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Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future

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Welcome to the future. It may come used or perhaps come standard with shiny towers and crystals, but, when it comes to warfare, there's one very good indication that your Space Marines aren't just Super Soldiers with assault rifles: they will instead wield something not unlike a large metallic brick.

Put simply, Our Weapons Will Be Boxy in the Future is the tendency for more "advanced" weapons in near-future and Sci-Fi to be Handwaved as "more advanced" or made of exotic, lightweight materials and yet be large, clumsy, rectangular, boxy things much larger than modern-day arms. This is probably based on the fact that many modern weapons use molded plastics with rounded rectangular shapes and smooth curves. At the most exaggerated extent in fiction, guns resemble rectangular prisms and melee weapons tend towards square profiles and right angles.

The most recognizable of modern compact weapons (FN P90, H&K G11, Glock in general) were given final form during The '80s, when boxy, plasticky shapes and textures were the norm in industrial design, so they may look a bit Zeerusty by the present day.

Often used in videogames, since boxy shapes have a lower polygon count and are thus particularly easy to render.

Often used in kid-friendly shows to avoid having realistic firearms on screen.

On the Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty, this trope tends towards the latter, as this trope's association with The '80s brings to mind many famous works of dystopian cyberpunk fiction. However, there are exceptions. "Enlightened" civilizations may still keep their boxy arms around as a symbol of older times or as a realist answer of how they keep the peace. If the Enlightened civilization has an active military, expect these Space Elves to use vaguely iPod-shaped weapons.

Depending on how effective these weapons are in their respective setting, they may also be Cool Guns.

Production design note: a lot of the futuristic weapon props that are actually fired on-screen are by necessity real world guns put in plastic shells. This might go a long way to explain the origins of the trope.

See also Cassette Futurism, Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better and High-Tech Hexagons. When you apply this trope to spacecraft, the result is the ISO Standard Human Spaceship.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • While most (non-mecha) guns in Macross Frontier look more or less similar to modern weapons, the heavy rifles carried by EX-Gear troops definitely play this trope straight.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 plays with this trope, occasionally playing it straight, with the likes of the Seravee's GN Bazookas, and even the mecha itself (being that mecha are weaponry, and all), but also completely averts this with the likes of the Ahead and Alvaaron, and falls somewhere in-between with the 00 Raiser, which has a mixture of square weaponry (GN Sword III's gun part) and sleek, pointy things.
  • Averted by the Seburo Arms line of fictional guns used in the shared universe (including Ghost in the Shell) made by Shirow Masamune. Most of the guns actually look quite curvy, and some plain looks like a fictional version of FN P90. The Seburo C-25a is rather on the boxy side though.
  • The Irregular at Magic High School feature assault rifles shaped like large boxes. These weapons are used by the Great Asian Alliance soldiers during their (unsuccessful) invasion of Yokohama.

    Comic Books 
  • The Mk 2 Lawgiver in Judge Dredd is a famous early example of a handgun with a large, rectangular front. By contrast, the original Lawgiver looks like a typically Zeerusty 1970s sci-fi pistol. Other boxy weapons include the Widowmaker shotgun.
  • Rob Liefeld is noted for drawing his characters hefting enormous guns with vaguely futuristic rectangular, box-shaped barrels.

