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Lego Blog: Santa Mecha-Claus

A Very Scary Christmas

I know it’s not Christmas anymore, and I’m sorry. Not just that it isn’t Christmas (which really isn’t my fault) but that it now makes this Lego build seem oddly timed. I didn’t have much time in the run up to the joyous festival of peace and schinkling, but I’d had the idea of a Santa Claus mech in my head for a few weeks. It was only after Boxing Day that I had the spare time to devote to it.

I’d been inspired by the Galaxy Team and the Lex Luthor mech (a lovely birthday present), which showed me something of how to use the ratcheting joints and ball-joints that I’d acquired in a big box of assorted Lego. There are also a million fantastic MOCs on Flickr constantly tempting me to play.

Put Yourself In Another Man’s Shoes

I started with the boots. This was a terrible idea, because they got awful fancy and neat very quickly, and also quite large. Before I knew it I had full ankle rotation and the stump of shinbones sticking up with no idea what was going to come next. The shoe size inevitably defined the size of the mech and I’m delighted to say that he ended up at a full twelve inches tall (to the top of his hat). I was quite concerned about stability so he got solid legs, adding a further knee and hip joint to the ankles.

I struggled to conceive of how the body should work, but I knew that I wanted enough space to insert Christmas Yoda (from the advent calendar a few years ago) as its pilot. With that in mind I found an appealing cockpit and went to work.


Luckily I’d just sorted my primary colour Lego, so all the neat little parts were safely tucked into relevant containers leaving just the decent sized bricks to sort through. I couldn’t find a way to work the waist – the body just pressed down onto the pelvis brick. In retrospect I guess I could have built a column down from the body that could clip onto a rotating disc. As it stands, Santa is far too easy to bisect.

I did a rough draft body to get the size about right before moving on to the arms and gloved fists. I tend to get obsessed with using a particular brick and had these nice shoulder ball-socket parts (probably from Hero Factory or similar). They’re nice, but spindly and I had fun building out from all sides of them using Technics pegs. I’m pleased with their overall result, and I couldn’t resist adding some Manga arm blades for good measure. If I remade him I’d ensure I had ratcheted shoulders so he could be posed properly (lunging towards the camera).

A Fistful of Lego

Sculpting Santa’s gloved fists was possibly the bit I enjoyed most. I found it very difficult to keep the size of them down when aiming for a nice rounded feel to the corners. In the end they matched Santa’s boots quite well, and I was unable to prevent myself from adding claws to finish the finger tips off.

They all clipped together well, but the body left me feeling unsatisfied. At length I realised he had no beard and I’d only built the brim of his hat. Demolition time! In rebuilding him I aimed to give him a bit more of a belly and reflect the white trim across his shoulders (and gave him a belt buckle. Once I’d added the beard and made a proper Santa hat he felt just right.


He Knows If You’ve Been Bad Or Good

He’s huge! Putting him behind the two storey Lego Creator house Marilyn gave me for Christmas gives a proper sense of scale – the young Boba Fett fits easily into his claws. I’d like to build him a ‘Santa’s Sack’ backpack too, but I think I’d have to rebalance him entirely to make that work. He’s fairly terrifying and should provide a reason for children to behave themselves…


You can see all the pictures here on Flickr:

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