Desert Scavenger Drone

The LEGO community over at Flickr enjoy having monthly theme builds and this is what keeps it being a healthy and active group of people who just like to build. January is reserved for Droneuary, a theme that plays on automated mechs that tend to be just slightly larger than a minifig’s height. I participated last year via my DR01-SLATE build and was the first time I actually built a drone (I had done earlier builds that were of similar scale to the SLATE but didn’t really intend to build them as drones so those don’t quite count).

For this year however, I decided to really test my small mech building skills and create a very compact yet articulate build for Droneuary. I’ve been toying with the idea of making a reverse jointed drone and had a rough idea for a circular eye-type head design. I started my build by decommissioning the SLATE build (for parts and well, it’s reached the 1 year mark :P) and proceeded to building my new drone.

Droneuary - Desert Scavenger

The construction of the Scavenger started with the head build, creating that eye design that I had imagine which is similar to my earlier not-drone-intended builds. I had actually favored this head design back when I was younger as it was easily recognizable as a mech head and was relatively simple in construction. I had initially used a minifig ski piece in DBG to cover the top part but had suddenly lost the connection to the torso.

Head top view. The bar with clip inserts underneath the black travis.

I then proceeded to creating the body by connecting bad robot arms to the droid body and working my way with other attachments from there. From my knowledge, the Star Wars droid body is the core piece of all original droneuary torsos so it was a must to use this piece. I had an accidental parts usage with the old minifig wrench where the shoulder connects to the hexagon slot on the wrench. Accidental in the sense that I didn’t expect it to hold the shoulders so well thinking the piece was a loose fit to a stud. The rest of the pieces were for shaping while some were attached for stability.

The body from top view. Added that red via a lampholder piece just for a little accent color.

With the shoulder connection already there via the wrench tool, I decided to make the arms and these were fairly simple in construction. Just a few modified bricks with open studs, clips, bar with clips, a tap for the elbow, some minifig brackets for SNOT (studs not on top) connections, and 1×1 round brick. The rest of the pieces were added in for extra detailing.

Been wanting to use these cupboard doors for quite some time. Last time I toyed with them, I broke the handle 🙁

Oddly enough I didn’t make the pelvis first as I already had an ideal shape for the thighs and the reverse jointed legs. The tricky part was building it compact enough that it wouldn’t hit the elbows or arms but still have enough detail that it’d complement the entire build. The legs started with the 1x2x1 1/3 modified brick that would make up the front part of the thigh, just above the knee.

Was glad I had a Shredder minifig just lying around the work table and figured, his claws would make a nice detail piece on the side.

Now it was time to create the most problematic part of the build, the pelvis. This was a pain to create because I needed to have some level of articulation while keeping the profile as slim and compact as possible. If the pelvis would exceed a 1 brick width, the lower body proportion would definitely look weird and could hit the arms. I ended up using these old revolver pieces that gave me the ideal angle to clip the legs to.

(Top) Body underside. That stud is where the pelvis would connect to. (Bottom) The Pelvis assembly on its side. The barrel of the pistol is where the clips on the legs would attach to.

At this point, my drone was actually complete but I wanted to give him some character detail as to his purpose. I figured he’d be one these archeology / scavenger type drones, wandering huge deserts looking for techy junk / treasure. Got out a huge minifig backpack piece (the one you can open) and added some detail pieces on the side, along with a set of digging tools.

The handlebar – technic pin – tbar connection is a little stressed but I tend to do a lot of illegal techniques like this.

That’s the entire drone build! Here’s a picture of all the limbs separated right before assembly. The build took around 2 hours to do (the pelvis took up a huge chunk of that) but I’m pretty happy with the result.


Make sure to check out the Droneuary Flickr group for a ton more amazing drone builds from other builders 😀 and why not submit your own drone for the challenge while you’re at it.

Until my next build 😀

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