While the month-long informal building event known as Ma.Ktober that happens every October may be over, The Maschinen Krieger movement that is the inspiration never really stops. For those not familiar with the phenomenon, it started in the early 1980’s as a sci-fi series in a Japanese hobby magazine, and the creators, using off the shelf model kits for airplanes, tanks, and other vehicles, created surreal combinations of armored hard suits and vehicles with strong alien and insect-like aspects. Two-legged walkers like this creation by Marco Marozzi are a popular subject as well.
The tall spindly legs have a very industrial feel, complete with pistons to drive each footstep deep into the rubble covered ground. Multiple sensors and ominous canisters cover the head and body of this drone as it seeks out its prey, and that belly mounted contraption looks like it could ruin your day.
If I were a minifigure, I would be fast to jump out of the way of this LEGO mech by Markus Rollbühler. Markus drew his inspiration from a plastic model kit by Industria Mechanika. Markus carried over several characteristics from the kit while still remaining distinct and original with his design. For being a static model, I’m particularly impressed by how mechanical the finished build feels. In the mid-section, inverted plates expose the pins underneath in such a way that is reminiscent of rivets. Dark and light gray elements are mixed together to great effect, giving off the impression of working hydraulics. Other fun details include the driver’s outstretched legs and rolled fabrics, which could represent sleeping bags and/or tents. Meanwhile, the olive green color is a welcome bonus.
Every October, LEGO builders assemble their bricks for Ma.Ktober, a build challenge inspired by the 1980’s Japanese plastic models Maschinen Krieger. Chris Perron‘s contribution this year combines an old-style Dewback body with a bubble canopy and some rather ingenious parts usage for greebly bits on its legs, including crutches as struts. The sponson-mounted cannons are also an excellent touch.
Take a look at this unusual LEGO mech by Chris Perron. The colour scheme may be fairly standard for a creation inspired by the Maschinen Krieger universe, but the rest of it is beautifully odd. The frog-like legs have great functional-looking greebles, and the splayed toes of the feet are chunky enough to look like they’d keep this bad boy balanced. The central pincer arm is well put-together, the twisted piping to the rear adds a bio-mechanical touch, and the mech’s “face” manages to be both cute and eerie. Best of all, Chris has built an excellent base — lovely shaping, nice colour choices, and a fabulous depth of detail. This is a cracking LEGO model, wonderfully presented.
Surely even the most die-hard LEGO builder has also dabbled in model kits? Who hasn’t spent time pruning the parts off a sprue and reaching for the glue? Builder Andreas Lenander takes some inspiration from Peter Reid’s Turtle Robot kit and gives us the opportunity to put together a little hardsuit inspired by the Maschinen Krieger universe. This creations is totally appropriate for MaK, as the theme originally came about as a collaboration by “kitbashers” — modellers who would customise plastic kits into near-future creations.
For a sci-fi universe based almost exclusively on rare Japanese plastic models, Maschinen Krieger has a broad fan base within the LEGO building community, supported by an annual building challenge in October. We’ve featured the LEGO mecha created by Andy several times here on The Brothers Brick, many of them integrating Belville figures as supporting characters. In what might be the smallest Ma.K mech we’ve featured — built from only about a dozen pieces and judiciously applied stickers — Andy has created an adorably lethal “Kinder-Kröte” that could well prove to be dangerous to kids and kitties alike.
The Maschinen Krieger “Ma.Ktober” build challenge continues, with this rather terrifying entry by LEGOLIZE IT MAN. A monstrosity of the builder’s own design, the “EGHJORT” is presumably a powered suit like the rest in the Ma.K universe, and LEGOLIZE IT has captured the unique design aesthetic of that universe perfectly, with the domed face shield and canisters sticking out every which way. Even without a single visible weapon, this is not a fellow I would want to meet in any alley, poorly lit or otherwise.
As always, I’m particularly impressed with the builder’s excellent presentation — multiple views, blocks of text, and graphical elements that direct the eye toward the LEGO model itself.
The Maschinen Krieger (Ma.K) themed Ma.Ktoberfest continues with this great entry from Marco Marozzi. The orange and tan give this mecha an industrial flair, but I wouldn’t want to be caught by its left hook.
The backhoe piece as the mech’s head is a particularly ingenious parts usage, complemented by excellent sticker application throughout.
It’s that time of year again, when MaKtoberfest brings a parade of LEGO creations inspired by the distinctive near-future aesthetic of Maschinen Krieger sci-fi. The curved organic style of MaK is difficult to pull off in bricks, but this biped walker by Pico van Grootveld properly hits the mark.
This has all the requisite curves and awkward angles for a good MaK creation, and I love the little touches like the stickered plates at ankle and thigh. But what makes the model for me is the addition of the smiley face — exactly what you’d imagine the walker’s pilot adding in a moment of bleak humour. The presentation is excellent too, depicting this creation as a scale model kit (a format which provides much of the inspiration for MaK builders).
LEGO mashups are always an interesting affair. They can go so wrong so fast, but occasionally you’ll find a mashup build so good it even puts its famous parents to shame. Take for instance this creation by Nooroyd, who blended together two of the most popular themed month building styles — the Maschinen Krieger style from Ma.Ktoberfest and a Vic Viper from Nnovvember — to form the ultimate VV Ma.K. vehicle.
Nooroyd’s theme-blending created a stunning vessel — one with eye-catching techniques, such as the use of multiple minifigure helmets, flex tubes, and even an entire Dewback!
Oddly perhaps, one of the things I enjoyed most about the Maschinen Krieger models I built myself a couple years ago was not the hardsuits and vehicles themselves but the little bases I made to display them. Matthew Oh takes this to a whole new level with the highly detailed ruins with which he surrounds his SAFS “Wolverine” hardsuit.
Many LEGO builders take our inspiration for Ma.K models from the creations of plastic modelers both working with the original kits and scratch-building in the Ma.K universe inspired by nothing more than their imagination. The cross-section profile of Matthew’s LEGO diorama beautifully matches the aesthetic of what plastic modelers do, while retaining enough visible studs to ensure it’s abundantly evident that the model is built from LEGO. Oh, and that roof!
MakTober is long past but Calin (_Tiler) delivers a fresh helping of fantastic photography with this rendition of the familiar Falke in a glossy black paint scheme. With just the right number of details and a tastefully reserved color palette, this build almost seems more appropriate for a showroom floor than a futuristic battlefield.
Genre fans should be sure to check out Calin’s holiday photo as well, featuring some gorgeously constructed SAFS suits.