Building LEGO robots and mech-suits has been a favorite pastime of many LEGO fans. Robots and mechs combine the mobility of the human body, the power of machines, and the sophistication of technology. And, they are a perfect match for LEGO. In fact, LEGO themselves released lots of robots and mechs through the years; the LEGO Exo-Force, LEGO Bionicle, LEGO Hero Factory, and LEGO Mixels collection from the past, and many of the recent LEGO Ninjago, LEGO Nexo Knights, and other sets and themes offer plenty of examples for building LEGO robots and mechs. 🙂
In fact, if you want to start out with mech-building, the best way to begin is to select an official LEGO set that includes a robot or mech that you like, and use that as a template for your own designs. First, you may just customize the original set by adding some additional details, changing out colors, or modifying some functions. As you become more familiar with the building techniques required to build robots and mechs, it will become easier to build your own models from scratch.
Buying official LEGO sets with bots and mech has another great benefit; you will accumulate a good selection of parts to build your own robots. Pieces for joint movement, mechanical details, tools, weapons, and all kinds of greebly bits all help to make an awesome mech. Once you tried out a few sets and have a decent selection of robot-building parts, you can also look at what other LEGO fans are working on, and get ideas and inspiration from their models.
One LEGO fan who consistently builds excellent LEGO robots and mechs goes by the name Chubbybots. He not only build excellent mechs himself, but also share instructions and tutorials for many of his designs. I particularly like that he offers alternate builds for official LEGO sets. This means that if you own that set, you will be able to build the alternate design without much difficulty or the need of extra parts.
For example, Chubbybots offers instructions for turning the #70612 LEGO Ninjago Movie Green Ninja Mech Dragon into a mech suit for Lloyd. And there are alternate instructions for many of the other LEGO Ninjago and The LEGO Ninjago Movie sets as well. LEGO Nexo Knights is another theme that Chubbybots often uses for alternate builds. And several LEGO Creator, LEGO Mixels, and LEGO Super Heroes sets also get a makeover.
Chubbybots mostly shares instructions via his YouTube channel, where you can watch tutorials, and follow along with the building steps for alternate models and other custom projects. Chubbybots is also very active on flickr and Facebook (just follow the links), where he shares many other robot and mech models, instructions, and tutorials. In the playlist below, I’m including some of the tutorials, so you get a sense of what they look like.
Building along with another LEGO fan who is an expert at mech-building can greatly increase your skills and accelerate your learning. Once you copy a few of their models, you will be well on your way to start building your own designs. Again, you can just start by picking a custom model that you like, and use that as a template to begin with. Pretty soon, you will be able to build your own bots and mechs without following instructions.
As far as currently available sets that would be great as starters for robot and mech building, I would recommend taking a look at The LEGO Ninjago Movie collection. Sets like the #70613 LEGO Ninjago Movie Garma Mecha Man, the #70615 LEGO Ninjago Movie Fire Mech, and the #70632 LEGO Ninjago Movie Quake Mech would be great options. Also, you may look at sets like the #70920 LEGO Batman Movie Egghead Mech Food Fight, the #76077 LEGO Super Heroes Iron Man Detroit Steel Strikes, the #76097 LEGO Super Heroes Lex Luthor Mech Takedown as mechs that could be repurposed for your own designs. As long as the parts are good for bots and mechs, it doesn’t matter what theme they come from. Also, almost all of the LEGO Nexo Knights sets come with some kind of mech.
What do you think? Do you like to build LEGO robots and mechs? Did you find any interesting designs from Chobbybots that you would like to try out? What other tools and resources do you use for building mechs? Feel free to share your own tips and tricks in the comment section below! 😉
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