Sometimes LEGO can be educational in the most unexpected ways. For instance, I had no idea that chert was a type of sedimentary rock until I espied the aptly-named Chert Chewer by builder Zane Houston. And, boy, does this Rock Raiders mech know how to chew! Equipped with 6 chrome drill bits, there’s no stopping this beast from taking down it’s quarry. The whole thing is a beautiful balance of color, occasionally allowing bits of turquoise and yellow to pop out from behind its gray skin. And I appreciate the inferred articulation with joints and pistons all over the hulk, frozen in place as it scoops out another handful of rubble. But the base it stands upon is by far the highlight for me! Those clean striations in the brown rock set the perfect scene for when the chert needs to be chewed.
What’s better than a LEGO build that evokes nostalgia for a past theme? A LEGO build that evokes nostalgia for two past themes! Flickr user Student Scissors submitted this creation in the Bio-Cup competition. As the name suggests, this competition uses parts from the Bionicle theme. That box is ticked here: there are plenty of ball joints, and what looks like a Kanohi mask on the figure on the right. But the minecart full of power crystals, the teal-yellow-brown-dark-grey colour combo, and that massive chrome drill… That sounds like Rock Raiders to me! Although come to think of it, the colour scheme of the bat (lime green with blue and orange highlights) is reminiscent of the Power Miners theme from 2009. So that’s actually three awesome themes from yesteryear in one!
There seems to be a lot of nostalgia for LEGO’s Rock Raiders theme going around at the moment, and I am so here for it. French builder F@bz has turned his attention to 4970 Chrome Crusher. I always thought this was the coolest Rock Raiders set, and F@bz has done a great job of upping that cool factor! There’s been a touch of realism added too. The original cockpit piece was quite open to the elements, and this one made from ladders and a net will probably offer a bit more protection from any small rocks flying around. The drill also looks more purposeful. It isn’t chrome like the one in the set, but I think this one truly is a thing of beauty!
Much like Aquazone, I’ve always viewed Rock Raiders as “even more LEGO Space.” And there was never anything wrong with more sci-fi sets, in the opinion of 12-year-old Kyle. These are the kinds of fond memories triggered by this wonderful recreation of 4950 The Loader-Dozer by Bob DeQuatre. Without using any parts that are distinctly from either of the mining-heavy themes, Bob captures the essence of this powerful equipment perfectly. The choice of scoop at this scale is dead-on, and the move from black to dark gray feels more in keeping with the rest of the design. I just can’t get over the stellar use of spinner bases from this Ninjago set for the hubcaps of its mighty wheels. It’s as if that was their intended purpose all along!
And please take a minute to admire the craftsmanship that went into an accurate rendition of the accompanying Rock Raiders’ antagonist: the fearsome rock monster. This posable version feels so much more play-friendly than the single-molded version from ’99.
Sometimes a LEGO piece is so iconic that it reminds you of only one specific theme. I am talking about the Roll Cage part from Rock Raiders. As far as I know, it has only been used in the Rock Raiders theme. Seb71 recreated this iconic part on a much bigger scale for their 4980 revival. Because their rendition of the part looks so spot on, you might get confused about the sheer size of this creation. But let me tell you, it is big! All this creation needs is a couple more minifigures and it could hit the shelves. I’d dare to bet that this would sell like hotcakes.
Duncan Lindbo knows that any mode of transport is valid if your tunnel is wide enough. The T-22 Tunnel Viper races through the dark recesses in search of ore, lost miners, or just a good time. The brown railing of the cockpit calls back to LEGO’s Rock Raiders theme, but the constraction parts help give the ship some unique personality all its own.
Two epic themes collide in this wonderful creation by PaulvilleMOCs. An AT-ST from Star Wars has been recreated with features and colours found in the Rock Raiders sets. The brown roll cage is custom-made, using a mixture of bars, clip handle pieces, and minifigure hands. A classic fork handle piece acts as the tip of the antenna at the back of the walker and instead of having guns the machine is equipped with a drill at the front. This will definitely assist with the search for precious energy crystals!