  • Aliens and Avatar, both directed by James Cameron, have some seriously boxy guns.
  • Starship Troopers.The Verhoeven movie gives us these wonderful gems.
    • The third movie, Marauder, exaggerated the hell out of this. The guns handed out to the survivors of the shuttle crash are wider than the actors' arms, and from top to bottom are wider than their heads.
  • District 9 has a good example.
  • In Oblivion Jack Harper uses a rifle with a shiny white plastic casing, the double turrets on the drones have similar casings. Scav weapons are more stripped down and minimalistic.
  • In Iron Man 3 the "Iron Patriot" weapons platform exchanged a recognizable mini-gun for a big boxy stuff shooter in a 20 Minutes in the Future setting.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) has most of Rocket's equipment be boxy. Justified as he often builds things himself from spare parts.
  • The ZF1 from The Fifth Element isn't exactly rectangular, but it definitely fits the "large and clumsy" mold. Somewhat justified because it's basically the Swiss-army knife of weapons (it even incorporates a net launcher!). Also note that it can be collapsed into a slightly more compact form when not in use.
  • In Blade Runner, Deckard's gun is a mild example, but is still very bulky when compared to the .44 revolver the gun was built around.
  • Baze Malbus's heavy repeater cannon in Rogue One is a boxy piece of kit.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Several of the phaser designs that The Federation uses on Star Trek (especially from TNG onward) fit this mold, most noticeably the phaser rifle.
    • The very boxy weapons affixed to the forearms of the drugged soldiers in Q's post-atomic horror courtroom recreation in the first Next Gen episode, "Encounter at Farpoint." One wonders how they managed the recoil with machine guns strapped to their wrists.
  • A modern-day example in Special Unit 2. The weapons used by the titular agency's operatives are big blocky pistols with interchangeable ammunition (from regular bullets to shots capable of blowing up a building). In the pilot, Kate tries to arrest Nick and takes his weapon. Nick warns her of the weapon's "infrared hairline trigger" and, predictably, it goes off a split-second later, blowing up a car.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Because of the limitations on humanity's technological capabilities, durability and ease of manufacture and repair are prioritized over aesthetics, and so a lot of Imperial weapons and vehicles are boxy and bulky.
      • The lasgun used by the standard human soldiers of the Imperial Guard ranges, depending on depiction, from fairly bulky to hugely cumbersome. While the chunkiness fits the proportions of the miniatures, they don't get slimmed down for realistically-proportioned people in other artwork leading to people wielding bricks with magazines as pistols. The shotgun is even more rectangular. Ogryn Ripper Guns need to be big and metallic, as they are designed to withstand their users wielding them as clubs.
      • The Bolters used by the Space Marines are boxy huge weapons firing rocket-assisted armor-piercing explosive rounds.
      • Extends to Imperial tanks (which are essentially the tanks of WWI with different turrets), too, with the most iconic being the Rhino APC, which fans of the franchise have dubbed "Metal Bawkses" in honor of Chaos Lord Carron and which all Space Marine tanks are variants of with the exception of the Land Raider.
    • The T'au's pulse weaponry. About as boxy as it gets. Definitely overlaps with Cool Guns, though. Word of God is that The Aesthetics of Technology for the Tau were decided during their concept phase to go with smooth rectangular shapes with only minimal surface detail to make their weapons look like they had been carefully engineered to keep all the components inside, and they were made to be long and narrow to emphasize that they were accurate and hard-hitting.
    • Averted with the Eldar. Most, if not all, of their weapons have sleek, organic appearances in comparison to the other races, mainly because they aren't manufactured in factories but essentially handcrafted by artisans, who use psychic powers to make them at numbers without compromising high quality.
