Closes May 31st:

Competition: make a LEGO font

19 August 2016

Neo-Nexo Ice Planet Knights

It fascinates me that, when planning the LEGO® NEXO KNIGHTS™ theme, the LEGO Group seemingly took inspiration from AFOLs. Specifically, the idea of building new models using the colour schemes of olden-day LEGO themes, such as the Neo-Classic Spacers do. The colour scheme the designers chose for Nexo Knights in 2016 clearly riffs on the LEGO Space theme from 1992 called Ice Planet 2002.

This made me wonder what a modern-day AFOL of super Space-building skills... say, Tim Goddard... might create for Ice Planet using Nexo Knights pieces. Thanks (once again) to the excellent support of the AFOL Relations & Programs team at the LEGO Group and Tim's incredible building skills, the idea has now come to fruition... so let's see how he got on!


I was given an interesting brief for this article: “the Nexo Knights range has a definite flavour of Ice Planet 2002: explore”. There is no denying the colour palettes overlap greatly; you just need a little white to mix with the blue and orange shades and you are almost there, albeit with a medieval twist to the theme. So I have created a few models investigating how the new pieces in the range can be used to add a bit of frostiness to spacey creations, how useful these new moulds are, plus a few other observations along the way.

The LEGO Group generously sent me two copies of 70310 Knighton Battle Blaster, 70312 Lance's Mecha Horse and the massive 70317 The Fortrex. Before I started this article I had also brought myself a couple of sets from the Nexo Knights ‘Ultimate’ subtheme and bought a few of the new pieces from the range for use in my own MOCs, so I have cherry-picked various bits from across the range.

When I first read about and saw the Nexo Knights range I thought it was crazy and looked a bit of a mess but as time has gone by it has really grown on me. Once I accepted the premise, read the back story and got hands-on with the sets I developed a bit of a soft spot for this latest ‘Big Bang’ theme. It is an unholy offspring of my two favourite themes, Space and Castle; what's not to love?

Snow Bike

On to the construction. I started building with no real plan and ended up with a kind of snow bike vehicle. It's fairly unrefined but it shows off some interesting pieces.

Lacking any proper skis, the axe heads in Transparent Flourescent Reddish Orange [TLG]/Trans-Neon Orange (Element ID 6128870 | Design ID 22407) make for good ice skates and the new wheel piece which is hollow with a vertical line of symmetry makes it easy to use solo.

Nexo Knights has a pointy rather than curvy range of elements, to give it that medieval look, and the new angled wedge bricks (seen at the back and under the cockpit) are great for sharp lines. Integrating them can be challenging: I have used two Trans-Neon Orange windscreens on their side here. I see this difficulty as a positive as it encourages new, challenging methods of building, which is much more fun.

Knighton-nelator

If you know your Ice Planet 2002 sets hopefully you will recognise this next model.

It is a Nexo version of 6814 Krysto Ranger (known in the US as the Ice Tunnelator). It just had to be done; the sets I had been sent provided me with four 24mm wheels, the original mould, cast in Titanium Metallic [TLG]/Pearl Dark Gray [BL] (Element ID 6124924 | Design ID 6118) and a Bright Blue [TLG]/Blue [BL] space seat (4657998 | 4598).

The new sword (6131162 | 24108), reminiscent of the ice saw, proved a little annoying; for some reason the bar has a small hexagonal ending which means it could not be inserted into a normal bar hole. A 1x1 tile with clip proved to be the solution. The skis are Transparent Blue [TLG]/Trans-Dark Blue [BL] swords (6133840 | 23860).

Robot

Next up a robot, built in the style of my book with Peter Reid, LEGO Space: Building the Future.

The main new Nexo pieces here are the ‘shield’ tile (Design ID 22385) used for the head and the ‘ball on a bar’ (22484), which have both been explored in previous New E articles. I always enjoy mixing new and old pieces... can you identify the blue bar scanner on the side of his head?*


He also features the new Black rubber studs (Element ID 6139223 | Design ID 24375); they are designed to sit in the large tracks from the Fortrex to add friction to smooth surfaces. Putting them in a Technic brick like I have would not be considered a legal build as the piece doesn't clip into place. Expect to see this piece turning up as detailing in many MOCs. There is actually an earlier, less useful piece in this family; it has two of the rubber stops and to date has only ever appeared in one Mindstorms set from 2003, in Bright Red [TLG]/Red [BL].

