|The KARDAS DRAGON...Eep|
Posted by on October 1, 2006 at 05:45 PM CST:
I was finally able to locate instructions for the Kardas Dragon set, all thanks to someone who goes by Toa Krakua The Zivon Rider on BZPower who was so kind as to go through the painstaking task of uploading all these pictures of the manual and gave me permission to share them. Some pictures did manage to lose bits and pieces and get mixed up by the uploading process but I was able to construct him rather easily since these were only a very minor issue. If you plan to use these instructions, start at the very last photo and then click the ?previous? button to advance through them.
Now, going on to the review itself, I?ll start by thanking BZPower with their news of the Kardas Dragon being available in the European S@H found here on the LEGO company?s website, where I was able to locate the set?s description, which is quite satisfying. I want to add that the KARDAS DDRAGON has somehow been available around August to more resourceful collectors, a thought which has nagged me these past few months while I tried to snag the instructions to the parts I already had?Anyways you can find the description below:
The curse of the seventh Piraka continues!
When Vezon and fearsome spider Fenrakk are defeated by the Toa Inika, they are plunged into a sea of lava, seemingly to their doom. But what the Toa do not know is that the curse that has bound the seventh Piraka to the giant spider will not grant him so easy an end. Like the mythical phoenix, Fenrakk is resurrected in the form of Kardas the dragon, and the Toa have an even bigger fight on their hands! Includes Kardas and Vezon.
?And I was complaining about the aspect of the psycho being chained to a big spider! Judging by this description I think it?s safe to say that though he is a combiner of the three sets AXONN, BRUTAKA, and VEZON AND FENRAKK there is no storyline meaning to this and the character is completely separate by storyline from the other sets that make him, with the exception of VEZON and FENRAKK of course. Of all the combiner sets to date, KARDAS has got to be the absolute best looking, so much so that it dwarfs my complaints bout the set completely. I might go on to suggest he is the best looking BIONICLE? set period. Compared to VOPORAK he is much larger, and has a better use of parts. I?ve got VOPORAK?s review typed up somewhere too, but seeing as how I typed his review before KARDAS, you will see my opinion before I got KARDAS built, had I typed VOP? afterwards, well I?d think he was a much worse set than I credited him for. This gives you a good idea how well done this set is. In VOP?s review I did complain about all the spare parts leftover from construction, but our dragon friend uses a much larger percent of parts, and leaves us with a healthy amount of spares for augmenting other MoCs.
Well, not much to complain about, the arms seem lacking by comparison to the rest of the set but they play well into the design. The head is at times difficult to pose since the head weighs down it?s neck and it?s three points of articulation. The tail has a similar problem but it?s not as bad, I still can pose it without much trouble and it doesn?t get weighed down so easily. I can?t really use the same VEZON as the rider, since the actual set gives VEZON a differently shaped staff and a shielded left arm. I was hoping to ?Share? VEZON and use his mask and spare parts for other stuff. More on VEZON later. The wings have a sort of midpoint in which they semi easily detach from, and the piston feels like it could pop out like that too, but it hasn?t been a big issue other than the thought it might happen. The point where the piston on the lower leg attaches isn?t bollted in place with a spacer, though this may be for functionality. Well, perhaps the biggest complain after all is that the rod in the piston seems to get puset out of that little ball socket and jam the wing mechanism, I only found this playing with KARDAS mid-review and popped this in. Well, that?s about it on complaints.
Well, he doesn?t have a gear style mechanism but he has three things that may be considered as mechanisms. The first would be the simple, the supportive pistons on his legs. The second, his armor on the side of his leg slides up and down when the legs are shifted a particular way in order to give slack to allow more articulation. This may be unintentional in design, as in the designers may not have intended it to do that, but either way it helps the set. The last mechanism is how the wings unfold, they really are what tells you this is a dragon and they are amazingly well done in their simplicity. They unfold similarly to NIVAWK?s wings in concept but are far from the same thing. Just watch out for the piston since it might get misaligned at the socket ball and forcing it could break the set if you don?t realize it?s happened.
The legs very nice, though somewhat simple. They have a hallow look but also feel bulky from the way the pistons and the upper legs make it doubly built, they also support him very well, but posing can be tricky since the webbed PIRAKA foot is the only part on the foot that contacts the ground effectively. The articulated toes don?t do much of a job of supporting the weight at all, but they do look cool and potentially make this the most articulated foot yet to be in an official BIONICLE set. I?ve seen most people position the toes overtop of the toe?ish things that make up the PIRAKA foot, when the directions show that the toes go around the PIRAKA foot, and I think it plain looks better that way instead of trying to cover up the main supporting foot. Other than the mechanism mentioned above that supports the upper legs this is really just another pair of titan legs really, with some neat tricks to decorate them and set them apart. the second and third pictures are hard to see but intended to show how part of the leg slides up and down like a piston.
Well, these aren?t the best arms you will see in a set, they fit the theme and perhaps the way they are built to attach to the shoulder may be useful to mocers, but it?s fairly simple and I doubt anyone will get great use of it, in fact the only reason for this shoulder other than to add that NUVA armor is to give them better articulation from that cramped ball joint at the torso. The arms remind me of how the T rex has those almost useless little arms, while they aren?t too small they are realistically sized for this creation but lack any function other than to give it arms, and make for cool poses. These are in fact the least detailed part of the set. The arms don?t have much strength and I?d say they were more comparable to the INIKA?s arms than to other titans. Last to be noted is he only gets about a 90? angle to move at the elbow due to how the VISORAK foot is plugged in.
