Lego Battletech Behemoth
Big robots are cool.
Pictures and comments by Nick Twentyfive, except where noted.
For those not familiar with BattleTech, it's a game that uses little figures on a game board, wherein dice rolling determines whether your guns blow up the other guy or not. It's good stuff.
The little robotic pewter figures you pick from, called BattleMechs or 'Mechs, have specs published in books called Technical Readouts. Here's the 'Mech on the cover of such a book.
from the cover of Technical Readout: 3055 Revised, FASA, 1996
This particular beastie is a Behemoth, a 100-ton large-gun juggernaut meant to ruin the other guy's day. Its firepower and ability to withstand punishment make it a fan favorite. Dan chose it to be his primary figure, painted all black to amplify its sinister appearance.
Behemoth miniature design by Ral Partha; assembled and painted by Dan
So, somewhere around mid-2005, I found a site called Brick Commander. The site's operator, "Primus", developed many different plans for 'Mechs made of Legos. In many cases, the computer-generated models look like faithful representations of the images in the Technical Readouts. Here's the Behemoth.
from brickcommander.com; model by Primus
So, naturally, I thought this fusion of Legos (best building medium ever) and BattleTech (kick-butt board game) was simply extraordinary. I also thought that the price of Lego bricks was quite expensive, and this was simply a hundred dollars or two beyond the scope of reality.
THEN, for Christmas of '07, my grandmother gave me a gift certificate for lego.com. Lego's site now allows people to buy individual pieces. Granted, the markup for this system is significant, but it does allow someone to get their hands on some specialized pieces that would otherwise have to be obtained by spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on sets that have a lot of pieces you don't need.
I looked through the site to find something appropriate on which to spend the certificate. I thought back to the Lego 'Mechs on Brick Commander, and wondered if it was feasible. I pulled out my bin of Legos and started going through the pieces. I had a lot that I needed already. I decided to try to make it with the colors I had and see what came out. Here is the multicolor work-in-progress, with a few improvisations and placeholder pieces.
This preliminary model helped me a lot.
It let me understand what I could and could not build to match the model from Brick Commander using either my current pieces, or pieces available online.
I could develop a definitive color scheme.
It gave me a precise inventory of pieces I needed to order.
I placed my order for the missing pieces using the Lego Digital Designer software (below). I had to kick in a bit more than the gift cert covered.
I further customized the cockpit a bit more, but otherwise I needed those ordered pieces to progress further. ARGH!
A few days after I placed the order, I realized I only ordered half of the hinges pieces necessary. I placed the second order for the stragglers and then knew the wait would now be longer. Sigh.
The first order eventually showed up. I replaced all the temporary pieces and then sat and wait for the hinges. Here's the body sections, with the white hinge placeholders still attached.
FINALLY, the second order came. I finished the hinges and assembled the 'Mech. Legos rock.