    • Ork weapons and vehicles tend to be boxy, since most of them are scavenged from Imperial weapons, and are ramshackled to whatever they can find and piece together. Since the Orks mostly just cut the forms they need from flat metal plates that they either rip off something else or crudely roll themselves, boxy shaped weapons tend to be easier to manufacture. Ork weapons are also helped by the fact that they are a Living Weapon species with inbuilt genetic knowledge and a psychic field making their equipment work better than it should. Ork guns functioning normally in non-Ork hands is a bad sign and means the local Orks have enough numbers to produce higher tiers of equipment and are gearing up for a WAAAGH.
    • Gets averted in the tabletop RPGs, however. As Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader were designed around semi-civilian characters first, the "mass produced by the billions daily" Imperial Guard and painstakingly artisan crafted Astartes weapons were higher-tier equipment (the lasgun's "flashlight" reputation comes from it being the weakest standard weapon on the tabletop, it's actually capable of taking out an arm and some calculations place a full power blast at capable of piercing a modern MBT, in a platform sing little more than a solar-charging magazine sized battery, the problem is that it is Overshadowedby Awesome due to the enemies being just that unkillable) while starting guns were somewhat more familiar looking and using simple ammunition, most of which exist in lore but are rarely if ever depicted in artwork or miniatures previously.
  • Several weapons in Rifts, where the boxy barrel coverings are stated to contain heavy-duty cooling systems for laser and plasma weapons. Rifts tends to cover the whole spectrum; some examples, like most Wilks guns, look more like Nintendo Zappers and are quite sleek. Coalition weaponry, for the most part, also tends to resemble modern firearms.
  • Some of the advanced weapons in Shadowrun, especially the various Ares laser weapons. This can also depend on the artist, since the drawings of the guns are inconsistent from edition to edition and even different sourcebooks in the same edition.
  • Traveller features a blend of modern and futuristic-looking (the latter occasionally boxy) slug-throwers. And many laser weapons are even bulkier than 40K weapons, of course, weight is one of the balance factors for energy weapons in the game (laser rifles weigh twice as much as modern assault rifles).
  • In BattleTech, a fair number of weapons a 'Mech uses are boxy, and many 'Mechs themselves are also box shaped. Probably taken to its extreme in the Yeoman, a 'Mech resembling three boxes on legs. There are some aversions, such as the pleasantly human-shaped Firestarter and the vaguely velociraptor-like Black Python. Handheld weaponry is even more boxy. Downplayed as the series goes on due to Art Evolution and recovered Lost Technology; early artwork was largely white-and-black lineart, resulting in many battlemechs looking like a person wearing cardboard boxes for armor, while newer artwork incorporates more varied shapes. They're still Walking Tanks, but no longer walking squares.
  • Boxy and square is the design motif of small arms in the oppressive totalitarian future that is Feng Shui's 2056 A.D.. They're also more concealable than modern weapons. Go figure.
  • Mobile Frame Zero: A lot of the human guns in the corebook are chunky pieces of are a lot of the human mechs, especially the Solar Union's workhorse Chub. Of course, those devices are usually either directly Built with LEGO, or are artist's impressions of what the LEGO represents, but either way, they're very rectangular devices. Averted with the Ijad, however, whose Spider Tanks use a lot of curved components.
  • Cybergeneration can avert this, depending on the weapon requested from the microfactory, which can make them in a variety of science-fiction, fantasy, ornate or historical-looking styles. Played straight with the machine-pistol, however, which is usually 'facked (slang for manufactured) as a box with a handle.

