Welcome to the
Frequently Asked Questions! Later updates will be marked
Primus, do you work for LEGO?
A: No comment :P
How old are you really? And how comes you still play with LEGO?!
A: My true age is a secret! And I actually wouldn't
what I'm doing on my site. Usually I even don't touch physical LEGO-pieces
when I make a new model. It's maybe not art or something I'm creating,
but I think a combination of artistic and engeneering skills is certainly
required. Ok, it's just plastic I'm working with, but even the painting
colors Picasso once used are made mostly of dirt ;)
Why don't you sell your designs to The LEGO Group?
The LEGO Group is not interested in Battletech.
Where can I purchase those ´Mechs?
A: Not from me. I don't have the time nor the money,
not even the interest to start a LEGO-mech assembly line. Even without
making profit it would be too expensive and difficult to find all the
parts in needed quantities and colors.
Where can I get building instructions?
Download the files from my DOWNLOAD-page and de-compress (unzip) them.
Open the DAT-files with DAT-viewing software like MLCad. You'll notice
I have spent a lot of time by sorting the parts in the right order and
creating building steps ... The view-mode of MLCad enables you to use
the DAT-files as building instructions, just like printed instructions
What is MLCad and where can I get it?
MLCad is a freeware Lego-CAD (computer aided design) program, created
by Michael Lachmann. Head straight this
way. READ the installation
instructions AND the tutorial. Follow them patiently. Then it will work.
Don't complain to me if it's not working, because my reply will be:
"READ the installation instructions and the tutorial ...."
Why is MLCad not working on my comp?
Most likely you just failed to read or to follow the instructions. MLCad
does not forgive mistakes you made during installation, and will refuse
to work until you got everything right. I'm always willing to help,
though it might be a better idea to mail the author of MLCad, Michael
Lachmann, about any problem you encountered. I also *URGENTLY* recommend
to read the TUTORIAL for MLCad! Last time I checked it was availible
in 7 different languages: http://www.hpfsc.de/mlcd_tut/Default.html
Why don't I see building steps, only the complete model?!
A: *smile* Because you didn't read the TUTORIAL! Use
F2 and F3 to change from edit to view-mode of MLCad and back. And read
the fu**ing tutorial NOW!
Is MLCad availible for Macintoshs?
A: No. But you can still use"Brickdraw" instead: http://olson.pair.com/brickdraw3d
What does ".zip" mean? I can't open your battlemech-files
Files with ".zip" or ".rar"-extension are compressed
files, files reduced in size. You need a special program like "winzip"
to unpack the files. Free software is availible on the net, i.e. here:
Is there another way to get building instructions?
No. It would mean too much work to create and edit thousands of images
... though technically it's not a problem. I'm just not up for it. Maybe
I'll make some instructions in the future. But certainly not for all
'Mechs. I recommend you get MLCad running on your comp. This way you
have access to ALL models, as well as to other people's creations.
Where do I find all the right parts I need?
A: Touchy subject. Unless you already got a TON of
Lego, you have to be prepared to spend a pile, rather a mount of bucks
on new sets. Obviously, there are different ways of obtaining Lego,
though buying used bricks on flea-markets is cheaper than purchasing
mostly new Lego. I usually place orders with a german online-retailer,
whose prices are well 25-35% below the criminal officially suggested
prices. I also always look for sales and check ebay or other online-auctions/shops
for useful stuff. Generally, you have to have a wide range of parts
in order to build 'Mechs - if your collection consists mostly of SPACE-stuff
you'll have trouble locating certain types of sloped bricks quite common
with CASTLE .... When buying new sets you'll realize some of them come
with more useful parts than others. Any set that contains many slopes
and wedged elements is good. Inexpensive example from the current production
line: A-Wing Fighter (LOTS of slopes and good elements) and STAR WARS
in general. Also check out the "Alpha Team cruiser"
How do i learn about older sets and their content?
A: At www.brickshelf.com
you can find catalog- and instruction scans. Furthermore,
can tell you which parts were availible in which set/year/color/number.
The listing isn't complete though, but it's a great help.
How do you make the pictures of your ´Mechs?
I use the free 3D-rendering software "POV-Ray": http://www.povray.org/.
It creates photo-realistic images from a DAT-file. The files have to
be converted by "L3P" before POV-Ray can read them though:
Q: How long does it take you to design a ´Mech?
Usually 1-2 days, depending on the size of the model, with a couple
of hours of work on each day. On the following day I think about a color
scheme or fix the already existing one, render a few images, and shortly
before the release of the model (which actually can be weeks after the
model's creation) I add building steps to the DAT-file/instructions.
How do you build the models?
Mostly "on screen" by using MLCad. Only some of my models
have been built with physical Lego before I created a DAT-file. After
studying all materiel I could find about a new model, I always start
creating the head and torso by figuring out how large/wide the model
has to be. It is a good idea to make the head/center torso at least
4 studs wide - almost all canopy parts/windscreens are of that size.
