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LEGO Santa’s Sleigh with Motorized Galloping Reindeer

Perhaps you remember that a few years ago, Jason Allemann (JKBrickWorks.com) created a motorized version of the Santa’s sleigh with four brick-built reindeer from the #10245 LEGO Winter Village Santa’s Workshop set (see: Flying LEGO Reindeer & Santa for Christmas). The recently released #40499 LEGO Santa’s Sleigh with four moulded reindeer inspired Jason to try to make this sleigh motorized as well with galloping reindeer pulling Santa’s enormous sleigh.

The recently released #40499 LEGO Santa’s Sleigh with four moulded reindeer inspired Jason to try to make this sleigh motorized as well with galloping reindeer pulling Santa’s enormous sleigh. Jason gave this newer sleigh a modular design, so that it can be configured with the four reindeer that come with the set, or extended to eight, nine, or any other number of reindeer. You can see the sleigh in action with four and nine reindeer in the video below.

The galloping mechanism is the same as in the original model, with the front leg of each reindeer connected to a crank that rotates. The drive system however has been improved, so there is a single, connected driveshaft that runs the length of the base. This ensures the motion remains smooth as the number of reindeer is increased. And just like in the previous version, a mechanism is added so that the sleigh intermittently rocks up and down, giving the impression that it is moving. To raise some of the reindeer above the ground to make it look like they are taking off, you can use transparent bricks under their legs, as you can see in the photo below.

If you would like to build your own motorized sleigh, Jason put together two versions of the instructions, one for the standard set with four reindeer, and one to extend it to nine reindeer, but the design is completely modular, so it can be configured to accommodate any number of reindeer. You can download the instructions at Jason’s website at JKBrickWorks.com. And be sure to read the build notes on the same page for some tips on assembling the final model. Below is the build video showing how the model is assembled.

Notice that the leading reindeer has a red nose! Jason simply used a tiny piece of sticker to achieve this, but you can also use a dab of paint. Also, please note that although Jason is using an older LEGO Power Functions Medium motor, you can also use the newer LEGO Powered UP equivalent. Other motors could be used as well with some minor changes, so you can just work with what you have. Enjoy!

What do you think? Do you have the LEGO Santa’s Sleigh set? Did you change it so it is pulled by more reindeer? And how do you like the motorized version? Are you planning to build it? Feel free to share your thoughts and discuss in the comment section below!

And you might also like to check out the following related posts:

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Master Builder December 3, 2021, 10:09 AM

    Haha! Love this! I like how they lift off from the ground. Jason’s builds are always great.

  • j.j. December 3, 2021, 10:45 AM

    I totally want to make this! But I only have one set.

  • Tanner December 3, 2021, 11:19 AM

    Off topic, but did you guys see all the 2022 sets added to the Lego site,? This is probably the best January release I have seen. 🤗

    • Thita (admin) December 3, 2021, 8:57 PM

      Yeah, we will talk about them shortly! So much to see! 😀

      • Håkan December 4, 2021, 4:34 PM

        Yeah, and there still seems to be a bit left to go until January. I’m interested to see the minifigs in the Spider-Man 4 Juniors sets, at least…

        • Håkan December 4, 2021, 4:36 PM

          Ah, it’s a red sticker. Maybe that is more “purist”, although you’d still have to cut a part in the sticker…

  • amanda December 3, 2021, 4:24 PM

    Wonderful! I would love to make this! Thanks for posting!

  • Daniel December 3, 2021, 4:55 PM

    Now this is how this sleigh should have been done in the first place! Interestingly, having more reindeer balances out the large sleigh. It looked too unrealistic with just four.

    • Thita (admin) December 3, 2021, 9:01 PM

      That’s actually a good point. More reindeer indeed seems to make the sleigh look more proportionate.

  • Håkan December 4, 2021, 4:35 PM

    I wondered how to go ahead to do a custom Rudolph without any proper connection points at the nose, but it seems this is just a paint job…

  • Jai January 13, 2022, 3:05 PM

    I have this set headed my way, and I’m so excited. Excuse my ignorance (as I’m somewhat naive to the availability of ‘add ons/embellishments’ for lego), but if you want to add more reindeer, do you have to buy the same set again or can you purchase the reindeer separately? I plan to display/suspend my sleigh over the winter village fire station and would love to have the full herd of reindeer.

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