    Video Games 
  • StarCraft:
    • The Gauss Rifle used by the marines is somewhat of a BFG, but especially in its updated incarnation, is almost a perfect rectangle. It makes sense since Terran Powered Armor is equally huge and isn't good at delicate hand movements. Oddly, however, the gauss rifle can be effectively wielded without wearing Powered Armor. Somewhat averted, however, with Ghost Canister rifles, which are much smaller and resemble much more large-bore modern assault rifles. In the official artwork, however, the gauss rifle looks rather a lot like a SPAS-12 shotgun.
    • The Thor is a walking cluster of boxes (that folds up into a box when airlifted). The Siege Tank and the Battlecruiser are also boxier in the second installment, which is a bit baffling as the faction can produce streamlined designs like the Hellion, the Banshee, and the Diamondback.
  • Battlefield 2142: Despite being made of "advanced polymers", some of the weapons are outrageously boxy and larger than their modern-day counterparts. Example: [1]. Interestingly, the unlocked weapons which are often more popular tend to more closely resemble real guns.
  • Doom's BFG9000 is bulky, boxy, and very BIG with many smaller boxy parts on it. There's also the Plasma Rifle, basically a boxy assault rifle-like weapon with an accordion barrel, and the newly-introduced Heavy Assault Rifle which is stereotypically boxy. Averted with all of the other weapons, and later redesigns of weapons, while still angular, are less boxy.
  • Perfect Dark. Some of the game's "modern" weapons fall under this trope. Extra credit to the Laptop Gun, which looks exactly like you'd expect it to.
  • Dystopia inverts this by making the least advanced weapon, the Assault Rifle, look like a long box with a handle. However, it's played straight with the Bolt Gun.
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla does a good boxy gun. It does several good boxy guns. Boxiest would be the assault rifle, which looks like it hasn't been unpacked from the box it came in (although it resembles a cross between real life weapons H&K G11 and Norinco QBZ-95). [2]
  • Most of the weapons in Mass Effect 2 follow this trope, particularly the krogan Claymore shotgun, which resembles a cinder block with a trigger. Justified in that many of the weapons collapse when not in use, making them more modular.
  • Iji: your held weapon and the weapons held by the enemies are all some form of black box. The ten different weapons you can pick up on the ground (which get "downloaded" into your black boxy gun) zig-zag and downplay the trope, especially the slender and filigree Cyclic Fusion Ignition System.
  • Fallout:
    • The plasma rifle in Fallout and Fallout 2 is basically just one gigantic box with a futuristic barrel slapped on the end. Several of the higher-tier guns in 2 are boxy, including the 10mm handgun and SMG, the 14mm pistol, and numerous guns that were experimental in real life, like the CAWS shotgun and G11 assault rifle.
    • Fallout 3 has a very clear aesthetic dichotomy between laser and plasma weapons. The laser pistol and rifles are basically rectangular boxes with a handle and trigger attached to the bottom. They don't even come with sights, by default. Compare a conventional minigun to the futuristic "Gatling Laser," and judge for yourself which is the boxiest. Plasma weapons are just the opposite, being cylindrical "needles" with wires and glowing diodes jutting out everywhere. The ballistic weapons tend to be more mundane mid-20th century designs for small arms and Diesel Punk for heavy weapons, though the 10mm handgun and SMG from the previous games return, the former being much boxier this time.
    • Fallout: New Vegas reuses most of the weapons from 3, but breaks the pattern with energy weapons by reintroducing more conservative plasma weapons from older games and introducing the more Raygun Gothic "recharger" laser weapons. The new ballistic weapons tend to be similar to those in 3, plus some even older ones to emphasize the New Old West setting, but there's also 12.7mm Pistol (based on the 14mm pistol from the first two games) and 12.7mm submachine gun (loosely based on the Vector .45 and P90).
    • Fallout 4 takes the energy weapon design concepts from 3 and adds the Institute lasers, which are even larger and more rectangular than the standard lasers, emphasized by their smooth, white plastic shells. Again, the ballistic weapons averts this, with a clear Diesel Punk look.
  • Baroque has very boxy weapons, including a gun where the only round part would be the space between the shaft and the rest.
  • Due to an error in the update for Tower Madness (version 1.4), the graphic rendering for level 2 flamethrower turned into a giant box of doom.
  • SiN gives us the Magnum, Blade's default weapon in both games. The front is so heavy and square that Blade even uses it as a melee weapon in SiN Episodes: Emergence.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution feature the boxy Sanction Flechette assault rifle, Widowmaker combat shotgun and Eraser sniper rifle. While the only boxy part of the standard Diamondback revolver is its cylinder, the Laser Sight and explosive round upgrades make the top and bottom of the barrel somewhat more boxy.
    • Human Revolution's Widowmaker, Eraser, and Diamondback revolver make a cameo in Team Fortress 2 (the sniper rifle renamed the "Machina"). Since Team Fortress 2 (late 60s-70s) takes place 60 years before Human Revolution (2027), these weapons are easily the most futuristic in the former game, and are also unquestionably the most boxy when compared to the starting weapons.
    • Not to mention that even the sword in your arm is rectangular for some unexplained reason. Seems not only guns get boxy in the future.
    • The pistol from the original Deus Ex falls under this. The rest of the weapons avert this.