Ice Planet Cube

Holder No 1 is not the most exciting name for a piece but it is a pretty exciting piece (Element 61093212 | Design ID 20612). It is not quite new as it has been in several Ninjago sets last year but in case you missed it (like I and New Elementary did) I have now done some exploration. I Initially thought the possibilities looked almost endless but when I got hold of a few it was not quite as useful as I had first thought. The major disappointment is that it only has a centre stud on one side; this limits its use in a larger model quite a bit. Also the clutch of the holes is fairly loose, but I have still managed to use it in something larger.

The Ice Planet Cube below uses every Blue robot arm in my possession, a couple of which are cracked, but it holds together. The new pyramid tile (6127035 | 22388) provides the not-quite-geometrically-correct corners.

Micro Starship


Holder No 1 is also the key piece in this micro starship, and you can see the lengths I have had to go to have something on either side of the piece.

The ship was also a good opportunity to use the new Nexo-bot shoulder piece, seen here in White (6122165 | 22392). This is a weird bit; it is rubbery but has limited clutch. It is useful as a means angling a bar through 90 degrees. It is already available in six colours.

New minifig arms

Scattered across the Nexo Knights range are some little red "Scurrier" characters with tiny little arms. Well, it turns out these can be swapped-out with standard minifig arms, so I did. I also created a giant Scurrier with standard arms and longer legs.


Other parts of interest

Next, pictures of a variety of new and new-ish pieces I thought the loyal New Elementary reader would find of interest. That new corrugated panel is going to be useful, great for making cargo containers and adding general interest to large expanses of brick.

 
 

This little build is made of a new printed control panel 1x1 tile in Medium Stone Grey [TLG]/Light Bluish Gray [BL] (6133883 | 24641). Mark Stafford said this was inspired by the Classic Space slopes and tiles of old, but I cannot really see it. I can see it being used in a Roman floor mosaic; feel free to make your own!

The Ice Shark



Finally, a spaceship. This model is built to demonstrate another two new moulds: the windscreen in Transparent Fluorescent Reddish Orange [TLG]/Trans-Neon Orange [BL] (6129592 | 22483) and 4x4 wedge pieces in Silver Metallic [TLG]/Flat Silver [BL]. The ship shows the pointy signature look of the good guys in the Nexo range as well as that little bit of Ice Planets heritage.


* That mystery old blue part used in the robot is the handle from a jack (Design ID 4628).

Thanks so much Tim, such an amazing array of models and great use of the pieces!

That 2015 piece that he used a couple of times, 'Holder No 1', is also a key piece that Tim used in the camera tripod in his LEGO Ideas project, Elephant Adventure, which I encourage everyone to check out!

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7 comments:

  1. Regarding the printed tiles, I think they seem to take inspiration from this classic part: http://www.bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=3070bp06#T=C

    Note the red and gray squares in the corners.

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  2. I love these articles on using the new pieces, totally inspirational! Keep it up!

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    1. We are, Simon... a fresh parts challenge is already underway, you should see the results in Sept!

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  3. If I still built Space I would have bought many of the Nexo Knights sets by now. I do have both the corrugated panel and the armored wall panel with the window in it (and probably other things I forget) on my list of parts I will be considering purchasing in my next Bricks & Pieces order)

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  4. The scurriers look a little like the rock and lava monsters from the Power Miners theme...

    It looks like their arms would be minifig-compatible, as well.

    /Håkan

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    1. Those arms are available in Black and Dark Bluish Gray, in case someone's interested...

      /Håkan

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    2. I think you might be right about the scurrier arms, but can't find anyone who's disassembled them, oddly enough. Not that I can imagine much of a use for them—unlike the bulky arms of those rock monsters, these would look downright tiny on a minifigure torso. I guess maybe someone could use one on a Deadpool fig to represent one of his arms regenerating?

      For that matter, I'd bet the "wing arms" from the Angry Birds figs would work on regular figs as well...

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