Borderlands 2 is a first-person action role-playing game and the most popular title from 2K Games, selling over 13 million copies. It’s no wonder that there are hardcore fans like Sam Beattie who can’t resist bringing them to life as LEGO character models.
(Left to Right) Axton, Gaige, Krieg, Claptrap, Maya, Salvador, and Zer0
It’s not often we get to peek inside a builder’s mind to learn their development process, so hopefully some of you will be inspired by the amount of toil and sweat to get to the end product. Every journey begins with a spark, and Sam tells The Brothers Brick that this group of heroes has been in idea form for many years. What triggered him to finally get building was when BrickCon was nearing — just 6 weeks before the event earlier this month, to be exact.
Sam says that character builds aren’t his strength, so it did take a while for him to get the hang of creating realistic characters from LEGO. The order that they were created was Maya, Krieg, Zer0, Salvador, Gaige, Axton, and Claptrap. Maya took about 20 hours in total and Krieg, even longer with a total of 24 hours. With more practice, Zer0 only needed 18 hours, and eventually, Salvador was done and dusted within 12 hours. Gaige and Axton took about 8 hours each and Claptrap was half of that. All in all, Sam tells us that he spent a total of close to 90 hours on the project. Let’s hear directly from Sam on each build and their challenges.
I figured Maya had the fewest details and would be one of the easier ones, which is why I started with her. That ended up not being true because her sleek costume made it harder to hide rough edges. I’m especially proud of the shaping of her hair, as well as her book. She’s about 10.5″ tall.
Krieg is the tallest one at 15″ tall with his axe raised, and 12″ tall without it. He’s the least flexible and most fragile of the bunch. His joints use T-bars and aren’t especially strong, so they’re reinforced with strategically placed tiles. It’s why his arm is able to stay raised, but the tradeoff is that his arm can’t come down. All part of me still learning how to make characters.
Zer0 the Assassin
Zer0’s head was the hardest part, but I’m really proud of working out its shaping and getting the red zero to work. For a while, he was the most unstable, but the two tiles I later attached to his shins gave his ankles a lot of strength and made him more poseable. He’s about 12″ tall.
Salvador the Gunzerker
I’m really happy with how Salvador’s harness turned out and had a lot of fun finding little pieces to represent the various shells and grenades he has strapped to himself. His beard was also a lot of fun to make, but the tradeoff is he can’t move his head at all. He’s the shortest vault hunter at about 7″ tall.
Gaige might be my favorite build of the bunch; she’s got a lot of character, and I was especially pleased with myself when I figured out how to do her skirt with capes. (I used the newer, floppier capes.) I used just about every dark orange piece I had to make her hair. She’s 10″ tall with pigtails and is fairly top-heavy, so she’s the least stable build.
Axton the Commando
With Axton, I had a good idea of techniques that worked for stability and those that didn’t, so he’s easily the most stable. It’s a little thing, but Axton wears his ex-wife’s dog tag and wedding ring around his neck, and I love that I was able to get that right. Not counting his antenna, Axton is about 11.5″ tall.
Claptrap was the result of me finishing Axton the weekend before BrickCon and figuring I had time to put one more character together. Turns out blocky robots are easier to make with Lego than organic shapes. Who knew? My favorite detail is his eye being on a ball joint. Since his arms are also easily poseable, he’s surprisingly expressive. Not counting his antenna, he’s about 6″ tall.
Our thanks to Sam for sharing a behind-the-scenes look at how he created these fantastic LEGO characters.