rongYIREN has been bringing us mecha and hardsuits with an organic feel for nearly as long as we’ve been blogging mecha. Rong’s latest is inspired by the 8-bit video game TwinBee, released on the original NES back in 1986, which those of you in the impoverished West couldn’t play until it was re-released in a DS compilation in 2007. I love the red cockpit on blue and gray legs.
A long time ago, not long after I joined the online community, I upset a number of people by openly declaring that I don’t care much for mecha. While I can appreciate quality when I see it, mecha still aren’t my cup of tea. However, make one that can transform into a cool car, like Andrew Lee‘s Lamborghini Countach, and you’ve definitely caught my attention.
This is Andrew’s first working Transformer and he describes it as total pain in the ass and quite the learning experience. I can sympathise. He is no stranger to building mecha, though, as many of you will know, and his experience shows, because the articulation on his model is truly exceptional.
He talks about this and about LEGO transformers in general in the latest episode of his video podcast, aptly titled Bricks and Beers. Cheers man!
Korean builder Simmon Kim doesn’t say a whole lot about the LEGO models he builds — many of his photos don’t even have titles — but build quality always speaks louder than words anyway, and his mecha are awesome. Simmon’s latest mechanical wonder takes advantage of the new Mixels towball socket connections for a wonderfully compact stomper, replete with excellent application of stickers for little pops of color.
Danny Benedettelli builds robots using Mindstorms, and has been doing it for quite some time. He contributed models for EV3, when that was released, including this playable electric guitar. Today, we’re focusing on his robot Cyclops.
Now, granted, it looks like Cyclops has been around for a while, but it’s new to us, and I’ll hazard a guess it’s new for a lot of you, too.
Let’s introduce you to Cyclops:
And how Cyclops is able to move:
Since you can’t have a robot revolution without improving on previous designs, Danny also brings us Cyclops mk III:
When I first saw this mecha on Flickr, I thought that Izzo had returned after an 8-year hiatus. While that’s sadly not the case, I don’t think I could give a higher compliment to a mecha builder. Instead, this stellar mecha was built by Filipino builder Lu Sim.
Lu writes that the mecha itself was built around the idea for the rail gun, constructed from 16L train tracks. Nevertheless, he does no disservice to the mecha itself, with excellent color blocking and interesting details on the feet and head in particular.
There’s a lot to love about this hardsuit by Christopher Hoffmann, from the spot of yellow on the long arm (a camera?) to the random “50” road sign and excellent color blocking between the white torso and dark gray arms and legs. Christopher says that the AC Research, Inc. suit is “For all of your topographical and biological surveillance needs, from Titan to Ganymede.” Sounds about right.
One of the things I enjoyed most about the models I built for Ma.Ktober a couple years ago was building the discrete bases to showcase each model. Christopher gives the base itself substantial attention and detail, with organic landscaping to contrast with the hard mechanical detail of the suit.
This purple dinosaur probably has more Pokemon influence than the one you’re thinking of, but both have a man inside the suit. This Nidoking-inspired mecha is the brainchild of Stormbringer, and looks ready for an all-out poke-mecha battle.
At The Brothers Brick we aim to present some of the best fan-built LEGO models. We’re not necessarily used to our own models exploding all over the internet or on the occasions when they do, it is usually because we ourselves have posted them here first. In the last few days, this normal order of things was turned upside down. I went on a little trip visiting family for a few days, but before leaving I posted a few pictures of my latest model, Optimus Prime, on flickr. These were picked up by a number of other LEGO blogs (the LEGO Car Blog and Bricknerd among others) and subsequently pretty much went viral. I was going to write something here eventually, but hadn’t gotten around to making the video that I wanted to include and, because of this, I got scooped.
I have finally completed the video and I will use this post to add more info about the build, that I know people have been wondering about, such as why I built a so-called Bayformer rather than a G1 Optimus Prime or whether this model will make its way to LEGO Ideas, so that other fans may eventually buy one. I’ll start with the biggest question, though: is it actually fully transformable or am I a big cheater, who has built two different models to separately represent the robot and the truck mode?
As you can see, the model can indeed go from truck to robot by sliding and rotating various parts. The only exception is that the fuel tanks are separate parts that are pinned to the truck. This is similar to how the toy that I used as the basis for the transformation sequence works. The sequence is complicated and some stuff usually breaks in the process, but having seen videos of people transforming their toy versions, I get the impression that this is normal.
I’m hardly the first person to build a working Transformer in LEGO. We’ve blogged Transformers on many different occasions and, as a child, I myself used to build the original G1 models from the cartoon. The designs from the recent movies by Michael Bay, also known as Bayformers, are rather more complicated than the older models, though, and this is exactly what makes them more interesting to me. I also think that a long-nose Peterbilt looks more attractive than the red and blue cab-over-engine truck used for the G1 Optimus Prime and happen to like building flame patterns. To my surprise, some die-hard Transformers fans hate Bayformers with an almost scary passion and consequently they hate mine. I recommend they go look at Alex Jones’ version from a few years ago or perhaps at some kittens instead.
My Optimus Prime will not be making it onto LEGO Ideas. Even if I could drum up enough support for the project by plastering it all over social media, LEGO wouldn’t touch this with a stick. The Transformers toy line is owned by their competitor Hasbro, who produce rather poor-looking Transformers sets in their own Kre-O range of LEGO compatible construction toys. If you want your own LEGO Optimus Prime, you’ll probably have to build it yourself. This should be easy enough. After all, to quote one commenter on my model, “my nine-year-old can do better”. You have got to love the internet.
There’s no shortage of greebles and details in this Lego model of Crowbar from Transformers by jake_tp. While the model makes use of some custom elements, they blend in well and contributes to the organic biomechanical look of this villain.