So I mentioned a while ago that I got Black Phantom for my birthday. It somehow — somehow — escaped my notice that Black Phantom can be combined with another model to make… another model. Perhaps this is because I didn’t get half a bonus instruction set, but rather a cryptic message telling me to hit the Lego website.
Well, the site has been hit and the bonustructions downloaded, so let’s see if this combo model lazily fizzles out at a Double Kill or will reach a HOLY SHIT greater than the sum of its parts…
Blame the Parents
That’s the thing with combo models — once you inadvertently get one half, you’ve just got to get the other. To be fair, neither Black Phantom nor Rocka’s packaging shows any external signs of either of them being a combo model and, as mentioned above, there aren’t even instructions for the bonus model split between the two. So you happily buy one or the other, head home, get building, and once you reach the end of the instructions and see that Rocka + Black Phantom (best friends forever?) picture you sigh and, in the style of McNulty, gently utter a single word: “fuck“.
Or you’re like me and manage to miss this element until ages down the line, whereupon you raise your arms to the sky and let loose a rather more forceful “FFFFUUUUUUUUUUCK”.
Black Phantom is a lovely model. A little bit of rearrangement so his sword-staff-mace becomes a mace in the right hand and a sword in the left makes him into a right old Cleric of Bhaal. Not sure about the funny little spider-ball-launcher thing that is meant to sit in his left hand, though (not pictured because it shoots baws… literally). I’m sure I’ve said Black Phantom is a Cleric of Bhaal before — it seems all I can do these days is repeat myself. Anyway, shit is pretty bro tier.
Rocka is a lot smaller than Black Phantom; usually, combo models are equivalently sized. He’s also asymmetrical, and I’m still trying to work out whether or not he’s cool enough to offset my anti-asymmetry compulsions. Unfortunately as a smaller model, the prefabs stand out much more and his piece count is not great — Black Phantom avoids concerns with giant prefab pieces by being bigger, so each prefab does not compose such a large proportion of his body, while Rocka is… Well, like a bipedal skeleton for animation in Milkshape with a few decorations. Especially nasty-seeming are those big feet plaps — I’m sure they could have split those into at least two sub-elements.
I’m also going to call some design flaws — the arms seem a little bit too stubby for what they’re doing. The crossbow-wielding fore-arm isn’t long enough to let it bend quite right at the elbow, meaning when he’s aiming that crossbow he has to hold his arm mostly extended (rather than being able to cradle it). The other arm isn’t quite right either; the hex-shield strapped to the fore-arm also seems to clash a little with the pauldron — it could do with either being in his hand or pushed out a little further, perhaps.
The main joy of breaking down a Lego model is not having to stare at a computer screen for a while, but in this world of the paperless office I have little choice (I think that, while studying computing at university, I acquired more print-outs than any other period in my life. Can I call irony or would that be rude?).
There we go. Mental demonic akylosaur? It’s certainly big — easily a match for the original evil Slizer four-model combo in wheelbase if not height (and surely exceeding it in bulk) — and it’s definitely a creature of chaos, all spikes and armour plating. Though I’m slightly perplexed as to why the two middle legs have the heads as feet when the front and back legs are left with only balls.
My photography doesn’t really do him justice. He’s certainly more Black Phantom than he is Rocka, so if you like Black Phantom (as I do) then it is worth grabbing the little golden jobby counterpart to get the few extra pieces needed to access this monster.
The downside, of course, is that after the combinatrix we’re left with an unsightly pile of miscellaneous elements that aren’t in use.
I think it’s time to do a little bit of modding, don’t you?