  • Speaking of which, the most chronologically modern weapon available to the Soldier in Team Fortress 2 is actually the Black Box which, true to its name, is a huge black cuboid with grips; it's based on the M202 FLASH napalm rocket launcher, which was produced in 1978. His 'futuristic' Cow Mangler energy cannon is pleasantly curved and not the least bit gritty.
  • Played straight and inverted and double subverted in Halo games. Human weapons and ships, which are primarily kinetic, are boxy and grayish. Covenant ships and plasma weapons are curved, colorful, and ornate. Forerunner laser and Hard Light weapons are once again boxy (though in a more angular way), but also ornate with glowy bits.
  • Borderlands 2 has:
    • Tediore manufactured weapons, whose design is overall boxy. Justified, since they are designed to be extremely cheap, disposable guns, making embellishments counterproductive.
    • Hyperion manufactured weapons, which favors polygonal design to emphasis its futuristic design.
    • Downplayed with Dahl manufactured weapons, with Dahl being inspired by real-life contemporary NATO firearms.
    • Can be subverted as guns are made up random parts from different manufacturers whose aesthetics vary wildly, so a boxy Tediore gun can be made up of curvy Maliwan parts.
  • The New Conglomerate in both PlanetSide games do not believe in curves. The only curves found on any of their equipment are on their helmets, and on the banana magazines on some of their weapons. Their Vanguard tank, in particular, looks like it was designed using only a straight edge. The Terran Republic, on the other hand, uses swooping lines on all their equipment (despite their weaponry being less advanced than the NC's gauss technology), and the Vanu Sovereignty aesthetic is best described as insectoid, with complicated overlapping armor segments.
  • It's probably no surprise that Titanfall has its share of boxy weapons in a futuristic setting. Anti-personnel guns-in game are only slightly boxier than real life, though the Hemlok BF-R rifle seems to be a deliberate homage to '80s sci-fi such as Aliens, Titans themselves are fairly boxy, and many of the Anti-Titan type weapons (especially the Charge Rifle) are extremely polygonal.
  • Command & Conquer: Renegade has several boxy weapons, and not just because of its somewhat primitive 3D modeling system. The visual lines of most of its weapons are extremely linear and squared-off. Basic guns such as the silenced pistol and the assault rifle are fairly square, but even the C4 is a big brick of explosives. The winner for sheer size and boxiness, however, is probably the infantry-portable ion cannon, which is comprised of half a dozen chunky boxes, a muzzle bore the size of commercial plumbing, and little else.
  • X-COM
    • Laser weapons in XCOM: Enemy Unknown are very boxy and bulky, presumably for being a wartime design made as simple, easy and quick to produce as possible. The plasma weapons carried by the aliens are a little more aesthetic, but they usually wouldn't be able to be carried by human soldiers without some major re-engineering. In the Enemy Within DLC, EXALT's laser weapons look more like modern-day weapons retrofitted with laser-firing internals, but have the exact same stats as the XCOM versions; justified when you storm EXALT's HQ when Bradford remarks the organization prefers form over function.
    • The majority of the magnetic weapons in XCOM 2 have a boxy design, both on the hands of XCOM and ADVENT. Averted with the plasma beam weapons carried both by alien ADVENT units and XCOM's own adaptation — both are very sleek and curvy to the point where you can't tell where one part of the frame begins and the other ends.
  • The futuristic installments of Call of Duty largely averts this trope, with special cases of note:
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth has three Affinities, paths of technological development your colony can follow. Military units for Harmony factions have organic shapes with rounded corners and curves. Supremacy units are angular, and their curves are more mathematical than organic. The Purity affinity units, however, have a Diesel Punk aesthetic that dives headlong into boxiness and are shaped entirely out of straight lines and right or 45-degree angles.
  • Duke Nukem has TONS of these which include the rocket launcher, Devastator, Ripper, and Freeze Ray.
  • Ratchet & Clank (made by Insomniac) is famous for this especially with the RYNO, very few weapons in the series happen to be small.
  • Resistance (also made by Insomniac) has a ton of these as well such as the XR-005 Hailstorm.
  • Timesplitters is filled with these in the future portions of the game, such as the plasma autorifle.
  • Unreal Tournament is very guilty of this, particularly with its boxy and angular Automag/Enforcer and its many incarnations of the multi-barreled rocket launcher.
  • Quake pretty much all the weapons are this way such as the rocket launcher and rail gun.
  • While a lot of the weapons in Overwatch are sleek and futuristic, a few are distinctly boxy. Soldier: 76's Heavy Pulse Rifle in particular is little more than a long rectangle with a few moving pieces on either side.
  • In E.Y.E: Divine Cybermancy, the vast majority of weapons are boxy, with the exception of the totally-not-a-FN F2000 Tyroll S6000 and Spiculum Ovum grenade launcher. The HS 010 sub machine gun takes this to its logical conclusion, with a box receiver, box pistol grip, and box magazine. The only curves are on the grips, and the barrel itself, though it's somewhat subverted as it's heavily based on Mac-10 (see real life example below).
  • Shogo: Mobile Armor Division: Since half the game takes place in Animesque Humongous Mecha, their guns are just as boxy and bulky (even moreso with a cheat that makes the guns bigger).
  • In Warframe, Corpus guns tend to be large and rectangular with a focus on electrical damage, in contrast to the curved and lumpy-looking Grineer weapons and the smooth and ornate Tenno weapons.


