The prototypical LEGO piece is the 2×4 rectangular brick. It has ninety-degree angles on every side, and using it, together with most other LEGO bricks, one can build things with lots of right angles. Unless you are Thorsten Bonsch, that is, and you are building off the grid, setting your scene at a cool forty-five degree angle. The greebled elements that comprise the science fiction setting, all the pipes and valves and whatnot, are a lovely backdrop to an epic showdown between Tetsuo, a character from Akira, and one of the authorities trying to stop him. I hope Tetsuo can avoid those rockets firing at him!
There is nothing that fancy going on in the sloped section, though I do enjoy the ubiquitous fence piece making an appearance; it is just a masterfully arranged assortment of textured elements and repetitive piping. The cumulative effect of it, however, is brilliant. But the platform is what catches my eye. The yellow and black striping is excellent, and the various subtle offsets of the grey surface are gorgeous. Now, I don’t know much about Akira, but if this creation is anything to go by, it must be awesome!
The 1988 sci-fi Japanese animated film Akira gave life to one of the most iconic bikes that remains entrenched in pop-culture 30 years later. Making an appearance again in the recent movie Ready Player One by Steven Spielberg only further reinforces that legacy. We have Jerry Builds Bricks to thank for sharing a quick build of this amazing bike. There’s no better way to honour this favourite by building your very own miniature version of it.
Click to see the video for the build
We’ve seen many LEGO versions of Kaneda’s red motorcycle from Akira, but they’re often larger-scale models like the beauty we saw last year. At the other end of the size spectrum, Grant Masters‘ latest creation is a tiny microscale version of the iconic bike. Grant has used the perfect combination of red pieces for this little masterpiece, although purists may quibble that most of them seem to be balanced atop each other rather than attached. Nice work on the figure too. Overall this passes the “microscale test” — ie. is it immediately recognisable? There’s no doubting that. All together now… “Kaaaannnedaaaa!”
The Arvo Brothers published a book on their masterpiece recreation of Kaneda’s Bike from Akira. This is a unique Lego book dedicated entirely to describing one creation while including a full set of instructions. The book is available for €19.99 + shipping and is sold directly from the Arvo Brothers, whom you can reach by email at arvobrothers[at]hotmail.com. Below is my review of the book.
- Meticulous details documenting building techniques, parts selection, and references to the original model
- Includes commentary on steps in the instruction manual for an in-depth building experience
- Includes a parts list and sticker sheet
- Almost impossible to recreate the model due to lack of availability of the x-pod lids used on the wheels.
This is a well-written book centered on one of the Arvo Brothers’ most iconic and beloved Lego creations. It is obvious that a lot of work went into designing the model and producing the book. It is a good read for fans interested in the minutia of the design process of a top-tier fan model. For those wanting to recreate the model, there is a full set of clear-cut instructions with supporting commentary for an in-depth experience on the build process. However, you will be disappointed to find out that a key element of the model is out of production and nearly impossible to obtain on the aftermarket even if you have money. Because of this detail alone, I hesitate to recommend the book because the majority of its content is dedicated to the instruction set. However, if you are still curious about the design process, this is a publication that will not let down your expectations.
The Arvo Brothers revamped an early version of Kaneda’s bike from the movie Akira. They plan to release a book later this month that describes the build process as well include instructions for the model. You can learn more about the book on their Flickr page.