Tuesday, February 6, 2018

LEGO Transformer Dragon Boat


This project , started about 3 weeks ago, was a spur of the moment decision, after a short burst of brainstorming it's viability* before  I commit.

It's created to commemorate the upcoming 2018 Chinese New Year , and will be displayed as part of an Oriental style LEGO diorama /exhibition at a local mall for about 2 weeks .

Project Viability

  • Whether I have the core transformation to robot mode thought out.
  • Whether I can complete it in time
  • Whether I have the right parts to get it built.

The tail end of the boat can be adjusted for various configurations/position.

If the dragon head looks familiar, that's  because it was taken from a LEGO Ninjago set  and have undergone some form of "facial reconstruction" by me.

This boat can seat more than 10 passengers , 4 more standing, and few more holding on to the dragon head.

The challenge here is to "sculpt" the wooden deck on the boat and hiding the hinges and robot joints under the hull. 

All aboard!!!

Fully tiltable dragon head that actually talks to unsuspecting drowners or swimmers.


Since the shape of a typical dragon boat vary from one to another, this makes it easier for me to design the robot mode, especially the legs. There's adequate mass for me to utilize without complicated twist and turns to form the boat, unlike alternate modes like jet planes ,truck cabs or sport cars (where you need to adhere closely to their specific shapes and length-width ratio).

Unhinge the hull panels to bulk up the legs,revealing the thighs. Gold colored crotch plate folded out from under the boat.

This was surprisingly easy to design. The tail of the boat simply collapse down to hide the wooden deck, adding more intricate details  to the lower legs.

The most complicated transformation/design is how I form the arms. They're made possible by multi-balljoints.

Notice how I used the triple-balljointed* part  to form the arms and hands. 

*This part comes from Nexo Knights Battle Suit's pelvic joint.

Rotate dragon head upside down

Stand the robot upright and merge the dragon head to form the chest.

Robot Mode

The Pose of a Gentlebot

He did modelling for a while back in Cybertron, before the great Cybertronian War erupted.

More Actions, please...

This 'bot preferred to stay out of conflicts so he is neither an Autobot or a Decepticon and decided to disarm himself. That's why he doesn't carry any weapons .

During confrontations, he simply point at his opponents and ask them to stop what they're doing. 

Ready for hand-to-hand combat, if he's forced to.

^ This is my favorite photo from the whole lot here. Maybe it's because it's so darn hard to get the pose right and stable. (toppled a few times before I get to take this snapshot)


Despite being a peace lover, this 'bot still have some martial arts skill up his metallic sleeve. To pay homage to my root, he is showing a very iconic stance of a folk hero in China.

Stay tuned ! I will publish a video on this dragon boat to my youtube channel soon! 

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