Rock monsters beware! Deus Otiosus has constructed this fantastic tribute to the classic LEGO theme, Rock Raiders. The models mimic the colour scheme featured in the original sets which makes these creations feel all the more authentic. Snowshoes form the upper part of the dragon’s head with spear guns representing horns. The brown piping across the chest is similar to the style of the windscreen piece that was frequently used in the original sets. The wings have an unusual construction, with large fans at the upper areas and stacked clip pieces at the lower sections. There is also a fun speeder build which uses a Bionicle mask to form its front section. It seems the Rock Raiders have a powerful new ally, ready to pierce through layers of stone in order to find precious energy crystals.
Rock Raiders was one of those fantastic LEGO themes with rich lore and intriguing storylines. Check out more articles on custom LEGO Rock Raiders models, inspired by the boulder-breaking heroes.
In 1999, my favorite LEGO theme by far was Rock Raiders. It was a great sci-fi take on a mining/construction theme; it had cool colors, chrome elements, interesting looking builds, and best of all, awesome rock monsters. Sure, I had some concerns about the environmental impact of mining operations. And were those rock monsters evil or just creatures defending their homes and families from overworld plunderers? No matter, there were crystals to be had. And those crystals were in transparent neon-green plastic and I needed them.
These days problems are bigger, so it’s only appropriate that the Rock Raiders have been scaled up as well. Peter Carmichael took the 4950 – Loader Dozer Rock Raiders set and made an amazing UCS version of it. Peter’s build takes on all three key elements – the Loader-Dozer itself, the monster, and the power crystal. (Or, as I like to call it, the Giant Crystal Of Crystalness.)
I am not a miner, but I imagine that it is not quite as fun and exciting as the 1990s Rock Raiders LEGO theme made it look. Nevertheless, I have fond memories of this action-packed adventure theme. My nostalgia was somewhat dormant for a long time, until I had the privilege to write about a Rock Raiders tunneling drone here on the Brothers Brick. The creation made me feel so good that I felt compelled had to make my own Rock Raiders-themed model. And here it is; the “Dolomite Destroyer” (named in the honour of the iconic 4940 Granite Grinder LEGO set).
I have experimented with proportions a bit for this model. Just a simple colour scheme would not cut it for a Rock Raiders build. It had to be bulky and rough. The whole thing started with a Throwbot/Slizer shoulder/hand piece as the mech’s arms and continued from there. The second central part was an Atlantis minifig helmet within the body. I finished the model off with a little crane because I think cranes look so cool and industrial. While this model was fun to build, I will be scrapping it to build another creation in this style later on.
Twenty years after its inception, the often-overlooked yet undeniably cool LEGO Rock Raiders theme finds its way into fan creations as well. In February we featured a collection of vehicles built in honour of this theme, and now it’s Chris Perron‘s turn to show off his gritty tunneling hovercraft, with all its glorious teal and chrome highlights. Chris notes that this creation is actually a year and a half old, but was inspired by friends to give the tunneler a base and finally upload it.
The base is a convincing cutout of a rock tunnel, dotted with chrome green crystals (these crystals actually come from the Space Port line from the same year–Rock Raiders featured trans-neon green crystals), and it’s perfect place to show off this cute little drilling drone. The drone itself is quite a perfect representation of its theme. The colour combination has all the characteristics of Rock Raiders; teal highlights, black and yellow warning stripes, a brown rollcage and grays as the main colour. What is especially impressive is the complex drilling head in the front, built of various custom chrome elements.
When it debuted in 1999, Rock Raiders was LEGO’s first theme dedicated entirely to mining, and this year marks its 20th anniversary. Set in a futuristic world, the teal highlights and yellow caution stripes now evoke a particular kind of nostalgia for those of us who had the line as kids. Purple-Wolf has put together a series of creations set in that grungy, dark underworld. First up is a sort of convoy truck called the Rubble Shovel, and it’s armed with the biggest plow possible. That plow is actually from Duplo, but it fits the aesthetic perfectly here.