Angus Maclane, famous for couches and Cube-Dudes, went and super-deformed Optimus Prime. I think he’s adorable. If they had only done the Transformers movies this way, it would have been so much better.
Lugnuts, the online club for LEGO car enthusiasts, is currently running its 83rd build challenge, called Only in America. It’s all about cars from the USA. I decided I was going to build a typical American muscle car as my entry: a Chevrolet Camaro.
Some of you may think that there is nothing particularly special about it. It looks pretty much like all of the other cars I build: it has studs on top, brick-built windows that are pretty much opaque and, while some bits of it are built sideways, the construction does not look particularly complicated. I suppose that superficially it’s a bit old-school really.
If you are a fan of Transformers you may have realised that it is in fact the Transformer Bumblebee, from one of the Michael Bay live-action films, in car mode. It serves as the latest addition to my ever-growing collection of vehicles from films and TV series. However, you may not realise that there is more to it than meets the eye.
It’s time for another 1980’s flashback courtesy of Alex Jones (Orion Pax Designs) who returns to the Brothership with the transforming big-rig Optimus Prime. One of the many reasons I admire Alex’s work is because he’s a grinder, willing to rebuild again and again and again to get things just right. While I’ve heard some of the great builders brag how they “threw it together in 2 hours”, it’s nice to hear Alex admit that he’s been working through an idea or a project for months or even years.
“Building transformable versions of the G1 Transformers out of LEGO bricks is one of my strongest passions, and I’m working on this series since the year 2000 – unnumbered versions of Optimus Prime, Soundwave, Blaster, Starscream, etc went over my desk during those years – improving them over and over again until i got their design as close to the original as possible.”
If you’re a stone-cold purist, you may object to the KRE-O headpiece, but I bet you’ll look anyway. Alex also has a short video with some crazy zooming and a neat sequence showing the transformation from truck to robot.
Sometimes a model doesn’t need to be hugely complicated or full of wonderfully clever new connections of parts to be great, although there is definitely some clever stuff going on here if you look closely.
If, like me, you grew up watching cartoons in the eighties, the Autobot logo built by Jason Alleman (True Dimensions) really needs no further explanation. If you want to build your own (and you know you want to), you can even download instructions from Jason’s own website.
Judging by his blog, Alanyuppie is a both a LEGO and a Transformers fan…which pretty much makes him a guy after my own heart. His latest creations are pretty spot on representations of two of my favourite G1 characters, Ironhide and Ratchet. The G1 toys of these guys were, how to put it…odd to say the least. So the fact that Alan made these models transform to be just like the characters from the cartoon makes them just that much more awesome. These are very well engineered and designed to look just like the original characters…Michael Bay should take notes!
And not a General Motors product in sight…
Anyone interested in mecha and unfamiliar with Zi zy‘s work should remedy that now by going carefully through his photostream. He is one of the original, and still best, masters of the small mecha. His latest offerings are no exception, ranging from ‘standard’ mecha like below, through to transformers in the same scale. Hot stuff.
It’s very rare that we’ll blog two separate creations by a builder in one day, but both these models by the talented Alex Schranz (Orion Pax) deserve closer attention. Alex’s Optimus Prime transforms completely from semi truck to robot:
The trailer includes a remote-controlled Roller, and Optimus Prime’s chest contains the Autobot Matrix of Leadership. Two months in the making, I don’t think I’ve seen a more accurate or complete LEGO Optimus Prime.
Seach for “Optimus Prime” on just about any LEGO site and you’ll get about 1.6 million hits. Of course, most don’t actually transform, and if they do, it’s much easier to build a transforming Optimus Prime at a fairly large scale. astronut1 has created a transforming Optimus Prime in the 4-wide scale of classic Town sets:
I won’t spoil the surprise, so be sure to check out all of astronut1’s Optimus Prime photos.