Ever since the LEGO Friends theme appeared in 2012, I’ve had the stupid idea of Frenemies in my head. Picking up the bricks for the first time in months, I decided to finally take a crack at turning Frenemies into reality. Mech suits are not my forte, and I had to spend ages fiddling with these before I was happy. I found my initial attempts didn’t look like “suits” — the models just looked like ill-proportioned people who just happened to have tiny heads. Much of the focus during building was around the neck and collar areas, trying to get across the impression the minidolls were sitting inside these bigger mechanical contraptions.
Mobile hardsuits are very popular with LEGO builders, especially during the month of October, which for many fans around the world, means Ma.Ktober, the month-long building challenge inspired by the Maschinen Kreiger sub-cultural phenomenon. This mech-armored model by Faber Mandragore has plenty of charm; from a distinctly insect-like body, stompy feet, and a gun-hand connected to its back, this hardsuit looks ready to take on an entire squad of enemies. The new lantern part found in many Harry Potter sets gives the face an extra menacing look.
Do you like traditional Japanese folklore? Do you like hard suits? Then, by golly, you can set your squeal-holes to positively delighted with this LEGO trio by Louis of Nutwood. The desert hard suit, aka “The Camel” has a strategically placed saw I would not want to tangle with in an alley, dark, or otherwise. The R.A.M.B.O. jungle suit is just the thing to tear it up in the underbrush while the low-temperature suit, known as “The Snowflake”, has a rocket launcher. You know, for the cold. Which is your favorite?
If you have to go outside your spaceship or your undersea base, you need a hardsuit that can take the pressure, like this one by Omar R Ovalle. It’s built to fit a constraction figure like Rey, who looks like she can rock any salvage mission in style.
But our favorite scavenger is not the only Star Wars character to get their own fancy suit of power armor. Jyn Erso is sporting a pretty neat deep-sea diving suit.
What is better than a well-armed hard suit? How about three of them? Moko has put together a hard-hitting squad of brightly colored power armor mechs, each one sharing certain design elements, while sporting very different weapons and other capabilities.
First off, that heavy assault mech, with what looks like a laser-guided rocket launcher, and a shoulder-mounted machine gun. Next, a sniper model complete with some sort of sensor package, and lastly, if you can’t shoot ’em, you can pummel them with punches with the brawler on the right.
What is the point in climbing into a cramped and odorous mech if you can’t swing a big spiked club like you were swatting flies? No point at all, according to Faber Mandragore. This mech suit for an Orc warboss packs a lot of punch in a compact frame. One of my favorite parts used in this stompy, spiky mech is the metal beard from, well, Metalbeard.
One of the hallmarks of a great LEGO creation is when the subject stands entirely on its own merit, and the use of plastic parts is so completely integrated that it transcends the medium. When I first saw these LEGO Hardsuits by David Collins in my Flickr feed, my first thought was, “Cool action figures!”, followed by “OMG, that’s LEGO.” Not only are these battling hardsuits very nicely detailed with bright colors and custom stickers, but they are also much larger than they first seem.
Armored hardsuits are definitely a LEGO fan favorite subject, and this stocky fellow by Moko immediately caught my eye with some great details. First off, the shoulder guards, which use this unusual hockey helmet, are paired with the Bionicle mask to give the suit a bulky style. The elbow connection is also interesting, inserting clip bars into the underside of a 2×2 round brick. A small detail on either side of the pilot’s compartment is the printed construction tile from LEGO 30529 Mini Master-Building Emmet polybag. The overall effect reminds me of a goliath beetle.
Sometimes a particular LEGO part can define a model in a way that no other part can. This pair of Maschinen Krieger or Ma.K hardsuits by Marco Marozzi uses a very obscure, and very interesting part from the Scala theme, a saddle to form the torso and primary focal point. But that is not the only fun part use. The sniper uses the head of a LEGO Porg on its chest plate.
While the heavy Gatlin gunner is sporting what looks like an Endor rebel helmet.
One fun detail about these squat and sturdy hardsuits is that they were built to fit an equally squat Duplo pilot
We recently featured a breakdown of nineteen new LEGO sets released in advance of the upcoming LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. One of these sets is a 2-in-1 build featuring Emmet’s cute little yellow house, which can be transformed into the rocket version he uses in an attempt to rescue Lucy. Maybe if Emmet were a proper master builder, he could have come up with something cooler, like this great mech/hardsuit in matching construction worker colors by Chungpo Cheng. It even features a bunch of stickers from the custom BrickHeadz set 41597 Go Brick Me.
It looks like Chungpo even left some room inside the mech for an overpriced coffee or Emmet’s green friend, plant-y.
This pair of LEGO hardsuits by Carter Baldwin are ready to go salvage some future junk, and they’re fully outfitted with flexible protection. While they don’t actually encompass a full minifigure, just a head in a bubble, the rest of the brick-built suit has remarkably close proportions to what a mobile armored fig would need. Carter’s also thrown in some great parts uses, from the minifigure backpack mounted on the lower torso to my favorite, the criminally underused tap base for the yellow suit’s gun.
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of the introduction of the LEGO minifigure, and its chunky proportions are beloved the world over. However, as excellent as the minifigure is, it remains stiff and able to strike only a handful of poses. Some builders like √erde’ have turned to sculpting their own characters out of small elements, employing minifigure headgear to give them a lifelike appearance. This pair of warriors, representing brute force on the left, and speed and agility on the right, are magnificent examples. Plus, the photography makes them really seem like they’re on a battlefield.