One reason why the New Earth Strategic Trust faction is such a dominant force in the Quorus Wars is due to their supreme tactics and efficient strategies and have outfitted specific units like the Eagle EWAC to prioritize recon and intelligence gathering.
The Eagle EWAC is actually based on the NESF-M05E Eagle, a standard combat type reFrame that is deployed in heavy combat areas and serve as a main unit in NEST Special Forces ranks. The EWAC (Early Warning And Control) unit allows for efficient intelligence gathering that is sent to NEST’s tactical HQ as data to create up-to-date battle strategies. Extra thrusters were equipped on the Eagle EWAC to give it better mobility in order to move faster to key locations for data scanning as well as avoid enemy units. It is equipped with a light submachine gun (SMG-UZ01A) and a hand cannon mounted on its left arm for emergency combat purposes.
To start, I need to establish the fact that I’m a huge Gundam Sentinel fan. My first adult gunpla kit was actually an FAZZ from the series and while I never built the thing (I was 5, the kit required super glue, and I couldn’t understand the complicated instructions at the time), I held on to the awesome instruction manual with detailed illustrations and made me love the Sentinel line even if I couldn’t really understand it.
*eventually collected all 5 kits of that series by the time I was in high school.
Now the reason for this trip back to my earliest Gunpla days is because the unit I based this build on was from Gundam Sentinel and it’s the MSA-007E EWAC Nero. Concept wise, I had followed what the EWAC Nero essentially was, a non-combat mobile suit that prioritized recon over fighting capability. The whole backpack radar & communications design was also based on the NERO and similar EWAC units from the Gundam Universal Century timeline such as the RMS-119 EWAC Zack and the RGM-79EW EWAC GM.
A key piece I badly wanted to use was these old Creator container lids that I had in blue and wanted to use that as the bulk of the EWAC unit. As seen in the WIP section below, the build mostly started there but after being stumped from the first day, I figured I had to build most of the mech first before going into the EWAC add on unit.
As mentioned in the Build Process section, this reFrame really did start out with just positioning the dish onto the top part of the cockpit area and fitting a head on it. This initial head design didn’t quite feel right (too clunky with a weird forehead area).
So instead of building from the dish downwards, decided to take a different approach and finish the base mech first then see how I’ll fit the EWAC unit after. I wanted the EWAC to contour to the shape of the mech and it didn’t make sense for me to build it first as compared to having the mech then doing the shaping for the EWAC unit.
The torso design is actually similar to a previous NEST reFrame I’ve built (NESF-M01TA Command) but added the “vest” look to cover the shoulder connectors. The leg build is also similar to the Command but uses a new design for the feet. Shoulders were kept to a light design and I decided to place these “bucket thrusters” all around the mech as a way to keep it more agile.
I brought this version to a local meetup and afterwards felt that just placing the dish on to the back didn’t feel quite right. That and my girlfriend did call it literally a plate so I wanted to change that 😛
Took apart the existing build for the EWAC and figured I’d want to not have it angle down and be placed on top of the mech. This required a reconfiguration of the upper cover of the cockpit to accommodate the EWAC’s base structure.
The EWAC’s core build is actually 2 studs higher than the usual back assembly which allowed me to mount the round container lid and then add these side units and vents (the DBG trapezoid flags). I was also able to add these bigger thrusters at the side of the cockpit that reinforced the increased mobility aspect of the unit.
A key concern while building and beefing up the EWAC unit was how much strain the whole build was putting on the ankles. It took quite some time to find the right positioning for the dish and the rest of the EWAC to make the build balanced enough to stand on its own.
The last part of the build was to add the hand weapons. Thankfully, had enough foresight to make the underpart of the arm build a studs on bottom (using technic pins with studs) which made attaching the hand cannon easy. This version uses the new trans round tile with bar but later just used a simpler build via a 1×1 brick with technic hole.
To compliment the hand cannon, I made this simple uzi-type SMG which turned out pretty good. The harder part was making the magazine and placing it just under the handle. Again experimenting with new pieces, I’m using the trans round stud with horizontal bar here but switched it out to a more parts friendly assembly at the end.
Swapped out a few parts for color blocking before finally completing the build (as seen in the final pics :D)
For those interested in LEGO mech building, I put out an eBook over at Amazon Kindle a while back called Mech Wars Instructional Primer. If you’re looking for a resource that could help you start or even improve your mech building skills, you might find this eBook useful