Back in 2019 I commissioned the very first model ever made for Revelations, the Sierra. It remains an iconic machine in our lineup despite adding so many other great ones like the Juggernaut, Aries, Hunter, and many more. But…she was showing her age.
As much as I still remain proud of the Sierra and what she represented to me, the model just had a list of faults. Some of these were not very easily seen, but when it came time for posing there was just a resistance due to excessive clipping, overall design flaws, issues with the model itself (stuff that you can’t see when printed), shallow lines so washes didn’t work properly when painting, and more. Some of this got past me during the modeling phase simply because I didn’t know the right questions to ask, things to look for, and the proper way to test everything.
Back in the middle of April, Kirsala (essentially the team medic when it comes to our models) and I began an endeavor to see what could be done to make some minor modifications. It quickly became apparent though that any small changes we made may help in the short-term, but would overall not drastically improve the model. So, we made the decision to dive in and do an entire overhaul of the Sierra and replace this…
Original Sierra model
Sierra Mk II
At first you may be thinking, “Rick, this looks the same.” Well, just stare at the two for a moment. Quickly you should begin to spot the differences such as the foot being entirely rebuilt, actual elbows, new antenna, MG having a drum magazine, totally new hand, improved knees, “face” panels adjusted to give deeper panel lines, cutouts around the optics, and a lot more. You may not see all of these changes in the image above, but other angles below of the alternate loadouts will provide more angles.
Our approach with this project…
What remained absolutely critical for this project was that, unlike with the Hunter and Aries which when updated dramatically deviated from the original look in order to bring them to better match their faction’s aesthetic, the Sierra HAD to maintain the overall silhouette of the original. The Sierra is too special and iconic to lose its triangular look combined with its predator-like physique. We spent weeks making changes and alterations in meetings where I would sit and make suggestions while Kirsala did his thing.
Out of all the models I have overseen, there was only one other project that required this sort of time intense oversight and that was the Juggernaut. And in that instance too I knew that the Juggernaut needed to be just right. And we were making quite a shift from our traditional approach with joints and articulation. The Sierra is one of our flagship models. It is visually distinct and needed to be properly respected as we updated its appearance.
Biggest change from the mark 1 version
Without a doubt the most significant update the Sierra has received centers around all of the modifications and considerations we made for parts that allow us to pose the Sierra how it needs to. The ankle has a cutout in the back of the leg which gives a crazy range of motion, the ball socket for the legs can move at two points, the shoulder socket is actually two pieces that can rotate, extend, and move independently as needed, the bicep can swivel, jump thrusters can move, and so much more.
I never discussed my frustrations with the mark 1 because frankly…what would it help? All it would have done was belittle what we did have. That being said, I made the most of it that I could. From creating new poses and different loadouts I tried to maximize what the mark 1 could offer. But, the limitations were always an obstacle. This new version is phenomenal and I am beyond thrilled that it is here!
We also took the time to update all of the weapons to have ejection ports (as needed), details to enhance their appearance, and even designed a legit scattergun instead of the monstrosity I came up with lol.
What happens to my old Sierra?
Just as when we updated the Briggin, Aries, and Hunter (which will also be releasing in July) you can still play with the old models. They are still game “legal” but all of our imagery and such will morph to include the new and improved version.
I had considered keeping the older model available while also saying that this Sierra is the next generation and giving it its own stat profile. But, I figured that new players will not see the mark 1 Sierra for what it is and will judge it with more critique as the gap between the mark 1 and mark 2 will be so apparent. As much as I will always have a special place in my heart for the original Sierra, it is time to retire her and make room for an update that will hopefully continue to demonstrate that we are a studio looking to improve our products and enhance the player’s experience.
We also prioritized getting all of the previous loadouts updated, tested, and to have them ready for a wide release instead of doing a few here and there. That way the moment the Sierra goes live in July you will be able to jump right in to having the E2, H3V, 2B, Renatus, Hero, and all the rest!
The standard of standards
The Sierra both lore wise and in the real-world was the beginning and the standard that all other WarMechs are measured by. With all of these changes, it once again is the standard but now in whole new ways. Taking what we have learned from years of development (and Kirsala’s incredible ability to repair, modify, and overcome creative obstacles) we have developed something truly, truly incredible.
We have implemented new ways to articulate this model that will later influence all of our future projects. We have made leaps and bounds as a studio from what began with the original Sierra, and the next generation of models will all be better for it.
I am beyond excited for this updated kit to become available in July, and can’t wait to see the reactions from all of you.