Links section of the Wikipedia article) for anyone interested in the themes used in Gundam and similar mecha anime - it's an excellent early example of science fiction addressing (probably parodying, in this case) themes of political, economic, and social class conflict.

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Aegis » Thu Oct 15, 2009 2:39 am

Call me curious, but why the interest in 'western mech' sizes? o.O I'd also avoid the whole 'western method' and 'eastern method' line to otherwise define so-called 'western mechs' and 'eastern mechs', given that both sides have very much taken ideas from each other that it just makes the blurry line of distinction even more blurry. I'd be calling Megas an 'eastern mech' save for the car if that be the case.

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by JEFFPIATT » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:39 pm

I hate to say this but there really is not much in the way of original western robots. the us mecha properties from the 80's were imported series or toy lines with American written plots. even robotech used some eastern mecha to fill its ranks. really all we have is the ed 309, the power loader, powered armor, and the mech from avatar.

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Geoxile » Fri Oct 16, 2009 4:52 pm

Most of mecha actually does tie back to the original powered armor idea which goes back as far as like the 30s and 40s in the west so unless you're talking about distinctly about specific designs you'd be wrong.

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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Dark Duel » Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:36 pm

One minor note, if I may...
Dendrobium Stamen wrote:Not to mention predicting the creation of the tank (in 1906)
While Wells's The Land Ironclads does deserve some credit in foreseeing the eventual design of the tank, the idea had already been conceptualized some four centuries earlier by Da Vinci.
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by asterphage » Fri Oct 16, 2009 8:05 pm

JEFFPIATT wrote:I hate to say this but there really is not much in the way of original western robots. the us mecha properties from the 80's were imported series or toy lines with American written plots. even robotech used some eastern mecha to fill its ranks. really all we have is the ed 309, the power loader, powered armor, and the mech from avatar.
This is by no means comprehensive, but i'm attempting an overview of "Western" original mecha concepts and designs. I'm including human-sized autonomous robots in here as well as others that are not quite the usual military standard, because I think it's important to viewing the history of Western mecha - and honestly, I think if you look at contemporary animation (over the last 30 years or so) the trend is really towards autonomous robots, giant or human-sized. Their prevalence in Western entertainment is often greater than in anime and has a different tone.
EDIT: Anything in blue is a later addition.

