A recent touch of insomnia prompted this latest LEGO model. I found myself lying awake, staring at the ceiling, caught up in concern as to how sentient robots would cope on long interstellar journeys when their human companions are all tucked up in cryosleep. Maybe they shut down for a decade or so, but maybe they just wander the silent corridors of the ship, lonely and cold? This melancholy scenario wouldn’t leave me alone, and so I built it to try and get it out of my head. The robot’s stooped posture was key to the feeling I was trying to create. I wanted him to look old and tired, and perhaps a little apprehensive, as he shuffled through the empty halls of his vessel. I’d originally planned to shoot the photo and then filter it to a black and white image. However, built in shades of grey, it turned out exactly how I wanted without much processing. I hope it captures the slight air of gloom, which prompted the build.
We love us a LEGO mechanoid. We love them even more when their stance is as packed full of attitude as this latest creation by Russian builder Red. The limbs are light by the often chunky standards of typical LEGO mechs and hardsuits, but the sparse frame coupled with the sneaker-style feet suggest this baby could run rings round a heftier adversary if things turned violent. The use of Fabuland car roofs as shoulder pads is a nice touch, but it’s the interesting texture and lines created by the chain of click-hinges around the head, the pilot’s position in the chest, and those springy feet which tie the whole model together and mark it out as something different.
How’s your day going? Nevermind, don’t answer that because it’s about to become a bit more creepy-crawly thanks to this LEGO centipede from Mitsuru Nikaido. “Regular” centipedes are creepy enough, but this one is a mech because apparently this is what the world needs now. I kid because I am as fascinated by real-life centipedes as I am this mecha one, but with that said, I still don’t want either one turning up in my sock drawer. Perhaps it can find a home in a very distant mecha woodpile somewhere. Be sure to also check out Mitsuru’s other awesome mechs.
But before you go, this photo demonstrates that this mecha centipede is just as flexible as the real thing. Sleep tight, readers. Sleep tight.
When I see one of Marcoi Marozzi‘s mechs, I know I’m in for a bit of fun while I try and track down the unusual LEGO parts involved in the construction. In the Hyd.ra 5k Medium Mech I started looking for the piece used in the head, and found it to be Hero Factory shoulder armor. The rounder bits of plating are sourced from Star Wars big-fig parts. Even the feet are a deep cut, this time from the Throwbot line. But that arm gun threw me. There were parts in there I just didn’t recognize. Shockingly, Marcoi has moved from “just” using custom stickers to enhance their builds to using non-LEGO parts.
The LEGO purist in me rebels at this. But it’s hard to argue that the results look pretty darn sweet. I guess every once in a while you just need to break the rules.
Back by no demand at all is another Brothers Brick post done up Mad Libs style. You can fill in the words and show us your finished renditions in the comments. LEGO (noun) Goth Bricks 2000 has whipped up a battlemech (adverb) called Revenant Sisterhood RD-8 Redeemer. The project took (amount of time) to finish and is using some (adjective) parts usage, especially around the (part of the body) area. A fumbled (website) order made it so this mech has one red “knee” which the builder is quite (adjective) about. Goth Bricks wanted to build a mech that could both walk and (verb) and even (famous person) would agree that this was a/an (adjective) move. I particularly like the yellow (plural noun) and the (adjective) use of black and gray. I can’t wait to see what other (plural noun) Goth Bricks comes up with. In the meantime, here is a slew of (plural noun) built by others.
This camo-clad mecha from Marco Marozzi is a beast. A powerful frame, with broad shoulders, chunky thighs, and an intimidating growl fixed in its dog-like “face.” However, beyond the beefy proportions, there are lots to enjoy — functional-looking gears and greebles, a carefully-composed contrasting color scheme, and smart use of custom stickers to create the ripped camo effect. The absolute highlight has to be those feet, though — I love the way this hefty figure manages to look poised and somehow elegant, balanced on its tripod toes. It’s almost like it’s tip-toeing its way through a minefield, trying to get to the battlefront proper.