    Real Life 
  • The Kriss .45 is an experimental submachine gun that uses an innovative recoil system and unusual stock to make it a wonderfully accurate and controllable weapon that is mostly rectangular.
  • And its pistol brother the Kard which looks like it was pulled from the pages of Judge Dredd.
  • The MAC-10 machine pistol (which is far from futuristic, since they were used by the SOG in Vietnam).
  • The HK G11. is essentially a rectangular box with a trigger, handle, and scope. It also uses caseless ammunition, making it seems futuristic and cutting-edge looking. Except not, because this weapon is produced in The '60s and discontinued in The '90s due to the Awesome, but Impractical nature of using specialized caseless ammunition in contrast to the usual standard issue assault rifle magazine. Thus any media produced at the time became Unintentional Period Piece in predicting the future.
  • The P90, entering mass production in 1990 and widely used, both in real life and fiction, to this day, is, apart from not using caseless ammunition, basically a Spiritual Successor to the G11 as a sub-machine gun form, which is a rectangle with holes and curves in the bottom to form the grip and the sight.
  • Then there's the Ares FMG, a boxy submachinegun that folds into an innocent-looking metal box, and its Russian counterpart the PP-90.
  • Cascade gun prototype developed by Metal Storm Limited is actually a box on a tripod.
  • The UTS-15 tactical shotgun
  • The Tiger I tank is pretty much a box with treads and a turret.
    • It goes further. Many early and pre-World War II tanks were steel boxes. Germany simply retained the "steel box" design longer than everyone else, giving them the occasional joking name of "Fascist Boxes". First German tank, A7V, pushes this trope to the limit.
  • Steyr AUG averts this with a sleek, rounded shape. It is especially worth mentioning that contrary to this trope, it is often used on film when going for a futuristic-looking weapon. Falling out of vogue for some as it's nearly 40 years old and anyone who's watched an action movie knows it's been around a while.
  • The SABRE 5.56mm upper for the MAC-10 (already literally a box with a smaller box on the bottom) makes it legitimately look like a gritty sci-fi box rifle.
  • Defense Distributed's "Liberator" is a 3D-printed take on "zip guns" which were already boxy enough (picture linked is a similar model from Sweden made far earlier) for 1985.
  • The U.S. Army's shelved Objective Individual Combat Weapon (OICW) project produced a gun that looks bulky and boxy enough for any future Space Marine.
  • In the same vein as the OICW the French created the PAPOP.
  • Several pistols, such as the Glock or the H&K USP are boxy, if compact.
  • The M202 FLASH launcher., which is a rectangle with holes and trigger. Subverted in the same manner as G11 above, where it was last used around 1978 in real life, though occasionally it appears in fiction.
  • A rare revolver version: The Dan Wesson PPC, especially with the aftermarket Aristocrat Gun Sight addition.
  • Many modern missile launchers consist of a number of launch tubes arranged into a rectangular box. It is probably no coincidence that this can give many launchers similar dimensions to shipping containers, given that most larger land-mobile missile launcher systems are built into big trucks. The box arrangement is also a much easier method of adding to or upgrading the armament of warships versus installing an internal launching system, and was famously added in The '80s to the Iowa class battleships that the US Navy first built in World War II.
  • The Maxim 9, a prototype pistol with an internal silencer, is very boxy.
  • Few guns are quite as polygonal as the ZiP .22 pistol, which is a bizarre and extremely counter-intuitive 'value' handgun. A very large percentage of its frame (and mechanisms!) are polymer, thus explaining its many angles and edges; it was die-cast.
  • The Walther WA 2000, a rare bullpup marksman rifle with a rectangular profile mixed with wood furnishing, a black polymer version also exists but finding an example of that is like asking for a falling star and a blue moon at the same time.
  • The current evolution of main battle tanks. During the World War II and the early Cold War, most tanks relied on sloped armor to bounce shots, hence the curved and heavily-sloped designs for turret and hull shapes. However, sloped armor was abandoned following the introduction of composite armor, which offers better protection and was less effective when applied to hard angles. Almost all modern MBT's follow this design principle. It is most noticeable with the smooth curves and angled facets of the Chieftain and Leopard I that have given way - abruptly - to the squared-off boxiness of the Challenger 1 and Leopard 2. Tanks that still retain their curves, like the T-72, have hidden them under flat panels of ERA bricks to increase their protection.