powered suits
  • 1959 - Starship Troopers - Robert A. Heinlein. notable covers here and here, further listings of covers here and here.
    note that the story and its concepts were the inspiration for many anime mecha, and that the novel itself was the basis of a 1988 anime series, with powered suit design by Studio Nue's Kazutaka Miyatake, related to a design earlier created for a cover for the novel by Studio Nue's Naoyuki Kato.
  • 1963 - Iron Man
  • 1974 - The Forever War - Joe Haldeman. recent edition cover, cover of the comic adaptation.
  • 1983 - S.N.A.K.E. (G.I. Joe)
  • 1984 - Elementals (Battletech / Mechwarrior)
  • 1986 - Spike's exo-suit (Transformers)
  • 1987 - Space Marine power armour (Warhammer 40,000)
open powered "frames" or partial exoskeletons
  • 1986 - Power Loader (Aliens)
  • 1993 - Exo-Frames (ExoSquad)
  • 2003 - A.P.U. (The Matrix Reloaded / The Matrix Revolutions)
  • 2009 - alien bipedal machine, unknown name (District 9)
  • 2009 - human bipedal machine, unknown name (Avatar)
full bipedal (or more) robots
  • 400-200 BC - Talos - protector of the island of Crete (Greek myth) as pointed out to me by Kuruni.
  • 1898 - Martian tripods (The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells)
  • 1965 - Sentinels (X-Men)
  • 1968 - The Iron Man / The Iron Giant - Ted Hughes. basis for the 1999 film.
  • 1980 - AT-ST & AT-AT (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) - plus others in the prequel trilogy & side stories, like the six-legger from Attack of the Clones
  • 1984 - Transformers - note that the Japanese and American contributions to this franchise are deeply entangled from the outset, and it's spawned dozens upon dozens of American-designed autonomous giant robot characters.
  • 1984 - BattleMechs (Battletech / Mechwarrior) - note that this franchise originated with the licensing of Japanese anime mecha designs.
  • 1987 - Titans (Warhammer 40,000)
  • 1987 - ED-209 (Robocop)
  • 1988 - Moonwalker - Michael Jackson transforms into a giant robot.
  • 1990, 1993 - Robot Jox, Crash & Burn, Robot Wars - lots of giant robots in these movies, but I don't know them by name.
  • 1996 - The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot - this comic and animated series is to some degree a parody of early Japanese robot series that were brought to the United States, such as "Astro Boy" (Tetsuwan Atom), "Gigantor" (Tetsujin 28), and "Johnny Sokko and his Flying Robot" (Giant Robo).
  • 1999 - The Iron Giant. see 1968 novel; the film carries some anime influences, distinct from the original work.
  • 2004 - Megas XLR - parody of many robot anime standards
  • 2008 - Liberty P.R.I.M.E. (Fallout 3)
  • 2009 - Titan Maximum - parody of many robot anime standards
human-sized autonomous robots
  • 1500s-1800s - Golem: of Rabbi Judah Loew in Prague, of Rabbi Elijah in Chelm, etc (derives from Talmudic tradition and Middle Eastern myth)
  • 1921 - Rossum's Universal Robots - Karel Capek
  • 1951 - Gort (The Day the Earth Stood Still) - based on a 1940 story.
  • 1956 - Robby (Forbidden Planet)
  • 1965 - "B-9", "M-3" or "YM-3" robot (Lost in Space)
  • 1977 - K-9 (Dr. Who)
  • 1977 - droids (Star Wars series) - too many to count.
  • 1978 - Cylons (Battlestar Galactica)
  • 1978 - Marvin (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) - there have been several visual designs for this, from the "classic sci-fi"-style robot reminiscent of a tin windup toy seen in the 1981 BBC TV series, to the adorable big-headed design from the 2005 film, but my favorite is the lanky machine seen in the 1994 "Illustrated Hitchhiker's Guide" coffee table book. Unfortunately, I can't find any images of it online.
  • 1979 - Rom the Space Knight
  • 1984 - The Terminator. further diversified in several sequels.
  • 1984 - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - the Mousers, the Utroms, Fugitoid, Krang's exosuit, etc.
  • 1987 - Robocop and Robocop Mk. II from the sequel. They're basically a full robot with a human torso and head in there.
  • 1991 - Bucky O'Hare - cast of supporting robots much like that of the Ninja Turtles series. I'm a big fan of Blinky.
non-legged mecha
  • 1903 - The Land Ironclads - H.G. Wells
  • 1960-1969, 1986 - Bolo and Rogue Bolo - Keith Laumer. these artificially-intelligent treaded vehicles don't get up and walk, but they've got manipulator arms and are 25 feet or more across the beam, so it's pretty mecha to me. Cover arts here
  • 1968 - space pods (2001: A Space Odyssey) art here and various screenshots here. I hope I don't need to justify this one :3
  • 1991 - Hunter Killers, tank & flying type (Terminator 2: Judgment Day). Many more varieties in Terminator 3 and Terminator: Salvation
  • 2003 - Sentinels (The Matrix Reloaded / The Matrix Revolutions)
Last edited by asterphage on Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by Kuruni » Fri Oct 16, 2009 11:41 pm

Where is Talos from Greek Mythology? I'm aware that some text descript it as giant with bronze skin, but other made it true robot.

I'm pretty sure there are something mention in Hidu myth as well, although I can't find anything yet and it's unlikely to be gigantic one.
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Re: How tall are most 'Western Mechs'?

Post by VF5SS » Sat Oct 17, 2009 7:56 am

Paul, your post is booooootiful :3

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