LEGO mecha builders draw their inspiration from all across popular culture sources, like movies, anime, and especially video games. While mecha has very deep roots in Japanese culture, and in the writings of Jules Verne, and H.G.Wells, the 1984 BattleTech (originally Battle Droids) could be considered one of the original mecha franchise to inspire modern LEGO creators to build machines piloted by humans. And that is where Kevin Hansen turned for inspiration when building this model.
Built using a variety of curved white parts, the mech is very accurate to its source material, and this is one walker you do not want stepping on your picnic. Besides cannons on each arm, there is a missile battery mounted behind the pilot’s compartment that will make it rain fire.
They say bad news travels fast, but you’re the enemy of this battle turtle by Jayfa, then your bad day might take a while to arrive. This little four-legged LEGO mech is delightfully tank-like, just like its real-life armored inspiration, but unlike fleshy reptiles it’s got a big artillery piece letting it lob shells instead of just hiding in one. The ring of inverted 1×2 slopes (likely attached to a piece of flex tubing) is something we don’t often see on mechs, but gives this cold beast a great organic curvature. And of course, I have to mention the Bionicle shoulder plate for the head, which looks almost made for the purpose.
We love when someone does something cool with a specialised “one-shot” part — the sort of piece most folks imagine only has a single specific use. Here’s a great example of thinking outside the box from Kelvin Low, who has taken the arcade cabinet from the Jay Avatar Arcade Pod and turned it into the body of a chunky-looking mechanoid. This thing has all the pointy guns and menacing gippers you might expect, and its “face” is excellent. But most of all, it’s a creation where the unusual parts-usage enhances the model rather than hinders it. The arcade cabinet stickers give this a vibrant exciting look, and an undeniable cyberpunk feel. This reminded me of the graffiti-enhanced killer robots described in KW Jeter’s 1989 novel Farewell Horizontal. (Now there’s an old-school cyberpunk reference for you!)
I have not been uploading much in terms of LEGO on the internet for the past few months. This was partly because I have not been building much, but also because I did not really photograph or edit much of what I did build. This situation is a bit different from the previous builds in that I got a (in my opinion) neat idea that I knew I could build quickly and wanted to share with the community as soon as I could. The result was Spiky‘s “racing” mech, inspired by the LEGO Racers 2 video game. Some may call LEGO Xalax Racers one of the worst themes of all time (and its place in LEGO history during the company’s worst financial years may be more than just a coincidence), but I loved it. Although I see it through rose-tinted glasses, I believe the theme had redeeming qualities in its unique figures and in tying closely into LEGO Racers 2.
Now, what have we here? Far from its habitat in Mecha Antarctica, Mitsuru Nikaido’s Mecha Penguin is here. But why is it here? Well, from a distance we can’t really tell now can we? Is it here to destroy its enemies? Or perhaps it wants to endear us for treats of little robotic pilchards. The way I see it, all evidence seems to indicate the former. Observe the creature’s razor-sharp beak and wings. Not something you’d quite want to cuddle up with. The glowing eyes may also be a clue to his intentions. Whatever the case, I think it best to keep our distance and hope he doesn’t see us.
Originally hitting store shelves in Europe in 2000, and then rolled out to North America in 2001, the LEGO Bionicle theme played a key role in hauling the company out of its financial woes of the late 1990s and helped to build the foundation of the all-conquering toy company LEGO has become. Aaron Newman pays tribute to the original lineup of figures released under the theme, but he’s done it with a twist — these are all built with classic System bricks. The six Toa Knight figures are nicely done, immediately recognisable to anyone with even a passing acquaintance with the originals. Kopaka, the Toa of Ice, was always my favourite, and I love how Aaron has captured his iconic mask. The presentation of the models is spot-on too, well-photographed and then just a touch of special effects to give a hint of the elemental powers at play.