For a humanoid heavy mech the left and right side of the torso probably
has to be 4 or 5 studs wide. You need to have a keen "eye"
for proportions (the relations in size of one part to another), otherwise
the legs or arms will be too short or long, or the torso will be too
big or too small, causing the whole model to look ... wrong. After I
got more than 2 single body parts of the new 'Mech, I start assembling
the whole model by creating a "MPD"-file. This is a DAT-file
containing other DAT-files. When I do changes to one of those sub-models,
the effect of these changes is shown on the whole model. Then I go on
and make legs, arms, whatever, and add them too. In the end I have a
complete model. I'm doing this for almost 2 years now, one new model
each week, and I've got so much routine I hardly ever have to scrap
a concept or do major changes to a model, saving a lot of time this
How do you get all of the specific pieces to make the models?
A: Usually by cannibalizing purchased sets. I never purchase new
sets at full retail price though. Other options are online-auctions
like ebay, or online-shops selling single Lego-elements, like those
you can find through www.bricklink.com
, you could also try the official LEGO Shop-at-home:
How much does it cost to make an average mech?
Hard to say - depends on how many parts you still need and how much
you have to pay in order to get them. If you are lucky you may be able
buy a large box of Lego on a flea-market for cheap. Maybe it even includes
all required parts. I think a Madcat made of new Lego would cost at
least US$ 100,- for parts ... that doesn't include the time required
to find the rare parts, nor the time required to assemble the model.
Why are the dat-files for the buildings not availble?
A: The buildings are just pieces of scenery, without internal support
structure. In order to keep the file size small (and rendering times
low) they don't even have rear walls. The models also don't have building
steps. Anyway I doubt you really have that many wedged bricks you would
need in order to create the side walls of the clan administration building
Do your ´Mechs actually move?
Hell no. I'm more than happy when I finally got them standing straight
and well balanced, without toppling over. Or, if the model is CAD-only
so far, when I BELIEVE it is well balanced .... Some of the models are
more poseable than others though, i.e. the Nexus: because of its light
weight, the model is pretty poseable. Don't forget my models are ...
models, not toys.
Am I allowed to use images from this site for my own website?
Of course. Please make sure you add a model info like "model created
by Primus BuS" and a link to my site.
How did you make the leg joints/whatever of the *****?
Get MLCad and check out the DAT-files of the models. The different angles
of view and the zoom-feature will reveal all secrets.
Why haven't you built the ****-mech yet?
Oh, there are still 'Mechs left I haven't build yet? Hehe. Don't worry,
if the model you look for is ANY good, chances are high it will make
it on my site sooner or later.
But, but ... The Jenner IIC doesn't have inverted knee joints!
Variants of 'Mechs showing up in video-games sometimes feature an appearance
different from the originals displayed in technical readouts. The miniature
of the Jenner IIC from Ral Partha, representing the original design,
DOES have inverted knee joints. Proof on demand :)
When I open one of your DATs, MLCad reports missing parts!
Either I forgot to update my "unofficial parts pack" or, more
likely, you forgot to download and/or install it. I hope you have at
least the original partlist installed ...
Where do you receive the design references to make the 'Mechs?
In order to create a 3d-model by using Lego, you better have a 3d-model
for reference. Pictures of a model, taken from different angles, are
2nd-best choice. You'll find TONS of images of painted Ral Partha-minis
at Archer's Miniatures: http://www.archersminiatures.com/Gallery/bt.html
Why can't I find a certain part in the color displayed on this site?
The part maybe doesn't exist in this color at all. When creating the
color scheme of a new model, I don't care about a part's availability
in the displayed color. With more than 100 'Mechs on this site, can
you imagine how boring they would look if they all were dark & light
grey? Or mostly red, which appears to be the most common color ...
Q: Why are all the images computer-generated?
Because I usually build the models on my comp. It's the easist and cheapest
way for me, and I can make almost perfect images in a matter of seconds,
from every angle I like, with as many and as large models I want.
How big are the models?
The 'Mechs range from 20-35 centimeters.
Can I send you images of the models I created and post them on your
So far they're Battletech - no problem. I'm just a little choosy about
what I put on my site, image- and model-quality-wise. If you are looking
for an opportunity to show your MOCs (My Own Creation) to others, I
recommend to create a free gallery-account at www.brickshelf.com.
Upload your pics (jpg and gif-format) and go fishing for compliments
by posting about your new creation at www.lugnet.com
Why don't you build mecha and stuff other than Battletech?
Someday I maybe move on to other themes. So far walking battle machines
are concerned, I stay with Battlemechs. I'm not at all interested in
"Gungans" (or whatever ...) or other japanese-teenage-monster-ninja-mecha.
I'm building Battlemechs cause I like Battletech. Though I never played
the board game, I got all computer games and read all novels ever released.