26 June 2018

Sand Green Pete Machines: New turtles, robots and more

Posted by Admin
Who would have thought that not one but two of this year's LEGO® Architecture sets would provide the necessary 3x3 dishes for Peter Reid to create entire new fleets of his iconic robot turtles? Having analysed all the exciting new parts in 21042 Statue of Liberty, I simply had to send the Sand Green elements off to him to see what would happen.

Receiving the parts from New Elementary (along with some gentle bullying by Brickset) meant it was time for another robot turtle. It only seems like a week or two since we got Magenta ones. What a time to be alive.

Tim asked me to make a single Sand Green turtle, but one thing led to another and I ended up developing some additional models, which nobody asked for.

Mk II Liberty Launcher

I really like the 2x2 tile with the printed white star, from 8487 Flo's V8 Cafe. It's the best thing that's come from the whole Cars franchise and adds a deliciously authentic military feel to the model. Not that I condone war, of course.

Turtle aficionados will spot I had to make a couple of minor changes to the standard M364 design. Sand Green boat studs don't exist, so I've slightly redesigned the head for these new Liberty Class turtles. The head is a 2x2 dish, with a Trans-Clear 1x2 jumper plate for the eye. The latter are  rare Q-list elements, which are parts that never appeared in sets but have been moulded for things like LEGOLAND models. I like using weird, discontinued parts. Trans-clear jumpers are available from a handful of BrickLink stores.

We got friendly, down in the saa-aaa-and (green)

The new 2x2 octagon plate means it's possible to make an entirely Sand Green turtle. I call this one Sandy. Sandy likes hugs, leisurely walks and making friends with other robots. It doesn't always have to be about outrageously oversized weapons, does it?

I jest, of course. I would be betraying each and every one of you if I didn't show off some sweet new weapons. I had a blast making the MkII Liberty Launcher, so I decided to experiment with a couple more designs.

Mk III Liberty Cannon

The Mk III Liberty Cannon is a slightly reworked version of the Liberty Launcher. I love them both equally.

Mk IV Liberty Blaster 

The Mk IV Liberty Blaster is an attempt to use some of the more exotic Sand Green pieces. I'll leave it to you eagle-eyed readers to figure out what's going on with this one.

What a ******* Liberty!

I then spent hours staging an elaborate missile launch shot with the MkII Liberty Launcher and one of those snazzy new green laser blast pieces from 76096 Superman and Krypto Team Up.

The smoke took several hours to get looking right. I don't regret a second. There are few things more noble than carefully balancing ice cream on a gusty afternoon. The smoke plumes blew over a nanosecond after I took this picture.

One robot, three heads

Next up is a robot, which started life as a Keko variant but minifigure neck brackets don't exist in Sand Green, so I had to try out some alternative designs. I then spent hours dithering over different noggin options. 

This first one's called Roboto, and I quite like his general attitude. He carries a tattered flag in his mighty fists. The flag is probably a banner from some long forgotten robotic conflict. Or they could just have been near my hand when I was building. We'll never know. 

I tried some other stuff, too. This second head is an ancient tablescrap of mine that uses tiny parts encased in a Sandy Squirrel helmet. It has a certain retro charm, I think. I call this one Dr Fishcakes, because he's a qualified robot doctor and he's obsessed with fishcakes (which he can't eat, obviously).

Just as I prepared to photograph the models I threw an apollo stud (Design IDs 85861 or 28626) and one of those horrible modern trans-green 1x1 domes (58176) on a minifig hard hat... damn. Instantly adorable little fella.

I like this robot a lot, and would totally have him as part of my elite robot team. Look at his little face. I'm going to call him Helm-o-tron.

Chibi Tank

This tank is from the future and fires lasers. It definitely isn't based on anything from the real world. War is bad.

Much of the shaping here wouldn't have been possible without the sexy new Sand Green curves from the Liberty set. I lovingly built track imprints into the ground for this scene. I also had to use a polarising filter to get rid of the reflection. Shiny floors are great for futuristic hangar shots, but shiny sand looks stupid.

I've really enjoyed working with the new parts from the Statue of Liberty set, it's been a learning experience - building in a previously unexplored colour definitely got my creative juices flowing.  I'd like to thank Chris Salt for advice, emotional support and processing.

If you're buying Statue of Liberty – or anything – from Amazon, consider using our affiliate links to help us carry on publishing articles like this. Here are links to the set on Amazon USA and Amazon UK.

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Some products mentioned in this post were kindly supplied by the LEGO Group. All content represents the opinions of New Elementary authors and not the LEGO Group. All text and images are © Peter Reid and Chris Salt.


  1. Those designs are incredible :-)

  2. What does Dr Fishcakes do with his Fishcakes if he doesn't eat them? Sweet models dude.

    1. He keeps them mint in their original packaging. He's a robot, not an animal.

  3. WOW WOW WOW - loving these builds Peter and especially loving the rocket smoke :-)

  4. This is amazing! I love your turtles! Thanks Peter and New Elementary! I do want to point out that turtles don't always have to have opaque shells... Lego makes the parts for at least 3 different transparent-armored turtles.

  5. These turtles are amazing and this sand green is lovely!!!!

  6. This post makes me happy.

  7. Military shit is always popular to AFOLs ;P wonder why

  8. This is grate can’t wait for another one

    1. Well you're in luck, Pete has made another turtle for us! Will publish in the next week or two!

  9. I LOVE the missiles! Can you please tell me what parts you used to build the missiles? Thanks!