You can keep your Blacktrons, Futurons and Classic Spaces; the space theme that stole my heart growing up was LEGO’s Life on Mars theme. These days, it’s perhaps most notable as a source for the retired sand-red and sand-purple colours. But the set design wasn’t half bad either if you ask me, or Duncan Lindbo, for that matter. He’s seen fit to revamp 7311 Red Planet Cruiser for Mechtober. (It’s like October, but for building mecha.) And it looks great! A one-legged mech is an unusual concept, and Duncan has made some nice upgrades. The best one is the discs on either side, turned into what look like sensors or transmitting equipment, rather than… Whatever they were before. Wings, maybe. As much as I do like the Life on Mars line, I have to admit they only ever looked this good in my imagination!
When you design a mechanical marvel to do your heavy lifting, you might as well make it modular, so you can re-configure it to manage the heavy loads in whatever form they take. The Configurable Utility Bot Ecosystem, or CUBE, by Simon Liu is one of a squad of cube-shaped bots that have fully interchangeable legs, arms, and utility tools. The crane looks like it could handle almost any load.
In case you are hungry for more, here’s the mech from all sides. And if you look closely, you’ll see the pilot is not a mere human, but an adorable three-eyed alien. Who better to operate the claw?
Don’t miss the other CUBE bots from Simon Liu!
TBB alumn Simon Liu definitely knows the drill, as this nifty LEGO bot shows. In a striking yellow and dark blue industrial color scheme, this bot looks like what I always hoped LEGO’s various mining themes would be (first Rock Raiders in 1999, then Power Miners a decade later). It does sport that huge chrome drill that only ever came in a pair of Rock Raiders sets, and subsequently doesn’t get used in fan creations nearly as much as I’d like.
Oh, and did I mention the bot is modular? And that Simon has built more than one?
What’s tiny and cute and stomps around on 3 legs? The Niffler, of course! Provided he’s piloting this unusual LEGO mech by Andreas Lenander, that is. The adorable little creature from the Wizarding World is surely up to something cute, and when was the last time you saw a 3-legged mech with claw hands? The bit of bright foliage in the background is also the perfect accompaniment to this build. It’s amazing how just adding a touch of scenery like that can give a whole new dimension to a quick build like this mech.
Just when you think you’ve seen nearly every incarnation of LEGO robot to pass your computer screen, another master builder like Andreas Lenander shows up.
While we’ve seen mechs before here on The Brothers Brick, we’ve never seen tires turned inside out to create a robot head. It took a few minutes staring at this build to realize that the head wasn’t a plastic brick, but was actually rubber. Everything about this scene here is fantastic, but I’m still in awe of the idea of using inside-out tires. Mind-boggling, you might say!
Did you ever feel bad for the cute baby dragons that kept being harassed by Ragana back in the LEGO Elves theme? I did. So I built some mechs to let them defend themselves, and then (since I only had three dragons) I built an evil cat mech in the same style (I know, I know, “evil cat” is redundant…). I’ve already written about one of these mechs, but I think they look even better all together. When I started building for the fan challenge Mechtober, I half-heartedly built the small black mech. But then, as usual for me, I got excited and invested and built a larger dark grey one, followed by an equally large light grey one, and finally a white one. I have a hard time going halfway on projects, it seems.
The minimalist style I started with, relying on lots of bar-and-clip connections, was carried throughout, but it was interesting to find what parts were color-limited for me. For example, I do not have any bars with clip in white, which was one of the key connection points on the black and grey mechs; that meant I needed to get creative, and ended up using most of my white skeleton arms to compensate. I was especially happy with the light grey one’s cockpit, since I have always wanted to use that canopy for something besides a Ninjago spinner. Will they keep the dragons safe? I don’t know, but they’ve at least got a fighting chance now.
Adult male fans of LEGO were probably not the target audience for the erstwhile Elves theme, but I loved it. A major part of that was the plethora of recolors of existing pieces, finally released in bright purples, pinks, and blues, as well as the hairpieces, which are great for fantasy-inspired builds. But often overlooked in my own collection are the cute little animals. Fortunately I have a three-year-old daughter, who does everything except overlook the cute little animals, so they are strewn about and squirreled away throughout my LEGO room. And when it came time to build a series of mechs for Mechtober (I know, eyeroll, another sci-fi-themed LEGO month), I could not help but be drawn to incorporating the little baby dragons in some heavy-duty mechanical suits.
I had a lot of fun building this “Heavy Lifter” suit, using as many greebles as possible while still maintaining a coherent look. I wanted thick arms and sturdy legs to convey the sense that this thing could so some serious lifting, like peak Arnold in the gym. I feel like I succeeded, and the whole thing is remarkably sturdy, especially for being largely bar-in-hole and clip-on-bar connections. It might not be the best mech out there, but it is the best mech I have ever made, and that cute, colorful little dragon juxtaposed with the drab grey industrial atmosphere is fun. But maybe you disagree, and think cute animals piloting heavy machinery is the scariest thing this side of stepping on LEGO bricks in the middle of the night…