The tail is very well done despite it?s simplicity, and I imagine the concept of how the armor was attached along with those BOHROK eyes as spines will be a favorite among mocers. My only disliking is the slightly asymmetrical use of that black part holding those BOHROK eyes into place. The way the tail plugs into the set?s rear is probably the key factor to making him look like he needs to be hunched forward rather than standing him up as straight as he could be posed. You can?t really move the tail up and down given the way the tail attaches to the base but it can wrap around the legs and generally move side to side.
If it weren?t for the wings this?d be just another big lizard, they are what really turns the set into a dragon and they are well done as I said earlier in the article. They can?t bend forward and backward, at least not very well, in order to flap. In fact if they could flap that?d be a great mechanism for the set. All you can do is extend and pose them sideways, but despite that they are great. Look carefully at the first picture, you need to watch for that pole because it tends to pop up and could potentialy damage the set if not fixed before poseing.
The construction is rather flat up until you build the rib cage and add on the HORDIKA feet, but once fully constructed it is the best body yet on any set I have seen. The body is essentially where VEZON plugs into but without the actual directions I cant seem to diagnose how he properly rides, it isn?t very easy to figure out just by the picture.
Well, the neck is similar to the tail, only decorated differently at the base of the neck. The second segment of the neck is pretty much the same as the tail but with no spacers between the gold BOHROK eyes, while the first segment has those almost famous throwbot feet lined up, which creates a nice look for being a neck. The throwbot feet wobble slightly in place with the double socket being what keeps them from misaligning.
His head is really just a modified FENRAKK head, the differences being at the base of the head we have some black spikes. I had the annoyance of having a slightly loose upper row of teeth on FENRAKK, however the construction of the spikes seems to warp the silver head plate slightly enough to hold those teeth snugly and without complication, but I can?t say that?s the exact reason since I haven?t looked much into it. I?d say FENRAKK?s head is much better on the KARDAS DRAGON than on his spider form, in fact I almost wish that the spider form had a more spider?ish look to it since the head seems to have been designed specifically for the dragon form rather than the spider. The headpiece gives him the perfect dragon look, and in fact I recall Predator telling me the same headpiece on FENRAKK was used on a LEGO VIKINGS dragon. In a conversation somone also noted the little notch on the underside of the head for the cain, until I was told this I had no idea what purpose it potentialy served, but I think it looks better to attach the chain to the back of the dragon's neck. I don't have a clear picture to show everyone, but his jaws open about ninety degrees, allowing him to chew on a TOA INIKA's head.
Nothing bad here, the colors weren?t distributed to absolute perfection, but the colors look much better on KARDAS than he slopped together color we find on many combiners. Considering how well this combiner is I?m almost certain the way this combiner looks determined a lot of the construction behind the other titans, and has left me confused as to which order and how the design process went into creating this set.
I?ll call this version of VEZON a version two (VV2) in order to help them be told apart. He is basically the same VEZON we?ve become familiar with only with two main differences. The first and less noticeable is the staff, which I believe is the ?fusion staff? according to the most recent IGNITION comic. VV2?s staff is different because the KARDAS DRAGON?s construction ate those pieces along with his right arm. I don?t know if his staff is still a fusion staff at this point, but I?d guess it still kinda is, just different looking. It?s more reminiscent of TAKANUVA?s staff at this point, only longer and the chain that was on his left arm now extends form the staff. The staff might be longer than it?s supposed to be as the directions I used didn?t have the VV2 instructions so I reverse engineered him from =brickshelf= pictures. That said I didn?t have the instructions for how he rides KARDAS either so I?ve had to improvise and hope I did it right. *Shifty eyes*. The left arm has the feel of a shield, with the RAHKSHI staff acting as either some sort of hand or a laser beam shooter thingy, by my opinion anyway, maybe others will think it?s more of an axe like the parts it was built from? The arm holding the shield isn?t all that graceful in design but the ending results for the shield look grate compared this drawback. If you play with VEZON a bit you will find yourself managing to twist his left upper arm so the silver armor is backwards, compared to the other arm at which the elbow prevents this misalignment. You might also care to know the box seems to show his arms reversed from what the instructions say to do, for the sake of making him look cooler on the box. Now I don't actually have KARDAS' box, but I do have VEZON and FENRAKK's box where you can see what I described, I'm just guessing it's the same thing here. Also, I've experimented with pulling his silver metru armor off and snapping it back on overtop the cape, which helps with the annoyance of it twisting the wrong way and keeps it easier to manage.
I?m probably repeating myself but this is quite possibly one of the coolest official BIONICLE sets you will ever see, assuming we have similar opinions. It is definitely the best combiner set I have ever seen, and I would recommend that you build him at least to see what he is like. From what I here there are no promo items but you get a nice price break. I?m also told there are no instructions for the other titans in this set so if you buy this set to save money on the three sets that build him be sure to have downloaded or looked up the instructions for the other titans online. This is a set I highly recommend based on my understanding of the set, but please give a good thought before buying him from my advice.