The Cosmic Legions: OxKrewe wave has introduced a number of new things into the Universe of Cosmerrium, including a new planet, a new storyline, multiple new species, and lots of new figure parts that are being added to the Legions library. The most significant of these new parts are the ones that make up the “OxKrewe armor.” Interestingly, the design of this armor dates back to long before the reveals of the OxKrewe wave - back to even before Mythic Legions was introduced to the toy collecting world! In this article, we will take a look behind the scenes at the history behind the OxKrewe armor, including some images of the earliest renditions of these parts!
If you are familiar with the Legions lines and the story of the early days of their development, you likely know that initial plans for these toys called for them to be 1:18 scale lines that were compatible with the Glyos system, similar to a few of our earlier licensed lines like Power Lords and Outer Space Men.
While we eventually made the decision to go with the 1:12 scale that you see on Legions today, there was some early work done on Legions in that smaller, Glyos-compatible scale. Early prototypes are rarely seen from this era of Legions’ development, but thankfully longtime friend of the 4H, Israel Ramirez, likes to take lots of photos whenever he visits the studio. He recently sent us these shots from February of 2013 (this would be close to 2 years BEFORE the first Mythic Legions Kickstarter launched) showing a very early clay sculpture of the OxKrewe armor (long before it was called “OxKrewe” or was part of the storyline presented today). There is also a second shot of this sculpture alongside a few Glyos figures. One final interesting note on these images is that the head on these is a very early version of Thygar! If you’ve read the backstory of Olek Thygar, you know this is a character that Eric Treadaway first began sketching when he was a kid, so it is cool to see that he was part of these early days of the Cosmic Legions line as well.
This next trio of photos also came from Iz, and they were taken in February 2014 – one year after those first images. You can see here that this sculpture is now fully fleshed out as a prototype figure, including a removable dome (something we would get later on Cosmic Legions figures). Comparing this early version of the armor, which is indeed 1:18 scale and meant for the Glyos system, with the designs eventually revealed as part of the OxKrewe: Book One – Thraxxon wave, you can absolutely see the similarities in the design. Elements of the chest plate, the leg armor, and the feet are nearly identical to the new OxKrewe figures. This look back at the early version of this armor illustrates just how long this particular design has been in development and how much of that design remained intact when it was finally recreated for Cosmic Legions!
The Dawn of Cosmic Legions
By the time the first actual Cosmic Legions figures were shown with the Hvalkatar: Book One wave in September 2021, our studio’s work on new figures had become completely digital. The earliest Mythic Legions figures, and all the work we had done prior to that period, were sculpted traditionally, but in the years since that first Legions release we had made the move to digital sculpting. This meant that the first Cosmic Legions figures to see release, and all the parts that made up those figures, were sculpted digitally in ZBrush. As Eric began working on those first designs for the line, he created two particular sets of armor – the T.U.5.C.C. armor, which became such an important part of the first few waves of the line, and the OxKrewe armor which is the focus of this article.
We had never planned to release these two sets of armor at the same time, but we wanted to ensure that the pieces created for each of these distinct body designs would be compatible with each other, so the early work on them both was done in unison. Below you can see some of Eric’s renders from these sculpting sessions. He would go on to fully flesh out the sleeker build, which would eventually be called T.U.5.C.C. armor, and develop the characters seen in the Hvalkatar waves. The bulkier armor, however, would remain in a semi-finished state for a few years before making its debut in the OxKrewe wave in mid-2023.
The OxKrewe Have Landed
The “ship crash” narrative being presented in the OxKrewe wave was planned as the second important chapter of the Cosmic Legions story from early on. In fact, at one point the OxKrewe wave was planned for mid-2022! Those plans were put on hold to allow the first wave of Cosmic Legions to arrive in collectors’ hands before this second installment of the Cosmic Legions story was revealed. Instead, a small interim wave (Outpost Zaxxius) was solicited in early 2023 and OxKrewe followed a few months later, making its debut at the Power-Con 2023 show in Columbus, OH (you can watch the live reveal special here).
The extra time that we had between the start of the new OxKrewe body’s development, and the eventual release of them as actual Cosmic Legions figures, allowed Eric to further flesh out the build. A big part of what the studio has been focused on for the past few years is creating deeper “systems” within the new parts we develop. This approach allows us to have inventive ways of maximizing the use of any new library pieces (it also gives the customizing community that is so important to our lines many ways to create new parts for the figures). A few examples of these systems would be the swappable face plates or chest plates found on newer Mythic Legions waves. Eric applied this same approach to the OxKrewe armor, creating a system that embraced both uniformity and variety. This allowed the armor to feel like it was issued by a particular entity (in this case it would be the AEXOR3 corporation) while also giving us ways to change the configuration in order to create new looks for the toys and the characters that would make up the OxKrew team. In the OxKrewe, Book One – Thraxxon wave we see 3 versions of this armor (shown in the image below). Each of these builds is a bit different based on the character/race inside the gear. We also decided to use different color schemes for the armor depending on the character’s role on the Qorgonox ship whose crash is at the center of this new story.
The OxKrewe is a much bulkier build than the T.U.5.C.C. armor (see image comparing the two below), but beyond compatibility with these two sets of parts (every part between the two is compatible except for the wrist and ankle pegs), we also wanted to make sure that for all its size and heft, that the OxKrewe armor remained fully posable and was overall a fun toy to handle and use for displays or photography. To that end, we looked for ways that we could add smart articulation to this build while retaining the sculptural details. One thing that is very nice about figures like these is that the armor provides so many natural seams and breakpoints where articulation can be hidden. In the end, we were able to get 41-points of articulation into the Vellok Speer figure!
Below you can see an “exploded” look at the OxKrewe armor (specifically the Vellok figure). This illustrates not only the incredible amount of pieces used on these builds, but also some of the new things you will find within these parts. First off, you can see all the points of articulation through the body and limbs, including new additions like the neck swivel and the toe articulation – both of which are fully hidden by the armor itself. You may also notice a number of small “boxes” between where the legs are in this exploded view. These are removable pouches and packs that plug onto pegs on the figure’s belt. We designed a number of add-ons for these belts (and we expect customizers will create many as well), allowing you to change the look on each figure’s gear. Finally, it is worth looking at the shoulder area of the figure. We wanted this armor to be able to use pauldrons, but rather than plugging them directly into the back like we have done with past figures, we created a new “disc” part that goes between the torso and arm that the pauldrons will plug into. This allows the shoulder armor to move with the arms, increasing the range of motion you can get on these figures while still allowing them to be fully armored up and ready for action!
OxKrewe Reporting for Assignment
The first three figures that use the OxKrewe armor are available for preorder now along with the rest of the Cosmic Legions: OxKrewe, Book One – Thraxxon wave. The rest of the team from the Qorgonox will follow in future waves, including new configurations of the OxKrewe armor.
Published on 09.06.23